Tuesday 30 April 2013

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Spring Fling Giveaway Hop hosted by Eve's Fan Garden and I Am A Reader Not A Writer! Up for grabs is a PAPERBACK of your choice up to the value of $12 from the Book Depository. The giveaway is open to anyone who lives in a country that BD will ship to, check out the list here. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter and the giveaway runs from now through to midnight on May 7th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all of the other blogs taking part below for more chances to win! Thanks for entering and good luck!

Top Ten Tuesday #5

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

This is a good one! This could have quite easily turned into a top fifty...

1. Dragons

 2. Fairies

The Iron King
 3. Witches

A Discovery Of Witches
 4. Mythology

Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
 5. Libraries/Books

The Demon's Librarian
 6. Fairy Tales

Complete Fairy Tales
 7. Humor

Wyrd Sisters
 8. Gothic

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

9. Ghosts

Anna Dressed In Blood
10. Vampires

Interview With The Vampire

Monday 29 April 2013

House Of Secrets - Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini

House Of Secrets - Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini @Twitter
ISBN -  9780007490141 (UK)
             9780062192462 (US)
Publisher - Harper Collins Children's Books (UK)
                  Balzer + Bray (US)
Find - Book Depository/Goodreads

'The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . but everything changed when their father lost his job as a result of an inexplicable transgression. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by Denver Kristoff, a troubled writer with a penchant for the occult.

Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey into a mash-up world born of Kristoff’s dangerous imagination, to retrieve a dark book of untold power, uncover the Walker family’s secret history and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world.' -

I've never read anything by Ned Vizzini but as soon as I heard he was writing a children's book with Chris Columbus (yes, that Chris Columbus, Harry Potter Chris Columbus, Percy Jackson Chris Columbus, writer of Goonies & Gremlins Chris Columbus...) I was sold! I didn't need to know what it was about because I was going to get my hands on a copy! And boy am I glad I did!

Promising adventure and mayhem from the start, we're introduced to the Walker children, Cordelia (Buffy not King Lear), Brendan and Eleanor (who exist in real life as Eleanor & Brendan Columbus, two of the author's children!) as they arrive at 128 Sea Cliff Avenue to view a house with their parents. The sighting of a one-handed stone angel adds an air of menace to the beautiful Kristoff House and from there you know the children are in for a bumpy ride. The family are all moved in and things are finally starting to their way until an old lady appears at the front door. Dahlia Kristoff is a woman with a mission and that mission is to find a book by the name of 'The Book Of Doom And Desire', discovered by her father, Denver Kristoff (a famous author) and Rutherford Walker (the children's great-grandfather. Fate would appear to have led the family to Kristoff House... 

The old lady has become the Wind Witch and whirls the Walker children and their new house into another world, leaving them to believe their parents are dead and to find the book for her. Here, the adventure kicks up several notches when it becomes evident they are in a place populated by characters and places from Denver Kristoff''s books. There are the fearless warriors with their leader Slayne, Will Draper the WW1 pilot, the pirates led by Captain Sangray, an evil queen, resistance fighters, giants, hidden passages in the walls, spell scrolls and much more! The action is fast paced and keeps the book moving along nicely, the relationship between the three siblings is realistic and none of them are perfect by any stretch but they stick together when it matters. I think Eleanor, the youngest, was my favorite character, she certainly seemed to be more together than the other two and I liked her quips about Cordelia having a crush on Will.

The whole time I was reading House Of Secrets I could picture everything in my head like a movie and quite honestly given the authors,  this would make the perfect movie! In fact, that's my only quibble - at times it did seem more like a movie script than a book but that's not really a bad thing (to me anyway). I read an e-galley so I didn't get to see any of the illustrations that are in the book but I am intending on buying a copy to add to F & E's shelves for when they get to the right age.

Thanks to HarperCollins for approving me via Netgalley to read this.

Just for comparison purposes, this is the US cover - I can't make my mind up which one I like better, they both appeal in one way or another!


Reading RoundUp #20

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

A bumper week of reading this week, thanks to the 24 hour Dewey Readathon which I'm still recovering from - even though I fell asleep in hour 13!


Blood - K J Wignall

All These Things I've Done - Gabrielle Zevin

Vampires In The Lemon Grove - Karen Russell

Infinite Sky - C J Flood

The Library Of Unrequited Love - Sophie Divry

The Man From Primrose Lane - James Renner

House Of Secrets - Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini

The Memory Of After - Lenore Appelhans

Pack Of Lies - Sara Dailey & Staci Weber


Circle Of Lies - Sara Dailey & Staci Weber

Zel - Donna Jo Napoli

Wickedness - Deborah White

Pretty Dark Nothing - Heather L Reid

Still reading

Carniepunk  - Rachel Caine et al

A Clash Of Kings - George R R Martin

The Taker - Alma Katsu

Sunday 28 April 2013

Dewey Readathon End Of Event RoundUp

Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hour 13 or just after 1am here, so daunting I fell asleep!

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
People should stick to reading what they know holds their interest! Doesn't matter if it's short or long, no point reading a short romance novel if you're a horror fan or an epic crime novel if you like YA...

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Can't think of anything, I thought everything went brilliantly and I can't wait to sign up for October's Readathon!

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Everything! I loved the challenges, I loved all the chatter on Twitter and the cheerleaders were fantastic and supportive!

How many books did you read?

What were the names of the books you read?
Vampires In The Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, Infinite Sky by C J Flood, All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin, Blood by K J Wignall and The Library Of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

Which book did you enjoy most?
Infinite Sky by C J Flood

Which did you enjoy least?
Library Of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Very likely!!! Where's the sign-up?! I loved my first Readathon, can't wait to do it again! I think next time I'll try to be a bit more social, wasn't too good at that and I'll try to stay awake longer!

Thanks to everyone who took part, hosted and cheered! You made my first readathon a great one!

Pack of Lies - Sara Dailey & Staci Weber

Pack Of Lies (Red Ridge Pack #1) - Sara Dailey & Staci Weber
ISBN - 978-0984898862
Publisher - Boroughs Publishing Group
Release Date - April 8th 2012
Find - Goodreads

'The last thing Allison Wright ever expected when she moved to Red Ridge, New Mexico was to come muzzle to muzzle with the wolf of her dreams.

Seventeen-year-old Allison Wright is convinced she’s losing her mind. Uncontrollable mood swings, hot flashes, and the urge to punch anyone who gets in her way are suddenly becoming everyday occurrences. Before her erratic behaviour gets out of hand, Allison’s mother finally comes clean about her dark secret. Mom is a werewolf, and soon Allison and her brother Aiden will suffer the same fate. When Allison reaches her breaking point, the family leaves their life in Texas to move to Red Ridge, New Mexico where they rejoin the pack that Allison’s mother left behind almost 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, not everyone in Red Ridge is thrilled about Allison’s arrival, especially when she attracts the attention of the very handsome, very taken, soon-to-be alpha, Cade Walker. Little does Allison know, her mere presence is causing a rift in a once unified pack. Not only has Cade been forbidden from being with Allison by his father, the pack’s alpha, Cade’s girlfriend, Kendall Stuart, will stop at nothing to get Allison out of the picture. Well on her way to becoming the next alpha’s mate, Kendall expects to rule the pack by Cade’s side even if it means teaming up with a rogue werewolf with an agenda of his own. Determined to get rid of Allison permanently, when Kendall and the rogue join forces, all hell breaks loose and no one in the pack is safe, especially not Cade and his true mate.'
- Goodreads

This review may contain spoilers! 

Interesting take on the werewolf story, it starts with the main character Allison Wright trying to figure out why she's gone from most popular girl in school complete with best friend and boyfriend to a nobody who is sexually harassed by male students and physically threatened by the girls whilst her brother continues as one of the popular kids. When Alli's mother is called in after her third fight at school she finally finds out what is going on, her mother is a werewolf and both Alli & Aiden will be going through their first change soon. Their parents explain that not only are their grandparents still alive but they're also moving back to Lillian Wright's hometown to live with the pack that she ran away from after meeting their dad. Alli looks on this as a good thing as she hopes being with other 'weres' she won't stand out as much and may even make friends. However the instantaneous attraction between her and Cade (the son of the Alpha, Marcus, who also happens to be Alli's mother's ex) on their arrival in Red Ridge means things don't go quite to plan, especially as Cade has a girlfriend.

Overall, I really enjoyed this take on werewolves. I was quite concerned about the whole 'insta-love' scenario but this is explained away through the werewolf 'true mate' bond which even Marcus, Cade's father, can't argue with although he does try, mostly by forbidding Cade to see Alli and to continue his relationship with Kendall. Kendall is also encouraged to keep Cade interested by any means possible by her mother to keep their standing in the pack, damaged years earlier by Kendall's father. The main villain of the piece is a werewolf called Dylan from another pack who becomes entangled with Kendall and together they plot to take down the Red Ridge pack so Dylan can become Alpha. 

There were a few things which I wish we had read more of, for instance the development of Alli & Cade's relationship, why Dylan wanted to become alpha of the Red Ridge pack and why he partnered up with Kendall of all people! I did like the second part of the story being told from the three different perspectives of the main characters, each voice was unique and enabled us to see what was going on in more detail and learn more about them individually - especially Kendall as it allowed us to see why she behaves as she does. Although Aiden was in this book he was very much a secondary character so I'm hoping in book two - Circle Of Lies, which the publishers very kindly sent to me - we get to see more of him. I really want to know how he deals with the information given to us at the end of Pack Of Lies (which I guessed correctly before the end of chapter six!) and being a werewolf. I'm also looking forward to reading the prequel about Marcus & Lily and their lives before she left the pack which I believe is called Born Of Lies and due out sometime next month.

*My copy of Pack Of Lies was very kindly sent to me by the publishers, thank you!

Saturday 27 April 2013

Readathon Progress Report Part 2

So we've reached the halfway stage! Just how much longer can I stay awake? Only time will tell...

MidEvent Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
Not sleepy yet but my eyes are really sore!

2) What have you finished reading?
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin and Infinite Sky by C J Flood

3) What is your favorite read so far?
Infinite Sky

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Haven't really snacked which is very strange for me!

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I've bookmarked lots of shiny new blogs to check out once the readathon is over! Will list later :)

1am - Pages read in last hour: 81
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

Finished Blood and started The Library Of Unrequited Love

Hour 13 Challenge - Cooking The Books 

And then I fell asleep...

2am -  Pages read in last hour: 0
           Pages read altogether: 920
           Books finished: 3

Hour 14 Challenge - Share A Quote

3am - Pages read in last hour: 0
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

Hour 15 Challenge - Casting Couch

4am - Pages read in last hour: 0
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

Hour 16 Challenge - Turn The Page

5am -  Pages read in last hour: 0
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

Hour 17 Challenge - Six Word Celebration

6am -  Pages read in last hour: 0
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

Hour 18 Challenge - Cover Me

7am - Pages read in last hour: 0
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

Hour 19 Challenge - Picture Break

8am -  Pages read in last hour: 0
          Pages read altogether: 920
          Books finished: 3

And then I woke up...

Hour 20 Challenge - Haiku Challenge

9am -  Pages read in last hour: 95
          Pages read altogether: 1015
          Books finished: 3

Hour 21 Challenge - Mad Libs

10am -  Pages read in last hour: 82
          Pages read altogether: 1097
          Books finished: 3

Hour 22 Challenge - If It Were A Movie

Finished Vampires In The Lemon Grove

11am - Pages read in last hour: 100
          Pages read altogether: 1197
          Books finished: 4

Hour 23 Challenge - Guess The Author Photo Challenge

Finished  The Library Of Unrequited Love

12pm - Pages read in last hour: 36
          Pages read altogether: 1233
          Books finished: 5

Started Zel

1pm - Grand Finale!

Readathon Progress Report Part 1

Introductory Questionnaire is here

Books on the pile to be read listed here

1pm - Starting with Infinite Sky by C J Flood.

2pm - Pages read in last hour: 145
          Pages read altogether: 145
          Books finished: 0

Hour 2 Challenge: Book Spine Poetry

3pm - Pages read in last hour: 79
          Pages read altogether: 224
          Books finished: 0

Finished Infinite Sky, started Vampires In The Lemon Grove

4pm - Pages read in last hour: 67
          Pages read altogether: 291
          Books finished: 1

Hour 4 Challenge: Rename Your Current Read

Vampires In The Lemon Grove should really be called Bloodsucking Fiends Ravage Citrus Fruit And Other Fanged Stories
5pm - Pages read in last hour: 87
          Pages read altogether: 378
          Books finished: 1

Started All These Things I've Done alongside Vampires In The Lemon Grove. Vampires is a book of short stories so will be reading 1 or 2 every hour as well as whatever book I'm reading!

Hour 5 Challenge - Self-Portrait

6pm - Pages read in last hour: 61
          Pages read altogether: 439
          Books finished: 1

Hour 6 Challenge - Book Puzzle

7pm - Pages read in last hour: 20
          Pages read altogether: 459
          Books finished: 1
          Food eaten: Salmon, asparagus, broccoli

Hour 7 Challenge - Best & Worst Cover

8pm - Pages read in last hour: 2
          Pages read altogether: 461
          Books finished: 1

So, as I pick up my book my sister rings me and I've only just been able to hang up! Bang went a whole hour of reading time!

Hour 8 Challenge - Book Sentence

The Fault In Our Stars Enshadowed Something Strange And Deadly Where Things Come Back In The Shadow Of Blackbirds.

9pm - Pages read in last hour: 65
          Pages read altogether: 526
          Books finished: 1

Hour 9 Challenge - Clear The Cobwebs And Recharge Yoga

Not the challenge for me unless I want to end up in the hospital, I'll stick to wandering round the house once or twice an hour!

10pm - Pages read in last hour: 116
            Pages read altogether: 642
            Books finished: 2

Finished All These Things I've Done and started Blood by K J Wignall.

Hour 10 Challenge - Book Cover Quiz

Sort of done, I definitely know 12 of the covers but I'm stumped on the rest - will need to have a think for a while about them! 

11pm - Pages read in last hour: 93
            Pages read altogether: 735
            Books finished: 2

Hour 11 Challenge - Picture Challenge

This is currently where I'm reading but as it's nearly 11.15pm and everyone else has gone to bed I'll be going through to the sitting room for a bit more comfort!

12am - Pages read in last hour: 104
            Pages read altogether: 839
            Books finished: 2

Look out for part 2 of the Readathon Progress Report, starting with the Midway Survey!

Dewey Readathon - Introductory Questionnaire!

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Somerset, UK

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Infinite Sky by C J Flood

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I knew I forgot something *facepalm* Luckily I have some homemade chocolate cake in the cupboard and a bar of Dairy Milk stashed away somewhere in the house!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I get easily distracted, I have a strange addiction to nail polish, I'm really good at staying up all night!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
It's my first Dewey readathon and I'm hooked already! I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody else is reading and just how long I can stay awake before nodding off. Normally I can stay awake for at least 24 hours with no problems but as I only got about 3 hours sleep last night it could get interesting!

For the next 24 hours...

I'm going to be reading! Starting at 1pm UK time I'm taking part in

I've chosen six books, hopefully I'll get through most of them if not all!

Vampires In The Lemon Grove - Karen Russell

Infinite Sky - C J Flood

The Library Of Unrequited Love - Sophie Divry

Blood - K J Wignall

All These Things I've Done - Gabrielle Zevin

Zel - Donna Jo Napoli

Wish me luck!

*Trying to post a photo but Blogger is being weird and won't let me!

Book Haul #22

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews, In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren and/or The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

Another great week for me, I got some good books this week, including a couple of review books which I can't wait to start. One day though, I'll have a book haul post which will be empty... one day!


Zenn Scarlett - Christian Schoon

The Crimson Shard - Teresa Flavin

The Curiosities - Maggie Stiefvater

Mayhem - Sarah Pinborough

Of Poseidon - Anna Banks

Kindle Buys

Wolves & Witches - Amanda Davies & Megan Engelhardt

Kindle Freebies

Everblue - Brenda Pandos

For Review

Pack Of Lies - Sara Dailey & Staci Weber

Circle Of Lies - Sara Dailey & Staci Weber

Viral Nation - Shaunta Grimes
Pack Of Lies and Circle Of Lies were kindly sent to me by the the publisher and Shaunta Grimes was kind enough to send me a copy of Viral Nation which I'm so excited about as it's been on my wishlist!

What did you get this week?

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the G'nite Sweetheart kit by Vera Lim Design