Saturday, 30 August 2014

Stacking the Shelves (24)

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 physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
EEEEEEEPPPP *runs around house screaming from the goodies*
Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this review copy!

 Chasing Before (The Memory Chronicles #2) by Lenore Appelhans
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, and cannot wait to start this one. Although, I think I'm going to have to refresh my memory, and read the first book again. Usually I hate cover makeovers after the first book has come out, but I'm so in love with these new covers, it's crazy. Fingers crossed that A&U bring out the first book in the new cover (and the new title)

and now the reverse side....
Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia (SONIA!!)
When I got this in the post this morning, I opened it at work, and I squealed. Now everyone probably thinks I'm crazy... 
Words cannot express my feelings right now. Let me explain my feelings in gifs:
(losing it in a good way haha)

Won from Jean at Happy Indulgence Books!
I can't wait to get stuck into this one! I've heard all the very best of from this book, and the anticipation to read it is constantly building! Plus, the author is soooo nice and friendly on Twitter!

Don't forget to watch out for my post as part of the Heir of Fire blog tour. I'll be posting a whole heap of downloads, i.e, desktop wallpapers, mobile wallpapers, bookmarks etc plus, there will be giveaways! There is an International one and one just for you Aussies too (these goodies are soooooo amazing, that I want to keep it a suprise)
Here is the tour schedule, to keep a look out for posts!
August 25 – Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
August 26 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
August 27 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
August 28 – Elena @ Novel Sounds
August 29 – Nicole @ The Quiet Concert
September 1 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 2 – Judith @ Paperiot
September 3 – Melanie @ The Daily Prophecy
September 4 – Magan @ Rather Be Reading
September 5 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 8 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 9 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 10 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

Thursday, 28 August 2014

BLOG TOUR!! The Jewel by Amy Ewing + Guest Post

The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
Behind 358 Pages
Released: 2 September 2014
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.

She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.

Find Amy:
Website  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

1.      I love string cheese. Like, LOVE IT. If I was stuck on an island with only one food…string cheese. Hands down.

2.      I am terrible with directions because I always confuse left/right and east/west. In fact, there is a location in the Duchess’s palace in The Jewel called the East Wing, and the entire time I was writing, I pictured it on the west side of the house in my mind. It wasn’t until I decided to sketch the palace that I realized my mistake.

3.      I love doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles of famous works of art. Currently, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss has taken over my living room table.

4.      I love to cook and can be a bit of a homebody, so I will use my cooking skills to lure my friends to my apartment. Especially if the friend lives in Brooklyn or Queens. No one can resist a home cooked meal!

5.      I am a Jeopardy addict. Two of my friends actually made an Amy Ewing Jeopardy game for me for my birthday. It was amazing.

6.      Sometimes when I am feeling lonely, as a single girl can in New York City, I take out my copy of The Hunger Games and just read the Peeta parts. Peeta makes everything better.

7.      I play guitar and write my own songs.

8.      There’s a brand of lip balm called EOS and they make these adorable egg shaped lip balms in all different colors. Any time I go on a trip, I buy a new one to take with me and photograph it in various locations, a la the gnome in Amelie. And I send the photos to my best friend as a sort of update throughout my travels.

9.      I have four mini succulents that live on the window sill in my living room. They are named Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. Because…NERD.

10.  I’ve been dying my hair since I was thirteen. It’s been every shade of red imaginable. And blonde. And brunette.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

BLOG TOUR! The Language of Silence by Tiffany Truitt + Guest Post

The Language of Silence
Released: 22 August 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
Brett is certain that someone is responsible for her brother’s death. He wouldn't just leave her and his best friend, Ed, behind. Although Tristan’s death is ruled an accident, Brett and Ed know there is something more sinister happening. They are looking for the secret that no one in this small Georgia town of Wendall wants to acknowledge, the truth that may rock the town establishment and particularly one of its most upstanding families. 

Together, Brett and Ed must discover the hidden truth behind Tristan's death and deal with their feelings for each other, or they might just discover the darkest secrets are the ones they are keeping themselves. 

“How’d your mom tell you?” Brett offers a short, bitter laugh in response. I scratch my chin and shake my head. “That good, eh?”

“You would think she was auditioning for a Lifetime movie or something.”

For some reason, I laugh. Brett smiles. An actual smile. The kind of smile that transforms a face. If she was beautiful before, she’s luminescent now. These sorts of moments are so rare, so precious, I feel both a need to forever stay in this place and flee it as soon as possible.

I’ve always had a crush on Brett Jensen. I’ve just been smart enough to know that I’m too messed up to ever be with her. And now, with Tristan gone, I’m pretty sure I’m damn near done. Ruined. And maybe that’s what I deserve for not convincing him to stay with us.

“Maybe she thinks Julia Roberts will play her,” she continues, pulling at the grass growing up between the cement base of the bridge. “I mean, this has movie written all over it. All-American boy dies under mysterious conditions.”

Oh, Brett. There is no mystery about it. He left us.

“More likely some has-been from one of those medical shows,” I say instead.

Brett nods. Suddenly, her hand is on mine. I feel the tension she is holding within herself by the pressure she exerts onto my skin. My cheeks burn, and I am ashamed by my body’s quick reaction to this small movement.

“You can be whatever you want now, Ed,” she whispers.

I try to pull my hand from her grasp, but she merely holds on tighter. “What are you talking about?” I manage.

“You have a get out of jail free card thanks to Tristan. You could skip school for a week or flunk the whole year, and no one could say anything. You are…were the best friend of the dead kid. Who would give you grief? You could become anyone.”

She’s holding on so tightly to my hand that I begin to lose feeling. I let her words sink in. Settle. And the funny thing is—they make sense. Perfect sense. I know how I am going to deal with all of this.
Tiffany Truitt received her MA in literature from Old Dominion University. Her debut Chosen Ones, first in the Lost Souls trilogy, is a searing look at what it means to be other and how we define humanity, as well as a celebration of the dangerously wonderful feeling of falling in love.

Find Tiffany:
Goodreads  |  Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

One of the most exciting things about releasing a book is getting to stop by your favorite blogs to share ALL THE THINGS ABOUT LOVING LITERATURE. Today, I am thrilled to be stopping by Behind the Pages.

And while I’m here, I’m going to talk about pop culture. When I was finishing my Masters in Literature, I spent a good deal of time studying the articles and musings of New Historicism critics. To sum up a vast and complex theory in mere phrases, one of the things these critics are concerned with is studying the relationship between literature and popular culture---- as a reflection of the author, time period it was written, and the political and moral attitudes of the society it reflects. In plain English, novels offer insight into the world they were written in and about, and it doesn’t mean it’s low brow if it’s popular or references popular culture.
So, I embrace the pop culture like it’s a bag of hot fries (my favorite of all the terrible-for-me snack foods). And unlike my dystopian series, The Lost Souls, this novel is jammed packed. So, here it is, my guide to pop culture in The Language of Silence. After reading this, I hope you can see I wasn’t just name-dropping, but, rather, had a purpose when selecting my pop culture references.

The Music
The Smiths – If you’re not familiar with The Smiths, they are sort of the staple band of the emo / indie scene. Think the 80s version of the Hipster. In the novel, The Smiths are the favorite band of the novel’s male protagonist, Ed. Deemed one of the first independent bands to gain mainstream popularity, The Smith’s almost symbolize Ed’s rise from obscurity to popularity. And they are just kinda awesome.
What You Should Listen To:  Please, Please, Please

Joan Jett- I made a conscious effort to include some music that young readers might not be familiar with. Not only because I think the music rocks and needs to be listened to by the masses, but because like the novel’s emerging couple, Joan Jett represents a sort of recklessness, embracing physicality and want. I think this is something teens and new love often goes through, and I certainly didn’t shy away from it in this novel.

What You Should Listen To:  Do You Wanna Touch Me AND Crimson and Clover
Girl Talk – A super talented DJ known for his amazing mash-ups, Girl Talk was an important addition to the novel. Having attended one of his shows, there’s a certain musical ecstasy that goes along with his music, and that quality lends itself to the themes mention above. Plus the mash-up itself represents two contradictory things being forced together, which pretty much sums up the whole novel. Ed and Brett come from two totally different worlds, and yet they are imperfectly perfect for each other.
What You Should Listen To – November Rain Remix

The Shows
Lost – To be honest, anytime I can drop a Lost reference in one of my novels I will. In fact, an important villain from my dystopian series was named after the show’s creator. But I think it serves another purpose in this novel. Lost is the story of likeable people who do unlikeable things, a story of redemption. Both Brett and Ed do some unlikeable things, but they don’t let these things define them. Their story is one of growth and acceptance.

Veronica Mars- If you haven’t watched this show, get on it! One of the smartest female characters ever to grace the screen. And it’s a great mystery as well. In The Language of Silence, the show serves as inspiration while Brett attempts to discover the reason for her brother’s death.

The Books
The Outsiders – Stay Gold, Ponyboy. I adore this novel. I am gearing up for my ninth year of teaching middle school, and I will teach this novel for the ninth time. It is the timeless story of outcasts banding together to survive the world that attempts to define and trap them. A beautiful story that serves as a backdrop for the friendship between Ed and Tristan. And it’s only when you understand their friendship that the reader can understand what the loss of Tristan means to Ed.

The Fountainhead – This is one of those books that truly changed my life. Everything about it. I mean I made some pretty big life changes after reading it. One of the strongest messages of the novel is the promotion of the self, knowing the self and not being afraid to honor the self. Look at the word selfish. If you break it down into its word parts, you have self and ish…meaning pertaining to the self. It’s society that has twisted its meaning. But it is only when we know ourselves and can love ourselves that we can truly love anyone else…and that means loving the dark, imperfect parts too. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Review: Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

Disruption (Disruption #1)
Behind 416 Pages
Released: 1 April 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Buy Me: Fishpond
At the Other End:
What if a microchip could identify your perfect match? 
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love? 

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation's M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it. 

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. 

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer - heir to the M-Corp empire - has become key to Maggie's plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin's involvement destroy everything she's fought for? 

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES, stand alone novel, BETWEEN THE LIVES and has an exciting new duology called DISRUPTION on the way in 2014.

An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 & 2012 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for Foxtel and Fox Sports. Married for twleve years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels. 

Find Jessica:
Website  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
There are no words to completely describe this book. It was truly amazing, captivating and everything you would want in a novel.

So this is my very first book by Jessica Shirvington. I know, I know...... I'm a terrible person, and I now see my horrible mistake of not picking up her books earlier.

Really, I would rate this book like 4.89, but only because it was a bit hard for me to actually get a full picture of the underground life that was described... I don't know, I just couldn't picture it. But other than that, I loved every other aspect of the book!!

Maggie was the best. I loved her character. How strong she was, even when she wasn't, and how she would do anything to put her family back together. She was risking her life on it, literally. She was a tough character, and I can't help but love kick arse female leads :) It is the recipe for an awesome book. A little bit predictable here and there, like her and Quin's Rating, and then a little bit just before the ending was revealed.

I love Quin as well, he was such a great character, and we could see Maggie's plan falling into place, as well as how he changes so suddenly once the plan in is motion. Gus was a really cool character, he is all sass like Maggie, and their interactions are always priceless moments. I couldn't get enough of them haha. 

Because it's dystopian, all the new technology terms that they use are sorted within the first chapter, but I think I would have liked that Neg be explained a little earlier than it already was, but it didn't bother me much. The story line was fast paced and there was always something interesting going on, even when it wasn't action. I was never bored. Let me put it this way, I started at night, then after I got more than halfway through I had to force myself, literally force myself to stop and pick up in the morning. It's that addictive. Like it's own drug..... I couldn't stop thinking about the book, when I forced myself to put it down, I couldn't sleep because all I was thinking about was the book. 

OH GAWD THAT ENDING. It was a bleak ending... or so I thought, until that one little ray of sunshine came into the scene... then it ended and my mind was running wild with possibilities of what is going to happen. 

This is the best dystopian book that I have read this year, and I can't wait for the second book. It is a must read, and it's a duology! So a short, snappy and brilliant series is definitely what this is. Plus, the cover is shinnnyyyyyyy. 

Corruption (Disruption #2)
Released: 1 November 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Pre Order: Fishpond
At the Other End:
How do you live with yourself when you've deceived the one you love? 
How do you move on when the person you've been fighting to save betrays you? 

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt. 

Four weeks ago, Maggie's world fell apart, when she finally found what she'd been looking for. And when Quentin, who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies. 

Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she's not about to stay there. Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down. Not when there is still a chance she could win him back. 

In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do whatever it takes to show the world the truth. And the price for her quest? Everything. But for who?

This novel was received for review via HarperCollins Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Spotlight & SALE! Unworthy by Joanne Armstrong

Behind 174 Pages
Released: 19 June 2014
Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: Self Published
At the Other End:
“What about the Sickness?” I ask more calmly, turning back to the wide ocean and squinting, as though I can see particles of disease like pollen in the air. “Is it still out there?”

He rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Now that is a more interesting question.” It’s clear he doesn’t know the answer, but looks at me speculatively. “If you assumed it was still out there, circulating, what would you do?”

“I suppose I would do everything I could to prepare myself to fight it.”
He nods thoughtfully. “Preparation is always a good thing.”
We stand for a moment in silence, looking out to sea. I’m imagining a black cloud approaching, like a swarm of locusts, and wondering how I would prepare myself to fight a disease.

Nearly two hundred years after a killer disease swept the planet, an island nation continues its isolated survival due to the ruthless dedication of the military. The laws and culture of the country are based on the survival of the fittest, distrust of disease, and control of the general population.

Marked at birth as “Unworthy” to be raised, a young woman questions the necessity for the cruel practice, so many years after the Isolation was declared. She embarks on a journey which will uncover truths about her past and about her society which she could never have imagined.
Joanne Armstrong’s parents tell her they always knew she'd write a book one day, which surprises and delights her, since she certainly didn't know it herself.

A New Zealander by birth, her formative years were spent in some interesting places, and she completed a B.Ed in Art and Education at Cambridge in the UK. She now lives in the South Island of New Zealand, which, after close scrutiny of a few other places as a child, she has decided is simply where her soul resides. She gets to wake up to the sound of bellbirds every day.

Unworthy is Joanne’s first novel and she intends it to be closely followed by her second.

Find Joanne:
Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Blog

Get UNWORTHY for FREE from Smashwords until 31st August!
Use coupon code: BY29C at the checkout