Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY - CASSIE MAE (Author of THE REAL THING)



A big THANK YOU! to this site for letting me invade for THE REAL THING tour :) (squishy hugs)



Hi. I'm Cassie. And I'm a social media addict.

I've been posting to Facebook daily for about three years. Maybe longer. There was a month or two in 2012 when I did nothing but refresh my email 20 times or more a day. I call that "query pits." It was a dark time. But I emerged from it thinking I'd gotten better. But then, in early 2013, I found a new pitfall.

Goodreads.

Why, Goodreads, why? Why do you tempt me with your amazing library and fun GIFs and reader art? I have wasted many a day scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through updates and reading statuses and clicking "want to read" "must read" "give me this dang book now!"

And Facebook... don't think you get off so easy either. Every day. Every morning. I roll over and look at my phone and there you are. Many notifications.

I keep coming back to you. Why? Because you make me feel good. Important. Needed somehow. But it's making me forget the world around me. It makes time fly by and I've suddenly missed my little girl walking across the room, my son learning to pour juice into his own cup, my husband trying to hold my hand.

It's a problem. One I didn't realize was an actual, real life addiction till I was sucked into its vortex.

I crawl out from time to time. But I still struggle.

Which is why I needed to write about it. Because I know I am not the only one.

Mia Johnson in The Real Thing is also an addict. To see if she breaks the habit, the info is below! :)

Buy Me!
In this electrifying novel from Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.
Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.

When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.
Advance praise for The Real Thing
“Cassie Mae is awesome! The perfect balance between laugh-out-loud funny and achingly poignant, The Real Thing is the ultimate escapist read. I didn’t want it to end!”—Lauren Layne, author of Isn’t She Lovely
“Watching two best friends figure out how to fall in love makes The Real Thing a summer read of swoon-worthy perfection.”—Jolene Perry, author of The Summer I Found You
“Cassie Mae’s The Real Thing made me want to close out every social media app and electronic device I have, but I couldn’t manage to stop reading!”—Rebecca Yarros, author of Full Measures

About the Author


Cassie Mae (who dawns the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred... okay, maybe not that many... books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.
Since publishing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published and sold books to Random House, Swoon Romance, and Spencer Hill Press. She has a favorite of all her book babies, but no, she won't tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)
Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.
You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Dylan O'Brien to her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cassiemaeauthor


****************Giveaway!******************

Please click on the link below to enter the giveaway!

Friday, August 15, 2014

REVIEW - ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher - Usborne
Release Date - January 1st 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository


Anna has everything figured out - she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere... Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. But he’s taken – and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near-missed end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

Can two people be more than just friends? With the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After, this was the series that I wanted to read this summer. Set in the most beautiful and romantic city in the world, Anna is shipped off to Paris to finish her study at the School of America. Alone and afraid of being in such a foreign city, Anna is faced with family challenges, rivals, complicated relationships and a boy named Etienne St. Claire.

Surrounded by her gang; Mer, Josh, Rashmi and St. Claire she finally found some hope in a place like this... starting something new can be nerve wracking as is anything in life, starting a new job, meeting new people, we've all been there. Mer is such outgoing and totally refreshing character to read about, her personality shines through the book and through Anna's friendship. I found Rashmi to be quite a timid and quiet sort of character, I hoped she would break the ice a bit during the book, only it was towards the end that we saw something about her. And Josh, hmm from their relationship between Rashmi and himself, I felt as if he was losing himself through their romance. (I can't wait for Isla.) However, I was glad that the end proved to have worked for everyone...

Finally St. Claire, or Etienne...he certainly has an air about him, his stride, his appearance, makes everyone want to just stop, pause and let your mouth drop down in admiration and pure specimen of gorgeousness. I mean, hello an English Accent from an America boy, talk about multi-talented in all aspects. And combine that with the fact that we are set in Paris, the city of romance, could this really get any better!? I think not...

Stephaine Perkins creates the perfect novel of a beautiful friendships, progressing into a slow burning romance. After reading On the Fence by Kasie West, I've been looking for something that utilises the beauty of their friendship to be something more. The character growth between all the characters is certainly something to talk about. This novel is a mix of romance, friendships, family dramas, and an English accent... I can't wait to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Rating - 4

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

REVIEW - RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)
by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher - Indigo
Release Date - June 19th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
As we, myself, Glass and Tanja slowly drew to a close to Mal and Alina to the most magical, and best YA fantasy series of 2014. Full of action, heart-breaking and soaring passions of power and love, Ruin and Rising is a depiction of timeless talent and thought-provoking plotlines, you wouldn't want to miss such an ending.

After the end of Siege and Storm, I honestly didn't know what was going to happen, but I was thankful that I didn't have to wait and that I could share and fangirl with Glass and Tanja. But it certainly was a page-turner right to the end. 

There is SPOILER FREE review, here are the reviews of Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm. So without further ado here is the last of our group reviews for The Grisha series. 

This book also focuses on secondary characters. Which one was your favorite?

Without a doubt my favourite would have to be Nikolai/Sturmhond. His unique ability to be two people yet be untouched by it or that fact he is part of a huge battle of politics and power, admired me. His talent for magnificent inventions Pelican, Kingfisher and  Hummingbird. (it sort of remind me of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a bit!) were brilliant. His character was the most well developed out of the secondary characters. His was a rollcoaster of emotions but for me he was quite the charmer and he loved to think he was funny, which I certainly enjoyed as a reader. 
“Thanks for the rescue."
"Everyone needs a hobby."
"I thought yours was preening."
"Two hobbies.” 
As the series progresses, how did you feel about the development of the 'mythology' throughout the novels?

The 'mythology' we are referring too is Alina as a Saint. Her power, the Sun Summoner, she is painted as this light at the end of the tunnel, or savior to look up too. It's a beautiful depiction of her as we see throughout the novel, however for me during the last book it was getting slightly repetitive. It doesn't mean it degrades the book any less. 

What is your favourite scene within the series?

Gosh, without revealing too much this could be hard...hmmmm. I think when Nikolai swoops in on his craft the Pelican, and saves Alina.... That is all your getting without spoiling it! I'm sure you know what I mean ladies. 

If Leigh wrote another character in alternate POV, who would you like to see?

The Darkling. I felt for me the relationship between Darkling and Alina could be magnificent if only we saw two sides to the storytelling. Their relationship oddly reminds me of Harry and Voldemort, their connection, seeing through each others eyes, shows weakness but also reveals that they are more a like than we originally predicted. 

What Grisha would you be? and Why?


Image - Courtesy of Leigh Bardugo's website.


Durast. The Order of the Fabrikators. They may not be very important, but their creations are wonderful, from army/Grisha steel, to gowns and glass. If I could change, I would like to be appreciated for their creation, like David. 
What are your thoughts about the ending of the book? 

The ending of the book was sublime. There is no words but if I were to say something, it what every series should end like, not necessarily in plotline, but how was it tied neatly up in a bow. But their could be still room for a spin-off, if Leigh chooses to.

Which book is your favorite in the series? 

Shadow and Bone! It will always mark the beginning of a remarkable journey to escape into.

Rating - 5 *MASSIVE STARS* for the whole series too!

Thank you to the lovely ladies, Glass and Tanja for joining me on this amazing read-along journey... What a series! You can find their review here.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

REVIEW - THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING by Holly Bourne

The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting
by Holly Bourne
Publisher - Usborne
Release Date - 1st August 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome.

Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.

From the bestselling author of Soulmates comes a fearlessly frank take on school, cliques and crushes.
Do you care what others think of you? Do you admire those who are little Miss/Mr Popular? Do you live your life knowing that if people like you that everything is perfect? That your one of the 'cool' ones, part of the 'in' crowd... Welcome to the life of Bree and her Manifesto on How to be Interesting!

People like Bree annoy me, she changes herself to be accepted, to be socially appreciated,  to be part of the wannabe club! But Bree has her reasons, reasons that will turn your stomach, pity her, agree with her and finally cheer with her! Bree goes to a very exclusive and by all means rich school, with her tatty pink striped tights, dyed pink (or various colours) hair and a notebook full of lists, she isn't the most noticeable of people, she keeps to herself, she likes being invisible.  But the main reason she changes is the number of rejection letters to publish her novel...a novel based on a girl committing suicide probably isn't the most imaginable or worthy enough to read. So that's when she started a blog, a blog on her Manifesto on How to be Interesting.

You will meet a variety of people, from the perfect poses, (that's the popular kids to you) to the likes of Mr Fellows and Holdo. I for one adored Holdo, he was cute and despite the fact he was a major geek, and the characterisation of his appearance, that didn't for one minute see that he had a good, kind heart. Its people like him, that you know will always stand by you, and you will always return to them, for they have seen you through the good and the bad. Again, the words 'don't judge a book/person by its cover' spring to mind.

Without spoiling it for you, some of the rules Bree puts herself through, her so called 'plan' is completely bonkers, and utterly shocking. In realistic terms its far from uncommon and that's the punch line of Holly's latest book...It's REAL! What you will find with this novel is a magnitude of emotions, a rollcoaster of the unknown depths that Bree has gone through, you will laugh, you will smile, you will cry and then you will learn to love. Holly's writing is addictive there is nothing this lady can't do and this is only an example of her inspiring writing, especially when I've seen this painting to know what she is entranced by...
"Life is so bloody hard. I don't want the whole struggle to be pointless.... I need to be interesting, Logan, I need to be someone...And she" (The Ugly Duchess painting) "she might have been a total minger, but she was interesting enough for someone to paint her." 
It makes you think though...of your own life, your own happiness and also the people around you. It's times like these that you know that everyday you go out and you go  meet people, you don't know the half of what their life could possibly be like, but in a instant, I know from experience that you don't want your life to judged, whether its in the past or present.

Holly has created superb, well researched, companion novel on the realistic society. Full of wisdom, heartache, and honesty, this tops John Green in my book. Holly Bourne is literary sensation to UKYA! Do you have a manifesto of life? (#howtobeinteresting) if I had a manifesto this would be mine; I always lived my life with always be yourself and don't judge people until you give them a chance to get to know them. But in words I'll always say - Be Happy, Be in love (maybe not with someone but with life in general) and ALWAYS be YOU!

Rating - 5

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

RELEASE DAY LAUNCH - OPPOSITION by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Today I'm very pleased to announce the release of Book 6 of the much anticipated, Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, OPPOSITION! I'm a HUGE fan like many others of Daemon and Katy, and how amazing that she is a book blogger. So I have an exclusive excerpt and giveaway for your eyes only! Without further ado, I hope you enjoy...



Opposition (Lux #6)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher - EntangledTeen
Release Date - TODAY
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

Click on 'Read More' to read an excerpt of this brilliant upcoming novel. 

Sunday, August 03, 2014

AFTERNOON TEA WITH SARAH ALDERSON/MILA GRAY!


On Saturday, I was very excited to attend an Afternoon Tea with Sarah Alderson aka Mila Gray for the publication of her New Adult novel COME BACK TO ME. This is my very first event as a blogger and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I finally got to meet some lovely bloggers that I've talked to a lot. I felt like I wasn't just a girl behind this blog as they got to see me. I also got my books signed, yay! So here is a little recap of my day!



Jasprit, Donna and ME! 
A lovely drink and CBTM!
At first I was very nervous, I didn't know if people would like me and what the general layout of the day would go. I got at King's Cross for 11 and made my way to the Drink Shop DO, it was a beautiful, vintage little shop. I for one am not a fan of tea, so I myself had a flat white and a scone. The scone was delicious and presentation was to die for. That's when I met these lovely ladies, Donna & Jess from Book Passion for Life and Jasprit from The Reader's Den. I've talked to them over the years of being a blogger, but to finally meet them personally who love to read and blog, especially YA books, I couldn't be happier. We talked about BOOKS obviously; which Sarah Alderson series they liked best, mostly Hunting Lila (and Alex) with a lot for Come Back to Me as well. I felt very welcome and I really enjoyed seeing the ladies behind the blogs as well.

Jess, Donna and I
And the lady of the day is Sarah Alderson.... she was a pleasure and delight to meet. She even knew who I was from talking to her online how amazing is that!!!! I was so overwhelmed by everything, even her editor who was there from PanMacmillan.

                  
Sarah and I!
Sarah signing my books.
Sarah with her latest novel.


Sarah was a lovely, upbeat, energetic and such a friendly character to meet. The conversation was wonderful, we asked her questions, what her favourite boy to write about which is Kit, (yay) I have yet to meet the famous Alex. She loved the finish of her new book Come Back to Me, how her dad thought she writes erotica and whether she was going to write anymore. We even talked about Fifty Shades of Grey and the trailer, the actor casted for Christian Grey, how  clean cut he seems, how great is that!?!? It was a joy and such a laugh and I couldn't stop smiling throughout. What I loved was how we were saying about my blog name and judging a book by it's cover, like her latest YA suspense, Conspiracy Girl. She also has lots planned to write and a new adventure to take. These are my signed books that I got... I went all out and got every one signed. I even got a paperback copy of her Come Back to Me! Which came with a little goody bag.






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I would like to say a massive thank you to the publishers of Macmillan for arranging this. To Sarah for being such a delight to meet and to Donna, Jess and Jasprit for making me feel so welcome and included. I hope to go to many more author events like this one.