Friday, August 29, 2014

Not My Cup Of Tea ARC Review Of "The Winter People"

"The Winter People" By Rebekah L. Purdy 

Stars: 3 

Source: Netgalley 

Release Date: September 2nd 

Salome Montgomery is deathly afraid of winter. Ever since she was six and fell through the iced over pond in her grandparents backyard anything associated with the cold makes her heart race and her palms sweat. During the winter months she hears the same voice that called to her that day, luring her to the icy waters. 

For the past 11 years she avoided the wooded area behind her grandparents house. Only visiting in the warm months when it's save. But after a series of unfortunate events she finds herself maintaining her grandparents estate until they return from Arizona in the spring. 

Even though her grandmother warned her of talking to strangers, Salome finds herself attracted to the mysterious Nevin who visits her while she tends to her grandparents estate. 

However Nevin isn't the only stranger Salome finds. Gareth has deemed himself her bodyguard, and more than once saved her from the icy death that awaits her. 

Add in Colton, Salome's life long crush and you've got yourself a very twisted love triangle.

When I first picked up this book I was very intrigued by the description. After reading the first couple of chapters I was hooked. However as the story progressed I grew less interested. 

Salome is afraid of the winter, she hears voices threatening her life and yet every chance she gets it's "Lets go for a walk in the snow storm" or "Lets trust this stranger I barley know". It's like when the cheerleader in the horror movie hears a noise in the basement and decides to go check it out and you're screaming "NO!" but deep down thinking to yourself "Idiot, you deserve to die now."  

For me it just got a little old, her putting herself in situations that in my opinion she could have easily found a way around. Add the fact that her grandmother drove me nuts, putting her in danger and not being able to tell her anything that might help, and this just wasn't the book for me. 

I did enjoy some aspects of it and perhaps if it hadn't have been so drawn out (maybe if it happened over the course of one winter instead of the entire year) it would have kept my attention but sadly that wasn't the case. 

The only reason I finished it was to find out why her family was cursed and the explanation at the end was just a complete letdown for me, like it was an afterthought to actually explain the reasoning behind the curse. 

Again just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that you wont. 

Until next time, 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 
My review is my honest opinion. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ARC Review "Off Pointe"

"Off Pointe" Leanne Lieberman

Source: LibraryThing 

Stars: 4

Release Date: September 1st 

Megan and ballet go hand in hand. She lives and breathes ballet, dreams about pirouettes and arabesques, piques and sautes. Which is why she is heartbroken to learn that not only is her ballet camp canceled but that her own teacher thinks that she doesn't quite have all the necessary requirements to be a ballerina. 

When her teacher suggests that Megan spend two weeks at Camp Dance, learning how to connect with her audience Megan is less than thrilled. 

Camp Dance doesn't offer one ballet class and Megan feels that it will be a waste of her time to go while all the other dancers in her company are improving their technique and mastering their dance skills. But what Megan learns from Camp Dance is much more than stage presence and self esteem, she learns about friendship and how to believe in herself and others. 

"Off Pointe" was a cute read, definitely geared toward a younger audience but I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to younger readers who have a passion for dance of any kind. 

Until next time, 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 
My review is my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (4)

Waiting On Wednesday 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Here is my selection for the week: 

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Release date is September 23rd. 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish where each week there is a new topic for a top ten list. 

This week is "Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet" 

1. The Young World By Chris Weitz 

2. Lets Get Lost By Adi Alsaid

3. My Last Kiss By Bethany Neal

4. Landline By Rainbow Rowell

5. Breathe, Annie, Breathe By Miranda Kenneally

6. Midnight Thief By Livia Blackburne 

7. Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty 

8. Conversion By Katherine Howe

9. Blind By Rachel DeWonskin

10. Driving With The Top Down By Beth Harbison 

Hope you all enjoyed! 

Until next time, 

Monday, August 25, 2014

ARC Review Of "Zomburbia"

Zomburbia By Adam J. Gallardo 

Release Date: August 26th 

Stars: 4 

Source: Netgalley 

If you know me at all you know that I am a big fan of anything having to do with Zombies. I still remember watching Dawn Of The Dead for the first time (the original, not the crappy remake) and loving every second of it. I'm addicted to The Walking Dead and I always have an escape route planned out in my head wherever I go in case the Zombie Apocalypse starts. 

Now with that being said Zombie stories are very popular right now, just like when Twilight came out and everywhere you turned you saw vampires. Which is why in my opinion it is extremely difficult to have an original story, original characters, original plot lines and flesh eating monsters. 

However Adam J. Gallardo's story grabbed my attention immediately and held on throughout the entire book. 

Courtney Hart grew up in a world infested with zombies, she knows no other life. Her goal is to one day leave her small town behind her and travel to New York to find a cure for the shufflers that plague her and those closest to her. 

In order to do that Courtney sells drugs, well a drug. Vitamin Z. Made from, you guessed it: zombie brains. All she has to do is survive the zombies, her shifts at the local burger joint and her brain dead classmates. After that she's home free, New York her shes comes. 

What instantly caught my attention was when a couple chapters into the book Courtney uttered the words "Call 911". Not only does the world still have 911 they also have electricity, super markets, libraries, police, cars and cell phones. 

I love the new take on the widely popular genre of zombies. In Courtney's story the world did not end when the dead rose from their graves. It drastically changed, yes, but it didn't end. 

I highly recommend this book, its a refreshing, original story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

Until next time, 

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review. 
My review is my honest opinion. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Catching June" Cover Reveal

I'm so very excited to be sharing the cover reveal for Shannen Crane Camps new book "Catching June" which is due to be released this December. 

"June Laurie’s life in the spotlight of Hollywood is anything but normal. Between paparazzi watching her every move, and online fandoms voicing opinions on her relationship with her boyfriend and co-star Ryan Hex, things can get confusing. But June is more than confident that she has her life planned out perfectly, with her childhood friend Joseph Cleveland coming home from a mission soon, and a successful television show under her belt, things seem to be falling into place perfectly. But when jealousies both on set and off start to shake the foundation of perfection that June has tried to build up, she’ll be forced to, once again, assess just how important her deeply seated standards are, and who really fills the empty spaces in her life. With the overbearing threat of popular opinion constantly hanging over her, will June be able to clear the clutter in her life and come to terms with what will bring her true happiness?"

Shannen Crane Camp was born and raised in Southern California, where she developed a love of reading, writing, and anything having to do with film. After high school, she moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where she received a degree in Media Arts and found herself a husband in fellow California native Josh Camp. The two now live in either California or Utah... they still can't decide. 
Shannen loves to hear from readers, so feel free to contact her at or visit her website for more information:

And now for the grand finale... Drum roll please... 

I absolutely adore this cover, the dress, the car... I feel like if you were to zoom out you would see Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly with Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant. 

I hope you all enjoyed and that you'll add "Catching June" to your to-be-read list. 

Until next time, 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stacking The Shelves (4)

Stacking The Shelves 

"We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in the physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! 

If you're anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles."

Here are some books that I've purchased in the past week and some that have been sent to me for review. 

These are all the review books: 

These are one's that I've purchased, won or ones that have been given to me as gifts: 

The Shining I got at The Stanley hotel which is the hotel that inspired the book. 

Hope you all enjoyed! 

Until next time, 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"An American Girl In Italy" Blog Tour Review And Giveaway

An American Girl in Italy by Aubrie Dionne
182 pages
An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants… but the one thing she needs!
Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caffés and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself… Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum. Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route…
Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.
But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?


I really enjoyed this book, I have always wanted to travel to Italy and the second I saw the cover I was drawn in. However Carly is the complete opposite of me, so focused on work and achieving her dreams of being a world renowned oboist she thinks her trip to Italy is a waste of time and nothing but a deterrent from her current path.

Michelangelo, the tour guide not the sculptor, is just trying to make it through the next couple of days. If putting up with self absorbed, snotty Americans will give him enough to save his family winery than he's going to do everything he can to make that happen. 

When both their worlds collide they get far more than they each bargained for. 

If you're seriously over due for a summer holiday go throw on a summer dress, grab a ridiculously over-sized hat and a glass of red wine then read this on your porch as the sunsets. In no time you'll be emerged in the Italian language, culture and history.

Aubrie Dionne's description of Italy is the perfect backdrop for her delightful characters and the adventures they take in the city of love.

About the Author:
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Publishing, Inkspell Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

Website | Blog | Twitter


3 winners get an Italy themed notepad (US)

Until next time, 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Waiting On Wednesday 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Here is my selection for the week: 

From Barnes and Noble:
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together.
Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. You'll be rooting for Gabe and Lea too, in Sandy Hall's quirky, completely original novel A Little Something Different, chosen by readers, writers, and publishers, to be the debut titles for the new Swoon Reads imprint!
Release date is August 26th.
Until next time,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish where each week there is a new topic for a top ten list. 

This week is "Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read"

1. Since You've Been Gone By Morgan Matson 

2. The Rosie Project By Graeme Simison

3. The Lightning Thief By Rick Riordan

4. Love, Rosie By Cecelia Ahern

5. Incarnate By Jodi Meadows 

6. The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer By Michelle Hodkin 

7. On The Fence By Kasie West

8. The Summer I Turned Pretty By Jenny Han

9. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs 

10. Paper Towns By John Green 

Hope you all enjoyed! Feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comment section, my TBR list isn't nearly long enough at 1,770 :)

Until next time, 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"We Were Liars" Dream Cast

Since reviewing "We Were Liars" is pretty near impossible for me I figured I would do something a little different so here we go. 

Here is my 'Dream Cast' for E. Lockhart's "We Were Liars". 

Emma Roberts 

Gracie Dzienny 

Alexander Ludwig 

Blair Redford

Harris Sinclair:
Edward Herrmann 

After finishing the book I was listening to one of my favorite songs by the band All Time Low and this song fit in so perfectly I couldn't help but include it so here it is:

Hope you all enjoyed. 

Until next time, 

"Ascension Of The Whtye" Excerpt, Giveaway and Author Interview!

Ascension of the Whtye by
Karen Wrighton


Sara Carson did not believe in life after death, Heaven, Hell or even reincarnation. However, what she didn't know was that some of us are special. For some of us, death is just the beginning of our next great adventure. Sara Carson was one of those special people, and her most incredible journey did not begin, until the day she died.
A magical début novel that will leave you breathless.


Information about the book;
Author: Karen Wrighton
Title: Ascension of the Whyte (The Afterland Chronicles #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: E-book
Pages: 326
Published: 9th June 2014


Author Information

Karen Wrighton was born in a small town in the English county of Staffordshire and began writing prolifically and drawing from a young age. Karen trained as a Psychologist and Teacher before finally finding the time to pursue her love of writing, firstly by creating a successful Psychology blog and now by writing her first novel.

Karen's début novel 'Ascension of the Whyte' is a magical epic fantasy novel for young adults and is to be the first book of the 'The Afterland Chronicles' series.
Karen's style is strongly influenced by the books she loves to read, such as Lord of
the Rings and Harry Potter. This is evidenced by the magical quality that pervades her writing.

Karen has two daughters and lives in Norfolk, England with her husband John.

To find out more about Karen and her book, or follow her on social networks click on the links below.

Author Links

There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;

- Author signed paperback copy of Ascension of the Whyte
- Themed metal bookmarks
- Postcards with graphics of the book cover and a colour map of the Afterlands
(signed by author if requested)
- Original hand-made Adder stone pendant like the one described in the book.

I'm very excited to be able to interview Karen for this blog stop and get to know her a little better, hope you all enjoy.

Interview with Karen Wrighton author of Ascension of the Whyte


How did you first start out as an author? Have you always wanted to write? 


Ever since I was a child I have been drawing or writing something. I still have some of the stories that I penned when I was a teenager (admittedly they are not very good though). Back then if you  had asked me what  I wanted to do with my life I would have said become an artist, a writer, or an archeologist (I made the first two, but I think I got sidetracked with the third and became a Psychologist and a teacher instead). 


When I was at school I loved anything about adventure, mythology, magic and science fiction and moved effortlessly from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven to John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids and Midwich Cuckoos and then later to books by James Blish, James Herbert and the great Stephen King.  More recently though I have become a big fan of fantasy and YA books, which began when I started to read the brilliant Harry Potter series with my children and discovered how much I loved the genre.


As a child I was always writing my own stories and escaping into my own little world.  I didn’t have a very happy childhood, so my writing was an escape for me.  Later when studying for my Psychology degree I discovered that many writers had started writing in order to escape the reality of an unhappy childhood.  Psychologists such as Freud explain this tendency as the development of a fantasy prone personality in order to escape childhood trauma and I wouldn’t argue with that.  As a child I would retreat into my own private fantasy world, where I could be anything I wanted to be, strong, powerful and even magical and therefore perfectly safe from all the chaos in my life.


I have started so many books over the last few years, but none have ever grabbed me the way the idea for this one did. Consequently they remain unfinished on my computer hard drive. 


This book though was different right from the very start. I have a really long commute to work every day, I teach Psychology at a college which is almost sixty miles from where I live and so I spend around three hours in the car every day.  It is during this time that my best plot ideas come to me.  I quite often have to pull off the road so that I can jot down ideas before they disappear from my head.  The whole of the idea for the book series came to me on one of these commutes and the idea grabbed me so strongly that I knew that I just had to write it. It was almost as if the story was floating out there in the ether and just found me to write about it… here I am, now write me!



I once heard an author mention how when reading a really good book she would catch herself thinking "I wish I had written this." If you could write a book that has already been written which book would you choose and why? 


I suppose like a lot of fantasy writers the Harry Potter series would come to mind.  I found the whole series so magical and I remember when I read the Philosophers Stone it took be right back to the time when, as a child, I would read Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories by torchlight under the bedcovers until the wee hours of the morning. J. K. Rowling’s books had all the rip-roaring adventure of Blyton’s books but magnified a hundredfold by the inclusion of magic. I cannot deny that I would have loved to have been the one to have written Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.


If you could meet with any person, dead or alive, who would you choose? 


Oh well I am much too greedy to just want to meet with one, I would have to have a dinner party and I would invite Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Martin Luther King and J. K. Rowling.  That should get the conversation going well!  However you asked me for one person so I would have to go with Mark Twain.


Why?  Well not simply because Mark Twain is well known for being extremely intelligent, a powerful author, and for having a killer sense of humour, but also because I would really love to ask him how he knew. 


‘How he knew what?’  I hear you asking. 


The answer is that in 1909 Twain reportedly said


"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.' "


Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.  How cool is that?!



What is your writing process?


My main system is to use Microsoft OneNote to keep track of all my story notes, character information, plot lines, and details of the developing world of the Afterlands etc. OneNote syncs over multiple devices so I always have my up-to-date notes with me which means I can pick up my work anywhere.  I also save my work to Google Docs online for the same reason.


I have a characters note section where I file a page with a tag for each character and list their main characteristics which gives me a detailed character map of each of them so that hopefully, I always manage to write in the distinct voice of each character.


I have to be in a quiet room to write as I am very easily distracted.  I try to write every day even when I am at work when I try to write in my lunch hour if I can. I write a chapter at a time in a linear fashion, each chapter in chronological order. Once I have an idea what is to happen in the chapter I just write a very quick first draft, exactly as the story unfolds in my head, and then as soon as I complete the chapter I do an immediate second draft before I go on to the next chapter. Then I pass the chapter on to my husband for proof reading.


How do you deal with writers block?  


I have yet to experience much of a problem with writers block but sometimes the flow does tend to dry up a bit.  I have realised that this tends to happen when I am tired and the words are not flowing as readily as I would like.


What I find works for me is to take a break and concentrate on doing something else, preferably a mundane task.  Usually what happens then is when I am not consciously thinking about it, unconsciously my mind figures out where the story should go next and hey presto the solution pops into my head when I am cooking the tea or doing the ironing or whatever mundane task I chose to break the deadlock.  This solution is supported by much Psychological research which has found that our minds work much better at figuring things out when they are occupied doing something mundane.


What is your favourite quote from the book? 


That is a good but difficult question to answer.  It is my book but I don’t really see it like the readers see it.  It was a lot of hard work and choosing exactly the right words to include in the narrative was a sometimes arduous task so much of the time when I read the text I see the anguish that each sentence caused me.  However I loved creating Eldwyn’s Prophecy and the songs for the book I should probably use the Prophecy of Eldwyn that starts the book as it is one of my favourites. It was one of the first things I set down on paper before I actually began the book so it probably deserves a special mention.


“When Whyte ascends in female frame,

And Aurum Sooth speaks Rhodium name.

When Bloods swarm o'er Ferrum fields

And the fiery gate of Tollen breaks its seals

When evil emerges from its brimstone core

To conquer our lands with fyre and war

Then shall the Incantatio seek and find

She with power to unite and bind

Rhodium will resurrect, and by her hands

Unity will reign in the Afterlands"

(Eldwyn the Whyte)



If you had to describe your book in three words what would they be?


Fantasy, afterlife adventure. 


What books are you reading now or looking forward to reading?


I am reading Pillip Pulman’s NorthernLights (The Golden Compass) but have quite a lot on my Goodreads ‘to read’ shelf including the following six books, all of which I am quite excited about reading. I love Johnathan Stroud’s books but I have heard great things about Cloud Atlas recently so I will probably be reading that next.




The Owl Service The Eleventh PlagueCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)The Last SiegeThe Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2)Cloud Atlas


You are welcome to contact me and share your opinion on which one of these you think I should be reading next, but make sure that you provide me with some good reasons!


Karen Wrighton


"Rose's response was swift, a perfectly executed block action accompanied by a clear
command. The effect was instantaneous and dramatic, a blinding white energy stream
flowed from her potens ring, transforming instantly into a rapidly moving wall of light which knocked Ash off his feet, lifted him up and carried him at great speed across the Arena.

Goldin's hand shook as he retrieved his staff. He had never seen a novice perform a blocking spell with that much power."

Until next time,