Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book Spotlight & Excerpt: The Duchess Quest


Today I have a very exciting post for you all! A book spotlight and excerpt of The Duchess Quest by C.K. Brooke - which sounds fantastic!

Love is destined to find her...

Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward!

Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart.

Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

Excerpt

The skin on Dainy’s legs hardened with gooseflesh, and she forced herself to retain her grin. “Well then.” She folded her arms, although her heart thudded. “Give to me your definition of possible.”
 
“Possible?” repeated Cosmith, stroking his chin thoughtfully. Dainy gazed upon his elegant throat in the moonlight, feeling a sudden, overpowering yearning to trace her fingertips along the perfectly defined line of his jaw. This longing was all too unfamiliar to her, and made her feel strangely feral, like some sort of wild animal.

“Possible, according to my definition,” began the exquisite man, in a sultry tone to match the evening’s air, “is a life of freedom, dreams manifesting.” He gazed upon her intently, inching closer.
 
Dainy stood still, willing him nearer, not daring to back away.

“Answering to no one,” he went on, taking yet another step. “Possessing everything one desires. Fantasies,” he added, dropping his voice to an alluring whisper, “fulfilled.” He stopped just short of their noses touching, his eyes locked into hers. “All of these things,” he murmured, his breath lingering tantalizingly against her cheek, “and more, are possible.”

Author Bio:

C.K. Brooke is a fantasy/romance writer. She is the author of The Duchess Quest (Jordinia: Book 1), now available in paperback and e-book. Her next two novels, The Duchess Inheritance (Jordinia: Book 2) and The Red Pearl, are coming soon to 48fourteen Publishing. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and son. Visit her at www.CKBrooke.com.

Find Brooke on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress and Amazon!

Is it just me who thinks this sounds so good?! And look at that cover! It's gorgeous!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 14 November 2014

Review: Northern Lights (aka. The Golden Compass)

Author: Philip Pullman
Edition: Scholastic Paperback
Released: 1st March 2011
Series: His Dark Materials #1
Pages: 413 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

"Without this child, we shall all die"

Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. But the destiny that has awaited her since birth takes her on a dangerous journey to the frozen North in search of a kidnapped friend. It is a journey that will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world...

I'd wanted to read this book ever since I'd learnt that The Golden Compass movie was based off of it. I loved the movie and really wanted to know if the book was just as good and hopefully re-experience the same feeling I felt whilst watching the movie when reading the book. Luckily, I did and really enjoyed it!

This is one of those books where you couldn't help but acknowledge the fact that you'd probably have loved it more if you were younger. Don't get me wrong, I did still thoroughly enjoy it (and I'm not saying anyone older shouldn't read it) but as a child, I always craved a fantastical adventure and a good, old-fashioned quest, and this book provided just that. I would have loved it so, so, so much was I 11, 12 or 13 but, as it stands, I did still adore it a lot because of these things! (I do still crave adventure. A lot, by the way.)

Not only did I love the fact Lyra was on a quest, of sorts, I also loved how a lot of different characters were introduced to us along the way and all the hiccups that occurred on the journey. I just love it when you're introduced to a good bunch of varying characters! I was unsure of Lyra to begin with - I thought she was going to be a really selfish, self-centred character who was almost too childish for my liking but she developed throughout the course of the novel and I really adored her by the end! Pan, Lyra's daemon, was also a great character. Loyal and, though similar to Lyra in some respects, slightly different. I liked how they balanced each other out. I just basically loved how people in this world had daemons. It made me want a daemon so bad! I also loved Ireuk (the bear) and the way his relationship with Lyra developed.

If there's something I could say about it that falls on the negative side, it would be that it's a little slow-going. Not in the way that it was slow-paced - something was always happening - but in the way that it just felt like I wasn't getting through it as speedily as I should have been. Agh, I don't know. I don't really know how to explain it. Maybe there was just so much to process? I'm not quite sure.

In conclusion, Northern Lights ended up being a delightful read that still managed to capture and interest fragments of my imagination, although maybe not as much as it would have had I been slightly younger, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I adored the array of characters and the relationships that cultivated between them. I hope to pick up the sequel at a later date!

FOUR TOADSTOOLS TO NORTHERN LIGHTS/THE GOLDEN COMPASS! :D
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Fangirling Over Here... The Heir by Kiera Cass!

Fangirling Over Here is basically going to be a feature on the blog anytime I really need to fangirl over something book related. Warning: these posts will be gushy.

Okay, so, uhm, remember when Kiera Cass announced how there would be two more Selection books?!?! If not:


Well, at the time I watched it, I got just a *little* excited. I mean, more Selection books?! From a different perspective?!?! Sure, I might not have loved America as a character and there were some times where I didn't get what the plot was doing, but the premise was a whole different thing. I loved the whole premise of the (then) trilogy - a Selection wear someone was chosen to be princess at the end of it?! Come on, that's pretty fantastic! Plus, the protagonist wasn't going to be America, so I thought, well, you never know, I could maybe LOVE this new main character.

Then the cover was revealed a couple weeks ago and I looked it up on goodreads and discovered there was a synopsis and, OH MY GOD, I am beyond excited now!!!

SPOILER ALERT! Do NOT read the following synopsis if you haven't finished the first three books in the series as it drops the biggest spoiler ever from it! Only read the following part in italics if you have read all the Selection books up until now! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

The Heir will be published 5th May 2015. Here's the video revealing the cover (no spoilers!):


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Just me who's so damn excited?!?!?! Anyone?! You! What about you?! Are YOU excited?! Tell me!!

Check out the short post Kiera Cass, the author, wrote about some stuff you should know about The Heir HERE!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 7 November 2014

Author, Sherry Soule, on Paranormal Fiction in YA!

Hello all! I'd like to welcome author, Sherry Soule, to the blog today! The latest book in her Spellbound series, Destiny Disrupted, is being published later this month (November 28th!) and, in honour of the release, Soule's here with a great guest post on the paranormal genre in YA fiction! Enjoy!


Don’t you wish you could have a fairy godmother to grant your wishes?

I did and would’ve told her: Forget—fame and fortune!

Everyone has dreams. Since I was a young girl, I’ve wanted to see my work in print, and read by the general public. See my book on a library or on a bookstore shelf. I wanted to wake every morning and get to do what I love—writing. So I decided to write a novel that I would enjoy reading. Not for Fame. Not for fortune. Nope. I wrote for readers.

I knew that the paranormal romance genre in both adult and YA novels was one of the fastest growing genres in fiction, but it may not be what you think it is. In standard publishing terminology, “paranormal romance” is a subgenre of romance. But paranormal novels don’t mainly focus on romance, and they include elements beyond the range of scientific explanation by blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, and even horror.

As a writer, using aspects of the paranormal in my storyline adds so many more exciting possibilities to my stories. I love that extra element of danger and suspense. And I’ve always had a morbid fascination with ghosts and haunted houses.

Since I love all things supernatural, and I knew the young adult fiction market was flooded with vampires, fairies, angels, and werewolves, I decided to make the heroine of my debut novel a sassy witch, who has kick butt magical abilities. So I wrote a story that entwined all the things I loved: romance, epic family drama, mystery, and suspense. And thus, my YA paranormal romance novel, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN was birthed.

Basically, the premise of the Spellbound Series that I created involved a teenage girl named Shiloh Trudell, who is chosen by an ancient prophecy (like a modern-day Buffy) to have supernatural powers to defeat paranormals and other evils in the cursed town of Fallen Oaks. She accomplishes this with the assistance of her friends and family. During the series, Shiloh discovers that, she comes from a long line of heritage witches. The first in the line, Rowena Brossard, prophesized that one day the “Thirteenth Daughter” would be produced from her lineage. A force of good, she would be gifted with magick to battle the forces of evil.

In closing, I believe that novels with paranormal aspects will still hold a lot of appeal for teens and tweens (even adults too!). Urban Fantasy and paranormal romance novels continue to be a favorite among readers of young adult fiction.

It was my honor to be your guest today. Thank you so much for allowing me to chat up my new series. I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book. Preferably one of mine. :-D

Find Sherry Soule on her blog, official Spellbound series website, Twitter (@SherrySoule), Youtube (watch the book trailer for the series!) and Goodreads! GO STALK, GUYS!

Destiny Disrupted (Spellbound #5)
Sherry Soule, Publishing 28th November 2014

Following synopsis may contain minor spoilers for the series.

Hunting Demons is One Thing... Dating Them is Another.

Life sucks for Shiloh Trudell. And being a demon hunter who’s in love with a cocky half-demon makes things even suckier. Especially when she discovers that Trent, her sinfully hot boyfriend, is hiding a few dangerous secrets. Like the fact that he’s losing his humanity.

To complicate matters, witches from the local coven are mysteriously turning up dead, and as Shiloh searches for answers, she confronts her worst nightmare... Trent is being blackmailed into becoming the next leader of the Underworld.

But Shiloh is still convinced that she can save him, even after the impossibly gorgeous, fallen angel Raze tells her that a relationship with Trent is forbidden now. Warned to stay away from the only boy she’s ever loved, she can’t ignore the sizzling attraction that ignites whenever they’re around one another. Especially after a swoon-inducing night of stolen passion.

As Shiloh’s world begins to unravel around her, it soon becomes obvious that her destiny lies in one of two choices: vanquish Trent or join him in the Underworld.

**Pre-order Destiny Disrupted on Amazon US, Amazon UKKoboApple iTunes & Barnes and Noble**
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo 
 
PS: GUESS WHOSE BIRTHDAY IT IS TODAY?! *points to self* I'm 17! xD *dances*

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Review: Waistcoats and Weaponry

Author: Gail Carriger
Edition: Atom Paperback
Released: 4th November 2014 (today!!)
Series: Finishing School #3
Pages: 298 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

**The following synopsis and review do NOT contain spoilers for the series!**

It's one thing to waltz properly. It's quite another to waltz properly with a bladed fan stitched into one's corset.

Sophronia continues finishing school in style – with a range of deadly defences secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Her fashionable choice of weapons comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap and the charming Lord Felix Mersey hijack a suspiciously empty train to return their chum Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

But when Sophronia discovers they are being trailed by a dirigible of Picklemen and flywaymen, she unearths a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos. With her friends in mortal danger, Sophronia must sacrifice what she holds most dear – her freedom.

This series is shaping up to be one of my favourites, for sure! Each instalment is a whole lot of fun, and too soon you find yourself reading the last page - each story never failing to be a whirlwind of intrigue, action and adventure. The lives of Sophronia, Dimity and the gang are too colourful for you not to get caught up in!

It's hard to describe the adoration I feel toward this series. These books are just so much fun. As soon as you close one of the books, all you want is an exciting, adventurous life like Sophronia. I've still got the yearning to be a Mademoiselle Geraldine's intelligencer fever right now as I'm typing this! How boring my life is in comparison with Sophronia's and Dimity's! The third instalment, Waistcoats and Weaponry, was no less than what I expected. A fun, quick read leaving me wanting more, more, more.

Seriously. A few more hundred pages with these characters would do me fine! I hate coming to the last page. Especially with this instalment as I knew I'd have to wait AGES for the next one! And here I am, just having finished the book today, and knowing I'll have to wait at least a year before Manners and Mutiny is out. It's a horrible feeling. Horrible!

Anyway. *takes deep breath* *plays calming music* Let me talk about the characters. If I had only half loved them before, my love solidified for them in this book. Each character within the group is so different from the next that you can't help but love them all (or, at the very least, love something about each individual) and the relationships that cultivate between them. I love Sophronia for her head strong, empathetic, leader-like ways. I love Dimity for her loyalty, hesitance and even her moans and groans. Felix for his ever-changing, always-keeping-you-on-your-toes personality. Sidheag for her determination and strength. Soap for wanting something more. Though, honestly, maybe Soap grates on me at times because I just love Felix a lot. Like, a lot. A lot, a lot. I can't help but do that thing where if I love one (as much as I do Felix), I just can't fully love the other.

 
The only thing I could say against this series is sometimes I get a little confused about the politics of it all and the *scheme* going on that plays a part in each book. But I usually begin to understand something sooner or later.

To conclude, Waistcoats and Weaponry, adds another delightful edition to the Finishing School series. If I haven't got across how much I enjoy these books through this review then I don't know how else I can! They're just the perfect light, fun, rainy day reads. I urge you to go and pick up the first book if you haven't already. This series doesn't have nearly as much credit as it deserves!

FOUR (AND A BIT) TOADSTOOLS TO WAISTCOATS AND WEAPONRY!
Huge thanks to the publishers, Atom, for sending me out an early copy of this book to review!
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo