Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review & Interview with Ella West, author of Night Vision

Night Vision
Released: 1 April 2014
Genre: Triller, Mystery
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
At the Other End:
In the dark, Viola sees things no one else does ... until the night she sees something she shouldn't.

Viola was born with a genetic condition that makes sunlight deadly. In the dark of night, when most teenagers are tucked up in bed, Viola has the run of her parents' farm and the surrounding forest. She is used to seeing hidden things through her night-vision goggles, but one night she sees something that could get her into a whole lot of trouble...

Viola has always believed she would be dead before she was twenty, but now she must decide just how far she's willing to go to help her parents keep their beloved farm. Is it okay to steal from a thief? What if the thief might be a killer? And what if the killer threatens to come after her and her family?

A heart-thumping thriller that will leave you breathless.

Sum Up:
The perfect quickie! Whether in between books, or just for a one-night-book-stand, this book is the perfect fit.

Behind the 180 Pages
Yes, this book is the perfect quick little read. It’s thrilling and has everything we need for a good book. Those of you who are music buffs, will absolutely love and connect with this book a lot more than those who are not. It is just that this book talks about how beautiful music is, and about the orchestra, but music is a constant part of Viola’s life. It is everything for her, and you will relate more to her if music is a constant part of your life as well. I’m not saying that if you don’t, then you won’t like this book, because you will.

So, this bit really isn’t much to do about the actual book itself, but I wish that on the front cover the bottom tagline, under Ella West, is removed. It just gives it all away, and the top one suits the book a lot better as well. Other than that, the cover is pretty cool, I really like it!

The way that Viola talks in this book is kind of strange. I’m not sure if it’s like this for all thriller novels, but she tells the story from first person, yet I feel like its third person sometimes. The way that she explains everything and how eerie everything feels, especially her lifestyle added on top gives me this feeling. It doesn’t ruin the book, but I feel kind of mellow while reading it.

We get straight into the book with the mystery we are led in from the blurb. It’s a great way to start this book, yet it kind of sets the bar too high for the rest of it. The start of this book was really good, but then after we learn about Viola’s condition and her lifestyle, it kind of gets a little boring. We are kind of stuck in her day to day life for most of the book, and it doesn’t really do anything for us. She is 14, and during the book she starts to sound like it as well (Whinging and complaining). I wish she was older, because then some of the things that she would have done might have made this book more exciting.

It isn’t until the end that things start to get interesting.  But I had hoped that this would last for a while. We were led up to this part throughout the whole novel, and we only got two chapters out of it. That’s it! It kind of feels incomplete, I wish there was more detail, and I wish that something more exciting happened. I was getting ready for some explosive ending to happen, but it kind of snuffed out after it started to go there. This book has been pitched as a thriller, yet it doesn't have enough of it in there for me to be able to call it a thriller. It's mainly about a girl, who lives on a sheep farm, who has a genetic condition where she can't go out into the sunlight. The little murder and money bit is just a little bit of a side bonus to the actual story.

Overall, I really did like this book! I would have liked (and recommend) to read it in one sitting, but I think that’s what brought it down for me as well. This is a book made to read in one sitting, it becomes a bit too much and a bit too boring during the middle, if you have to stop like I did for not having much time.

You can buy Night Vision from all good bookstores and online!
Author Bio:
Ella West lives on a small sheep farm in Otago, New Zealand with her husband and two teenage sons. She started writing plays for children for the New Zealand School Journal but soon crossed over to fiction and her first teen novel Thieves was published in 2006. Since then she has also written several adult plays including The Middlemarch Singles Ball. She enjoys writing for children and teenagers because anything can happen in a story for children. There's always magic. West was awarded the Louis Johnson New Writers' Bursary in 2006 and Thieves was a finalist in the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and was listed as a Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book. 

Find Ella:


1. Where have we seen you before? Can you tell us a little about your previous projects and YA books?
I wrote The Thieves Trilogy a few years back.  It was a lot of fun, a real thriller and a story I could do anything with.  I’m writing a fourth book (I know a trilogy with four books!) called Finder Seeker and putting it up on my blog a chapter a month and it’s great writing it again.  Plus it’s stopping everyone pestering me about what happens after the end of the third book!

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
I try not to worry!  It’s great seeing the book on the shelf for the first time but you’re right, after the first week that high gets diluted and it’s better just to get on with what you need to be doing instead of hiding behind bookshop shelves to see who will pick it up and buy it.

3. What inspired you to write Night Vision?
By sheer chance (I was flicking through TV channels) I saw a 60 Minutes documentary on kids who have the genetic condition that the main character Viola has in the book and it started me thinking.  What would a kid see if she only went out at night?  How would her life be different?  

4. How do you feel when you read a negative review?
I get grumpy of course, slam a few doors, go for a long walk (it is a good way to get fit), but really there is nothing I can do.  Of course, with YA fiction, most of the reviewers are adults.  The book is never intended for them.  It’s what the readers think that counts.

5. How long was the planning and writing process for Night Vision?
I started it in 2010 so it’s been a long time.  There was a lot of going back and forth with the publishers (why can’t I just get it right the first time!) but we got there and I’m really proud of it.  Thanks Allen & Unwin!

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas of your own you wanted to incorporate?
I loved it.  Allen & Unwin have done an amazing job.  It sent shivers down my spine the first time I saw it.   

7. Do you have any current plans for future writing projects? 
Come on!  Of course!  That’s what writers do – we write.  There are a few ideas I’m working on and I’m really excited about them. Fingers crossed.

8. What are your top 5 books of all time?
Just throw the tough questions at me!!!!  Five books? I’ve got hundreds!  But, off the top of my head:

  • Everything by John Marsden (as in everything he’s written – he hasn’t written a book called Everything!)
  • Everything by Douglas Adams (see above)
  • The Discworld series by Terry Pratchatt
  • Wuthering Heights, Thirteen Moons, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Shipping News, Oryx and Crake, Wizard of Earthsea,  Where’d You Go Bernadette, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Hut Builder, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, The Scorpio Races . . .

And I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell over the summer and loved it.

9. Are there any book/s from other authors do you wish you had written? 
The ones that have earned the really big money and won all the prizes!
10. What is one thing you would you really like readers to take away from Night Vision? 
I don’t think Night Vision has a big message, well, at least I don’t think of it that way but there is lots of stuff in it that hopefully will make teens think – about sheep farming and why things are done on farms the way they are, there’s some science thrown in and of course the music.  I listened to a lot of YouTube viola music writing this and I hope kids reading the book will listen to the pieces as well.  Science, sheep and music – it’s a great mix!  Oh, and there’s a murder too!!! 

This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin 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.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Stacking the Shelves (3)

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.
This week's haul is very small. I honestly wasn't expecting anything this week, and got a surprise when these came in the mail...
Soul Screamers Volume 4 by Rachel Vincent
Yay! This was pre-ordered from Book Depository! So excited it's here, so pretty 

Splintered swag from A.G. Howard! Includes Splintered/Unhinged signed bookmark, Alice in Wonderland inscribed bookmark, and personalized bookplate.
After A.G. saw my Splintered and Unhinged bookmarks, she loved them and messaged me wanting to send this swag! See the bookmarks below and download your copy!

Friday, 28 March 2014

AUSSIE BLOG TOUR!! Enmity by E.J. Andrews

Enmity (Enmity #1)
Released: 1 April 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
At the Other End:
Love vs Life. Good vs Evil. War vs Warfare. Which would you choose?
After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.
Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly... to survive.
Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived...because their training is just the beginning.
Buy Enmity from all good bookstores and online!

Author Bio...
E.J. Andrews was raised in a small town on the west coast of New Zealand by a gold miner with a fascination for guns and a nurse with an obsession with dragons. 

Growing up, E.J. constantly felt that she needed to write down the vivid thoughts going around her head, but it wasn’t until her aunt gave her John Marsden’s Tomorrow series to read that her writing bloomed and her interest in books became a full-blown fixation. 

At the age of eighteen she decided to live with her sister in Brisbane, Australia, where she found a job working at a boat club on the beautiful Moreton Bay. In between split shifts and while others her age were out enjoying their adolescence, E.J. was writing well into the early hours, trying to get down those ever-present ideas of a not-so-bright future. 

E.J. now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her partner and their cat Senga.

Find E.J:
The Villains of Enmity

                                                      Blake                                                     Caden

Blake and Caden are brothers who grew up in extremely harsh and poor conditions in the slums of Quay, without much access to power or clean water. Any money they had for food their father spent on his drinking habit, and eventually his habit had led to a violent attack where their mother was beat to death in front of a four-year-old Blake. After this, Caden and Blake turned to living on the streets begging for survival. Blake and Caden grew up to become very different men, but both have a severe misunderstanding of the world around them, and what the world owes them.

Blake grew up with a dangerous and unexpected, explosive temper that flares when he becomes very angry or distressed; and, Caden has psychopathic qualities with a self-righteous assuredness that makes him think of himself as godlike. Caden knows exactly what he wants and is willing to do whatever it takes to win his place atop his self-made throne. Out of Caden’s ambition mixed with Blake’s calculated rage grew the rebel group – The Caine – from the lower disadvantaged classes looking to overthrow the current President governing Quay.

The name of Caine was Blake’s decision as homage to their mother; it comes from a book called The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, which was one of her belongings Blake managed to take after she died. Blake fervently supports his brother who took care of them after their mother’s death, and has no limits in purporting Caden’s anxious desire for absolute control. Even if they were to conquer Quay it would not be enough for him, he wants to venture into the world again to ensure that Quay is the last city and that there are no other leaders anywhere else.

~ E.J. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

AUSSIE BLOG TOUR!! While We Run by Karen Healey

While We Run (When We Wake #2)
Released: 1 April 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
At the Other End:
It's 2127, and the future is at stake. But Abdi and Tegan must save themselves before they can save the world.

Abdi Taalib thought he was moving to Australia for a music scholarship. But after meeting the beautiful and brazen Tegan Oglietti, his world was turned upside down. Tegan's no ordinary girl - she died in 2027, only to be frozen and brought back to life in Abdi's time, 100 years later.

Now, all they want is for things to return to normal (or as normal as they can be), but the government has other ideas. Especially since the two just spilled the secrets behind Australia's cryonics project to the world. On the run, Abdi and Tegan have no idea who they can trust, and when they uncover startling new details about Project Ark, they realise thousands of lives may be in their hands.

A suspenseful, page-turning sequel to When We Wake that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and make them call into question their own ideas about morality - and mortality, too.


Author Bio:
Karen Healey, a New Zealander living in Australia, is the author of the critically acclaimed Guardian of the Dead and The Shattering.  She likes sundresses, researching world-ending apocalyptic scenarios, and books about lady spies. She doesn't like library fines.
Check out my guest post with Karen about Cryonics!

Find Karen:

Website  |  LiveJournal  |  Twitter    
Sum Up:
A great companion to When We Wake and shows us just how powerful words are.

Behind the 338 Pages
I honestly don't know what to say about this novel. It was good, but then it wasn't at the same time. There are points in this book, where it kind of gets boring. I had the same issues in this book as I did with the first. Where is the details on the surroundings? The only thing that I could tell that it was set in the future, was from the bushfires being so bad and the technology in the safe house.

Most, sorry let me correct that, ALL of this book was practically politics. Every aspect of this novel is strictly political. But it's not in a typical dystopian way, it's thrown in our face at every spare moment. Healey goes overboard with all the political drama and it just makes it all so so boring. I got bored reading this book at times. I kept thinking when I started, is this all that's going to be in the book? They are held hostage to the government and that's it?? Seriously!

In this book, we are viewing it all from Abdi's point of view. Once we are a few chapters in, we can tell that from the way his mother taught him, that there would be political thinking going on. I understand why there is so much talk on politics in this book, it goes with the main character, but when we don't sign up for a book on just politics, even the main character gets boring. Tegan made me angry at the start of this book, and so did Abdi, not because of not doing anything in their situation, but for thinking the way that he did. We didn't connect with Abdi at all, we could guess at the things that he was hiding and were questioning why he would do something that is like another traumatic occurrence from the start of the book. I didn't get shocked at some of the things that he said, or the plans that they came up with. Ok, it got better towards the end when they were actually doing something.

It isn't until the end of the book that things start to pick up a bit. We see a little bit of action, but not as much as we would like, and the plot actually starts to get somewhere. Most of the actual action at the end is through the power of words and manipulation. You can do anything with the right poker face and tone of your voice. Abdi has that, he has both the mind and the voice to carry his plan out.

Overally, this book was sitting on the fence for me, but the ending just kind of pushed it up a little for me. The ending left off for either another book, yet even if this is just a duo, we wouldn't be disappointed.

You can buy While We Run from all good bookshops and online!

What's Next:
When We Wake (When We Wake #1)
Behind 291 Pages
Released: 27 January 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
At the Other End:
The last thing Tegan remembers is the crack as the gun went off, intense pain, and everything fading to black. One hundred years later, she wakes up. A fast-paced near-future romance. 

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027 - she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice. 

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies - and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first person to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity - though all she wants is to rebuild some semblance of a normal life ... 

including spending as much time as possible with musically gifted Abdi, even if he does seem to hate the sight of her. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future.

Now for a special surprise...

Thanks to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing giveaway copies!


a Rafflecopter giveaway 

This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin 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.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Re-Release Day BLITZ!! Awaken by Kristen Day

Awaken (Daughter's of the Sea #2)
Released: 25 March 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
At the Other End:
The sacrifices we make have the power to shift the very fabric of who we are, and ultimately who we are meant to be…

After learning of her true destiny as the intended Leader of the Tydes, Anastasia Whitman must now embark on a perilous quest to the Underworld before the age of eighteen in order to plant the seed of immortality and complete her essence to become a true Sea Goddess. But before she can make her legendary journey, an unexpected new student transfers to Lorelei; initiating a sequence of events that will unravel Stasia’s new life, and test the boundaries of her relationship with the mysterious, dark, and sexy Finn Morrison. 

The line between the Underworld and the Living begins to blur as gruesome ghosts, morbid reveries, and pure evil haunt her waking hours as well as her sanity. Once the details of Finn’s own startling destiny are revealed, the dangerous secrets he’s been hiding will threaten the very love Stasia believed to be indestructible. As time begins to run out, she will be forced to choose between the one she loves and the destiny she cannot escape.

Check out my review for the series! Forsaken (Book 1)Awaken (Book 2)Chosen (Book 3) and Hearken (Book 4)

Author Bio:
Kristen Day is a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity.  She loves all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky.  She’s been told she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, but she prefers to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something she can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?). 

She is the author of the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA trilogy, which includes FORSAKEN, AWAKEN (Oct 2012), and CHOSEN (Winter 2012).  She loves all books, but really enjoys writing young adult, paranormal romances.  She’s loved to write for as long as she can remember.  Her first published work was her poem RED in second grade (you guessed it - it was a poem about the color red - life altering, right?) that won her 5 gold stars and a spot in her elementary school's poetry book. That's when her addiction to the written word officially began.  She was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh - its okay.

When she’s not writing she’s making jewelry, painting, feeding her addiction to sweet tea, watching the Discovery Channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with her amazing husband. She was born in Boone, NC and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Marketing in 2001. 

Find Kristen:
Goodreads  |  
Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

Want more Daughters of the Sea?
Check out the blog takeover by Kristen Day!

Monday, 24 March 2014

BLOG TOUR!! Resisting Atlantis by Jamie Canosa

Resisting Atlantis
Released: March 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Me: Amazon 
At the Other End:
What if everything you think you know . . . is wrong?

Cora is your average college freshman. Battling the evils of boring classes and noisy dorms, her greatest concern is how to attract the attention of the drool-worthy, party-god next door.

That is, until Kaden comes barging into her life, insisting everything she knows is false. The family and friends she grew up with don’t exist. Her entire past a carefully-crafted fabrication, created to replace the truth.

Her name isn’t Cora, it’s Cameron. And she isn’t from New York. She hails from Atlantis. Yeah, that Atlantis. Oh yeah, and she’s psychic. 

Crazy, right?

Except, tall, dark, and out-of-his-ever-loving-mind doesn’t come alone. Trouble follows, thrusting Cameron back into a world she can’t remember and a life she must reclaim if they’re going to make it out alive.
But there’s someone out there who doesn’t want her to remember.
Author Bio:
Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA/NA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the cat, the bird, and the rabbit.
Find Jamie:
Facebook  |  Blog

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
My previous work includes the YA dystopian series, Dissidence, and the NA contemporary series, Fight or Flight.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?

For the first week, I’m generally in a state of quiet panic. I usually dive right into my next project, and do my best not to give myself grey hairs.  All I can say is thank goodness for hair dye.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?

Everyone reads fiction to escape reality. To pretend, at least for a little while, to be somebody else, living somebody else’s adventure. When the idea for Resisting Atlantis came to me it was with the single thought . . . What if you already were, you just didn’t know it?

What if the boring, average life you remember, isn’t really yours? What if you’re part of some great adventure, but you can’t remember? And what if there’s someone out there looking for you?

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?

Honestly, I try not to see them. Once I hit publish on a project, I do my best to let it go. I avoid seller’s websites and other review sites like the plague. But every once and a while curiosity gets the best of me. Negative reviews are a part of life as an author. Everyone gets them. No matter who you are or what you write, you’ll never be able to make everyone happy. I know this, and yet it doesn’t really make it any easier.

When I see a negative review of my work, I can’t help thinking what I could have done differently, what I can do differently in whatever project I’m working on next. Authors are people like everyone else, and it’s hard not to let your feelings get hurt sometimes, but I try to make the negativity work for me by using it to improve my writing

5. How long was the writing/planning process?

For this particular project . . . About two years. It usually doesn’t take me that long, but this story was one of the first I ever wrote. I wrote it for my daughter before I ever published my first book. Afterwards, I went back and rewrote it for publication. She is very excited to hold her book in her hands.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?

I designed the cover myself with a little help from a graphic artist. The idea of what I wanted it to look like came while I was writing a particular scene where the symbol on the cover is described. I could see it in my head, so I gave it a shot. Several bazillion Youtube tutorials later, I saw it in front of me.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?

I have a NA contemporary series debuting next month. The first book is titled, Falling to Pieces, and it addresses issues of self-esteem, verbal abuse, and alcoholism.

Suffering the bitter tongues of her alcoholic mother and cruel boyfriend, Jade struggles just to look at herself in the mirror. She hates her life, her insecurities, her ineptitudes, but most of all . . . Jade hates herself. She wants nothing more than to disappear, and everyone seems happy to let her. Until Kiernan Parks moves back into town.

Jade’s been crushing on him ever since kindergarten, when his family moved away. But now he’s back, and looking better than ever.

Hiding is a way of life for Jade, but Kiernan insists on uncovering the real girl he’s sees trapped inside her. On drawing her out of her shell, and showing her that she is someone worthy of love.

Together, they fight back the darkness she’s living in. But when they finally step into the light, will the secret Kiernan’s been trying to keep buried destroy Jade, once and for all?

For some people, happy endings are a fairytale.
Also, the sequel to Resisting Atlantis is well under way and should be coming out this summer!

8. Top 5 books

Oh, boy . . . the impossible question! Here goes . . .

  • Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent
  • Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  • Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?

Any of the ones listed above, obviously. I also really wish I’d come up with the idea for the Lux Series by Jennifer Armentrout. LOVE those books, as well.

10. Why read your novel?

 Resisting Atlantis takes a fresh approach to YA paranormal. It’s a popular genre with lots and lots of books out there. Vampires, Werewolves, Aliens . . . It’s all been done. A lot. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Every story is unique in its own way, and that’s what makes reading so wonderful. But, I decided to go with something new. Psychics. And not your average foreseeing-the-future, prophecy-spouting psychics. Psychics with individualized abilities. Specialized ‘talents’ that make everyone an asset to the tense war between the Zanark and the Resistance.

 Want MORE of the Tour? Check out these stops:  

March24- Holly (Belle of the Library), Gina (Behind a Million and One Pages), Misty (Book Rat), and Lisa (My Favorite Things)
25- Lee Anne (My Secret Romance), Jasmine (Songbirds and Bookworms), Brandee (Bookworm Brandee), Cindy Bennett
26- Tiffany (Book Marks the Spot), Jesse (Pretty in Fiction), and Echo (Me, Myself, and Books)
27- Amber (Up All Night), Celine (I Blog, You Read), Denice (Books Mystify), and Justine (Read 4 Fun)
28- Kendall (Book Crazy), Michelle (Michelle's Paranormal Vault), Cassie (Sassy Cassie's Reviews), and Lindsey (Violet Hour)
29- Erika (Wine, Relaxation, and my Kindle), Erica (Book Nuts), Sherry Gammon, Jen (3 Chicks and Their Books)
30- Toni (Book Junkie), Jess (Inside the Pages), Jessica (Book Lover's Paradise)

Now for a special surprise!
a Rafflecopter giveaway