Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Player Blog Tour: Guest Post!

Hello everyone! Today the Player blog tour is stopping on by Booktastic Reviews! Below you will find some more about the book, a guest post from the author, Laura DeLuca, and also a giveaway! Enjoy! :)

About The Book!

Joshua Handover had it all. He was handsome, rich, athletic, and had always been popular with the ladies. Yet, until he gets paired up with his beautiful but shy lab partner, Rosa, he never allowed himself to fall in love. As the chemistry between them grows, Josh realizes that his player days have come to end. But it seems his change of heart has come too late. Not only is Rosa leery of his bad boy reputation, he has four vindictive ex-girlfriends who are on a rampage. At first he doesn’t take their threats seriously, but then his tires are slashed, someone tries to poison him, and one of the girls turns up dead. Josh doesn’t know who to trust, but one thing is certain. It definitely isn’t worth the price he’s paying to be a player.

Guest Post!

While Player is my most recent release, it is actually my very first book. I wrote it in high school when I was only sixteen. Don't worry, I updated it quite a bit and it’s pretty modern now. It was originally titled "Playboy", but since lingo has changed a lot since the nineties, I decided to change it to Player. Revamping the story got me thinking about the old days, so I pulled out some old photos, including this prom picture! The guy in the picture is my friend George. It’s been almost twenty years, and he's still one of my very best friends. He was also the inspiration for Josh, the main character in Player.


My friend George never got into quite as much trouble as Josh does, but trust me; we had our fair share of crazy times. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the private school kids are better behaved than the public school kids. But that’s another story. In the meantime, reminiscence about the nineties with me and listen to "The Freshman" by The Verve Pipe. If I had to pick a theme song for "Player", this would be it!


Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 25 February 2013

Book Spotlight: Monster Mirror by Isabella Macotte

Hey everyone! Today I've got author Isabella Macotte on the blog and she has graciously prepared a Q&A and excerpt post for us all. Her book, Monster Mirror was released on the 22nd February. Hope you enjoy!
 
SYNOPSIS
 
A plan to keep evil from spilling out into the world is tested…

In a world where terrifying creatures roam the night, all seventeen-year-old Mia wants is a quiet summer in safe, supernatural-free Cape Livingston. After a wrong turn into an unknown area, she learns the Cape isn’t as predictable as expected.

Mia must protect herself from the paranormal world ready to destroy her life by using everything she’s learned from the horror movies she watches.

Will her training be enough to tip the scale in her favor? Will her choice between the boy she loves or the boy determined to deliver her as a Swap be the right one? Is her future with the Monster Mirror inevitable?
 
EXCERPT
 
I live in a world filled with paranormal creatures. They showed up almost twenty years ago. That’s when the Reveal happened.
Hollywood stopped making new horror films when the real things showed up, so I catch my supernatural education from the net’s streaming movies. “Mia,” my mom used to say a lifetime ago, “stop with all the scary movies already. Switch to rom-coms.” No way. Maybe all this interest in the supernatural was premonition and preparation for me.
 
Q&A:
 
The story behind Monster Mirror?
How would you cope with living in a world filled with paranormal creatures? What if everyone around you wasn’t afraid anymore and didn’t pay attention to the deadly, supernatural beings floating in and out of the human world every night? No one believes you, but you know the monsters are ready to take the next step. You know they want to destroy the world. And you know, you’ll do everything you can to stop them.
 
Favorite character?
Right now it’s Mia, the main character in my latest book, Monster Mirror. I really like her personality, and she’s tough but emotional. The paranormal world has taken away almost everything she loves. Then, it wants more. Mia fights back using all the knowledge she’s acquired, but as hard as she fights, there are things she won’t compromise on. And as much as she’s fighting against the paranormal world, she might just have to switch sides and join it.
 
What are some of the things you look for in a good book?
I’ve incorporated some of my favorite aspects of a book into Monster Mirror. I enjoy books that have a good mix of action and emotional scenes. I like taking my characters into danger, then making the situation even worse. I have a soft spot for villains who aren’t all them seem to be and have lots of layers.
 
If you could disappear into any book, what would it be?
That’s a great question, but I think if you asked me this every day, I’d give you a different answer. I would definitely have to pick a fantasy book world, something with supernatural creatures, a meshing of the regular human world we know and a scary paranormal place, and a world where right and wrong can sometimes intersect.
 
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I think I’d like to be invisible at will. I could go to a lot of cool places and know lots of different things without anyone finding out.
 
Quick Questions:
 
Favourite Color? Emerald green, especially when it stretches across a lush countryside and is dotted with ancient castles. I think I must have lived in Ireland or Scotland in a previous life.
Favourite Animal? Dog. If I could, I’d have a couple of dozen of them. Or even one of each
breed.
Favourite Type of Music? Alternative and Indie rock.
Favourite season? Fall, right when we get that first cold snap and the leaves start turning gorgeous colors. I make sure to go for a walk in the forest preserve when that happens.
Printed or ebook? Both please!

 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Interview with Author, Karen Saunders!

Hey everyone! Today I am very excited to welcome author, Karen Saunders on to the blog! I read and reviewed her book, Me, Suzy P not too long ago and absolutely LOVED it (to see my full review just click HERE) and so I am very excited to share this interview with you all - I hope you enjoy! :D

~ ~ ~
Hi Rachel! Before we get started I just wanted to say I’m SO excited to be here, because your super enthusiastic review of my book was so lovely it actually made me well up! (To clarify, they were happy tears).

OK. Onto your questions!
*I'm so glad you appreciated my review - thank you! You are a great author and I adored your book! xD

Did you always plan on writing a chick-lit/contemporary book? What were the best and hardest parts of writing in that genre?
I love contemporary fiction and chick lit. It’s where my heart lies, I’m interested in real people and real life situations so it made total sense I’d write about this kind of thing. I love exploring situations people find themselves in, especially when they’re funny! I think the hardest thing about it is trying to make sure it’s relevant to teenagers and that the voice is right.

Is there a particular character in this book that always puts a smile on your face? Why is this?
I love writing Millie, because she’s such a good friend and so enthusiastic about everything, but I have a soft spot for Amber, too. She’s a lovely girl, but a complete flake, so it’s fun thinking up crazy things for her to say and do.

Where do you like to write? Any necessities you need whilst writing?
I write at my desk, in what is supposed to be an office but is currently the house dumping ground. I have to fight my way to my desk every day. I write straight onto the PC, I type much faster than I can write by hand and like to edit things a lot. I have a lovely view of a valley out of my window, and frequently spend too much time staring at that and not enough time writing. My only writing necessities are a keyboard and a PC.

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be and why?
Teleportation. It would make life SO much easier. And you could go on holiday whenever you wanted. Plus, it’s very environmentally friendly.

If you could live in any fictional world, who's would it be and why?
Oooh, I would very much like to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. That would be AMAZING. All those sweets! When I was growing up, I really wanted to live in one of the Enid Blyton stories – I was desperate to be in the Famous Five, or visit Mallory Towers, or go up the Faraway Tree. A flight on the Wishing Chair could be fun, too…

Are you currently in the middle of any other books you could tell us a little about?
I’m currently working on the edits for the second book in the Me, Suzy P series…so watch this space!

Quick-Fire Questions:

Favourite Animal? I like guinea pigs, goats and Labradors.
Favourite Colour? My teen self would have said black. My now self likes pink. Teen self would not be happy about that AT ALL.
Favourite Sweet? Minstrels. Or Haribo Tangfastics.
Favourite Weather? Hot and sunny. I love the summer.
Favourite Genre? Contemporary.

Thanks so much for these questions, they were really fun to answer!

If you’d like to find out more, come visit me online, at my website, ‘like’ me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter: @writingkaren. There are also tweets from Suzy Puttock: @SuzyPuttock   – so do follow her too. Me, Suzy P is available to buy from all good bookshops, online and is also available as an e-book.
~ ~ ~
 
YAY, Me, Suzy P is going to have a sequel! Ooooh, I can't wait! Isn't Karen just lovely? ^.^ I think you should all go out and buy her book right now! ;)
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Review: Mila 2.0

Author: Debra Driza
Edition: Katherine Tegen Books ARC
Release: 12th March 2013
Series: Mila 2.0 #1
Pages: 480 approx.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

MY REVIEW:

When this book was first brought to my attention, I hadn't actually heard that much about it. Practically nothing now that I come to think of it. The reason I ended up with a review copy, you ask? Well the blurb drew me in big time! Big. Time. It had a fantastic premise and, as a result, my expectations soared high. Did this debut novel do Debra Driza proud? Why, yes. Yes it did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now cannot wait to see what more this author has in store for us in the future.

First off, the action! Let me assure you that you will easily be able to appreciate this book if you love action/adventure stories. I just love, love, loved all of the action scenes! The scenes were just so well written and due to Driza's skilful writing style I felt like I was there - beside Mila - watching it all. Do you know that feeling you get when you're watching an action movie and the main character starts fighting with the bad guys and you're just sitting there thinking how cool and badass they are and you can't help but spur them on? Well, I was exactly like that for this book!

Mila was the perfect lead for this story. Not only was she brave, smart and kickass, she had a whole other side to her to boot. A softer, more vulnerable side. The entire way through the story she questioned her humanity - afraid that her android side would take over - and you could see the affect it was having on her. I mean, can you blame her? The poor girl just found out she was an android and that her whole life had been a lie. So I'm pretty sure she has the right to be freaked, don't you? ;) With that said, the two contrasting sides to her personality made her an overall likeable and well-developed character. I also came to like Lucas. He really helped Mila and her mum out when they needed it the most and I just couldn't help but admire him - and his courage - for it. I really hope he makes an appearance in the next book!

Now, Hunter. Oh Hunter, Hunter, Hunter. What to make of you. Honestly, to start with Hunter didn't make that big of an affect on me. After a while I did start to warm up to him though. Albeit only a little. However, I just have this feeling. This feeling that he's more involved in the story than even Mila knows. For one, we don't know much about his past. Barely anything really. And as much as I want to tell you all who I think he could be, I'd be revealing spoilers and I so don't want to do that. :( So I'll just have to leave it at Hunter is definitely a mysterious boy. Of course, this might just be me who thinks that. :3 Ughhh, I'm just going to have to wait patiently for book two and hope that some of my questions will be answered. I'm also hoping Hunter is in book two more than he was in this one so I can decide what to make of him. ;)

In conclusion, Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza is a fantastic debut that has now left me eagerly anticipating the sequel. The main character, Mila is a kick-ass heroine but also has a slightly more vulnerable side to which you can empathise with. I also enjoyed a few of the secondary characters - namely Lucas and Mila's mum, Nicole. Not only did the action scenes leave me breathless, the build up to the ending did as well! I just need to know what happens next! Especially between Mila and Hunter... I want to see where this romance is leading us! In my opinion I wouldn't say you need to be a sci-fi lover to enjoy this. To me, this book was much more action/adventure like - I didn't even think of it as a sci-fi book whilst reading! So if this looks like the book for you, go pre-order it now! ;)
4.25 STARS! ;)
A big thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with a review copy!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Sorry about the lengthy review! I didn't know I needed to say that much, haha! :P

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Dragon Empire Blog Tour: Excerpt!

Hey everyone! Today I've got an excerpt from Heather McCorkle's new book, The Dragon Empire to share with you all! I've actually featured this author before on the blog when I reviewed her book, To Ride a Pùca. To see my review, click HERE. Now, before I get on to the excerpt, here is some more about McCorkle's new book! :)

On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized...
 
There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.
 
Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind.
 
The Excerpt
 
What he was seeing could be the death of him, he knew, yet Grendar couldn’t look away. The undergrowth that had been hampering his progress through the jungle no longer seemed thick enough to conceal him. His hearts pounded and his throat constricted. What if they saw him? The human guise he was wearing wouldn’t exactly protect him, not considering what they were doing.  
Through the ferns and palm fronds he could see them: four dragons the color of a starless night sky. At over twenty feet from hindquarters to nose, they were twice Grendar’s size. They gleamed in the tropical sun, their obsidian-colored scales contrasting with the bright blood on their long snouts and claws. On the beach before them was the source of all that blood. The partially eaten bodies of several people lay scattered about the sand like tortured and discarded dolls. The biggest dragon—one Grendar knew well—held a body beneath one of his massive forelegs. He reached down and tore a chunk of flesh from it, scarcely chewing before he swallowed. Both the sight and sound made Grendar flinch, the motion feeling foreign in a human body.
A breeze blew off the ocean, its salty essence tainted with the reek of carrion and death. Bile stung the back of Grendar’s tongue and nausea rolled through his stomach. People were protected, and for good reason. To kill one, let alone eat one, went against the creed of the Dragon Empire. Such a thing would get a dragon banished.
 
 
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Review: Uglies

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Edition: Simon & Schuster (Library) Paperback
Released: 8th February 2005
Series: Uglies #1
Pages: 425 approx.
Links: The Book Depository | Author's Website

Tally can't wait to turn sixteen and become Pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from a repellent Ugly into a stunningly attractive Pretty, and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be Pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the Pretty world - and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

MY REVIEW:

Straight off let me just say that I actually had a different edition cover than the one pictured above. The one I had was blue and had a surgical tray of dolls bodies on it... It was strange to say the least. I couldn't find a decent sized image of that cover though so that's why it's not included in this post and, in all honesty, I didn't like it that much. This one is much better. Anyway. On to the actual book. Personally, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have liked to but, at the same time, I still enjoyed it.

The main reason that kept me from loving this book was the pacing. For me, it's vital that the book I'm reading has a good pace. Unfortunetly, I just found Uglies a little too slow at times. Not only was the beginning a bit slow-going for me but throughout the book there were intervals where my attention would waver because the pace would suddenly drop. I do know a lot of people that have read this book, however, who didn't find the pacing an issue so I suppose it just comes down to your book pet peeves.

The storyline overall was quite unusual and intriguing - not to mention dystopian! ;) That vision of the future is terrifying for me. I would just hate to live in a world where everyone is turned 'pretty' at the age of sixteen! Wouldn't you? Though, at times, the main character, Tally, did seem a little brainwashed when it came to her world's values (like being pretty is everything), I could understand that she was only acting like that because she had grown up knowing only that life and being told the same thing over and over. Due to this I found I could empathise with Tally and I slowly started to warm to her. She was a likeable and well-developed character overall. David was also another enjoyable character. They were so sweet when they were together. :') I also thought Tally and Shay were a little like Lena and Hana out of Delirium. With Tally being more cautious like Lena and Shay being more rebellious and out going like Hana's character.

In conclusion, though I would have liked to have enjoyed Uglies more than I did, I'd still recommend it to those of you that think it would be there type of thing. Even to those of you who love dystopian; this book has a really unusual storyline that I'm sure you could all admire. I feel like this review has sounded pretty negative... but let me just stress, I did enjoy it! The ending was a shocker as well - and Tally did a really honourable thing! That honourable thing, you ask? Well I'm not going to tell! Better check this book out for yourself if you're that desperate. ;)

THREE/THREE AND A HALF STARS! :)
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Showcase Sunday #15

I know, I know! Two Showcase Sunday posts back to back, I'm a horrible blogger! My excuse, you ask? I have been so, so, SO busy this week! I've had loads of homework as well as a horrible cold which involved me missing school for a couple of days (and which I'm still trying to get rid of -.-) so, nope, not a good week for me. So I am very sorry for not updating my blog this week. I'll try better this week - though I do have two tests to study for (theory P.E. and Biology), an essay for English and two drawings to complete for Art. Not to mention my next set of prelims are coming up in March so I'll have to start studying soon. Kill. Me. Now. :(

Anyway. Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs. This week I only got the one book but since I'm really excited about it, I decided it was worth sharing! :D


Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza (Manuscript/ARC) - This is the one book I got for review this week from Random House and I can't wait to get started on it. It looks amazing! I think you should all just click on the title to add it to goodreads now! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: To all my bloggy friends: I know I've probably missed a lot of your posts this week (hence no comments from me :3) but I will try to catch up when I've got the time. Possibly later tonight... I've got to start one of my Art drawings right now! :'(