Monday, 1 September 2014

British Books Challenge: Link your September Reviews


August Winner:

I sponsored the September prize pack myself and because I was lucky enough to get to meet up with one of my favourite British authors Sarah Alderson I got a copy of her latest novel Out of Control signed so I could give it to one of you guys. I'm happy to announce that the winner is:

Tina from Novel Meals
(for her review of The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater)

Congratulations Tina! You have 1 week to email me with your address or a new winner will be chosen. Once I have your address I'll be able to send out your prize.

September Prize Pack:

I'm sorry, I was a little late organising the September prize pack so I don't have confirmation of what it will be yet. I'll update this post in the next couple of days with all the details though & you can still link your reviews in the meantime :o)

Important Information:
  1. Please make sure you sign up for the challenge before you start linking your reviews, I will delete links from people who aren't registered. You can sign up HERE if you haven't already.
  2. When you add your link to the Mr. Linky below please make sure you link directly to your review, not just to your blog (invalid links will be deleted)
  3. Books must have been read in 2014 to count towards the challenge so those books you read in December but reviewed in January don't count!
  4. Also, please make sure that the reviews you link are for books written by British Authors - they can be born in Britain (living here or abroad) or they can be adopted British Authors (who were born elsewhere and now live here) but if they don't fit into one of those categories then they don't count. (as above invalid links will be deleted and won't get you an entry into the prize pack). Please note that Britain includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I'm afraid authors from Southern Ireland don't count.
  5. If you need ideas for books by British Authors check out the FAQ page for lots of suggestions. You don't have to choose books from these lists though - they are just to give you ideas if you need help!
Link Your Reviews:

Now for the important part, make sure you link all of your reviews using the Mr. Linky form below. In the Your Name field please include your blog name, the title of the book and the author. Make sure the link takes me directly to your review or your entry won't count and will be deleted from the list.

Book Blogger UKYA Awards - It's time to start voting!!

 photo UKYAAward_zpsb1be5f88.gif


Hey Guys!
Today I am here with VERY exciting news! It is the shortlist of the Book Blogger UKYA Awards! This is the time for YOU to vote for your favourite from the list!

Voting is open until 21st September. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Voting will also be happening a little differently than the nominations. On this blog you will be voting for: Best Contemporary, Best Historical, Best Crime/Mystery, and Best LGBT

And then you will hop along to the next blog to vote for more awards!

There are five different awards to jump to (and five/six bloggers hosting each group, but you only need to visit five blogs!).

This doesn’t have to happen all at once, it gives you the chance to vote in your leisure – but make sure you do so before 21st September.




Jump To
(choose which blog for each category you want to visit!)

Funniest Book, Most Heartbreaking Book, Best First Sentence, Best Ending
Ya Yeah Yeah
Cicely Loves Books
Challot
Queen of Contemporary
Luna’s Little Library

Best Horror, Best Sci-fi/Fantasy, Best Paranormal, Best Adventure
Winged Reviews
K – Books
To Another World
Bookish Outsider
Readaraptor

Best Protagonist, Best Couple, Best Friendship, Best Villain
Snuggling on the Sofa
Much Loved Books
Hush Hush Revealings
The Pewter Wolf
The Little Munchkin Reader

Best Self-Published, Most Social Author (Online), Most Social Author (Offline), Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
This Fleeting Dream
Bookish Treasures
Escapism From Reality
Book to Basics

August 2014 Recap


Books read in July but reviewed in August:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Better Than Perfect - Simone Elkeles (Previously published with the title Wild Cards) (read in March, reviewed in August)
  2. Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews (read in April, reviewed in August)
  3. The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau (read in June, reviewed in August)
  4. Take Me Under - Rhyannon Byrd (read in June, reviewed in August)
  5. Take Back the Skies - Lucy Saxon (read in June, reviewed in August)
  6. Darkness Rising - Keri Arthur (read in June, review coming soon)
  7. Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo (read in June, reviewed in August)
  8. Long Live the Queen - Kate Locke (read in June, reviewed in August)
  9. Battle Lines - Will Hill (read in June, reviewed in August)
  10. Half Bad - Sally Green (read in June, reviewed in August)
  11. Split Second - Sophie McKenzie (read in June, reviewed in August)
  12. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell (read in June, review coming soon)
  13. Being Billy - Phil Earle (read in June, reviewed in August)
  14. Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh (read in July, review coming soon)
  15. Necessary Force - D.D. Ayres (Novella) (read in July, review coming soon)
  16. The Glass Republic - Tom Pollock (read in July,review coming soon)
  17. Fairies in the Fireplace - R.L. Naquin (read in July, review coming soon)
  18. Red Glove - Holly Black (read in July, review coming soon)
  19. Veiled Target - Robin Bielman (read in July, reviewed in August)
  20. You Own Me - Shiloh Walker (Novella) (read in July, reviewed in August)
  21. Masters of Seduction - Anthology (read in July, review coming soon)
  22. Queen of the Darkness - Anne Bishop (read in July, reviewed in August)
  23. Temptation - Robin Covington (read in July, reviewed in August)
  24. Misled - Sylvia Day (Novella) (read in July, review coming soon)
  25. A Curse Awakened - Cecy Robson (Novella) (read in July, reviewed in August)
  26. A Beautiful Wedding - Jamie McGuire (Novella) (read in July, reviewed in August)
Books read in August:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Tempted by a Rogue Prince - Felicity Heaton
  2. Most Wanted - E.L. Friel
  3. The Beautiful Ashes - Jeaniene Frost
  4. Beyond Addiction - Kit Rocha (review coming soon)
  5. No Rest for the Wicked - Kresley Cole (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  6. Marked by Midnight - Lara Adrian (Novella)
  7. Beautiful Oblivion - Jamie McGuire
  8. The Training Session - Joey W. Hill (Novella / Serialised Novel) (review coming soon)
  9. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night - Kresley Cole (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  10. The Dream Hunter - Sherrilyn Kenyon (review coming soon)
  11. On the Scent - Angela Campbell (review coming soon)
  12. Being a Boy - James Dawson
  13. Archangel's Shadows - Nalini Singh (review coming soon)
  14. Little Knife - Leigh Bardugo (Short Story)
  15. Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson - Patricia Briggs (review coming soon)
  16. Crave the Night - Lara Adrian
  17. Trial by Fire - Josephine Angelini
  18. The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J Maas (review coming soon)
  19. Rescue My Heart - Jill Shalvis (review coming soon)
  20. Rock Addiction - Nalini Singh (review coming soon)
  21. Melt for Him - Lauren Blakely (review coming soon)
    Other August Posts:
    1. British Books Challenge - Link your August Reviews
    2. Crafting Corner Review: Pom-Pom Monster Salon - April Chorba
    3. Release Blitz: Temptation - Robin Covington (Extract & Giveaway)
    4. Blog Tour: Veiled Target - Robin Bielman (Extract & Giveaway)
    5. Blog Barrage: Tempted by a Rogue Prince - Felicity Heaton (Extract & Giveaway)
    6. Book Blogger UKYA Awards - Nominate YOUR Favourite UK Authors NOW!
    7. It's In His Kiss Blog Tour: The Making of Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis #12daysofluckyharbor
    8. Meeting Simone Elkeles (also known as Adventures with Skittles and Chopsticks!)
    9. Blog Tour: Better Than Perfect - Simone Elkeles (Extract)
    10. Cover Reveal: Rock Addiction - Nalini Singh (+ International Giveaway)
    11. Trial by Fire Blog Tour: Josephine Angelini's Top 5 Books About Witches
    12. Release Day Blast: The Beautiful Ashes - Jeaniene Frost (With Extract & Giveaway)
    13. Spotlight: A Curse Awakened - Cecy Robson (+ International Giveaway)
    14. British Books Challenge - Link your September Reviews
    August Books of the Month:
    (Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

    My top YA read in August:


    Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini (read my review here)

    My top NA read in August:


    The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost (read my review here)

    My top adult reads in August:


    Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (read my review here)
    Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop (read my review here)

    2014 British Books Challenge:


    I'm very happy to continue hosting the British Books Challenge for 2014, the sign up pages are already live and I really hope that everyone taking part in 2013 will sign up again for next year. It would be great to see some new participants too though so even if you've never taken part before you can still join the fun!
    • To sign up for the challenge CLICK HERE
    • For Frequently Asked Questions about the challenge CLICK HERE
    Don't forget to link your reviews each month to be in with a chance of winning the monthly prize packs:
    My Challenge Updates:

    Here are the challenges I've joined for 2014

    2014 Read 100 Books in a Year Challenge - Read 167/200
    2014 British Books Challenge - Read 43/50
    2014 New Author Challenge - Read 40/50
    2014 Contemporary Romance Challenge - Read 62/100
    2014 Urban Fantasy  Paranormal Romance Challenge - Read 62/100

    Which challenges are you taking part in this year? I hope you've at least signed up for the British Books Challenge - if you haven't already it's not too late!

    Sunday, 31 August 2014

    Review: Queen of the Darkness - Anne Bishop

    A taint now creeps across most of the Blood - those born into power - bringing war to the Shadow Realm, Kaeleer.

    In the face of such corruption, Jaenelle, the Witch Queen who rules the territory, is powerless to prevent its spread. Especially while her chosen consort - and the person needed to complete the prophecy - Daemon, remains lost.

    But the Dreamweavers' webs show two paths. One will see the blood of millions spilled, the other will see the taint destroyed, and only one person need die: her.

    The Black Jewels Series:
    Daughter of the Blood
    Heir to the Shadows
    Queen of the Darkness
    The Invisible Ring
    Dreams Made Flesh
    Tangled Webs
    The Shadow Queen
    Shalador's Lady
    Twilight's Dawn

    Visit Anne Bishop's website for more information

    Review:
    I have been absolutely addicted to Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy ever since I discovered Daughter of the Blood and after the huge changes at the end of Heir to the Shadows I couldn't wait to start Queen of the Darkness. This book was everything I'd hoped it would be and then some and I didn't want to put it down for a second. I can't believe how much I've come to love these characters and I'm was so incredibly invested in their stories that I desperately needed to know what would happen to them all. I'm going to assume that if you're reading this review you've already read the last two books so although this review will be spoiler free for Queen of Darkness I will be discussing events in previous stories. If you don't want to see these spoilers then look away now but before you go I will tell you that the Black Jewels trilogy is one of the most complex, compelling and utterly addictive fantasy series that I've discovered in a long time and if it's one you haven't started yet then you're seriously missing out!

    Still with me? Well, in that case I'm going to assume you're already an Anne Bishop fan and high five you for loving the series as much as I do! At the end of Heir to the Shadows we saw Jaenelle claim her territory so that she was able to protect her Kindred friends. Jaenelle now has a court of powerful Queens, Warlords and Kindred who would all do anything for her but she takes that responsibility seriously and will protect them with her life if needed. I have loved seeing Jaenelle grow into her power, she really is an incredible character and after so much suffering in her life she has now become a strong and confident young woman. I actually feel very proud of everything that she has achieved and I couldn't wait to see her figure out how to deal with the enemies who have done everything they could to destroy her.

    One of the things that I was most excited about was seeing her reunited with Daemon. I missed his presence in the last book but I understood why that distance was needed, he has suffered enough though and it was time to see both of them find a way to happiness. Daemon has finally found his way out of the Twisted Kingdom and taken his place at Jaenelle's side as her consort but it is a role in name only as the two of them struggle to communicate their wants and needs to each other. I really enjoyed seeing someone as experienced as Daemon so unsure of himself, he loves Jaenelle so much and is terrified of putting pressure on her but as inexperienced as she is she has no idea how to make the first move. It was great seeing Saetan, Lucivar and the others help the two of them work through things and I loved seeing them all spending time together building or rebuilding their bonds. Things between Saetan and his sons are incredibly complicated but we get to see them slowly get to know each other and learn to trust themselves.

    Jaenelle is the most powerful Witch born in thousands of years and she can feel the evil that is trying to destroy all three realms. She knows what has to be done to stop it and she knows that she will pay the ultimate price but that is something she is willing to do to protect the people she loves. Her friends aren't quite so willing to let her bear that cost though and they are determined to find another way. The love that all of these characters have for her is absolutely heart warming but I've also thoroughly enjoyed seeing the friendships build between them as individuals and getting to see some of my favourite characters find love and happiness in their own right.

    I don't want to say too much more about what happens in this book because I think it's much better if you can enjoy the journey for yourself. I will say that I absolutely loved every minute of this book. This entire series has taken me on an emotional roller coaster, one where I've both laughed and cried. There have been times when I was so mad that my blood was boiling and others where I felt emotionally drained and exhausted but I have also fallen in love and met some of the most fantastic characters - ones who will stay with me for years to come. I can absolutely guarantee that this is a series I'll return to again in the future and I'm glad that I've still got some short stories set in the same world to devour before the journey is completely over. I may be a fairly new fan of Anne Bishop but I'm now a die-hard one and I can't wait to discover more of her books!

    Source: Received from Jo Fletcher Books in exchange for an honest review

    Other Reviews:
    If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

    Paperback / Kindle:

    Saturday, 30 August 2014

    Review: Split Second - Sophie McKenzie

    Charlie's life is torn apart by a terrorist bomb in a London market. Months later she meets Nat, whose family has been left devastated by the same explosion. But as Charlie gets closer to Nat she starts to wonder if he knows more about the attack than he is letting on . . .

    Life can change in the blink of an eye - whether you're ready or not.

    Split Second Series:
    Split Second
    Every Second Counts

    Visit Sophie McKenzie's website for more information

    Review:
    Split Second is non-stop action from the very first page. Any book that opens with one of the main characters running through a busy London market trying to stop a terrorist attack is bound to capture my attention and I was immediately hooked into the story. The subsequent bomb blast changes both Nat and Charlie's lives forever and links them together in a desperate need for answers and revenge.

    This is a really hard book to review because I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing it is but I'm incredibly wary of giving anything away because there are just so many twists and turns that you'll never spot coming. I'm keeping this deliberately vague but I can tell you that this is set in a not too distant future, one that it is very easy to picture happening, although I really hope it doesn't! Rather than some kind of global disaster or epic war the world has been changed by a continuing downturn in the market, the recession has continued getting worse leading to extreme poverty amongst the masses. There is overcrowding and food shortages and unless you're one of the wealthy minority life isn't great. With a large number of unhappy people rioting isn't uncommon and terrorism is on the rise.

    The story is told from the dual perspectives of Charlie and Nat, both of whom witnessed the bomb that destroyed half of the Canal Street market and we see that event through both of their eyes. They are unable to put their memories of that day behind them because it continues to have such a huge impact on their lives in the present. They are both desperate for answers but searching for them may just lead them down a crazy rabbit hole that they'll never escape from. I loved both of these characters, they are each flawed in their own ways but at the same time they're incredibly strong and brave enough to stand up for what they believe in.

    I really can't say much more about Split Second so I'm going to finish this review by saying that it is my favourite Sophie McKenzie book to date and I'm so glad that the sequel, Every Second Counts, is already available because I can't wait to find out what happens next!

    Source: Received from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

    Other reviews of this book:
    If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

    Paperback / Kindle:

    Friday, 29 August 2014

    Review: A Curse Awakened - Cecy Robson

    Discover Cecy Robson’s sensational Weird Girls series—or return to where the magic first began—with this eBook original prequel novella about four sisters coming to grips with their unique supernatural powers.

    Celia Wird shouldn’t possess the ability to transform into a tigress. Her three sisters should never be able to burst into flames, heal wounds, or transform common objects into deadly weapons. And yet they do.

    Before they were born, the Wird Sisters were cursed by a spell that was intended to destroy them, not endow them with extraordinary powers. The sisters’ magic is untamed and explosive at best, and time is running out for them to take command.

    Vampires have targeted Celia’s sweet, tragically human ex-boyfriend Danny. The sisters rush to his aid, but in order to take down the vamps, first they must face their dark past and break a spell that’s screwing up their powers. Except this curse wasn’t meant to be broken . . . and the witch who cast it isn’t done toying with them yet.

    Weird Girls Series:
    A Curse Awakened (Novella)
    The Weird Girls (Novella)
    Sealed with a Curse
    A Cursed Embrace
    A Cursed Moon (Novella)
    Cursed by Destiny
    A Cursed Bloodline (November 2014)

    Visit Cecy Robson's website for more information.

    Review:
    I love Cecy Robson's Weird Girls series so couldn't wait to start reading the new prequel novella, A Curse Awakened. This story is set before any of the previous novels and gives fans a bit more background information on the curse that was cast on the sisters before they were even born. Together Celia, Taran, Shayna and Emme must face their past and uncover what really happened to them but they may not have enough power to put a stop to it.

    If it wasn't exciting enough to delve deeper into the Wird family history we also get to see more of their friendship with human Danny and discover exactly how he was drawn into the supernatural world that the girls were born into. When Danny's father is kidnapped by vampires he immediately turns to Celia and the others for help and of course none of them are able to walk away from a friend in need.

    A Curse Awakened is perfect for fans of the series who enjoy digging deeper into their favourite character's backgrounds but it's also a great place to start if you're new to the series and it will give you a good idea of Cecy Robson's writing style and the humour she weaves into all of her stories. I've been hooked on this series since I first discovered it and I don't see that changing any time soon!

    Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    Other Reviews:
    If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

    Kindle:

    Spotlight: A Curse Awakened - Cecy Robson (+ International Giveaway)


    I'm a huge fan of Cecy Robson's Weird Girls series so I was very excited when I found out about the new novella A Curse Awakened and couldn't wait to read it. I'll be posting my review later today but in the meantime I wanted to give you a bit more information about the story and share this fabulous giveaway.

    A CURSE AWAKENED: A Weird Girls Novella
    Written by Cecy Robson
    Published by Loveswept
    August 19, 2014
    ISBN: 978-0-553-39457-3

    Discover Cecy Robson’s sensational Weird Girls series—or return to where the magic first began—with this eBook original prequel novella about four sisters coming to grips with their unique supernatural powers.

    Celia Wird shouldn’t possess the ability to transform into a tigress. Her three sisters should never be able to burst into flames, heal wounds, or transform common objects into deadly weapons. And yet they do.

    Before they were born, the Wird Sisters were cursed by a spell that was intended to destroy them, not endow them with extraordinary powers. The sisters’ magic is untamed and explosive at best, and time is running out for them to take command.

    Vampires have targeted Celia’s sweet, tragically human ex-boyfriend Danny. The sisters rush to his aid, but in order to take down the vamps, first they must face their dark past and break a spell that’s screwing up their powers. Except this curse wasn’t meant to be broken . . . and the witch who cast it isn’t done toying with them yet.

    Weird Girls Series:
    A Curse Awakened (Novella)
    The Weird Girls (Novella)
    Sealed with a Curse
    A Cursed Embrace
    A Cursed Moon (Novella)
    Cursed by Destiny
    A Cursed Bloodline (November 2014)

    Advance praise for A Curse Awakened

    “A Curse Awakened is everything that a prequel novella should be. . . . Five stars.”—The Reading Cave

    Praise for the Weird Girls series

    “One of my favorite books series . . . so much action, so much violence and, oh, the lust radiating off of our heroes . . . I definitely recommend this series for lovers of all things paranormal and awesome.”—USA Today

    “[With Robson’s] edgy, witty and modern style of storytelling, the reader will be drawn deep into this quirky paranormal world. . . . Strong pacing, constant action and distinctive, appealing characters—including a gutsy heroine—will no doubt keep you invested.”—RT Book Reviews

    “A healthy dose of humor, a heaping dash of the supernatural, and a pinch of mystery all laced with a heavy dollop of action . . . Robson knows how to combine all the best ingredients to keep her readers hooked and begging for another hit.”—Fresh Fiction

    Get your copy of A CURSE AWAKENED
    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Other retailers

    About Cecy Robson
    Cecy Robson is the New Adult author of Once Perfect, Once Loved, and Once Pure and the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Robson counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest, she enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

    Connect with Cecy
    Website | Facebook | Twitter

    Connect with Loveswept
    Website | Facebook | Twitter

    A CURSE AWAKENED GIVEAWAY

    To celebrate the release of A Curse Awakened Cecy Robson and Loveswept are holding a giveaway giving you the chance to win ebooks of the series and some fab other prizes. You can enter using the rafflecopter form below. Winners will be contacted directly by Loveswept so they can arrange to send out the prizes.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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