Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Summary from Goodreads

Some loves are meant to be. Others are cursed . . .

One night in the rain, Ethan Wate opened his eyes and fell in love with Lena Duchannes. His life would never be the same.

Lena is a Caster and her family is locked in a supernatural civil war: full of darkness and demons. On her sixteenth birthday Lena made a terrifying choice, which now haunts her day and night.

And as her seventeenth birthday approaches Lena and Ethan face even greater danger. A Caster and a Mortal can never truly be together.

Every kiss is a curse.

Ethan's next heartbeat could be his last.

It is their curse now . . .


Paperback, 503 pages
Published 2013 by Penguin Books (first published October 12th 2010)  
 
Quickie Review
 
I am in love with these Caster Chronicles books! They are a form of escapism for me and I love nothing more than to get wrapped up in the Gatlin bubble. I would actually love to live in Gatlin, especially to eat some of Amma's pies and check out the library!

Beautiful Darkness admittedly isn't my favourite in the series as it's pacing is a little slow at times - but I still thoroughly enjoyed it's intensity. We get to see what Ethan's made of in this story, as he goes on a bit of a solo mission. We also get to see how strong and special his relationship with Link is (I love Link).

My favourite part was delving into the dark and very alluring underground Caster tunnels, where anything could happen and you could very easily loose yourself. I also really liked being introduced to 2 fantastic new characters - Liv and John.

Beautiful Darkness is an exciting, dangerous and very dark 2nd instalment in the Caster Chronicles. It's sees our characters developing beautifully as individuals and also in their relationships. The writing is fantastic and the lush descriptors are moreishly vivid. I just can't wait for my next visit to Gatlin!

4 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Penguin for the review copy*
 
(I had read and adored Beautiful Darkness years ago but never reviewed the book. So when given the opportunity to read the series again to get readers excited for the upcoming release of Dangerous Creatures - how could I possibly refuse! One of my all time favourite series' - look out for the rest of my reviews in the coming weeks.)

Dangerous Creatures is available for preorder on Amazon here

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Dead Ground by Claire McGowan - Blog Tour!

Summary from Goodreads

A stolen baby. A murdered woman. A decades-old atrocity. Something connects them all.

A month before Christmas, and Ballyterrin on the Irish border lies under a thick pall of snow. When a newborn baby goes missing from hospital, it's all too close to home for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, who's wrestling with the hardest decision of her life.

Then a woman is found in a stone circle with her stomach cut open and it's clear a brutal killer is on the loose.

As another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula is caught up in the hunt for a killer no one can trace, who will stop at nothing to get what they want.


Paperback, 391 pages
Published April 10th 2014 by Headline

 About the Author

Claire McGowan was born in 1981 in a small Irish village where the most exciting thing that ever happened was some cows getting loose on the road. After studying at Oxford and living in China and France, she now lives in London, where there aren’t any cows but there is the occasional murder in her street. She was previously Director of the Crime Writers’ Association and now teaches on the first ever crime-writing MA at City University. Despite being steeped in crime the worst thing she has ever done in real life is walk on some grass when the sign explicitly said not to. Claire’s debut novel THE FALL was published in January 2012 and received brilliant reviews. THE LOST followed in April 2013, garnering fantastic praise and has now been optioned by BBC Drama to develop into a series for BBC One. The DEAD GROUND is the second book featuring Paula Maguire.

Claire McGowan is @inkstainsclaire on Twitter or www.clairemcgowan.net

Guest Post

On April 10th I will have my third book published. Several years ago this would have seemed impossible and amazing. I probably wouldn’t have thought I’d be writing at least one book a year, or that they’d be set in Northern Ireland, where I grew up but left as soon as I could, or that I’d be writing not only crime fiction but a whole series about the same character.

I started out, like most people, with not much idea of what I wanted to write. Something highbrow and literary, that might win me the Booker Prize – despite the fact my favourite authors were Stephen King and Jilly Cooper. I also didn’t think I wanted to write about Ireland. I grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland, where everyone knows your business and nothing ever happens, save for the odd loose herd of cows or random terrorist incident.

I wrote all through my teens and twenties, never really finishing anything or working out what I wanted to write about. Then I realised I was almost halfway through one and I still hadn’t stopped. This was set in Northern Ireland, and dealt with issues about family, memory and the past that seem to fascinate me. I couldn’t quite get this book to work – something about the plot not gelling, or there not really being a plot – so after getting some interest from agents, but nothing concrete, I put it aside. I started to write a different story I’d thought of, which was fast-paced and demanded to be finished. This was set in London where I’d been living and had nothing to do with Ireland.

However, it crept back in again. I found myself thinking a lot about small towns, and especially the one I was from, and how it seeps into your memory so that every street and corner have something associated with them. Soon I had come up with a character who was returning home after a long time away, and a whole cast of characters from north and south of the border, as well as both sides of the religious divide. I really wanted to write a book where things weren’t as they seemed, trying to turn assumptions on their head. This is why I decided to make my main character, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, a specialist in missing persons rather than murder cases – although often the two collide.

At the end of The Lost I left Paula in a difficult situation. The Dead Ground picks up around a month after this, where we find her trying to make a very tough decision, while getting embroiled in a case that seems too close to home, as a baby goes missing from a local hospital one month before Christmas. Paula and the team have to deal with extreme pro-life groups and also a sinister faith healer, in a case that seems to make no sense and ultimately will put her own life in danger. You will also find out some more information about Paula’s mother, who disappeared when she was thirteen, and what might have happened to her. It’s been fantastic to have Ireland as a setting for this book, both the beautiful barren countryside, and also the strong beliefs in healing and folk wisdom that still persist. I hope people will enjoy it!  

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Lost (Paula Maguire #1) by Claire McGowan

Summary from Goodreads

Not everyone who's missing is lost...
When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.

Not everyone who's lost wants to be found...
Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What's the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town's dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before?

Nothing is what it seems...
As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it's better not to find what you've lost.


Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Headline (first published January 1st 2013) 
 
My Review
 
The Lost is an exciting read, a riveting read and an utterly believable read that reeled me in from it's opening pages!
 
What I enjoyed the most was the setting, Northern Ireland - where I'm from. McGowan captures the frigid, tense and very suffocating Northern Irish atmosphere perfectly - which is actually quite a hard thing to do.
 
'Scenery was one thing, twisted hatred another. And the past was still everywhere, creaking with spectral life.' 
 
Main character Paula Maguire, is a forensic psychologist and she is a really down-to-earth and very likable woman.She has a great head on her shoulders, but is often impulsive - which can get her into some tricky situations.

This storyline sees Paula go back to her hometown of Ballyterrerrin in N.I. She takes a job looking into old missing persons cases. But when she arrives she is thrown into an ongoing missing teen's case and things very quickly take a darker turn.

Paula also has her own secrets and there is a reason she left the little town all those years ago....

I read this like lightening, compelled by some unknown force to finish the book. At every turn I was surprised and completely thrilled. I loved that I could never quite work it out and just when I thought that I had, the book took a different turn...the ending was unexpected and explosive.

The Lost is a fantastic first thriller, that introduces a wonderful cast of colourful characters. It's an intelligent read that is written to tense and very heightened perfection. McGowan forces the reader to sit up and pay attention - I know I'll be keeping an eye on her future work.

4.5 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Headline for the review copy*

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer‏ - Blog Tour Giveaway!

Summary from Goodreads

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake.

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. When she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot, everything is about to change. Chris is different from the guys at school... really different. He can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. The brothers are powerful and dangerous. And now that Becca knows the truth, so is she.

When the mysterious new kid, Hunter, turns up, Becca thinks she can trust him. But when he goes head-to-head with Chris, Becca's left wondering who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.


Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 17th 2014 by Much-in-Little (first published April 24th 2012) 



Giveaway

Right guys, I have up for grabs one paperback copy of Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (lucky ducks). The lovely folks over at Much-in-Little are handling the prize, so if you win your details will be passed along to them. This giveaway is open to anyone in Europe! You know the drill - fill out the Rafflecopter below & good luck!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Summary from Goodreads

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission - because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.


Paperback, 389 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by ATOM (first published January 28th 2014) 

My Review

Aw, what a bittersweet feeling finishing this book is. I have lived, breathed and lost myself in this beautifully crafted trilogy and have loved every second. The characters are fabulous, the world building exquisite and the love story epic - I'm sad to see it all come to an end!
  
What an ending Into the Still Blue is! It pushes our characters to their limits and forces them into the darkest of moments - the action is raging and the tension nail biting!
 
Perry and Aria are still trying desperately to find a way for everyone to escape safely into the Still Blue before it's too late. They are also making plans to try and save Cinder from Hess and Sable's clutches. So, they attempt a daring mission....
 
The ending was good, also satisfying, but I couldn't help feeling that things worked out a little too conveniently and perhaps predictably.
 
Into the Still Blue is a must read for fans of the series. It shows the characters in a new light - with what they would endure for others and also what happens when their relationships become tested. Veronica Rossi writes fantastically vivid and can very easily transport readers into the thick of the action. I will go back and revisit this world again in the future. If you haven't yet read the books....go pick up Under the Never Sky today!
 
4 / 5 Stars!
 
*Special thanks to ATOM for the review copy*
 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #64


 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
 
Out of Control by Sarah Alderson
 

Summary from Goodreads

When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.


Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 22nd 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK 

 Why this book?
 
Well, I'm a fan of Sarah's writing style, so that had me checking it out.  It sounds like an action packed thrill ride with edge. I love the line 'When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.' I have the blog tour stopping by my blog on the 2nd June - be sure to stop by!

What are you 'Waiting On'?