Thursday, 30 August 2012


The Dead Girls Dance ~ Morganville #2

Rachel Caine

YA Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy/ Vampire

* * * * 4 out of five stars

The Blurb: (Via Goodreads)

"Claire Danvers has her share of challenges---like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm, and above all, finding out that her college town is overrun with vampires. On the up side, she has a great roommate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend named Shane, whose vampire-hunting dad has called in backup: cycle punks who like the idea of killing just about anything.

Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls' Dance and---surprise!---Claire and her equally outcast best friend, Eve, have been invited. When they find out why, all hell is going to break loose. Because this time both the living and the dead are coming out---and everybody's
hungry for blood..."

 My Review:

My first comment has to be; wow to Rachel Caine! How did she come up with such a winning formula?! The Morganville series is totally working for me. It took quite a long time for me to actually pick up the series; mainly as I was so sceptical about the hype around the books.

I think what Ms Caine has done so well, is the depth of her characters. I absolutely love them and was gripped from the start. Each of the main characters (Claire, Eve, Michale and Shane)  feels unique. All four characters have their own voice and style. They each have different levels/dimensions; ones that you like and others that you dislike. It really brings them to life.
As the reader, you share in each of the characters development and journey.
I also love to hate the bad-guys and bullies. For instance, Monica is class 'A' bitch and you can't help but feel "hell-yeah" when Claire gets some shots back at her, and Oliver (vamp in coffee shop) is deliciously evil.

Book one left us shocked, and by the end of book two it left me ready to go out at whatever ridiculous time of night it was to get book three... (I think late-night book shops would be an awesome idea...)
I am still unsure if this series will be able to keep it up though. With twelve books published and #13 (Bitter Blood) set for release in November (and then two more scheduled for release in 2013); I am wondering how much more the series has got going for it?! Seriously, can it keep up the pace? How many ways could this go? Can each storyline be completely different etc?

The story is fast paced and picks up where it left off, I'm dying to go into more detail about my thoughts on the first chapter but it would spoil it for those who haven't started the series.
But it jumps right in and deals with the issues book one left us with and then and takes us on a rescue mission for Shane. Along the way there are both the Vamps and biker dudes to contend with (and these are somehow meaner; at least the Vamps have some rules) and also a house with a bathroom that transports you to some weird study with the head Vampire... Hmm-mm...

There was however a point in the story where I wondered about the time scale. It may have just been how I read it, but there was an awful lot of action packed into what should have been a couple of hours, so that didn't quite work - however, this didn't take away from the enjoyment of the story.

I have to say, for me personally, the books (so far) are easy reading. I wouldn't say that the writing is spectacular *shock* but it flows very well and the voice and style of the charaters are believable.

I also like that there is a "sneak peek" at Eve's diary at the end of the books and we get to see events from her point of view; in this particular instance, it also helped to piece a few things together

Overall, if you are a vampire fan and looking for something that is fast paced and with plenty of action then Morganville is definitely one to get your teeth into... ;0) (Oooooh... Don't roll your eyes like that - I couldn't resist!)


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Books Through The Post

Well I never...
I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago saying how I managed to win myself a copy Of Redhed by Ian Cook. Well, I've finally managed to make my way down the TBR asap pile, to starting it! And then, to my utter amazement, two more books popped through the letter box! 

I am soooooo excited... Like a little kid at Christmas! Hehehe! What can be better than a good book? Answer? Three free ones through the post - Hooray!

Fantastic Freebies

1) Currently reading: REDHEADS by Ian Cook

2) Revenant Rising (Book 1: Second Chances) by M. M. Mayle

3) Ship of Haunts: The Other Titanic Story by Ellie Stevenson

Keep your peepers peeled for the upcoming reviews!


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Author I Have Just "Discovered"...

R J Anderson:
R J Anderson

There are times when you stumble across a book that you just wanna shout about and "Swift" is probably one of them.

I have grown up loving classic tales such as Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia - There is something about R J Anderson's writing in Swift that took me back to that feeling but with an added "edge".

It was actually my mum-in-law that passed me a copy of Swift, and I'm sooooo glad she did. In fact we liked her story so much that my mum-in-law went out and bought the previous trilogy!

The story is classed as "children's" but in all honesty, it's an enjoyable read for anyone. What I also like about her story is that her researh in Cornish faery tales shines through her writing.

If you like a faery tale with a twist then I can't recommend this book enough...


(Via Goodreads)

Swift by R.J. Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Orchard Books


Ivy sensed the stone hurtling towards her and rolled - too late. Heat scored across her back in a blaze of dazzling pain. The ground spiralled to meet her, and she knew it would only be seconds before she hit...

Ivy is a determined young faery, living in an abandoned tin mine with her clan. In a cruel twist of fate she was born without wings, and she longs to fly like the others. When she meets an enigmatic stranger, he seems to offer an answer. But there is more to him than meets the eye...

My Review:

The book first introduces us to Ivy, a young Piskey born without wings who is about to participate in her first, annual "Lighting celebration". It will be the first time when she will leave the Delve, her home deep in an abandoned mine; but things don't end well when their mother vanishes. It is believed that she has been taken by thin, wispy creatures known as spriggans.

Five years on and their father has become silent shell of his former self, and spends all of his time working deep in the tunnels. Ivy runs the home and looks after them all, including her brother and sister.
But when another Piskey goes missing; it is assumed Spriggans are behind it...

When they catch what they suspect is a Spriggan, stories and mysteries begin to unravel and Ivy has to learn who she can trust and fast!

There were so many things that I loved about this book. I loved the way that the author has developed the scenes and characters. It flowed easily and captured the imagination.
I did find that it took a few pages to really get into it but once absorbed into it; it was so hard to put down and I found myself sneaking a couple of pages whenever I could!

I really liked Ivy's character and you find out a lot of her background as she does. It is written from her perspective so you learn along with her; who to trust and what piece of the puzzle goes where.
There was a specific moment in the book where there is a realisation about her mother... And it's so cleverly done that you realise seconds before Ivy. I can't say much more without spoiling it but there is plenty of plot twist to keep you guessing.

This wasn't a predictable, pink and fluffy fairy story. The characters in the book were more solid and well developed then other pieces I have come across; and therefore making them more believable.

Overall, a very entertaining and well written/thought out book. Can't wait for the next instalment!


Cambria Hebert
(Via Goodreads)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ebook, 392 pages
Published December 16th 2011 by Otherworld Publications (first published December 7th 2011)
Before. Everything was so much better Before. I wasn’t haunted by nightmares, my place at school was secure and my face was flawless. Now, I’m a freak and everything has changed. The worst part is that I can’t remember the night I was sentenced to the shadows. The memory has been stolen from me and I just can’t shake the feeling that someone, something is out there -watching.

Just when I think I have my life handled, Sam, with his intimidating golden stare and shiver inducing voice, makes me realise that I don’t know anything. He makes me see that my scars don’t matter. That they never mattered. I can’t help but fall for him, completely unknowing that he knows exactly how I got this way. Not knowing he was involved.

Heven has no idea how closely death stalks her. She has no idea what I have done to keep her alive. I fear the day she learns my secrets, finds out what I really am. But even then I cannot stop, I vow to make things right. Finally her hunter will be hunted, Heaven and Hell, faith and sin will battle, and we will be victorious. But first, Heven must learn to be what she never imagined. I know her strength is there – I feel it. If we are to overcome all odds, she must push past her flaws - her frailties - to become much more.

I really enjoyed Masquerade. If I am honest I don't tend to read a lot of this genre; but this book has probably opened that gate a little wider for me.
I had this perception of the genre being predictable, lovey-mush but Masquerade has totally smashed that entire perception.
I was instantly drawn in, could form connections with the characters and couldn't put it down!

The story first introduces us to popular and beautiful Heven. But things change one night when she is attacked and left with scars to her face. She recedes into herself and things can never be like before... She needs to discover what and why things have happened to her... evil is right behind her. Cue gorgeous, husky voiced and protective Sam. (I'm not a fan of "gooey", but Sam is dreamy!) The couple get together despite Hevens low self-esteem; but there is more to Sam than meets the eye. If Heven was to discover the truth; it may mean the end of the romance.

I was swaying between a four and five star rating for a little while; I settled on a four star based on the the fact I felt there was a fair bit of descriptive repetition (and eye rolling) in romantic scenes between the main characters.

However, I felt the writing was strong and the story captivated my interest and imagination. I very much liked the ideas running through the story. The pace was a little slow in places, but I thought that bases were covered in characters backgrounds (something which I like stories; especially if I care about the characters).

The voice of both main characters was strong and believable. I really liked how the story was told from both of their prospectives. I thought it was well thought out and ran smoothly.
All the charcters seems to be very well developed, in role and in voice. Heven best friend Kimber was one to watch during the story. I started off liking her.. but little snippets of her character kept me re-thinking my evaluation of her. In some respects I could totally see where she was coming from but there were other points were I disliked her. (Can't give much more away I'm afraid!) I especially loved Heven's Grandmother; and her mother shocked me... All done very well!

There is plenty of plot twist to keep the pages turning. There were points where I believed I knew what was coming next, only to be delighted with Cambria's twist and new direction.The end of the story demands that you find out what happens next.
I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal-romance.
I have now downloaded next book; Charade... ;0)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My Kindle - My New Obsession!

Oh. my. goodness.

luuuuuuuurve my Kindle!

Regular readers would know that I have been um-ing and ah-ing over the idea of e-readers for some time. When they first came out; I openly admit that I was totally against getting one (note I said against getting one, not against the idea... well; not entirely against it anyway!)

I thought that these e-readers was a misson just to make everything "techno" and I couldn't understand why someone would want to trade in a beautiful book for an e-reader. 

But for my birthday, I was given one and now I can't get enopugh! I like the following about the Kindle Touch:

  • It's a whole library in one space
  • It's easy to use; even for people nervous of new technology
  • Automatically saves your page
  • On-board dictionary (no more: I'll find out what that means later!)
  • Books are a little cheaper (In most cases, not all)
  • Downloading is instint
  • No-one can tell what you are reading (No, I'm not reading 50 Shades; not my "thing")

I  have found that since getting it; I have become obsessed with searching for free books. You have to be careful though, as some are dire!

If anyone out there can give me a few pointers on where to look for free books; it would be very much appreciated (Or anyone who can recommend a good, free Amazon title?! ;-) )

The first two books I bought on Kindle was "Masquerade" by Cambria Hebert (A fantastic read may I add - review to follow) and The Jelly Bean Crisis (which I am currently reading now).

This doesn't mean that I have given up on paperbacks. Oh no. I am currently reading the final instalment of The Hunger Games; Mocking Jay. (And I have lots more on the TBR list!)

I think that for my favourite authors, I will still require the printed edition! There is still nothing like snuggling down with a good book!


I just like Jelly Beans...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Holidays and Milestones


It has been a busy week. Last weekend we packed up our troubles and went for a break by the seaside... 30 minutes down the road! It's a perk of living in Somerset.

It was a very welcome break, plus it was my *cough* 28th (How did I get here? I was 23 the last time I looked right?!) birthday.

I can't believe how the time has gone. It was wonderful to listen to OJ singing "Happy birthday to mum-mum" and watching him eat  birthday cake. (The first thing he asked me on waking on the day was if he could have some of my cake - the kid learns fast; Birthdays=Cake... That's my boy!)
(Check out my cute butterfly candles!)

I can't express the emotion I felt listening to him sing in his grown up yet still baby voice... Perhaps I am forever doomed to get emotional at the drop of a hat. I was a sensitive soul before I got pregnant, but now it's just got 10 times worse... (Pass the girl a hanky!)

It doesn't feel that long a go that we were setting him down for the first time in the living room. He was fast asleep in his car seat. Me and hubby looked at each other and said nothing; yet a look said a thousand words. Terrifying... Yet amazing!

OJ was as good as gold, both lads were. Even when it came to night time which left me gobsmacked. Both boys have issues with going to sleep at night. They slept better in the caravan then they ever have at home. Night times are a long game in our house. We don't really know what sleep is over here.... Maybe it was the sea air?!

So we had a fab time; steam train rides, ice cream, swimming, walks on the beach, fish and chips and other various adventures for 3 glorious nights.

Then it was back to reality...

*Crash Landing*
OJ has now added "train-driver" to his many when-I-grow-up occupations...


I planned that when we returned we would start OJ potty training... And it is currently in full swing. He is doing great... Any other parents going through the same? Here are my top tips:

1) Only start toilet training when you feel your child is ready - I felt some pressure from others to start OJ earlier because people kept telling me he could cope as "he is so bright" but OJ showed no interest and I also had a tiny baby to look after. There was no point.
2) Choose a time and stick to it - stopping and starting just confuses the issue and children need time to practise.
3) Praise, praise, praise and... Bribe! - Okay, so bribe isn't a term I would use, but some form of reward can be helpful motivation/reinforcement. OJ has a sticker to put on a homemade wall chart every time he uses the potty successfully.
4) Be prepared for accidents - Don't expect things to go smoothly, even if appears your kiddie has grasped it; there will be times when that potty will be just out of reach or there is something for more interesting going on...
Any more hints and tips for this crazy time would be appreciated. ;0)

OJ's train wall trainer!

It's been an incredible week for both boys; whilst OJ is potty training and getting his "big bed",  little Z is crawling around like Speedy Gonzales, clapping his hands and waving bye-bye...

I'm just totally blown away.

I love being a mummy!

What is your little one up to that has surprised you this week, or do you have a favourite milestone memory that still makes you smile? (And if you say "moving out" then shame on you! Heehee!)

Happy weekend peeps!


Oh we do like to be beside the seaside - tra-la-la-laaaa!

Who says romance is dead?!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tell Me Something Tuesday # 11

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Cambria Hebert.

Each Tuesday, Cambria conjures up a question for us and we answer; it's really that simple and lots of fun. We then linky back to Cambria's original post so we can all blog hop to each other's blogs to find out what we all thought. It's a great way to get to know your fellow boggers.

This weeks Q:

Tell Me Something:
1) Would you rather be a giant hamster or a tiny rhino?
2) Would you rather always wear earmuffs or a nose plug?
3)Would you rather always win pie-eating contests or always win wheelbarrow races?

My Answer:

1) Haha...

Hamsters are pretty cute with their puffy cheeks and everything... But hamster means being a pet and it would depend on what kind of owner you ended up with... A giant hamster? Where would you get that extra large exercise wheel from?! Nah. I would rather be the tiny rhino...

When I think "tiny rhino", I think of Rumple from the children's BBC programme: The Iconicles

It's very hard to explain exactly what the Iconicles are all about, (there's a screen with different worlds containing animals called iconicles, the iconicles can come in and out of the screen) but I've left a link, just in case you are mildly curious....

2) Earmuffs. Without having to think about it. A nose plug?! It looks ridiculous and uncomfortable. Now earmuffs...? There's an interesting accessory! And pretty useful to to muffle out kiddy and hubby noise.. Result. Haa!

I ca't hear yooooou!

3) I luuuuuuuuuurve pie... Alas, I'm dieting, so it will have to be the wheelbarrow races.. But we get to win a pie right?!

Cherry pie
Mmmm pie...
So there we have it, short but sweet this week. What do you think?!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Playing Catch-Up

Hello Fellow Bloggers!

Thank you!

I am finally starting to feel that I'm coming back around to some positive blogging! I am chasing the spark and I just wanted to say a big thank you for your patience and also a special thank you to those who took the time to post some lovely comments and encouragement on my "Inspiration and that brick wall" post.

So here I am and here's what's been happening...

Those following through Goodreads or those who check out my reading page, will be aware that for the longest time I was reading "The Hypnotist" I have never been so glad to see that last page let me tell you! It wasn't that the book was badly written, it was just long and I didn't feel that I could just dip in and out and for someone all ready up-to-the eye-balls with life, it took me so much longer to get done!
Today I finished reading "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins, #2 in the Hunger Games trilogy (like I had to tell you that!) Check out my review on my reading page.

I'm a bit embarrassed to post this here, but an excerpt of my currently-working-on novel has been chosen by Suzannah on "Write it Sideways" to feature on her blog, so it can be critiqued by others. If you would like to see the first 250 words of  "No Limitz", click on the link below:

Write it Sideways

I have always found Suzannah's web page so very helpful in progressing in my writing.I have had some very positive feedback, and some very constructive comments. I plan on using these in my work.

Now I have read the comments, I feel slightly embarrassed about my work. But, I am so glad I had the opportunity to share it as I have learnt so much. As well as all the "needs-a-re-look" points about my excerpt, I have also discovered that I might have something to work with and, may actually have something with potential.

I have also pulled myself together and have sent off another picture book story to an agent. Fingers (and toes) crossed for this one!

Although I haven't seemed to be around much lately, I have been reading my favourite blogs as per usual. I was very happy to add a new blog to my beautiful blog list, I am so glad I stumbled upon it as it made me laugh.

(comic strip by kind permission of Alex Vega)

The blogger is Alex Vega and he is an author/illustrator. I absolutely love his "Don't have a cow" comic strip.

Here's a link:

AlexVega's Blog

Blog hop over and see what you think!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Long Awaited Picture Book Review

Hi peeps!

Some of you may remember that a little while a go I was psyched when I won a copy of: Jaime Lea and the Bumblebee by Adrian and Matthew Thorpe; (Giveaway by Dani at Pen to Paper - thanks hun!)

I have finally concocted a review, so please click on the link and check it out!

(P.S. Sorry it took so long -I was suffering a bad bought of writers block!)

                                              JAIME LEA AND THE BUMBLEBEE

Read the review and liked what you read? To find out more click-the-link to check out the website: