Surrender the Sky- GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW & REVIEW

Author: Meradeth Houston
Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing
Publication Date: May 2nd 2014
Blurb Description: Gabby lives by two unbreakable rules: don’t expose her kind, the Sary, and don’t fall in love—too bad some rules are made to be broken.

When Gabby’s most difficult charge accidentally shoots her in front of a class full of students, the event exposes her carefully hidden identity. She shifts from looking like a normal teen to her secret Sary form, revealing her wings and the existence of her kind—immortals who try to keep people from committing suicide. Her incident attracts the attention of the next leader of the Sary, Jassen, who offers her an impossible bargain: she can keep her wings if she makes amends with those who know the truth. Things get more complicated when a rebel Sary, intent on exposing them to the world, starts interfering with Gabby’s work. And there’s no denying her attraction to Jassen, who is torn between his duties and his heart. With threats at every turn and her immortality on the line, Gabby has to find a way to save the Sary or surrender the sky forever
.

Giveaway: 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview:


1. For all those who haven't had the pleasure, elaborate a bit about the Sary Organisation- what they do, how they got here and whom they are headed by and any other bits of information!

--Where to start! :) Okay, the Sary are the souls of those who died before taking their first breath and are therefore given the chance to come to earth to help those in need--mainly those who are thinking about committing suicide. It's a hard job and their leadership gives them assignments of who they should be helping. Sometimes they're able to get people out of their depression, and other times not. They're kind of like guardian angels, but also not totally (there's not a whole lot of religion in the books). They're facing troubled times during the books in my series--there are a lot of Sary that are interested in losing the secrecy they've always worked with, which is seen in Surrender the Sky, but comes to a head in book #4 :).


2. Talk to us a little about Surrender The Sky: the storyline, your heroine, her male counterpart and their common nemesis- just a little. to give readers an idea of the fun they're in for!

BOOKMARKS TO WIN!
--Let's see, really quick, Gabby is a Sary who loses her assignment, which is bad enough, but royally messes up when she accidentally lets everyone see her Sary form (think wings, and think big no-no!). Anyhow, the soon-to-be leader of the Sary, Jassen, shows up to ‘release’ her, but changes his mind...for certain reasons :) However, Gabby’s accident may possibly expose all of the Sary, due to the brother of a certain special person, whom Gabby has to stop. Hmm, not sure it totally does the book justice, but that's the gist of things!


3. How was your experience writing Surrender the Sky? Since the basis for the Sary has already found its roots in your head in your previous books, was it easier to write this stand alone?

--Actually, this book was far easier. I already know this world so well it's kind of like visiting a favorite spot :) Also, I have already met Gabby and Jassen in other books, so putting everything together was mostly just a good time!


4. Do we get more Sary after this? (please, YES) or are you working on something new altogether?! Talk to us, your avid readers, about your journey to become a writer as well!

--I already hinted a bit about book #4, and I'm hoping that will be finished this summer (fingers crossed!). I also have a bunch of other projects in various levels of completion, mostly in the sci-fi realm of things. My journey to get here has been a long one, filled with lots of stumbling around, but also a lot of amazing people and a ton of learning. Even if at times I get really frustrated (ugh, querying new projects is never fun!), I love to write!


5. We would love to know more about you- a few quick questions!

Favorite Movie? --GATTACA. I think I've seen it at least 20 times.

Favorite Song? --Anything by The Black Keys.

Favorite Book? --No way I can pick just one! I do love A Wrinkle In Time quite a lot though.

Favorite TV Show? --X-Files. I'm a re-run junkie on that show, at least the earlier episodes.

Favorite Hobby?  --Writing! And I love crafting, too :)

Favorite Author? --Madeline L'Engle. And John Steinbeck. And Diana Gabaldon. Shoot, I could go on for ages!

Favourite Character (from a book, of course!)? --Meg from A Wrinkle In Time, but there are far, far more!

About the author: 



Meradeth Houston is the author of The Sary Society. Although she's never been a big fan of talking about herself, here are some random tidbits about her:

>She's a Northern California girl. This generally means she talks too fast and use "like" a lot.
>When she's not writing, she's sequencing dead people's DNA. For fun!
>She's been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she's so happy to get to share her work!
>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she's terrified of heights.



My Review:




Surrender The Sky. Let’s start with that- it is a SERIOUSLY cool name! The first time I read it, I felt shivers go up my spine! But, that’s not the point…
If you haven’t read the interview or the blurb description already, the Sary are the souls of those who die before taking their first breaths. They are given a choice between being a Sary or just not existing anymore; fading away into the blackness that eventually consumes all. They are trained on an Island and their leader is referred to as the Teacher. Their main task is to, well, stop people from committing suicide and help them regain their happiness lost due to the tragedies of everyday human life.

I love the concept of Guardian Angels who help people that are thinking about removing themselves from the world we know. Suicide is such a common thing these days and it just feels better to think that, at least in the book, people are receiving the help they crave, but don’t ask for.

So, Gabby is a Sary, who loses her toughest assignment, after he shoots her, forcing her to reveal her wings which violates the top rule of being a Sary. Convinced she is going to be released, or made mortal again, she meets Jassen, the future leader of the Sary. Strangely handsome and completely unattainable, he offers her an impossible bargain: she can keep her wings if she makes amends with those who know the truth…

As if explaining the supernatural to people that don’t want to believe isn’t hard enough, Gabby also has to deal with rouge Sary, who believe that the Sary and all the miracles they make happen should be worshipped, not sworn to secrecy till the end of time.

Surrender the Sky was a fun book! I thoroughly enjoyed it, from cover to cover! There were certain, points, however when I felt that our protagonist was being a bit whiny, with her ‘I am the Worst Sary Ever’ and her jaw dropping open at pretty much every time there was a twist in the tale (and there were many, unexpected twists, that is). I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot better if it were told from the rogue Sary perspective; it would have definitely been one of a kind!

There were a lot of exceptionally written scenes, especially when the ones where Gabby and Jassen were flying off into paradise! They just increased the level of the book for me!

My Verdict:


A fun, light read that will make you smile and beg for more!  



Big Fat Disaster- GIVEAWAY, INTERVIEW and REVIEW

Hi Everyone! I'm Extremely pleased to have Beth Fehlbaum, author of the Patience Trilogy for an interview and Giveaway with her latest book, Big Fat Disaster! We're SO pleased to have you here, Beth!

Author: Beth Felhbaum

Publisher: Merit Press/ F+W Media

Publishing Date: April 18th 2014

Blurb Description: Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.

**GIVEAWAY**

a Rafflecopter giveaway


**INTERVIEW**


1. Let's start at the beginning. What inspired you to write Colby's story? Was there a particular point where you said 'I just have to write this!' ?

I was sexually abused from the age of 8 to my late teens, and I used food to numb my feelings from the time I was a teen. I entered recovery when I was 38, and the first thing we worked on was me learning to manage my life without binge eating. After all, it’s about my feelings not the food.
Over the course of a couple of years I began eating more healthily and running/walking. Several years later, I began having problems with my feet and discovered that I have a birth defect Eventually, I became crippled by it. My feet are now better and even walking very quickly can be painful at times.

I was upset by what I saw as a failure when I looked in the mirror, and the hateful self-talk that I had worked so hard to overcome during my six years in therapy returned with a vengeance.I had to ask myself if I was less worthy as a person than I was before I lost the weight? The answer was, and is, of course, NO, but the fact that I so quickly began hating myself again was like a wake-up call to me. I decided to explore that through a teen girl who was not loved for who she is by the very person who should love her the most, unconditionally.  Click to read: Chapter One of Big Fat Disaster.


2. In your words, describe your protagonist and the life she lives (apart from what we read in the book, of course!)

Colby is a loyal person. She has a dry, self-deprecating sense of humor, and she’s not into the same stuff that her parents are into. At the same time, when all is lost because of her father’s choices, especially because she feels somewhat responsible for her family breaking apart, she becomes much more aware of this stuff.  She has a fear of not having enough– like she always feels she is in a love deficit from her parents, especially her mom,
because she IS—but now she is literally fearful of not having basic needs such as food and clothing.  Colby really needs someone to reach out to her with acceptance and love.



3. In your opinion, what would be the perfect song to showcase Colby's life, struggle and story?

“After the Storm” by Mumford and Sons. Especially the line, “I’m scared of what’s behind, and what’s before.” ©

4. Describe your journey as a writer! Your writing schedule, how you handle writers block, how you got here, and anything else you would like to add!

I have always written, ever since I can remember. My grandmother taught me to read before I even started Kindergarten, and I was writing early, too.
I teach language arts full-time from late August through the first week in June, and I write full-time during the summer and as much as possible on holidays and weekends.
In addition to maintaining my website, I founded a group author website (UncommonYA), and I take time each day to upload blog posts and manage the site along with everything else I do.
As far as story, I mostly plot in my mind and have the basic story arc—the beginning and the end for sure—before I start writing. Doesn’t mean that the plot does not change, but I know on a very basic level who my character is and what she wants, as well as what is getting in her way.
I began writing novels when I was in therapy for childhood sexual abuse. I had been writing short stories and poems, trying to process my anger, disbelief, and grief, and I was sharing them with my therapist. About a year or so into therapy, he suggested that I try writing a novel. I finally decided to step outside of myself and observe the recovery of someone else through her eyes. That person was Ashley Nicole Asher, age 15, who is removed from her abusive home with her mom & stepdad and placed in a tiny Texas town (“Patience”), where her life begins again. Courage in Patience and Hope in Patience are available on a limited basis through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and private sellers.
My first two publishers’ failure to thrive placed my books in No Man’s Land, and it breaks my heart; it really does, because The Patience Trilogy  books are my “heart” books. Writing them was so intensely healing for me.






5. Any writing tips to all of us aspiring writers/ bloggers reading this?

JUST. WRITE. Write without looking over your shoulder. Write fearlessly.

6. What can we look toward to next from you? Any plans for great new books?

I have yet to decide if I will write a follow-up to Big Fat Disaster or if I will write a new stand-alone. My publisher, Merit Press, wants something “brave and actionful”.  I will have time this summer to get a good start on the new book.

7. We would love to know more about you, so we have some quick questions for you:

Favorite Movie?  “An Unfinished Life”; I also love the book trailer for Big Fat Disaster!

Favorite Song?  “Ghosts That We Knew” by Mumford and Sons

Favorite Book?  All of Chris Crutcher's books. The first I read was Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes: reading that book is the reason that I became a YA novelist.

Favorite TV Show?  Dateline on ID shows, Snapped, 48 Hours. I have recently discovered Six Feet Under. I like Castle, and I never miss The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I was a huge Breaking Bad fan!

Favorite Author? Chris Crutcher & Jennifer Brown. It’s a tie.

Favorite Character (from a book, of course!)?  Sarah Byrnes.

9. If you could have written one book, for its literary excellence or amazing storyline, other than yours, which would it be?

Hate List, by Jennifer Brown.

**MY REVIEW**




A book about learning to love yourself, especially when no body around you seems to do the same!


If you ever saw the picture of the man running for Senator, and his family who all support him on his 'go back to the basics- family values platform' you might think that they were perfect. The ideal picture of a family. Simply. Perfect.
And yet, pictures can only capture a moment; one moment and sometimes not even that. People are forced to smile to convince others that everything is all right, and so is the case, especially in this family!

With an ex-miss Texas for a mom and two equally pretty sisters, and a politician right that look like they have everything right, Colby is the one part of their family that doesn't fit in; the only one who isn't perfect. She is overweight and binge eats that leads her to keep growing out of her clothes and she simply can't seem to find the right thing to say at the right time. EVER! With a low self esteem that is only prodded further by her self obsessed mother and her two beauty queen sisters, Colby finds all she can do to blot out the pain, the only thing she can do that makes her feel seemingly okay, if only just for a little while, is food. Ding Dongs, Ice cream, Cookie Dough... Ah! The simple pleasures life brings us!

After missing a pep rally one day, Colby discovers a secret. A secret so big, that is shatters the very ground she walks on. Her dad, Mr. Family Is Everything, is having an affair! And then, as if that wasn't enough, he has been embezzling money from campaign supporters and from his insurance company to finance his affair.
With all their assets frozen by the Federal Government, and everybody they thought as friends and family they so loved turning their backs on them, the once perfect family falls lower than the low.

Homeless, Broke and just plain desperate, the only person who offers them solace is Colby's dad's washed up sister, Leah, who was ridiculed and shamed by her family when her husband abused her, is a town so small that you can walk through it an not break into a sweat,

From a palatial mansion in D.C to a trailer in Carolina, from having everything to nothing at all, Literally. From being looked up to as idolised as perfect to being picked on, Big Fat Disaster is one girls' story on how she and her family cope with the incident that changed their lives, and, more specifically, about a girl with a tendency to overeat in a family where everyone is a size Zero, and how she manages to find herself in the complicated mess she calls her life!

my only drawback with the book, would be the ending.On one page, she is just going to kill herself, and quite literally on the next, she is feeling all better! Just one more thing, I have never met a mother more dispassionate, scheming and just plain mean that Colby's mom. God.

MY VERDICT:

I would highly recommend it! 4 stars! I loved Colby, even through her bad choices like wanting to kill herself , I've never read a book this honest and I hated her mother for what she did to her. Big Fat Disaster is a book everybody should read, regardless of your body size, because it can never hurt to know what people like Colby go through, and to try to be more compassionate! :)

Stolen Songbird by Danielle. L. Jensen

Author: Danielle. L. Jensen
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot)
Publishing Date:  April 1st 2014
Blurb Description: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
My Rating: 


My Review:

I Loved. This. Book. A perfectly executed, amazingly fun book with all the right ingredients, Stolen Songbird is officially my Favourite book yet of 2014!

When I think of what to say, what to tell everybody reading this, I find myself at a loss for words (and now, writing this, I’m hoping something does come to me) because there wasn’t even a single flaw, not a single second when I wondered whether or not this book would be a good one! So, let me start…

“Prince of Night, Daughter of Day, Bound as one the witch they’ll slay” (*shivering*)

Taken from her home, her family, and the life she was promised she would have, Cécile de Troyes finds herself in an unknown world. One filled with wicked beauty, devious charm and intricately entwined splendor- Trollus- home of the trolls- trolls that are only whispered about in the tales children whisper to one another in the dead of night. Forced to be bonded to Trollus’ enigmatic, charming and calculating prince, Tristan, Cécile finds that everything that was once completely hers, is not anymore- not even her deepest emotions. And why? Because it was foretold, that it would be her and the Prince that would break the curse; the curse that has kept the trolls in confines for centuries. The curse that has kept them longing, waiting and hoping for the day when they can see the marvelous light of day again.

While being a princess in one of the most cunning courts ever to exist is quite the contrary at to what Cécile has ever wanted, this Forbidden City and its Prince who are mythical to almost everyone who isn’t confined in it, grows on her with all of their splendor and wickedness alike. For in Trollus, Deception is a game, promises binding, power is the prize and Everybody’s playing!

I won’t ruin this book for you, by explaining what happens, even though I can- but suffice to say that this book will make you open it again, the second you’ve flipped the last page! You’ll laugh at all the brilliantly thought out fake quarrels, almost fall of your seat every time something new comes along, wish and hope that you were living in Trollus at that very minute and of course, wait desperately for the next installment just like me!

From a farm-girl to a princess, from a boy to a king, from magic to terror, from beauty to wickedness, from hatred to love, from foes to friends, this book will serve it all up on a Golden Platter!

My Verdict:

Just one more thing, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! I couldn’t give a stronger recommendation!   

Buy Here: 

One Moment by Kristina McBride

Author: Kristina McBride
Publisher: Usbourne (UK Edition)
Publishing Date: July 1st 2013 (UK Edition)
Blurb Description: It was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it's the one she'd do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a party the night before. She remembers climbing the path hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, safe. So why can’t she remember what happened next?
All it takes is one second for everything to change. One moment to realize that it’s the people you love who hurt you the most.

Compelling, heartbreaking and unforgettable; this is the American Dream ripped apart


My Rating: 


My Review:


‘I walked towards Joey and took his hand. From where we stood, I could only see the edge of the cliff and a leafy batch of treetops beyond. It was as if our friends didn’t exist.
“We’re gonna go on three,” he said.
“One.”
“Two.”
“Three.”
Running. We were running.
Almost there.
But the thunder of my feet crashed through something in my consciousness.
And I knew.
It was like I hit an invisible wall. One that did not exist for Joey.
I had been so close to flying.
Then, suddenly- I stopped’

Sixteen year- old Maggie  is living the dream, with her perfect boyfriend (completely reckless and daredevil- like, but 'perfect' all the same), her best friends since kindergarten (Adam, Tanna, Pete, Shannon and of course, Joey) and her amazing, supportive and understanding parents, and she knows it. As she gears up for the best summer of her life, her transition period from a junior to a senior, at her and her friends' secret and secluded cliff top, at the best parties all of which make her feel completely safe and at the same time, completely alive, like her whole body is on fire, in a good way! For her, perfect isn't some distant horizon, or even by the next hill- she is living in it- and she knows it! 

The book opens with her and Joey on the cliff-top, and all of their other mates down below, waiting for them to take the plunge to the cool and inviting water below, they share another one of their perfect moments.

And then, nothing.

Left alone on the top, Maggie doesn't know what to do but hide. She remembers nothing but climbing up the trail to the cliff with Joey. And now, there’s no Joey. Confusion, fear and anxiety take her and flip her over. And the rest is nothing but a blur.

Sitting on her parents couch she has flashbacks of Pete telling the paramedics a few words that would change her life forever; her friend’s shocked and teary faces while Adam sat outside her living room, explaining to her parents the one thing that everybody seemed to be saying, but she still couldn't process.

After all, how could it be true, he was just there a minute ago; his sweatshirt stilled smelled like him. It couldn’t be true, could it- that Joey, her perfect boyfriend and friend before that, for all her life, was now, well… dead?

“What was supposed to be the best summer of her life, is now the one she would do anything to forget”
As if losing the boy she loved wasn't enough, the friend she always thought she count on; the one who was always there for her is now slipping away. To top it all off, Maggie simply can’t remember her last moments with Joey- her last moments with him before he left her forever.

One Moment is Maggie's journey where slowly uncovers that her oh-so-perfect boyfriend is actually no-so-perfect, with a few deep-dark secrets of his own, that threaten to destroy years of friendship in a single moment. With secrets and lies being revealed, accusations being thrown around and friendships slipping away, this one girl learns that nothing is perfect- that everybody has flaws, and yet, it’s that, at the end of the day, that makes an individual truly unique.

My Verdict: 

A BRILLIANT debut novel by Kristina McBride- READ IT!
The blurb tells us that this book that this is the American dream ripped apart, but it’s more like the American dream ripped apart; shattered into a million pieces and then slowly, glued back together again, with the hope that this time, it will stay intact!

Buy Here: 




Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald


Author: Sarah Moore Fitzgerald 
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Publishing Date: February 7th 2013
Blurb Description: Cosmo's brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. They've been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses. But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn't want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is losing his mind. So on one of the rare occasions when Granddad seems to recognise him, Cosmo is bemused that he gives him a key to Blackbrick Abbey and urges him to go there. Cosmo shrugs it off, but gradually Blackbrick draws him in...

Cosmo arrives there, scared and lonely, and is dropped off at the crumbling gates of a huge house. As he goes in, the gates close, and when he turns to look, they're rusty and padlocked as if they haven't been opened in years. Cosmo finds himself face to face with his grandfather as a young man, and questions begin to form in his mind: can Cosmo change the course of his family's future?

My Rating: 





My Review:


“There is no such thing as forgetting”

Back to Blackbrick, a book that I couldn’t help flipping open the minute after I signed for the package that contained it, is one of the best books I’ve read so far; it’s so different, so unique.  For one, it handles the extremely sensitive topic of Alzheimer’s, a disease that slowly deteriorates your loved ones into, well, shells of once they once were. Two it’s done entirely from a young boy’s point of view and to top it all off, the tale switches between present day Ireland to Ireland during the World War Two Era, in a large (and a little spooky) estate called Blackbrick.

Meet Cosmo, a boy who lost his brother in a freak accident and his mother (sort of) when she moved some seventeen thousand miles away, abandoning him, which left him with no choice but to move in with his grandparents, and, to add the cherry on top of a not at all perfect cake, is now slowly losing his grandfather, the person he now loves and looks up to most in this world!

And then, social workers come to take him away from his grandparents and his beloved horse is sent away, and the future seems bleak, his grandfather, out of the blue, gives him an ancient key to Blackbrick, a place that young Cosmo has never heard of but runs away too anyway, to honor what could possibly be one of his grandfather’s last lucid moments.

At Blackbrick, a larger than life mansion watch how one young boy unlocks the secrets of the past, how he learns that no matter how hard you try, life doesn’t work out the way you once would’ve liked it too, but how that doesn’t mean that it is not better than what you wanted; and how the past cannot and will not change, no matter how badly you want it to!

This book has so much more, that talking about will ruin, with shocking revelations and a rather quirky how to change the past plan, it ALWAYS, always keeps you guessing.

My Verdict: 

And excellent debut novel by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald as she shows us how, even with a disease that takes the memory of who you are and what makes you who you are away, that there is no such thing as forgetting- READ it!


BUY here:





The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Publishing Date: May 9th 2013 (original publication 1995)
Blurb Description:   A mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion, surrounded by the mechanical beings he has created ...an enigma surrounding strange lights that shine through the mists that envelop the small island on which the old lighthouse stands...a shadowy creature that hides deep in the woods...these are the elements of a mystery that bind will bind 14-year-old Irene to Ismael during one magical summer spent in the Blue Bay. He mother has taken a job as a housekeeper for the toymaker, Lazarus, but his house contains more secrets than Irene and Ishmael have bargained for 
My Rating: 4.5 stars!

My Review:


An estate of the most unimaginable beauty when the sun shines upon it, that turns into the hiding place of the most deadly secrets of the past, every day, when darkness arrives from the folds of the light…
A story that starts in a young boy’s ‘prison’ cell in the streets of Paris; a young boy with hopes and dreams, even with everything against him…
And a heart that was never his to begin with, so how could he give it, so completely, away?
In the small town of Blue Bay, so different from the busy motor- car filled streets of London, with its clean atmosphere and closely knit society, come Simone and her children Irene and Dorian Sauvelle from all the riches they were blessed with, to the tragedy that wiped everything they knew. The new housekeeper to Cravenmoore, a place that legends only whisper about, little does she or her children realise that everything is about to change, again.
Within the many towers of Cravenmoore, an enigmatic toymaker lives in recluse surrounded by creatures of his wildest fantasies that he molded to escape his solitude. For Lazarus Jann is chained to the past, a past he doesn’t have the power to leave.
A murder in the forest starts a chain reaction that should never have been tampered with and a twenty year old secret is on the verge of breaking loose- a secret that took a life to remain buried. A mystical diary of a missing woman named Alma Maltisse, young love blooming out on the sea and a sinister presence threatening to destroy the home that made two children smile again.
A beautiful tale on life, moving on from the past and looking into the future!

Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s prose flows like ink, the details of this wonderfully scary and mysterious book so perfectly linked- truly what I like to call a master piece. After all, how can you catch a murderer that lives in 
the shadows, a place visible only to those trying to run from something that is theirs- their past?

My Verdict:

For all those lovers of lyrical prose, hauntings, first loves with a bout of mystery and adventure this is THE book for you! 

Buy Here: 

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith:

Author: Robert Galbraith
              Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publishing Date: April 2013
       Blurb Description: After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long-time girlfriend and is living in his office.



Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


My Rating: 4 stars!

My Review:

For many days, even months, after the unthinkable happened, nobody, nobody at all, especially those who considered themselves to be ‘somebody’s’ could bring themselves to stop talking about it.
‘Suicide’ was the law enforcements’ official verdict. A decision that was, perhaps, a bit biased, but almost nothing else suggested to the contrary. The papers clawed at every little freezing and deadly little detail they could find, like a child in winter for the first time. Except, this was different-

          Broken, she lay on the blanket of ice, the harsh eternal resting place where she drew her last breath. The girl who named herself Lula Landry- the girl who redefined what she did, something hundreds before have only 
          tried. And this? - This is the story of how she left the world we know.

          After the suicide verdict hits an already broken family, John Bristow, Lula’s adopted brother hires ex war 
veteran, Cormoran Strike, to investigate the death of the woman who was considered the most beautiful in 
the world.

Strike, with his keen eye for detail, walks down a path that has been sold to the sharks for even a minute in 
front of the camera, only this time, taking every dark alleyway on the path as well. Exploring the life of the 
girl with the regal face, going deeper and deeper, Strike along with his adventure- yearning secretary, Robin, 
learn that nothing is ever as it seems!

A drug- addict on again of again boyfriend, a crazy foster-mother, a missing and questionable will a rapper 
with a soft side, a producer neighbour and his wife, a doorman, a fame starved (real) mother, the best clubs, 
the friends everybody wants and 10 million pounds on the line.

Galbraith’s (Rowling’s) descriptions of the grey London streets, detailed musings of a disturbed young 
model’s life and death and prose make the tale completely lifelike! It makes one truly wonder, when your 
life is lived in front of the press, just how much do they really know?


My Verdict:

A thought provoking story on life, death, family, fame and money that is well worth your time!

Conquest by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard


Authors: John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard
Publisher: Headline
Publishing Date: September 26th 2013
Blurb Description: The Earth has been invaded by the Illyri, a beautiful, civilized, yet ruthless alien race. Humanity has been conquered, but still it fights the invaders. The Resistance grows stronger, for it is the young people of Earth who are best equipped to battle the Illyri. 

Syl Hellais, conceived among the stars, is the oldest alien child on Earth, the first to reach sixteen years of age. Her father rules the planet. Her future is assured. And Syl has hidden gifts, powers that even she does yet fully understand. 

But all is not as it seems. The Illyri are at war among themselves, and the sinister Nairene Sisterhood has arrived on Earth, hungry for new blood. When Syl helps a pair of young Resistance fighters to escape execution, she finds herself sentenced to death, pursued by her own kind, and risks breaking the greatest taboo of her race by falling in love with a human. 

Now the hunter has become the hunted, the predator become prey. 

And as Syl is about to learn, the real invasion has not yet even begun...

My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

My Review:
We have long been suppressed.
Yet, we will not break: We will have our revenge.”

They’ve been watching. Watching from a planet many light years away- our progress, our development and our conflicts- through the very technology we created. And then, they came, through the wormholes that connect the vast expanse of space. Came to take over everything we had, change everything we know and make us who we are not. They also saved the world, in a way, from the upcoming epidemic of natural disasters but they suppressed the very essence of who we are; our spirits. They took what was ours and claimed it for themselves- our lands, our history and even our people… which is why we had to fight back.

They called themselves the Illyri, and they invaded our home, in every sense of the word. They even looked like us, with the exception of being taller, having bigger eyes and living longer lives. Their technology is more advanced like spaceships that can travel light years in virtually no time at all. And yet, politically and socially, they are exactly the same. The Illyri is divided into two- the Military and the Diplomatic Corps- who are in a constant backstabbing and scheming war against one another, both skilled, both dangerous, both lethal. The Illyri, however, has a secret: Their power depends on the Nairene Sisterhood of Witches, an ancient female society with access to the world’s greatest weapons.

Syl Hellais is the first Illyri to be born on Earth. For her whole life, she has been trapped inside her father, the Governor’s fortress, hated by humans and some of the Illyri alike, she longs to escape. Until one day, she, and her partner in crime, Ani break the rules and leave, only to be caught in anti- Illyri crossfire and rescued by two strange human brothers. And from here, the lives of these four teenagers will change forever…

Imprisoned for treason and about to be sent to another planet for saving the human brothers, Paul and Steven Kerr for crimes that they didn’t commit, Syl becomes an outcast, an enemy of her people. Her shuttle ‘crash’ lands in the Highlands, the centre of Resistance activities in the U. K, and from then on, nothing is ever the same again.
Conquest is a beautiful book, the first in a series, and one that should not be missed! It is the tale of a girl who belongs to one world but considers another one her home, her relationship with a species and a special someone, that are waging war against her own.

This is her story of realization of who she is and all she can be, and how to help a world; her world not the one she lives in, but the one her kind came from, that has been consorting with a Greater Darkness. An amazing book that will keep you hooked from the very first page, designed for older readers because of its complexity and all things political.


Don’t miss it, for the real invasion, has not even begun…   

#16 Things Things I thought Were True- INTERVIEW!

Welcome Janet Gurtler on to A Thousand Words A Million Books, for a post blog tour interview on her latest book, #16Things I Thought Were True! We're SO pleased to have you here, Janet. Now, without further ado, Here is her interview:

**Interview**


1. I believe that road trips, at any point in one’s life, is just something essential to experience- Could you tell us a little about your latest book, 16 Things I Thought Were True, for all those out there that haven’t yet had the pleasure?

Sure! Here is a tidy little summary! A Twitter-obsessed teen takes a road-trip and finds real friends who help her understand what is and is not true about family, friendship and love.  

2. Could you sum up your three main protagonists- Morgan, Adam and Amy- in a couple of words each? Which one of them was your personal favourite to imagine and which one can you relate to the most?

Morgan- scared, lonely, searching
Adam- focused, driven, empathetic
Amy- kooky, honest, unfiltered, kind
I loved all the characters, but Amy really stole my heart. I most relate to Morgan I think.  When I was a teen I was kind of searching for who I was and didn’t always know who my real friends were.

3. Was writing 16 things any different from writing your other books? How so?

Every book really is different to write. Some flow out really easily. This one was fairly easy to write. I could relate to Morgan and what she was going through and I knew what her journey was. I kind of struggled for a while about where the book was going to end up, but about half way through I had an epiphany and for me it really pulled the story together and made it make sense.

4. If you had to pick, what would be the best scene in 16 things- one that you would just love to live in?

I loved the scene on the ferry when Amy and a little boy are whale watching.  I have watched whales and I think it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful things in the world. I’d love to go and do that again.

5. Tell us a little about what inspired you to write 16 things, your writing schedule (some time of day, or just how and where you go about it) and what made you start writing itself!?

16 Things kind of came to me as a What If. There’s so much social media now which is completely different from the world I grew up in. Teens especially have to learn how to deal with all of it. Figure out who they really are versus who they are in their online presence. So I thought, what if a girl was on a video that went viral online. How would she handle that? I wanted to show the irony that she hid out online, which was the place where she was overexposed.
My writing schedule is that I write during the day, when my son is at school and poolside while he is swimming. (he swims every day except Sunday as a competitive swimmer)
Writing is something I’ve always loved to do.  I wrote my first book when my son was a baby, and after that one, I kept going.

6.What and who were your favourite books and authors back in the day? What are you currently reading?

I loved Judy Blume. My day was a while ago ha ha. As a teen I also loved books like Go Ask Alice and books by S. E. Hinton.  Funny enough, my son is reading the Outsiders for school, and that is what I am reading now. It’s really interesting to me how popular that book remains and the way it is written. It’s brilliant, but different in many ways from today’s YA.

7.Any tales brewing in the back of your head we should look forward to?

I have a book coming out in 2015 called The Truth About Us.  When Jess is forced to work at a soup 
kitchen for the summer, she discover that sometimes the person who shouldn’t fit in your world is the one who makes you feel like you belong.  I also have a mermaid MG series coming out in 2015 that I’m currently writing. It’s so different from my realistic YA stories, but a lot of fun to write!

8.A small message to all of your fans and wannabe writers, please?

I have a really hard time using the word fans. Fans are for people like Jennifer Lawrence or Christina Aguilera.
I love that I have readers, and that’s what I call people who like my books. Readers for the win!!!

My message for wannabe writers and readers is this…always be who you are.  Be true to yourself. Amy is a great example to me of a person who okay with who she is, even if she doesn’t “fit the mold.” Same thing for writers. Figure out what you love to write.  And write that.  Read a lot. Write a lot.  And be true to yourself!

**My Review**



An Apple a day keeps the doctor away# things I thought were true.

Meet Morgan McLean, the 18 year old girl with a perfectly normal life- well except with a father who abandoned her before she was even born (who her mother refuses to talk about), a best friend who posted a video of her dancing in her underwear on the internet, that went viral, an almost 5000 followers on twitter for her posts on #things I thought were true, and a mother who just wound up in the hospital, for a heart condition!

And for her, life just couldn’t get any more humiliating. Until, her mother gives her the contact details of her father, Bob White, a last- minute- something when she thinks she is going to die from the surgery; a little piece of information that Morgan has waited all her life for!

Road trips are cliché# things I thought were true.

Now, Morgan just has to go meet the man who left her all those years ago, despite how he might hurt her even now. There is just one problem- he lives all the way in Canada. So, with her Nerdy (but cute) boss from the amusement park she works in, Adam, and the world’s biggest chatterbox, tell it like it is girl, Amy, she sets of on a journey that changes that course of her life as she knows it!

But, should some secrets stay buried# things I thought were true.

I really liked 16 Things I Thought Were True! It was a quick read on friendship, love, family, secrets, life and choices! I thought it would be a bit typical, but it was not. This is one of the few books I’ve read that shines some light to the advantages of social networking. It had a lot of elements, that I felt could have been explained a little better; some of the emotional scenes given more importance too but a good book all in all!- READ it!