July 27, 2012

Book Review: Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz

Title: Seven Day Loan  
Subtitle: 12 Shades of Surrender
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Release Date: July 1st 2012 (first published November 16th 2010)
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Mills and Boon Spice
Source: Received from NetGalley via the publisher.

Want more than Fifty Shades? Mills & Boon have the answer with 12 Shades of Surrender! All 12 stories promise unforgettable romances with a sinful edge – surrender to pure reading pleasure… 

A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands - even spend a week with a stranger! But while she'll let him have her body, she's determined to keep a guard around her heart...

A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands...even spend a week with a stranger. Daniel has been a recluse since his wife's death, and Eleanor's lover thinks spending time with her will be therapeutic—especially since Daniel is also a Dom. Despite her defiant streak, Eleanor can't resist giving in to Daniel's erotic demands. But while she'll let him have her body, she's determined to keep a guard around her heart. Even if Daniel wants to make Eleanor his permanently....

My Thoughts

While this book has been released by Harlequin as a stand alone novella, Seven Day Loan is actually part of a series written by author Tiffany Reisz and originally released back in 2010.

That aside, I had a problem with this story straight off the bat. 
Eleanor is a submissive and yet she has a smart mouth and likes to bait her Dom into proving who's in charge. Forgive me if I'm wrong but a well trained Sub will not act in such a manner. Besides which, the creep factor for her Dom is off the charts. So I was already put off before Eleanor was even 'gifted' to her recluse 'master' for the week. *eye roll*

I'm open to and often enjoy reading a good BDSM sex scene, but lacklustre to the point of boringly clinical supposed hot sex is what I got. 
I've read hotter stuff in a standard Harlequin book (hot isn't just defined by how adventurous the sex is!) this was just icky, and quite frankly yawn worthy. 

As well as Eleanor being a bad sub, and the boring sex, there just seemed to be a lot of other stuff that didn't make sense to me either, but if I completely pick it apart I'd be here all day.

Overall, I didn't like the characters or the narrative, and I definitely didn't enjoy the sex. 
The whole thing was just too shallow for me sorry. 1 Star :[

July 25, 2012

Book Review: Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin

Title: Alliance Forged (The Light Blade #2)
Author: Kylie Griffin
Release Date: July 3rd 2012
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Purchased for my own reading pleasure.

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.

My Thoughts

Let me start by saying the wait for this book has been torturous!
Ever since I read the first installment of The Light Blade series - Vengeance Born back in February, I have had Alliance Forged on my need-to-get list and not just because the cover is HOT!

Kylie Griffin has a talent for sucking the reader in. 
By page 3, I was engrossed, and by page 13, I had informed my family that I was out of bounds for the rest of the night!
I was immediately pulled back into this unique and gripping world of humans (Light Blades), Na’Reish (demons), and Na’Chi (half human/half demon hybrids), and greedily devoured Varian Alliance Forged in one sitting.

Awesome story, great characters that easily worm their way into your heart, sweet and sexy romance that will leave you breathless, and enough prejudice between the races to spark a revolt; setting the scene for a war that you know is going to go off!


I can honestly say that this book is another for the keeper shelf, and I already have a spot reserved for book 3 - Allegiance Sworn, although its another long wait with the publication date set for April 2nd 2013 *oh the pain of waiting!*


Kylie Griffin has again presented a solidly written, intensely emotional story that I am happy to say I loved, a lot!
Another 5 Star read from one of my favourite authors ~<;]

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July 24, 2012

Book Review: Tempted By The Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham

Title: Tempted by the Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan #3)
Author: Michelle Willingham
Release Date: June 19th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin

Imprint: Harlequin Historical
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

After years of brutal torture, Callum MacKinloch is finally free of his captors--but his voice is still held prisoner. He'd never let anyone hear him scream.Although Lady Marguerite de Montpierre's chains may be invisible, they threaten to tie her to a loveless and cruel marriage.

When Marguerite discovers Callum waiting to die, her heart aches for the warrior beneath the suffering--but they can have no future. Yet she is the one woman with the power to tame the rage locked inside him. Maybe he can find another reason to live...for her.






My Thoughts

Although not the best story involving Highlanders that I have ever read, it was still an okay read.

I didn't really connect with the characters at all. 
I liked them, but I didn't care for them, and there wasn't really anything that overly distinguished them as Highlanders other than being told they were. The author could of told me they were outback Australians and I wouldn't have known the difference. 
I just didn't think there was any consistency or genuine Scottish traits in the character descriptions or dialogue that categorically defined them as Highlanders. I definitely missed all the usual Scottish accenting and phrases that would have helped convince me of their ethnicity, and heated things up for the reader - as there really is nothing better than a well placed Gaelic term of endearment!

The story itself was nice-ish
I liked the mute-by-trauma element that Callum had, but in the end his muteness was resolved a little too smoothly and easily for me and the heroine's reaction to him regaining his speech was very one dimensional "Oh, you spoke, you've regained your speech - how nice" (not a direct quote but you get the idea)

Overall I liked the story but I found the world building, the characters, and the general narrative to be weak and a little boring, only 2 1/2 Stars :|

July 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Allegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin

Holy cow - its gorgeous!!

Here it is folks, the eagerly awaited cover for 
book #3 in The Light Blade series


ALLEGIANCE SWORN
(Bk #3 of the Light Blade)
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a demon leader seeks to unify the races…
With the alliance of the humans and the half-blood Na’Chi forged, the demon Na’Reish prepare for war by seizing human blood-slaves. Captured during a rescue mission-gone-wrong, Light Blade warrior Arek Barial finds himself claimed by a Na’Reishi female who offers him an unexpected choice.
Raised in the elite ranks of a society she abhors, Imhara Kaal lives a dangerous double life as a Na’Reish Clan-leader and an advocate for a caste-free life that honors the Old Ways. Openly rebelling against the Na’Reish would mean her death, unless she can find an emissary willing to present her petition to the human Blade council.
But Arek isn’t about to blindly follow a demon—despite the intense attraction growing between them. And while hatred for the Na’Reish is all he has ever known, Arek must learn to trust Imhara, or risk the destruction of all three races…

July 16, 2012

Book Review: Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards

Title: Soul Weaver
Author: Hailey Edwards
Release Date: August 7th 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Imprint: Forever Yours
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley
Since the accident that nearly took her life, Chloe suffers from acute agoraphobia. Living alone above her family's bookstore, she spends restless nights terrified by strange visions . . . until a mysterious stranger appears and offers her salvation. Chloe is drawn to the ethereal, gorgeous Nathaniel-but her haunted soul warns her there is more to him than meets the eye.

An archangel who roams Earth collecting souls of the newly departed, Nathanial is the sole witness to the accident that should have taken Chloe's life. Seduced by the purity of her soul, he defies Providence by saving her life. But his attempt at kindness marks Chloe for damnation, and makes her an unwitting pawn in a game of unholy ambition. Now together they must fight the demons of Hell itself-for a love that defies the boundaries of Heaven and Earth.



My Thoughts

This book sounds great and has all the elements that I look for in a great paranormal romance, but (IMO) failed in its execution.
The beginning was great and I was immediately interested in the story, and the last third kept me entertained but the large chunk in between was clunky and hard to read.

Filled with too many people to keep track of, jumping back and forth between story arcs, it just became a bit of a chore to read. And with so much going on I got bored of trying to remember who was who, and where.

The writing itself was good, it flowed well, but the storytelling could have done with a bit of a pep up. I found it melodic and stale and I just didn't care about the characters.

Only 2.5 Stars I'm afraid :|


July 13, 2012

Book Review: Because of You by Jessica Scott

Title: Because of You (Coming Home #1) 
Author:

Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire.

My Thoughts

Let me start off by saying that I haven't read a Loveswept novel since I was in my late teens, so I initially accepted the review request for that reason alone. 

But then I read the blurb, looked at the cover, and learnt about the author. And I was immediately intrigued because Jessica Scott is a soldier. 
An actual 'served her country in Iraq' soldier! In the Army for 16 years soldier!
 

She's also a wife and Mom, doing all the things that we all do, to keep our families safe and happy - but damn, Jessica Scott is a soldier too!
So...thoroughly impressed with her credentials, I happily sat down to read her book.

Jessica Scott has brought to life some really great characters. 

They are like-able, have their own set of faults and hangups and are exceptionally real.  
With her unique insight into the hearts and feelings of active soldiers, Jessica wraps a sweet but troubled romance around a very yummy Shane, and a relationship shy Jen. Added to that, the turbulent recovery of both body and soul for each of them, and and the harsh reality of military life, Because of You is an incredibly well written story.

At its core is the love story, and as I've already mentioned its very sweet. Both carrying scars that hold them back from their instant attraction, its takes time for Shane and Jen to admit that there is something between them. 

Lots of hesitant touches and lingering kisses build into a great love for one another and the trials and tribulations that come their way are tackled together, if at times not in a completely agreeable manner!
The wrenching story arcs for the secondary characters are also impeccably written, and at times I forgot this was a novel, because the author writes with such clarity and truth.

I cant wait to see what Jessica Scott comes up with next 4 Stars ;]




LINKS

July 11, 2012

Book Review: Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti

Title: Consumed (Dark Protectors #4)
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: July 5th 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Sometimes You Mate For Life

Katie Smith is the best of her class, part of an elite hunting force trained to eliminate werewolves from the hills of Western Virginia. She's good at it because she has the kind of focus and drive that won't back down no matter how steep the odds. Call it southern sass. Whatever it is, there's no denying her willingness to risk everything for the only man she's ever cared about--a man on the verge of losing his very humanity...

Sometimes You Mate To Stay Alive

For the past ten years Jordan Pride has dedicated his life to protecting his people from a deadly shifter virus. But in a rare moment of distraction, Jordan's guard drops just long enough for his fate to take an irreversible twist. Unless the woman he loves surrenders everything to him, again and again, under a full moon rising...

My Thoughts

Although not a bad story, there are an awful lot of story arcs to keep track of which was kind of distracting, and I got quite bogged down with a lot of details in places. The lack of story flow bored me and so I did skim over a fair chunk of it.

The main storyline was interesting, and I did like Jordan a lot
, however I didn't really think too much of Katie, she came off too whiny, and annoyed me.

There were some other really great characters in the book and I'd love to read more about them, especially Janie and her possible love triangle, I'm definitely intrigued.

Overall a good read, if a little slow for me
3.5 Stars :]

Book Review: Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan

Title: Ransomwood
Author: Sherryl Jordan
Release Date: July 1st 2012
Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand
Source: Received from the publisher via BooksellersNZ

Spurned by her lover, and with her uncle threatening to marry her off to his odious widowed brother, Gwenifer is almost relieved to be sent away to escort the magistrate's old, blind mother to Ransomwood, where the tears of the statue of the Holy Mother are said to have healing qualities. 

Together with Harry, the village halfwit, who is escaping a sentence of hanging for being in charge of an ox that trampled a child almost to death, they embark on a perilous journey...each of them looking for a different kind of healing.





My Thoughts

Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan has been an absolute pleasure to read.
The author’s very descriptive and emotive writing style immediately swept me up into the beautiful if harsh small town of Grimblebury, a seemingly sad farming community full of mean spirited and spiteful gossips.

I immediately fell for Halfwit Harry, especially after his very funny, very insightful conversation with his mother about being the last man on earth! He may speak rather slowly and not always understand people’s inferences but he is a very likable and funny character, and by the time Harry finally finds his tongue and gives Gwenifer a well deserved lashing, I was a little in love with him! Halfwit Harry is adorable, and a true friend to anyone if just given the chance.

Initially I was unsure if I was going to like Gwenifer or not, but once I read about her life with her despicable and lecherous Uncle Caleb and his equally hateful family, my heart melted for her.
She really just wants to escape the tormented life she’s been forced to live and mistakenly falls for a cad’s sweet words of love. Openly rude to both Harry and Mother Dorit, it doesn’t take long for Gwenifer’s standoffishness to melt away, showing us her tender, caring side.

Ransomwood really is a well written and lovingly told tale of sacrifice, friendship, and self discovery. And with a little help and insight from the ‘old witch’ Mother Dorit, who because of her blindness really see’s into a person’s soul – see’s the truth behind lies, Gwenifer and Harry start to see the hidden depths in each other that they both try so hard to keep hidden from the world.

Sherryl Jordan’s story writing is smooth throughout and paints such a clear and real picture whilst reading, that time just slips away.
Filled with a diverse and colourful cast of characters, and set in a primitive and unforgiving land, Ransomwood is a brilliant story that readers of books both young and old will fall in love with.
 
A beautiful and sweetly engaging story, Ransomwood gets a well deserved 5 stars from me ~<;]

About the author

Sherryl Jordan lives in Tauranga, NZ, and is the internationally successful author of a wide range of YA fiction including Rocco, The Juniper Game, Tanith and Winter of Fire as well as award-winning Finnigan and the Pirates and the hilarious Denzil books for younger readers.

July 9, 2012

Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry


Title: Pushing The Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: July 24th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HarlequinTEEN
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley


SO WRONG FOR EACH OTHER...AND YET SO RIGHT.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smokinghot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My Thoughts

I read Pushing The Limits and not one simple unrelated thought entered my head. I didn't stop to take notes or critique anything, and the few breaks I did have involved me thinking of ways to get back to reading this truly wonderful and engrossing book.
 

This really has been one of those books that has enraptured me - to the point that I wasn't sure I'd want to leave the sweet embrace of its pages, to walk away from such a beautiful and often harrowing story of self discovery and first true love. *cue gooey sighs and puppy dog eyes!*
 
Full of complex and emotional story arcs, Pushing The Limits will leave a scar on your soul, it really is that good. 
The writing is flawless, smooth, almost lyrical in its pace and flow, and I was enraptured from the start, and hours after finishing - I still am.

I have nothing but gloriously gushy things to say about this truly wondrous reading experience. 
5 Stars ~<:]

*note* The sneak peak of Beth's story was torture. Torture, because I have to wait to read it!!

About the author:

Debut author KATIE McGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

July 8, 2012

Winner!!

The Random Goddess has spoken and the winner of the 
Varian t-shirt is...


~::~Linda~::~


Congratulations Linda, I'll email you shortly :)



TRG chose #36



July 7, 2012

Childrens Book Review: The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble by Angela Mitchell

Title: The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble
Author: Angela Mitchell
Illustrator: Sarah Horne
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd
Source: Received from PR company for the purpose of an honest review.

The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble is a fantastic new book by debut author, Angela Mitchell and illustrated by Sarah Horne.

It is Princess Lolly’s 89th birthday party and a glorious jelly is on the menu. However there is a problem: the jelly refuses to wobble!

“I won’t wobble, I won’t wobble and that’s my final word!” screamed the jelly…

My Thoughts

This was a very funny story to read with my Miss 5, and she stopped time and again to have a good look at the illustrations, which she really liked.

Some of her comments about the book were :

"Oohh what an angry princess, she's princess grumpy pants!"

"That's a cool story. I like the mad jelly, the jelly was bad."

"Good pictures, mad bad pictures."


Its safe to say that my Miss 5 really enjoyed this story, and I definitely enjoyed reading it with her.

She did however wonder why the princess was so old!
Apparently - well in the mind of my 5 year old - "Only little girls and pretty ladies can be princesses, old princesses should be queens!"

A great story with witty text and fun illustrations, Miss 5 and I both agree that The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble is a 5 Star read ~<;]

July 6, 2012

Book Review: Angel Betrayed by Cynthia Eden

Title: Angel Betrayed (The Fallen #2)
Author: Cynthia Eden
Release Date: June 26th 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Imprint: Brava
Category: Fiction - Adult: Romance: Fantasy
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

A LITTLE BIT OF ANGEL LUST.

Sammael – call him Sam – was an angel once. An angel of death. But the dispassionate, watch-from-above thing just wasn’t working for him when it meant watching evil torture innocent souls day in and day out. It might have cost him his wings, but these days, he gets to apply the direct method on the bad guys. Problem is, what’s making his life difficult is a bad girl…

Seline O’Shaw needs protection, and with the hounds of hell on her tail, she’s not going to quibble too hard about where she gets it. Sam’s virtue is questionable, but he’s smoking hot, massively powerful, and owes her a favour. So what if she’s getting a little case of angel lust? There are some damn deadly sins after her hide…

My Thoughts

Filled with great plot twists, steeped in mystery and intrigue, the lovable and frustrating Sam is stubborn, angry, and misunderstood - and a total hottie!

Selina is strong, pigheaded and overly confident in her Succubus skills but completely at a loss when it comes to Sam, and her heritage.

The author has done a spectacular job with her characters and their background stories. I was very quickly caught up in this new and intriguing world of Angels, Demons and all things paranormal.

The very detailed world building using both traditional and new Angel rules/facts and hierarchy is exceptional, and I very much enjoyed all the new and exciting powers that the Angel's in this world had to offer.

Jam packed with adventure and excitement, Angel Betrayed is a well written story that flows effortlessly.

I cant wait to read more in this series, 4 Stars ;]

July 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Awesome Cover Reveal for...

Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Brusenna thought it was finished.

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything. 

     Including her life. 
  
 
                              
Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?





July 4, 2012

Forbidden Territory Review and Interview With Authors Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson



It is my great pleasure to welcome Forbidden Territory authors
Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson
to My Book Chatter today.



Lets Meet The Authors
 

Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson have been best friends for about 12 years. Both mothers of two young children, both married to school teachers and both lovers of writing, they have a lot in common. Having spent many vacations away together, they have become as close to sisters as two girls can get. It was on one of these holidays away that the Mica and Lexy Series was born.

Melissa is the author of the Time Spirit Trilogy, which was published at the end of 2011. She is a fully trained elementary teacher, but is lucky enough to stay home and watch her kids grow. She is also spending every spare moment trying to turn writng into a full time career - and loving the process.


Brenda was the one who encouraged Melissa to start writing in the first place. Once Melissa got started, Brenda caught the bug and she has been writing for ten years, in between motherhood and working at a local high school in the computer department. She has won two short story competitions and been runner up in another. Forbidden Territory will be her first published novel.

I have to say a BIG thank you to both Melissa and Brenda who were gracious enough to take the time to answer the following questions :)

1. What are three quirky, interesting, or little known facts you can each tell us about yourselves?
Melissa: Once on holiday we spent about three days playing that game where you give the person two options they have to choose from eg: rice bubbles or cornflakes... you know, really important stuff like that :) I think we chose the same thing for about 90% of the questions. It was getting a little ridiculous :)
Brenda: Although we have a lot in common, we usually have different fashion styles or so I thought. The last few times we’ve been together, we’ve both shown up in the same sort of jeans, boots and same coloured tees. Spooky.
Melissa: We both like to eat really well and encourage each other to aim for the healthy option. We eat high protein, low carbs type food. Once we were away on a girly weekend and really felt like french fries, we did homemade pumpkin fries instead. I think we got through most of the pumpkin and were turning slightly orange by the end of the day :)

2. Who are some of your favourite authors and what books do you have on your ‘to be read’ pile?
Brenda: Melissa Pearl is my favourite author. Seriously. She’s so talented and I am impatiently waiting to be the first to read her next manuscript!! My to read pile is pretty huge, but I’m keen to read the next Simone Elkeles book.
 
3. What have been the biggest challenges and/or surprises you’ve each faced as writers?
Melissa: Getting yourself out there is the hardest part for me. Marketing is way harder than I thought it would be. I'm having fun as I go, learning some of the tricks of the trade and meeting amazing people along the way, but I'm sure I could be doing better. Writing is the fun part, marketing is the hard work, but you need to do both well to be successful :)
Brenda: I’m super shy around people I don’t know (total introvert) so the writing part is easy but getting out there and marketing (as Melissa has mentioned) scares the heck out of me.

4. What has been the hardest thing about writing Forbidden Territory together?
Melissa: We live an hour's drive apart so that has been a little challenging. We make it work by having writing weekends away or just a day together to chat stuff through. We also use ichat a lot and e-mail each other constantly throughout the day. Good communication is key in co-authoring a book.

5. Did these stories/characters manifest themselves in dreams/daydreams, voices in your head etc, or do you sit down and purposely create them?
Brenda: Lexy started off being purposely created but then I left her with my imagination and she evolved into who she is today. I don’t tend to dream about my characters but as I’m exercising, driving or listening to music, they manifest themselves in my head. It’s extremely fascinating how that happens. And although Mica and Lexy were created independent of each other, they just happened to work out perfectly together as best friends. 

6. How did you pick names for your characters or did they come with their own already?
Melissa: That is such a cool question. I always loved the name Mica for a girl and I had been saving it up for the right character. When my red-haired bombshell with her sassy mouth and punk rock ways walked into my imagination, I knew Mica was the perfect name for her. My other character, Mica's love interest, needed a really strong, masculine name. I thought Eli was perfect.
Brenda: I have a list of names I keep on a document that I LOVE and want to use one day. Lexy was the one that jumped out at me and matched the character I was creating. Lexy is short for Alexandra, which of course, she hates.

7. Favorite movie and/or TV show?
Melissa: That question is WAY too hard. I have so many!!! How about I take TV shows and Brenda can do movies. We like all the same stuff anyway :)
TV Shows: Friends, Big Bang Theory and Rookie Blue
Brenda: Awwww Melissa… You know I have like a MILLION faves. Hmmmmm favourite movie of all time, if I have to narrow it down, is Dirty Dancing. Other movies that I can watch over and over and over again are: 10 Things I Hate About You, Never Been Kissed, She’s the Man and last but not at all least, all of the Twilight movies.

8. Favorite actor and/or actress?
Melissa: Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing. I think he's a really talented actor - and let's face it, he's gorgeous!
Brenda: I have a little thing for Rob Pattenson, but I actually prefer him when he has his own English accent. Super sexy (I created Tom so you can see I have a thing for Brits). I don’t miss a movie with Sandra Bullock and I also really REALLY love Lauren Graham, but she’s mostly in TV series rather than movies.

9. Who is your ultimate swoon worthy man? (Other than your hubby!)
Melissa: Brenda is going to read this and totally crack up. She knows my answer already... Paul Walker. Happy sigh!!!
Brenda: I TOTALLY could have answered that for her as she could about mine: Jason Behr (watch ‘Roswell’ and you’ll understand!)
(Ohh yes very yummy!!)
 
10. What is the most daring thing you have ever done or hope to do?
Melissa: I am afraid of heights so the most daring thing I've ever done is the Big Swoop in Rotorua. Basically you get strapped into a really strong sleeping bag, hooked onto a wire and pulled about 10 storeys into the air. I hung there like a petrified Superman then my hubby who was strapped beside me pulled the cord and well fell. After that initial drop, and I swallowed my heart back down, I had the best time swooping through the air. It was awesome!!
Brenda: On my bucket list is to do the 10 BEST roller coasters in the world (finances willing of course), I LOVE anything speedy and fast like that. One of these days I’ll do a bungy jump too. Love, love, love that stuff. But ask me to crawl through caves – NO WAY!

Thanks again Melissa and Brenda.
Its been great getting to know you both better and I wish you lots of success with Forbidden Territory and all future Mica & Lexy books :)


Here's their book and my review...

Title: Forbidden Territory: A Mica & Lexy Book
Author: Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson
Release Date: July 1st 2012
Publisher: Self published
Source: Received from the authors for an honest review

Mica and Lexy have been best friends and next door neighbours since they were eight years old. They share everything and have no secrets from each other until... Tom arrives on Mica's doorstep - a gorgeous exchange student from England. And Lexy is smitten.

Suddenly both girls are keeping secrets. Mica is hiding news about Tom's English girlfriend and Lexy hasn't got the heart to tell her best friend that her brother Eli, the guy Mica is mad on, thinks of her as only a friend.

After a massive fight, the girls decide the best way to mend their friendship is to spend some quality time together. And what better way than to go camping away from their parents and why not invite along the guys they are crushing on.

So the four teenagers embark on a geo-caching expedition into New Zealand's native bush expecting a long weekend filled with flirtatious fun; instead secrets are exposed as they stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its gun-wielding watchmen. Forced apart they spend the next forty-eight hours racing blindly in opposite directions as they fight to find each other before the hunters do.


My Thoughts

Forbidden Territory is the story of a group of average teenagers doing what average teenagers do.
Being good students, falling in love/lust, and finding secret armed compounds of large marijuana crops out in the bush!!

While seemingly average in every way, this group of teenagers are soon put to a test of physical and mental endurance, in a bid to outrun and outsmart a blood hungry group of no-nonsense criminals.

This book has everything...vivid story telling, a great cast of characters, intricate twists and turns with action galore and a little teenage angst thrown in too.

While written in differing points-of-view, by not one but two authors; Forbidden Territory is a coherant and well structured story you will find hard to put down.

Forbidden Territory is one of those books that immediately sweeps you up and carries you away on a spectacular journey, and I think anyone who has grown up in New Zealand will be carried away by childhood memories that this story invokes of adventurous games played in our many reserves and bushblocks - I know I have.

An exciting and adventurous 4 Star read ;]



Check out the tour schedule and giveaway here.

July 1, 2012

Book Review: The Darkest Day by Britt Bury

Title: The Darkest Day (Immortal Heat #1)
Author: Britt Bury
Release Date: July 3rd 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

ALL-CONSUMING DESIRE . . .

Izel Campbell was raised to believe she is an immortal Fionn with the magical skills fo persuasion. But when she travels to Scotland to visit her ancestral home, Izel discovers that she is actually the world's last living human. Forced to run for her life, Izel crosses paths with Kelvin Kerr, the Campbells' greatest foe-and the most magnificent warrior she has ever seen.
BURNS BRIGHTEST . . .

A thousand-year-old battle chief of the Kerr clan, Kelvin lives only to avenge his father, who died at the hands of the bloody Campbells. Honor demands he kill the Campbell heir, but when he learns that the lovely Izel is both Campbell and human, Kelvin is torn between duty and desire . . .
ON THE DARKEST DAY

My Thoughts

Considering that this is the first in a new series, it has started off really well.
In a lot of cases, first books are slow to start and swamped with too much background and world building to let the story actually shine.
Thats not the case with The Darkest Day. It was a very well balanced, and interesting read.

Is it a little cliched and predictable?
Yes, but sometimes that can be a good thing. 
The Darkest Day follows a tried and true recipe.
Thats right, just like your favourite cake, The Darkest Day has been lovingly weighed and measured, baked at just the right temerature (hot) and smoothered in lots of yummy frosting and sprinkles ready for you to devour!!

Great characters, interesting and fresh storyline with plenty of action, angst and sex!
A very enjoyable 4 Star read ;]

LINKS

Author's website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter



Childrens Book Review: Sparkle's Song by Samantha Hale

Title: Sparkle's Song
Author: Samantha Hale
Illustrator: Mariana Ruiz Johnson
Release Date: February 2012
Publisher: Maverick Arts publishing Ltd
Source: Received from PR company for the purpose of an honest review

Aunt Millicent does not allow music in her house, so when Sparkle hears a beautiful song coming from the forest, she wants to find out where it is coming from. Following a songbird, she discovers something magical that will change her life forever. 








A special gift book with a story about the magic of music by film-maker Samantha Hale, and stunning gouache illustrations by Argentinian artist Mariana Ruiz Johnson.

My Thoughts
 

I enjoyed reading this book but my Miss 5 lost interest in it pretty early on.
The illustrations are quite lovely and the story is sweet, if a little sad.
In fact, Miss 5 got upset and almost cried because Sparkle's parents died; she lost all interest after that.
Here's what she had to say about Sparkle's Song:

"I dont like it, its sad"


"I'll look at the pictures, but no reading!"


Although I convinced her to listen to the rest of the story, it was easy to tell it wasnt a book for her.
And I got a scrunched up sourpuss face in response to asking what she thought of the book, but I liked it.
 

So its probably not a book that all kids will like, but still a good 3.5 Star read :]

LINKS

Publisher on Facebook

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