Saturday, 29 November 2014

Recommended Reads: November 2014

Good morning!

I read a lot of books, and I don't even review every single book I read on this blog. I have also read a lot of good books before I even began reviewing last year, so I would like to share some recommended books I have enjoyed but you won't be seeing reviews of. So here goes!


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Eupery: I have read this recently, and it was a quick read which I loved. There are so many good messages in here for teenagers, adults and kids to pick up on. If you haven't read it before I suggest you spend an afternoon doing so!

Noughts & Crosses series by Malorie Blackman: I couldn't recommend this anymore. Imagine a book where the racism situation is involved, but in this case the whites answer to the blacks. It was a backwards situation and she wrote it beautifully. Small details have been pinpointed, an amazing villain created and wonderful characters I loved. And the plot always kept me on my toes. Loved it, and am a big fan of her writing after reading this series!

The Host by Stephanie Meyer: I may be a fan of Twilight, but even if you're not you should still give this book a try! I think Meyer did a great job of writing two people in one body, and making this alien takeover interesting. The movie was terrible in comparison, so if you have watched it before reading, don't let it put you off!


Gone series by Michael Grant: The first book in this series is probably the book I have reread the most times. I loved this series from book one to the very ending. The idea of powers were inventive and you find some used that you probably haven't seen in other books. I had a lot of favourite characters, such as Edilio, Dekka and Duck.

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan: After reading these books I have become immersed in Greek mythology. These books are funny, informative and the characters are brilliant. I am sure you've heard all about the fandom around it, but these books are worth it!

Angel Cake by Cathy Cassidy: Cathy writes brilliant romances that are good for teens in any age range from 12 - 18. I have read all of her books excepting the recently published (which I have yet to get my hands on.) This book and the Chocolate Box series have been my favourites by her. This one deals with a Polish girl who moves to England and can't speak word of English, and how she falls in love while her family struggle to manage financially.























My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher: I have read both of her books and enjoyed them both for various reasons. This book is told from the perspective of Jamie whose life is torn apart because of his sister's death - someone he doesn't even remember. His sister was torn apart in a terrorist bombing. This book told a story about family, friendship and what it means to forgive. Strongly suggested!

Deenie by Judy Blume: This book was one I fell in love with as a young teenager. It tells the story of Deenie. Her mother is convinced she is going to be a model while her older sister has the "brains". But when she is diagnosed with scoliosis she has to wear a brace for the next few years, ending her modeling career for now. This is the story of how she deals with her condition, high school and her parents expectations.

Olivia's Question: Have you read any of these? Can you recommend a read to me?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Saving Grace (Review)

Hi there!

Title: Saving Grace (Heathfire Romance #1)
Author:  Michele Paige Holmes
Publisher:  Mirror Press 

Published Date:  15th October 2014
Rating: 4 Stars

*Thank you to ebooks4review for the review copy*

Synopsis: From Whitney Award Winning Author, Michele Paige Holmes, comes SAVING GRACE, a regency romance from the Hearthfire Romance series:

After the death of her grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace Thatcher wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. Her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing.

As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage.

Too late Grace regrets her rash actions when her father’s last choice, Mr. Samuel Preston, proves to be a gentleman and a friend. But Samuel is the sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, the man responsible for her “ruin.” Now instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.

Review: I am someone who loves a good historical fiction. Seeing as I have also been trying to read more romance as well, putting the two together seemed like a good idea. And this novel definitely followed through.

We get Grace Thatcher, a girl who has been trying to escape marriage and avoid her father selling her off to pay his debts. I had to admire her, because she was someone who had a tricky past, living underneath a father who had gambled away everything they owned, her mother dying when she young and being left to care for her two younger siblings. She had a hard life as a child, and when her Grandfather came to show her the life of luxury it was the best thing that happened to her. Yet Grace didn’t let it take over who she was. She may have joined the upper class, but she hadn’t forgotten her own hard life. It made her a caring, responsible and graceful character. I loved her.
 

We also have the two love interests who she was torn between. Mr. Preston seemed to be almost as perfect as possible – slow to anger, kind and willing to hear your opinion on matters before making a judgment. Lord Sutherland seemed to be just the opposite – a storm of emotions, commanding and cold. But really, both of them were suffering from the grief of loving someone they both lost who happened to be Nicholas Sutherland’s sister and Mr. Preston’s former wife.

The plotline of this book was good, because although it was a romance with a love triangle, it wasn’t just a romance.  I can’t stand when the book goes on and on about which guy to choose. Instead this one was more about what it means to be part of a family, about making choices and also about trying to be independent. All the time Grace is caught between her difficult situation and with the two men at each other’s throats, she is also trying to help them escape from her grief and watch over her siblings. She was definitely a strong woman.

The one thing that lacked for me in this novel was the setting. It did have the customary things like maids, balls and carriages and horses, but I felt like it could’ve delved a bit deeper into the historical side of things. But that aside it was a great book! I look forward to 2015 when the next in the series is published.

Olivia’s Question: Would you have liked to attend a historical ball?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Transformed (Blog Tour & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Transformed
Author:  E.V Fairfall
Publisher:  Silver Stag 

Published Date:  20th January 2014
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*
 

Synopsis: Thea, all-mighty Mother Earth, only had one rule to follow above all else, one promise to keep to her brother: never take a human form. She would’ve kept that promise if it weren’t for Brice. He’s handsome and confident, but above all he’s merciless.

He’s also a hunter who has tormented Thea for years. She believes if she could teach Brice compassion, she might finally be able to save her creations and herself from his savage ways. Then she meets Chamber: another hunter.

She soon finds herself fascinated by−and torn between−the two boys: Brice and Chamber. Lost within a torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is as she falls in love with the one thing that she’s always hated: a hunter… a human.

Review: Isn’t that just a beautiful cover? I chose this book for that reason – and also because I liked the idea of such a unique point of view.

I think the point of view was handled wonderfully. Seeing things from the eyes of Mother Nature was interesting, especially as she took human form for the first time and was exploring everything human. She quickly gets wrapped up in human emotions, which is something she thought she’d be able to distance herself from. And then we learn something else: her father is God.

I really liked seeing things from Thea’s point of view, and she was my second favourite character. I half expected her to be the whiny sort of person, especially as things she had previously planned weren’t going according to her wants. But she didn’t turn out to be that person. There were a few moments of confusion for her on the side as she figured out things about being human, but otherwise she reviewed her situation and tried to make the smartest choice, even though it didn’t always work out for her.

My favourite character was May. She’s the typical low cut shirts, super short shorts girl who throws herself at Brice, and at first I didn’t like her. But gradually her true self emerges and I was able to see her for who she really was, and I liked her :3

This is the typical love triangle story and although there is another plot line going as well (the main one) the love triangle is a huge part of it. If you don’t like them, then this isn’t for you. I didn’t really mind in this story because both relationships were different, and one was more forced onto Thea than the other. It kind of made the love triangle one that she wasn’t trying to be part of, and that made it seem less cliché.

The plot was… different? Kind of like the point of view choice. It was a bit slow and took a while to get to the point, but once it did I was surprised. A lot of things happened that I didn’t think was going to happen at all, and it had me reading further to find out what was happening.

Overall this was a well written book, and the author was definitely trying to do something new here. I liked it. :)
 
Giveaway: Open to USA & UK.

Add Transformed on Goodreads or buy on Amazon for 2$ during the tour!
You could also visit Fairfall's website, find her on Facebook, follow on Twitter, or visit her Goodreads page!

Olivia’s Question: Are you a nature lover or vegetarian?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Carrier (Review)

Hi there!

Title: Carrier (The Line #1)
Author:  Anne Tibbets
Publisher:  Carina Press 

Published Date: 16th June 2014
Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Synopsis:  Twenty-two-year-old Naya has spent nearly half her life as a sex slave in a government institution called The Line. Excommunicated after getting pregnant with twins, she's left with no way to earn a living and a horrifying choice to make: find someone to replace her at the institution by the time she gives birth, or have her babies taken in her stead.

Ric Bennett wants to help. A doctor with a history of aiding ex-Line girls, he runs a team of rebels that can delete Naya's records, prevent her from having to make an impossible choice, and free her forever. But when his plan is sniffed out, things get bloody, fast. The Line wants them back. The organization has discovered information about Naya and her twins that make them more valuable than just sex slaves. It makes them dangerous—and part of The Line's larger plan.

As they hide from government search parties, Ric comes to admire Naya's quiet strength. And Naya realizes Ric might be a man she can trust. If they make it off the grid, they could build a new life. But first they'll have to survive the long, vicious reach of The Line.

Review: This book was so amazing. I loved every minute of it, from the very beginning and was hooked until it was finished!
 
Is it just me, or have I been blessed with reading a lot of good books lately?


One thing I loved about this book was that it was dealing with a very serious topic – and that would be prostitution. You don’t really see many authors approach such a serious and emotional topic because if you do it wrong, it’s all wrong. But somehow, with the blunt flashbacks that told us everything about Naya’s past, we manage to get a clear picture of how horrible it is and what it must’ve been like. At the end of the book Anne attached a link to a charity which helps with stopping human trafficking and forced prostitution, and at the end I donated immediately. That’s how moving the story of that was.

But there was a lot more to this novel that made me love it as well. It would have to be the characters. First off, don’t you just love the name Naya? On top of that, she was such a great voice to see things from. She’s newly pregnant, thrown out into the world and scrambling to get a bearing underneath us. We get to see this new world through her disbelieving eyes, and see the fear of men looming over as well as her strength and she struggles through various difficulties just to protect her future kids, and herself. She loves her friends and we see this throughout the book because she would do anything for them.

Ric was a good love interest, and I liked the slow love that formed between them! But I have to say my second favourite character was Tym, the funny, confident computer hacker. He was awesome ;)

The only thing that brought down this novel a notch from scoring the full stars was that it was both original and unoriginal at the same time. Original as in we have the prostitution, the characters and the plot which has to do with the babies (can’t say too much due to spoilers!). But unoriginal because we see something we see in a lot of books set in a dystopian sort of world. There are Outsiders, outside of the wall that no one knows much about, and everyone is taught about. it just seemed so cliché, I didn’t really like the idea of it. Thankfully it isn’t too focused on in this first book and is only mentioned in passing, which makes me think that Anne is setting this up to be a major plotline in book two!

I can’t wait to continue the series. This book will suck you in right to the end, and is highly recommended from me!

Olivia’s Question: Has a book ever moved you deeply to act? Which one was it?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Tortured Souls (Review)

Morning!

Title: Tortured Souls
Author:  Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Publisher:  Sea Dragon Press 

Published Date:  28th June 2014
Rating: 2 Stars

Synopsis:  Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.

Review: This book is pretty hard for me to review. Is it possible to like something but hate it at the first time? 

Let’s start with the things I liked about the book. The first is that this author can write. Really write. There were some beautiful descriptions in this novel and I knew that if the plot and characters were a little bit more convincing, I would’ve loved it. Kimber Leigh Wheaton has such a way with words, and I am sure you’ll understand what I mean if you read it. And the romance scenes were especially well written :D

What made this book fall short for me was that it was kind of unbelievable. Some things happened too easily. Like when the father, who believed Kacie was lying about being able to see ghosts for all her teenage years suddenly decides to give her the benefit of doubt when a fellow teenager says it’s true. That wouldn’t happen! And then Kacie is opening up and telling all these secrets to people she has never known and… well, I just found it not very convincing :/

Another major problem – the insta-love. It had me roaring at the book for it to just please STAPH! These two people who have never talked to each other before are together after one meeting. Just no. No, no, NO!

That aside, the main character was someone I really liked at times, and at others didn’t. Kacie could be whiny, and she seemed to be moaning and falling into Logan’s arms far too often for my liking, so she bothered me in those aspects. I didn’t really see her as a strong female character, and I am all for those, because who wants to read things from a weeping girls perspective? But then again, I did have empathy for her. She had been harassed as a child, her mother had left the family presumably because of her and her powers, and it was a struggle for her to get by in her family. So then I could feel for the character at times as well. I felt mixed.

As for the elements of ghosts and whatnot, it was pretty well done, I think. The author did a good job of explaining new elements of powers to the story without info dumping the reader, and that in general was something I liked about the book.

To sum it up: I am not sure whether I want to continue reading this series or not…

Olivia’s Question: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one before?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Shatter Point (Blog Tour & Review!)

Hi there!

Title: Shatter Point
Author:
 Jeff Altabef

Publisher:  Evolved Publishing 

Published Date:  22nd September 2014
Rating: 5 Stars!

Synopsis: Maggie met Cooper at a young age, but even then she sensed something was wrong with him. His charm, good looks, and wealth could not hide the danger that burned in his sapphire eyes.

Some nightmares don’t go away. He’d been haunting her from a distance for as long as she could remember.

Now things have changed.

When her sons Jack and Tom discover she’s been taken, they set out to rescue her and uncover nefarious family secrets, explosive government conspiracies, and a series of horrific murders along the way. Only their colorful great aunt and a covert resistance group can help them navigate the dark underworld full of political subterfuge and class warfare.

All the while, Maggie struggles to outwit her tormentor in a life and death psychological battle of tense desperation. Will Jack and Tom arrive before Cooper reaches his shatter point?

Review: This book is a must read if you are a fan of psychological thrillers, and don’t mind a little bit of chilling descriptions as well.
 
This book had it all – action, good characters, a plot that kept me guessing and enough death to keep me screaming at the book so that my favourite characters would survive. Honestly, I almost reached my own Shatter Point while I read this. When I reached the last 100 pages no one was going to be able to stop me reading until I knew the ending!

There are quite a lot of characters in the novel, and they all seemed to be going about and doing their own thing at the beginning, which left me a little bit confused. But after the first few pages this was quickly overcome because we were able to see how everyone’s story so nicely connected. And there weren’t too many characters because I never forgot who was who. 

As for the plot, it was amazing. There was a steady build up to the climax point and was littered with action that kept me turning the page every time. Cooper was an amazing villain. He was rich, had power and a reputation to keep, and yet was half crazy at the same time. As the time ticks until he would reach his shatter point and possibly harm Maggie, her family and a group of workers are bent on getting her back. With a time limit on a novel like this my blood was pounding for us to save her – and get Cooper once and for all.

I think my favourite character in this novel had to be Cooper because I have never had a villain written so well as it was done here. We got to see into his mind as well, and the way he thought. Altabef managed to describe everything wonderfully and there was a perfect balance between setting, character development, a bit of romance (it’s not the main focus) and underlying themes of loyalty, friendship, family and bravery. I am definitely going to be rereading this sometime in the future.

Psst! When the author sent this through it came with a lovely pen and bookmark too. Isn’t that kind? I love them, so thank you very much Jeff Altabef!

Giveaway: One random commenter during this tour will in the first giftcard! See other participating bloggers here! Also, enter the rafflecopter!

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Buy Shatter Point at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

About the author: Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, was his debut novel.  Shatter Point, a psychological thriller, is Jeff's second novel. Jeff is under contract with Evolved Publishing for a YA/Fantasy series he is co-authoring with his teenaged daugher. The first in the series Chosen: Wind Catcher is set to be releasded in March.  As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories.

Find Jeff on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads!

Olivia’s Question: What makes your patience run out quickly?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Role Models - Dead Poets Society 5/5

Hello there!
 
I hope you are excited, because today will be our final and concluding post about Dead Poets Society (I know, I know, it took me a while to get this last post up...) We’ve talked about seizing ourdays, conformity, the importance of poetry as well as perspective. And today, we are going to talk about role models.

When people hear the title Dead Poets Society, they think of the most famous quote: Oh Captain, my Captain! I think everyone should take a moment to deviate from this post and go read the poem the movie talks about so often.

And now, I am going to relate it to role models. Everyone these days seems to have a role model, someone they are striving to be like or they trust enough to take advice from. In the case of this movie, the role model came in the form of an English teacher who taught them how to live. But for some it could be singer, a model, a friend, a parent… the choices are endless.

Some people believe having a role model is a bad idea because that person could let you down. Some believe it is safest to have a role model who is historical or simply dead because they can’t make mistakes to make you disrespect them. Some don’t have role models as well, but they usually have an image of likeness to someone or something that they are striving after.

Be careful who you choose as your role model. Are they really good for you? Or should you try to be yourself more? You’re the only one who can answer this.

As for me, my role model is Jesus, and I really couldn’t try to be like anyone else.
 
Ongoing giveaway: Open for US, Canada & UK!
 
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Olivia’s Catastrophe: Who is your role model? Why?

Olivia-Savannah x
Disclaimer: All images are not mine and are found on Pinterest.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

My Own Mr. Darcy (Review)

Hi there!

Title: My Own Mr Darcy
Author:
 Karey White

Publisher:  Orange Door Press

Published Date:  21st November 2013
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thank you to ebooks4review for sending me a copy for review*

Synopsis: After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

Review: I am going to admit, I have never read Pride & Prejudice, even though I own it and it’s on my TBR shelf. I also have never seen the movie. But when you read this book, you don’t really have to.
In general, I liked this, but as far as romances go this was… underwhelming? I do like romance, but only if it is very entertaining, otherwise I might bored. There was a love triangle because there needs to be one to keep the book going, and Elizabeth is tied between dating Matt Dawson, someone who is just like the Mr. Darcy she has dreamed about for years, or Chad, someone who is so different, but she can’t stop thinking about all the time.
 
What I did like about the book was that it didn’t simply focus on her romance. It spanned into everything that affected her emotions in the book, which meant her family and how her job was going. We also get to hear a lot about her thoughts, and that was welcome. Elizabeth is an interesting character, and sometimes it was interesting to see how her obsession had affected her so much, but how she did realise it herself.
 
I really didn’t like Matt’s character. He was mean, selfish and uncaring. He was all about creating impressions and sometimes left Elizabeth’s emotions in the dust. She does spend a lot of time with him in the book, and that is why I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. He was too mean, too annoying, and I couldn’t even see the small good part of him that Elizabeth tried to see and bring out in him.
The ending was fairly predictable… but that didn’t stop it from being a pleasant read. I think I have mixed feelings about this one. I think you would like it if you don’t mind reading classics with slow romances.
 
Ongoing giveaway: Open to US, Canada & UK!
 
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Olivia’s Question: Is there a character in a movie you wouldn’t mind falling in love with?
 
Olivia-Savannah x
 
 
 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Krymzyn (Blog Tour & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Krymzyn
Author:
 BC Powell

Publisher:  Self-published

Published Date:  4th October 2014
Rating: 3 Stars

*Tour courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours*

Welcome to the Krymzyn book tour!
Synopsis:  Chase was twelve the first time he arrived in a strange land where dark, ominous clouds never move, ancient trees violently spring to life during Darkness, and people seem to live without emotion. Doctors tell him they’re hallucinations, but he knows his visits are real. She’s there—Sash—and she’s more real than anyone he’s ever known.

His visits stop but, as years pass, the memories haunt Chase. Without warning, the young man suddenly finds himself again in a world called Krymzyn. Arriving during Darkness, he’s rescued from death by the extraordinary, beautiful, but terrifying young woman he first met when he was twelve.

When Chase is thrust into the war of balance against vile creatures who threaten all who live there, Sash helps him understand his purpose in Krymzyn. A dark secret from the beginning of time reveals he might be able to stay there forever. To prove he belongs in Krymzyn and be with the only woman he can ever love, Chase will have to risk his own life in the ultimate battle.

This book is a new adult work of fiction intended for mature audiences 17 and older.

 
Review: This book turned out to be pretty good. There were some parts I really enjoyed reading, and the aura mystery was well carried through.

I have to say, my favourite thing about this novel must’ve been the world building. I could easily envision what the world of Krymzyn looked like and could understand the rules it had running there. The idea of crimson coloured world captivated me from when I first glanced the cover to when I got to the end of the book. The descriptions were amazing, especially the first few times Chase travels to the world.

As for the main characters, I found it difficult to feel for the people of Krymzyn sometimes because they were so different. I did find it easier to relate to Chase, who was human and intrigued by this world. His family also really care about him, because when he travels to Krymzyn in another dimension, his body is left going through a seizure, which is hard for the family to take. But his mother and sister clearly care about him a lot and that relationship was lovely to see.

At the beginning the book is fairly slow placed. For a good 30% Chase goes back to Krymzyn twice and doesn’t get too many answers, so we are still left in the dark. He also has to spend a lot of time explaining some English words to Sash, and I didn’t like reading about definitions to simple words just because another character didn’t understand them. I found that to be a little bit boring.

Otherwise, this book was a pretty good read. There was a nice ending with enough happening to make it faster paced and keep me looking forward to reading. The characters weren’t amazing but I cared enough for them to hope everything would work out well in the end. The world building was amazing, and the sequel to this book will be interesting.

Giveaways! My giveaway, open to US, Canada and the UK. Win a signed physical copy of the book!

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Tour Wide Giveaway: Check terms and conditions! Open internationally!

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Buy the book on Amazon, B&N, ibooks or Kobo here!
 
Author bio: BC Powell is a fantasy author from Los Angeles, CA. "Krymzyn" is his debut science fiction fantasy novel, the first book in a series titled "The Journals of Krymzyn."
 
Powell has a diverse background, having held several creative positions in the entertainment industry, including executive roles at ABC-TV and Technicolor. In recent years, he's authored several non-fiction works, primarily educational books and training programs for trading the financial markets. He dual majored in journalism and philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Writing fiction has been his lifelong passion and goal. "Krymzyn" is his first published novel and represents, in his words, "finally finding the story I want to tell with characters that are able to bring that story to life." He's an avid reader and lists Ernest Hemingway, Frank L. Herbert, Stephen King, Jane Auste 
 
n, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. as his favorite authors.
Brad, as he prefers to go by in personal communication, lives with his longtime girlfriend, three sons from a previous marriage, and their rescue dog and cat. He enjoys hiking, ocean kayaking, spending time at Southern California beaches, movies, and reading.
 
Olivia’s Question: If you could travel inside any book, which world would you want to go to?

Olivia-Savannah x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day Zero (Review)

Morning :)

Title: Day Zero
Author:  Summer Lane
Publisher: WB publishing

Published Date:  10th October 2014
Rating: 3.5 Stars

*Thank you to the author for sending me a copy for review*

Synopsis:  Elle is a survivor.
Since the collapse of modern society, she's been living in the remains of downtown Hollywood, California, foraging for food and fighting for her life.
And then everything changes.
After she is forced out of her home, she heads north. What she finds is a group of bunker survivors, unlikely comrades, and the hope of a safe haven. Together, they journey toward the dregs of civilization, facing starvation, imprisonment and death.
They are alone, but they are ready.
Day Zero begins today.

Review: This was a novella, which means it was a quick read at only 170 pages. As a novella, it had everything it needed to have in there and was a pretty enjoyable read as well. We got some character development, action and a good story in a shorter amount of pages than usual, and that is pretty admirable.

Elle is the main character, a teenager who has been left to fend for herself in a world where there is the Omega always watching everyone and the Klan is out to get everyone and kill them. She has had to survive through this on her own and scavenge for food. The thing is, in this town the food is running out. Now where will she go?

Elle was a tough character. I felt like she was a bit conveniently prepped for this situation seeing as she had done gymnastics and martial arts before Day Zero, but then again I let it go because of course there will always be some people better prepped than others in an apocalypse. She’s definitely someone who rolls solo and is a very tough cookie after all she’s seen. But when she ends up traveling with a group she changes, and that’s when we see the character development shine through. I wasn’t expecting any, so I was impressed when I saw it. I felt like all Elle really wanted was to feel safe, and to find happiness. She just didn't know where to look.

The story has its fair share of action-y moments in here. They were pretty well done and all, but I wanted something more eventful and bigger. It was enough for a novella, but maybe in the next book there will be something more big happening in terms of plotline.

The backstory was handled well and I think we were able to see enough of Elle’s history to understand her reasons for doing certain things. We also got a bit of backstory for each of the people she ended up traveling with as well, except one. His past remained a mystery and it’s either to be unlocked in future books, or the author forgot to resolve that one. Either way, I still want to know!

This book was pretty much romance free, which was brilliant because there aren’t nearly enough of those books, and I don’t see where the author could’ve crammed it in amongst everything else. I’m looking forward to the sequel!

Ongoing giveaway: Open internationally, but do check the terms and conditions!

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Olivia’s Question: What three things would you like with you in an apocalypse?

Olivia-Savannah x
Disclaimer: All images are not mine and were found on Pinterest.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Thousand Pieces of You (Review)

Hi there!

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: 
Claudia Gray

Publisher:  HarperTeen
Published Date: 4th November 2014
Rating: 5 stars!


*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review*

Synopsis: Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

Review: Wow. I just loved this and read it super quickly!
After reading and enjoying Claudia Gray’s Evernight series a few years back, and absolutely falling in love with this gorgeous cover (just look at it!) I needed to read this. The idea of traveling between dimensions and a captivating romance intrigued me from the beginning. I just had to read this! And it didn’t let me down either.
The action was amazing, and the mystery behind everything. I liked the idea of traveling between dimensions to find her father’s murder was a brilliant one. The action and mystery unraveled gradually and always kept me on my toes as to who had done it. At first the answer to the case seems black and white, but in the end it was more complicated than I could’ve presumed.
The science behind this seemed legit enough, even though I am not too amazing at science and it was kind of over my head. But from what I did read, it seemed to make enough sense. Also, each dimension is creatively different. There is an underwater station, a Russian historical period of time and a dimension much like earth as well. I have to say the Russian period was definitely my favourite (what can I say? I love a good historical fiction.) and was handled well.
The only shame was in the Russian period where the main character spends the most time, the setting isn’t developed very well. Sure, we see castles and we have guards, but the way she acts and speaks, she could’ve been living in any old time and it would’ve still seemed like this worked. I felt that although in some dimensions the setting did play a role in the story, sometimes that could’ve been improved a bit.
The main characters were handled well. We get to see a bit of Marguerite’s past life through flashbacks (which were a bit abrupt and sudden in places) as much as we get to see the present. She’s a determined girl who won’t let anyone tell her she can’t do anything, and she lets herself be led by her heart a lot. Being the only creative one in a family of scientists, I don’t find that too surprising ;) Paul and Theo were also interesting characters, but I don’t want to say too much about that or I might give the story away ^^ I think family was a big part of this novel too, and it was good to see that theme running through it. 

The romance was BIG part of the story, and a bigger part than predicted. But it was handled well, I loved it, and of course, there was a love triangle. But I think the love triangle was kind of necessary in Marguerite’s situation, and was executed wonderfully.
The plot twist at the end was brilliant! I loved reading this, flew through it, and honestly cannot wait for the second book in the series! Highly recommended.
Ongoing giveaway: Open internationally, do check the terms and conditions!
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Olivia’s Question: What invention do you think will exist in the future?
Olivia-Savannah x
Disclaimer: All images are not mine and are found on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Byronic (Review & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Byronic
Author:  Sandi Beth Jones
Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Published Date: 24th June 2014
Rating: 4 stars


*Thank you to YA Book Bound for sending me a copy for review*

Synopsis:  When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can't help wondering who she's kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father. Starting over in the South Carolina Low country is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom's snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Troubled and reckless after his brother's mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father's literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn't make Chelsea feel any more at home. Chelsea buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints – powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life. It's clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Low country is what it seems.

Review: I will admit, I didn’t start this story with incredibly high hopes. I thought it was going to be an okay read, but I turned out to enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would.

I do believe it is hard to make books creepy. There are a few books that do it for me like Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum and some others, but it is something hard to bring across in a book. But this book, this introduced me to haints and boo hags – ghosts and ghouls I had never heard of before. As well as that, it was just plain creepy! You could never tell what the creatures would do next and when Chelsea’s friend goes missing and she understands something about her drawings it became nicely creepy.

I couldn't stop reading!

I loved Chelsea as a main character. She had just the amount of attitude needed, and she was a good girl but she knew when to go about doing her own thing and she always chose the logical action to what she wanted to do. An artist, she admires the scenery around her, and is a good friend to have. She sounded like someone I would like to be friends with, and that made me happy.
 

Geoffrey was a good love interest, and I liked the fact that his mood was constantly changing so Chelsea was often confused about where they were; friends, more or not friends at all? I felt like the feelings that sprang between them happened a bit fast and I was surprised when that element was thrown in so early, but otherwise it was all good. Another character that has earned a worthy mention is Lewis. Geoff’s best friend and a character written beautifully.

But don’t think this book is all about the creepiness. There are underlying themes of friendship, betrayal and family as well. Chelsea’s parents are divorced and her father also has schizophrenia, even if he doesn’t live with them anymore. It was interesting to see the parts where that was brought up.

I can’t wait to read the sequel of this book!


Author Bio: Sandi is the author of young adult and adult romance. She's worked with books for the past twenty years, first as a bookseller, then as a library media specialist and teacher. She lives on a river in the Ozarks, hoards antique books, and travels to places off the beaten path. She’s also the proud mother of two grown sons. When not writing, she enjoys cooking for her husband and playing the servant to one grumpy old tomcat.

Find the book here on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
 
Giveaway: Open internationally! Don't forget to check the terms and conditions!
 
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Olivia’s Question: Do you believe in ghosts and ghouls?

Olivia-Savannah x
Disclaimer: Gif is not mine and was found on Google.