Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Darkening Dream - PROMO, INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY

A Vampire Novel with Actual Bite!

  As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back. The Darkening Dream is a chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. The book has received rave reviews and is on sale for only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle from June 25th-29th! Download your copy here. In addition, Andy is doing a big giveaway, including a $100 gift certificate to Amazon, signed copies of his books, video games, posters, and more!

The Darkening Dream Rafflecopter Giveaway Tweet, like, follow, share, blog and grab a copy of his book to enter.

Get your 99 cent copy of The Darkening Dream today on Amazon only.

Long-time readers of dark historical fantasy (Tim Powers, Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz) will appreciate the weaving together of mythology, occult, and religion, while younger readers and fans of HBO dramas (True Blood, Carnivàle) or urban fantasy (Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) will be drawn to the twisted imagination, graphic action, and romantic tension.

  About The Darkening Dream Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs. 1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand. With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal? No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be her very soul.

  The Reviews Are In "A vampire novel with actual bite." ~The Kirkus Reviews "A gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying tale." ~Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) "Mr. Gavin has brought something refreshingly new to a genre now suffused with poorly-concealed bodice-rippers which have more in common with Fabio than Bram Stoker: depth. His big baddies are scary, not romantic interests, and the added religious lore is complex and engaging. Don't expect another Twilight -- the story can get downright creepy, so be prepared for a return to the old horror sensibilities of supernatural fiction." ~Amazon Review "With Mr. Gavin's video-game pedigree, I was expecting something aimed squarely at the 18-25 year old fanboy contingent; what I got in The Darkening Dream was something wholly unexpected: A period novel with a female protagonist, a crash-course on Judaism in the colonial years, and multi-layered series of plot arcs featuring a crazy cast of natural and supernatural characters populating turn of the century America." ~Amazon Review "…A perfect blend of mystery, magic and myth. A grown-up Grimm's fairy tale... emphasis on grim." ~Amazon Review

Read the first two sample chapters here.

Get your 99 cent copy of The Darkening Dream today on Amazon only.

About the Author

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. Find out more here.


Q. Tell us something about yourself.

I’m a lifelong creator and explorer of worlds. As far back as first grade I remember spending most of the school day in one day dream or another. I had a huge notebook stuffed with drawings, story bits, and concepts for an elaborate Sci-Fi/Fantasy world I cobbled together from bits of Star Wars, Narnia, and BattlestarGalactica. By fourth or fifth grade not only was I loosing myself in every fantasy or Sci-Fi novel I could, but I was building Dungeons & Dragons castles and caverns on paper. Then from 1980 on the computer.
Over the following decades I wrote dozens of stories and created and published over a dozen video games all set in alternative universes. And as an avid reader (over 10,000 novels and who knows how many non-fiction volumes) it was no surprise that I eventually decided to write some books of my own.

Q: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV?

I’m not a short story fan. I rarely read them and haven’t written them since my college creative writing classes. I appreciate the concept, and truth be told, it’s very challenging to structure an idea with a beginning, middle, and end that fits into a few pages, but I like more meat on the bones. I don’t order small sized beverages either, I’m more the big gulp kind of guy.

Q: How to you research for a book before you begin the writing process?

I write, research, write, research and so on. I started the book and then found that I needed to read dozens of books to fill in certain aspects of the story.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?

Bringing scenes that I have in my head to life is my favorite part of writing. This can apply to first draft stuff or to substantial revision once I've done the planning. With publishing, getting art back from my artists is my favorite part. Nothing like seeing a new cover!

Q: Did you always have in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

From at least high school on I always intended to write a bunch of novels. Work just got in the way.

And the thing about making games is that you can no longer do it mostly by yourself. These days, most games are big teams of over a hundred people, with budgets over 50 million dollars. It’s no longer about your creative expression (most of the time), but about getting it done well, on time, and on budget. And the roll of team lead is largely about fire fighting and resource (achem… people) wrangling.

So, I really wanted to focus directly on the creative aspects. Dozens of story ideas have been bouncing around in my head for years, and I felt it was time to let a couple of them out.

Q: Now since this Q&A is based on your latest book THE DARKENING DREAM, so the questions will be based on that book only. How would you describe THE DARKENING DREAM in a sentence?

As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

An ominous vision and the discovery of a gruesome corpse lead Sarah and her friends into a terrifying encounter with a fledgling vampire in 1913 Salem, Massachusetts. Eager to prove themselves, the young heroes set out to track the evil to its source, never guessing that they will take on a conspiracy involving not only a 900-year vampire but also a demon-loving Puritan warlock, disgruntled Egyptian gods, and an immortal sorcerer, all on a quest to recover the holy trumpet of the Archangel Gabriel. Relying on the wisdom of a Greek vampire hunter, Sarah’s rabbi father, and her own disturbing visions, Sarah must fight a millennia-old battle between unspeakable forces, where the ultimate prize might be Sarah herself.

Q: How did the idea of writing THE DARKENING DREAM sprang up in your mind?

It was a combination of the visceral and the cerebral. The visceral part was this image I had – and some might consider me disturbed – of a dead tree silhouetted against an orange sky, a naked body bound to it, disembowelled, and bleeding out. The sound of a colossal horn or gong blares. The blood glistens black in the sunset light. Bats circle the sky and wolves bay in the distance.
But sacrifice isn’t just about killing. It’s a contract. Someone is bargaining with the gods.
And on the cerebral side, I've always been a huge vampire fan and I've read and watched a large percentage of the oeuvre. But also as a history buff I wanted to write a supernatural story that was more grounded in real history and legend. I'm always thinking, "that could have been so much better if they didn't make up the historical backstory" so I started with the villains. What kind of ancient evil creatures might still be around? What do they want? And what legitimate human reason would they have to destroy the world (Buffy-style)? I don't exactly answer the question in TDD, because the motives of 5,000 year old baddies should be mysterious. But trust me, they have a plan, and the sheer audacity of it will literally shake the foundations of the heavens.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your idea's develop as you write?

I’m a pantser who wants to be a plotter. I hate to outline, yet I must have a scene or chapter fleshed out before I can write it. If I do, it pops out at 750-1000 words an hour. If not, it doesn’t come at all. But I can only really outline a few chapters ahead. I have a detailed discussion of that here.

Q: What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?

Spicettes, the funny flavored gumdrops. And Skittles. I love Skittles.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best and worst aspects of writing for a living?

The best part is as Stephen King once said, writing is a magic in of itself, being a form of telepathy. You attempt to paint the story as you see it into the reader’s brain.

The worst is the waiting. You wait on story editors, on agents, on editors, on proofreaders, on artists, on reviewers… on everyone J And the worst bit about that is that the waits are often infinite.

Q: How similar to its principle protagonist and the main cast are you?

I have certain qualities in common with Sarah, Alex, Joseph, and perhaps even Constantine. Virtually none with al Nasir and Parris. At least I hope not.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?

I can’t pick just one. A Game of Thrones, Hyperion, Carrion Comfort, Dune, TheAnubis Gates, A Fire Upon the Deep, Consider Phlebas, The City and the Stars, Time Enough for Love, Great Sky River, Wizard and Glass, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Wyvern, Assassin’s Apprentice, A Horse and His Boy, The Silmarillion, and many more.

-Your favourite band/singer?

Pink Floyd.

-Twitter or Facebook?

Both. A lot of both.

-Favourite place in the world?

Italy. I’ve spent perhaps 8-9 cumulative months there.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

Snow White and the Huntsman. My review is here.

-The last book you’ve read?

A Princess of Mars. Again, review here.

-Have you ever googled yourself?

Certainly. I used to lose out to a heavy metal guitarist with the same name. Now, because of my popular website, I win by a large margin.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

Besides being a video game creator and computer programmer, I’m a certified Sommelier. Haha.

-And last one....print or ebooks?

Both. But I usually read on my iPad.

Q: The cover of THE DARKENING DREAM is really awesome. Did you have any inputs in it?

The cover photo-illustration is by award winning fantasy artist Cliff Nielsen. In deciding what to do about the cover I combed through the more recent books in my 10,000 novel collection and put aside ones with covers I liked. Going through those I found like eight (including the new edition of Narnia!) with covers by Cliff. But it was really the Map of Time cover that totally sold me. I had to have him do mine. So I called.
I produced the cover. Cliff did all the hard work.

Q: If it ever gets turned into a movie then who would you like to see on the cast?

I don’t actually spend much time thinking about that as I see them as their own people. But… The girl we cast for the cover nails Sarah’s look. A young Rachel Wiess would’ve been perfect. Failing the time warp, perhaps Nina Dobrev, but she’s too tall and by the time it got made too old. Constantine: Christopher Lee for sure, but we can only hope he’ll still be around J. And while we’re going for dream cast, I think George Clooney could actually carry al-Nasir. He has the intensity and Nasir sees himself as charming. Steve Buscemi might make a great Parris. Paul Giamatti as Joseph. Chloe Grace Moretz as Emily. And last, but not least, perhaps Anton Yelchin as Alex.

Q: What next after this?

I have a second finished novel (it’s been through four major drafts and a full line edit). It’s calledUntimedand is a YA time travel novelthat chronicles the crazy adventures of a boy no one remembers, who falls through a hole in time and finds himself lost in the past. It’s very different with an extremely immediate first person present voice (in this book the only thing anyone can hold on to is the present). It rocks. Seriously rocks.

Right now (as of mid June) it’s out on submission to New York and London publisher’s via my agent, Eddie Schneider of JABberwocky. I’m very interested to see what the publishers have to say about it and if they can make an offer that is overall more compelling than publishing it myself.

Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?

Read, read, write, write, edit, edit, edit. And hire good professional help too. Friends and family can give you a sense of how the book reads, but they can't usually tell you how to fix anything serious. I've read a lot of half-decent Indie books on my Kindle that are at their core good, but just need some serious tightening and polish. Hell, I've read plenty of big-six bestsellers you can say this about.

Monday, 25 June 2012

I'M PARTICIPATING - Pages From My Thoughts: Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Bosworth, Author...

GO HERE TO ENTER - Pages From My Thoughts: Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Bosworth, Author...:

Now, here is you chance to win a signed copy of Struck, and the giveaway is open internationally. Feel free to enter and spread the word.
Giveaway ends : July 20, 2012
The winner will be notified within 48 hours of giveaway ends, also be announced on announcement page.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Still On My Mind #6

"Still on Mind" is a weekly event, hosted at Ya-Aholic, every thursday to feature a book that you read months or even YEARS ago that was so good (or so scary/unique/funny..etc) that it is 'Still on my (your) Mind!'

This week the book that is still on my mind is...(sorry I didn't post last thursday..)

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Why this is still on my mind?
"You'd be mad if you didn't read this book....its marvelous....and definitely very different. Case in point an assassin bad-ass nun battling sinners in the eye of St.Mortain, death personified....oh Ismae is definitely my favorite book heroine"

Oh and be sure to enter my 1st blogoversary giveaway here

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Iron Druid Chronicles #4 Tricked

Oh I have been waiting to read this book since that gorgeous and hunky cover released. Presenting The Iron Druid Chronicles #4 Tricked by Kevin Hearne.

Here is the summary of the book:

Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert. But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shapeshifters called skinwalkers. Just when the Druid thinks he’s got a handle on all the duplicity, betrayal comes from an unlikely source. If Atticus survives this time, he vows he won’t be fooled again. Famous last words.

Tricked, is more or less the post Hammered novel. We all know what had happened in there, Atticus had traveled to Asgard to assist in the murder of the Norse Thunder God, Thor and help his associates get the revenge they desired despite the warnings he had received from the other Gods. But not without consequences and here in this book all of them tumble full force upon him and he has to do all he can to get out unscathed, complete all of his debts and somehow train his apprentice freely...all at once.

This is definitely one hell of a jam-packed novel. While yes it is actually sort of a part two for the previous book but still it is strong enough to make a stand of its own. Atticus and his wolf-hound, Oberon as well as his apprentice, Granuile are again in a tangle and this time its the Navajos. While I'm not particularly very knowledgeable about this particular mythos but got to commend Mr. Hearne, for the extensive level of details clearly visible in here. The narrative is well placed and the plot well maintained. The climax was well hair-raising and exciting to read through and not to mention the numerous main stream trivia quote the Matrix, Transformers, Steve Perry or Freddie Mercury produced the perfect comic relief to boot ....I'm definitely excited to know about the next adventures of the last Druid of Mother Earth, his hound and his apprentice in the next book.

"Exciting and hair-raising Atticus, Oberon & Granuile get schooled in the Navajo Ways .... its trickery .... its a tangle "

Genre :       Urban Fantasy, Mythology 

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

I'm Participating - Hippies, Beauty, and Books Oh My!: Our Summer Reading 2012 Ginormous INT Giveaway Ext...

GO HERE TO ENTER - Hippies, Beauty, and Books Oh My!: Our Summer Reading 2012 Ginormous INT Giveaway Ext...

You've asked and we are answering! Last year we held a massive international giveaway for a TON of books! 10 people were very happy! This year, our giveaway is even larger and a bit more diverse. Here are the rules (they are quite simple!):


1.) Must be 13 or older to enter
2.) Contest is open INT. If you can receive packages at your house, we will ship to you!
3.) Contest ends on 7/05/2012
4.) There are lots of entries you can earn, but only your name and email are required. The more entries you complete, the more likely you are to win!
5.) Winners will be chosen randomly by upon completion of contest. Prize Packs will also be chosen randomly!

Here are the prize packs you have a chance of winning:

Monday, 18 June 2012

Kane Chronicles #3 The Serpent's Shadow

The Egyptian mythology is not really my favorite but after reading Mr. Riordan's gripping tale, I need to definitely brush-up on it..... presenting Kane Chronicles #3 The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan.

Here is the summary of the book:

He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

Things are dire when your enemy is the ultimate enemy of all (I'm not talking of Voldemort), the chaos serpent Apophis is rearing its giant head, destroying everything, manipulating events and leaving no witness alive. The Kane siblings, Carter and Sadie are now at their wit's end. They are loosing allies fast, the opposition is rebelling to get them destroyed and doomsday is close....How do you defeat something that is even bigger than the whole planet....does the chaos snake have the same body structure as of the human's? Because if so...then its is as simple and as dangerous as it can get....

This one was so good that it was too good to end so quickly. Carter was ever studious and very much the leader meant to be. Sadie was as smart-mouthed as well. But together they are stronger than ever. As with the previous books, this is also written as a recorded audio script, alternating between Sadie and Carter's point of views. Literally having to act the adult, Carter and Sadie are definitely not without their own teenage problems....*wink*

Well the messy love lives aside, the egyptian mythos is as effervescent and livelier as ever. Mr. Riordan sure knows how to turn a history lesson interesting to read about. The action and the climax was my GOD the best and most palpable. It was just so interesting and informative that ending it just like.... oh I so want more....I'm hungry for more.... it just can't be the ending of Apophis or the Egyptian Gods... we need more Mr. Riordan! After all nothing is forever....

"A hair-raising and jaw-dropping fianle - leaving us hungry for more"
Genre :      Young Adult, Mythology, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

When You Were Mine

My fourth Simon & Schuester pulse it read and its another sad one based on my least favorite tragedy by the English bard Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet. Presenting my views of When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.

Here is the summary of the book:

In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale. What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything. Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy… and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance. Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends…

Its based on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, and for me it gathers much more points than the original did, even West Side Story gathers much more points that the original.... So I don't really think I need to explain what this is all about really. Rebecca Serle's version bases itself on the least known character of the original play, Rosaline (very smart).... its a modern re-telling of the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet but with Romeo's original love, Rosaline as the center piece.

Rosaline Caplet and Rob Monteg have been best buddies for all eternity and just when things were starting to look brighter for them both, her deranged cousin, Juliet comes in between and destroys the peace between. Rob falls for her outward beauty and Rosaline takes a back seat much to the chargin of their friends.....the worst decision of her life and its not just her friendship (well love) that hangs in the balance but Rob's life too because Juliet is known to be crazy and to even kill to get her end.

Now I don't really like contemporary stories; romance, tragedy, coming of age or whatever..... makes me sad and rambling a lot but this one is way sadder than I thought it would be. Rosaline is a simple teenage girl who loves her next door neighbor and long time best friend very much but is afraid to say the words because if it didn't work out then it would be pretty disastrous for both of them. Then they go to their first date and share a heart stopping kiss and all seems to be great but then her deranged and psychotic cousin comes and in and it all goes astray. Rob falls for her Barbie looks (sorry I love Barbie and there is no way i'll compare them but it was only fitting). Rosaline, bless her kindred soul only wants to see her best friend and her cousin happy even at the cost of her own happiness....and it definitely is not what I wanted to see.

 Now while reading it, I have to say though I was pretty much shipping Rosaline & Rob together, they completed each other and when Juliet comes in between them, all I wanted was to hurl something at my LCD monitor (where I was reading it) and tell Rosaline to get a movie on and claim what was was her's before something happened but no she stepped back and in a bid to make her estranged cousin happy....lost everything. Even Rob was at fault here....if he wasn't so nervous and had they sat down and talked things through then maybe things never would have taken such a big U-turn. It all comes down to our 'choices' .. its  these choices and decisions that shape us and then post disaster you can't really blame yourself for what went wrong but to accept what happened and try very hard to move past it.

But got to say though I really liked it and recommend everybody to give it a try. Rebecca Serle really brought a new twist to Shakespeare's play and made my heart go out to their situation....or Rosaline's situation. I definitely liked the supporting cast very much. The pacing was all done very well..... although it did start slow. If there is one thing I didn't like ..... well it was how it ended ..... I really was rooting for Rosalie and Rob to end up together and save the day but I suppose Ms. Serle's writing works pretty well.

"Hauntingly beautiful - Rebecca Serle bring out the least known character of Shakespeare's original tragedy to the center stage"

Genre :      Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuester Books for Young Readers

My Copy: Pulse It Simon & Schuester group 

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Wardstone Chronicles #8 The Spook's Destiny

After a long line of satisfactories, it is about to end with a spectactular (keyword 'about to'). Presenting The Wardstone Chronicles #8 The Spook's Destiny by Joseph Delaney.

Here is the summary of the book:

Thomas Ward has served as the Spook's apprentice for three years. He has battled boggarts, witches, demons, and even the devil himself. Tom has enemies: The Fiend stalks him, waiting for a moment of weakness. The terrifying Morrigan, goddess of witches, warned him never to step foot on her homeland, Ireland. But now war has consumed their own country, and Tom, his friend Alice, and the Spook must flee to Ireland. The dark rages strongly there. No one can be trusted. Can Tom defeat the creatures that hunt him most fiercely?

The Spook, Tom and Alice in order to evade re-capturing by the invader forces flee to Ireland. But that place has its own problems and a dangerous enemy for Tom waits there, the twin of the celtic witch whom Bill Arckwright had killed and she is out for blood..... planning to give Tom to the vengeful goddess of the witches, Morrigan. But that's not all, the threat from the fiend still looms large and then there is the problem of the goat mages who are preparing to offer sacrifices to the god of nature, Pan and pull him from the other world to ours.....maybe it is time they brought an end to the fiend to finally dealt a big blow to the dark magic practices.

The series that began with the Spook's Apprentice is finally about to end. Notice I said 'about to' its not over yet and as I mentioned earlier after a long line of satisfactories ranging from book 2, this eight bokk actually was spectacular Tom finally realizes what he feels for Alice after the unthinkable happens, even the Spook is starting to accept that maybe, 'you need dark magic to combat dark magic' and things are more at stake than ever. Joseph Delaney sure delivered a good one with this, coupled with the Spooky, hair-raising and haunting details of all things that go bonk in the night. Have to say though, i'm hoping he won't be extending the series meaninglessly and will end it with a spectacle of its own spookiness.

"Evergreen characters and with the bout of the Spooky, Joseph Delaney delivers a solid one"
Genre :      Young Adult, High Fantasy

Publisher: Red Fox

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Still On Mind #5

"Still on Mind" is a weekly event, hosted at Ya-Aholic, every thursday to feature a book that you read months or even YEARS ago that was so good (or so scary/unique/funny..etc) that it is 'Still on my (your) Mind!'

This week the book that is still on my mind is...(i know i'm late in posting this)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Why this is still on my mind?
"I just finished reading the last book of the Kane Chronicles yesterday and while yes its not the level of this masterpiece....but reading it made me remember how much fun I had reading about Percy's quests and all those sarcastic chapter titles were the best of the lot....and its all thanks to RICK RIORDAN, great guy"

Oh and be sure to enter my 1st blogoversary giveaway here

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Hourglass #1 Hourglass

I haven't really read many time travel books but this one was a quite an interesting one to the mix with the potential of being right. Presenting Hourglass #1 Hourglass by Myra McEntire.

Here is the summary of the book:

One hour to rewrite the past . . . For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past. Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

As I just stated i've not really read many books on time travel and the select few i've read are the potentially incorrect ones... as is the deal for me for having a physics, chemistry, biology background. Although, Hourglass  has the potential of being scientifically correct but the cover doesn't really do it justice at all. One look at it and my first thought was that this is a contemporary book and not science fiction at all.... so in that sense it looses a point...but regains that due to its one of a kind plot.

This is how the story goes like Emerson Cole is a small town Ivy Springs teenager who lives with her famous architect duo brother and sister-in-law Thomas and Dru but there is something different about her. Since her parents have dies in an accident she has been able to see ghosts from the past, not in white or blue (as most portray them) but they appear in full color but transparent. Millions came forward help her but all for naught. This time however the new counselor is different. This one, Michael Weaver, hardly older than her has secrets of his own. Michael may actually hold the answers that Em has been looking for and in her bid to help him may actually find out more about her past, present and her future.

Emerson is the protagonist of this tale. She is a modern teenager, independent, beautiful, cautious and a little insecure in herself. She is far from perfect and does not like to ask help and that is perfectly acceptable, it adds to her dynamic character. The addition of Michael adds a new spice to her life. Michael is every bit of a mystery to her. It definitely bodes well to get someone closer to her in age. Along the way Michael and her seem to have developed this strong connection to each other - like two halves of a soul - true soul mates - a love at first sight. The sexual tension is specially unbearable to read about.

The romance between these two and all the interactions and passion on display makes this an intense read. And the surprise love triangle with the entry of Michael's best friend, the player and the flirt, Kaleb is a wonderful addition, not that I like love triangles but it actually makes Emerson think about her thoughts on Michael and makes her act on it before disaster strikes because she knows Michael being the gentleman would never act on it.

Hourglass on the whole us an interesting and an engrossing read. First in the trilogy, it lays a perfect ground work for it series. But got to give it to the author though she did not overload us with the physics of time in this book, instead of choosing to keep it minimal and focusing on the background and on to Emerson and Michael's story instead. The writing was very good..making me stick to it and finish it in one sitting. The climax was another thing altogether, very exhilarating and action-packaged and emotional, Ms. McEntire gives our favorite couple and that is what really matters. So excited for the next book, Timepiece.

"Myra McEtire's Hourglass gives time travel a new dimension all together"

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Romance

Publisher: Egmont USA

Rate:              5/5 (It was Awesome)

I'M PARTICIPATING - Mostly YA Book Obsessed: YA Debut Author Blog Hop Giveaway!

GO HERE TO ENTER - Mostly YA Book Obsessed: YA Debut Author Blog Hop Giveaway! 

Welcome to the 2012 YA Debut Author Blog Hop Giveaway.   There were so many amazing books this year by debut authors and it was hard for ...

Winner will choose one of the following books:

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


My third pulse it group read....and OMG that cover is so HOT. Presenting Wreaked by Anna Davies.

Here is the summary of the book:

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this. Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control. But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm. Seductive and compelling, Wrecked brings a contemporary, paranormal twist to a classic enchanting tale.

With a cover this hot and a title this disastrous, it is sure to spell trouble for the characters. This is how the story goes like Miranda and her friends get caught in a sea storm while test driving her new boat. It is said that the sea witch, Sephie who stirs up these storms once in awhile to get souls. Boat wreaked, and all of her friends possibly dead or injured only Miranda comes out of this unscathed with the help of this strange boy, Christian who had come out of nowhere and brought her to safety on land. Now no one wants to be friends or have anything to do with Miranda blaming her for the wreak. Miranda on her part is intrigued by Christian. Who is he and why did he save her? ... But trouble is still aboard... and Sephie does not like to loose.

The underwater world has always been an intriguing one and if the creatures of Poseidon's world are involved then its even more intriguing; mermaids, nereids, sea spirits, devas and the like. But here the author doesn't rely on the supernatural here but on the post accident fallout between the characters. Prior to the boat wreak all of them, Miranda, Genevieve, Fletcher, Gray, Alan and the others were great friends but now half of them are dead and the other half don't want anything to do with Miranda, outright alienating her and putting up all the blame on her head. Miranda is all alone, even her grandmother is more interested in public image than the welfare of her grandchild. So it is natural enough to see Miranda pushing away everyone from her (those who are still there). If you ask me I think they weren't even her friends at all, because friends stick together in times of need and not turn their back on them when they need them the most. And sadly speaking this blame game in the human nature is very pathetic.....

Christian on the other hand is one of the mythical creatures of down below. He is the rebel among the sea of followers and is very much fascinated by Miranda. The many moments that they share are without a doubt the sweetest moments in there in an otherwise morose story.For them it is love at first sight, an instant connection. Miranda slowly starts to trust (after he reveals his true self) and Christian will do anything to keep Miranda as far away from Sephie as possible, even if it meant never to see her again. And Sephie is the perfect, manipulative Queen-cum-antagonist of this better adjectives to define her.

While I did not like how the book ended but we do need to accept that happy endings are not always possible. Wreaked, for me was an emotional ordeal, I definitely cried halfway through reading about the pain Miranda was going through and the injustice done to her and beaming whenever Christian and her would swim or he would soothe her with his simple presence. The writing is also beautifully done and all the details that Ms. Davies put in here really brought the tale to life.

"Moral of the story - true friends are those who stay with you in your greatest time of need - the road to recovery for Miranda can never be more difficult than this"
Genre :      Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Publisher: Simon & Schuester Books for Young Readers

My Copy: Pulse It Simon & Schuester group 

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hereafter #2 Arise

Presenting Hereafter #2 Arise by Tara Hudson.

Here is the summary of the book:

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

I recently read the first book after hearing so many mixed reviews about it. Sure enough I didn't really it - the ghost and living human romance didn't really agree with me. Arise was also not really the greatest of reads while yes the cover is just gorgeous. It continues sometimes after Hereafter ends. Amelia and Joshua are trying to spend their life. But real life is starting to come to them. Joshua in order to stay with Amelia has started to become a loner, the boy who had a great social life now does not even know how to act in front of his friends/peers.

Amelia on her part is starting to realize what her presence is doing to him. Add to the fact that the creatures of the Hereafter are still after her and would do anything to get her. So when they go to spend Christmas with their family, Amelia tags along, There she meets the other members of the Mayhew family and their strange seers named Alex who seems awfully interested in her. Also encountering some more ghosts just like her. It is now up to Amelia to decide what she wants to do about her feeling for Joshua.

So Arise is definitely not my cup of tea (or sold coffee or whatever you wanna call it). While yes Tara Hudson's work is commendable and the word usages is really great but I still don't like the ghost - human love story... its kinda not really digestible. The inclusion of new ghosts and characters is really a welcome change. They provide a welcome spice into the otherwise sappy life of Amelia and Joshua. But alas it still suffers from the second book syndrome... being the bridge between the first and the third book. But i'll still be checking out what the final book Elegy has to offer.

"A beautiful story but I still can't see myself calling the ghost-human-love story an ideal romance.... one day Joshua will have to move on and marry somebody who is a living human being and Amelia will have to decide to leave Joshua and choose the Hereafter or that other place."
Genre :      Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Publisher: Harper Collins

My Copy: Publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I'M PARTICIPATING: - Birthday Giveaway '12






Today. Okay, fine, I'll cut that out. So here's the big announcement:

Today is the day before my birthday! :O 

My birthday is on 31 May, and to celebrate it, I'm going to have cake, coke, fireworks and... AGIVEAWAY!

Since this was my first giveaway, I had absolutely no idea how to organize one. But, after taking a good look around, I have to say I'm more confident now. That's good for both you and me!

Many thanks my blogger friend Linny from Linny's Literature, who has the same birthday month as me. I gathered quite some information from how she organized her giveaways.

So since it is my birthday, the books up for grabs are going to come from my list of everlasting favourites. Now, without further ado, *unveils* here are the books to choose from if you win ;)

I'M PARTICIPATING - Bookfever ♥: 500 Followers Giveaway!

Go here - Bookfever ♥: 500 Followers Giveaway!:

Guess what? I've reached 500 followers! So that means it's time for a 500 followers giveaway!  Woohoo! So, lovely followe...


1 lucky person will win a book of choice from The Book Depository up to €8 or $10!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Its an upcoming movie and its about the the secret life and otherwise unknown life of President Lincoln. Presenting my views of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Here is the summary of the book:

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness." "My baby boy..." she whispers before dying. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House. While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years. Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

So I first heard of it when the movie trailer released, then found out that it was based on a book...well the trailer looked promising enough so I got it ordered from book depository and viola, I absolutely loved it... This is a review from a non-American and completely book based point of view (since I hate politics, so this review again will be politics free, even if the protagonist is one of the greatest leaders of the world). It was one hell of a ride though.

This is how it goes like - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter fashioned as an auto-biography complete with excerpts and pictures tells the story of President Lincoln before he enters the political arena and till his assassination. Meaning this story is fashioned behind the supposed secret diaries of Abe Lincoln which states that honest Abe hunted vampires with a burning vengeance and also the fact that the creatures of the night played a much bigger role in the civil war than what is originally known.

The book begins in present day with the author unhappy with his mundane life and then this stranger, Henry who is a regular of his store seeing something in him, drops off a package saying to tread with caution and maybe turn it into a tale worthy of the ages. And this is how the story begins. From infancy, to his first kill, to his first encounter with a vampire, his mother's death, meeting Henry, taking up the axe, hunting the vampires, entering the political life, to meeting his wife and playing a great role in the civil war. This book touches every facts and facets of honest Abe's life otherwise known or shall I say unknown with a grain of truth. For even if vampires play a great role in here, it simply cannot be denied that the book has all the historical facts right. (so you may have noticed by now i'm not following the usual pattern of review writing because simply this is an autobiography(like) and i'm not good with dates)

Abe here is of course the protagonist. He is strong-willed, virtuous, and hates the fang bearers for what they took from him. He wields that axe of his over the heads of the vampires like a samurai wields their sword. Seth Grahame-Smith had wonderfully placed all the characteristics of Mr. Lincoln rather well. Henry is the other prominent character here. He plays the unbidden role of the supporter and teaches all there is about vampire hunting to Abe. A calm and collected person (or vampire), Henry can turn very well vicious in the face of a battle.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire hunter, proves a twist in a major part of American history with the much appreciated (from me!) inclusion of vampires. While many may not agree with what is being done here but they shouldn't be taking this seriously, this is purely a work of fiction and just a form of entertainment.

And the best part is the way the vampires are depicted here (that GOD no sparkly business). The action is also very palpable and hair raising with anticipation whenever Abe is on the hunt for vampires. From the most part I'm definitely excited for the movie now and know what to except.

"An interesting turn to the American history - Hair-raising vampire killing action"
Genre :      Historical Fiction, Alternate History

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rate:              5/5 (It was Awesome)


Friday, 1 June 2012

Follow Friday #16

"Follow Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Don’t forget to comment and leave your link so I can return your follows.

Q: You are a matchmaker — your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favorite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go?

ANS: Now this is an interesting questing question. I don't really think I need to pair any of the characters from my favorite books because they are already well matched together. Let me try about pairing  Cole from Everneath (by Brodi Ashton) and Calliope/Hera from Goddess Test (by Aimee Carter).....i know they are a weird pair and i'm against pairing but they kinda seem to work both are paranormal/spiritual beings and both are and have been in the wrong. What do do you all think?


Oh and be sure to enter my 1st blogoversary giveaway here

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