Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 10 books from 2011

I am still internet-less at the moment :(
So I've jumped onto my mum's computer while she is out to do this post, hopefully I'll have my laptop up and running again by next week!

So I'm going to share my top ten books I read in 2011, it's going to be a hard one because according to Goodreads I've read 241 books this year!! 

So in no particular order:


Uglies (Uglies #1) by Scot Westerfeld

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)

Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Wither (Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid, #6)

Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid #6) by Richelle Mead

Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir (Dark Swan #4) by Richelle Mead

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My Tattered Bonds (The Bloodstone Saga, #4)

My Tattered Bonds (The Bloodstone Saga #4) by Courtney Cole

Matched

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

There are so many more I wanted to add to this list, I really should make it a top 20 instead of 10! But these are the ones that made the final cut. If your looking for something new to try in 2012 why don't you pick up one from my list, I certainly loved them, maybe you will too?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Faerie Ring Blog Tour Guest Post



Today I am super excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Kiki Hamilton's The Faerie Ring.


Why I decided to write YA
by Kiki Hamilton

Hi Emma! Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog.

I’ve always thought that I would write a book one day, but my life was so busy I didn’t really have time. Then I read Harry Potter. (I didn’t actually start Harry Potter until the Goblet of Fire came out… then I read books 1-4 in a week.) I’d forgotten the magic of a well-told story. The magic of becoming the characters in a book and experiencing their adventures. I loved Harry Potter so much that I decided I’d write a little story for my daughter and that’s when the madness all started…

Anyway, at the time I started writing (about 5 years ago) my daughter was only ten. Initially, I planned to write something that she could read, but then the characters took over and I ended up with a YA story. That was my first book, which never sold. After that I started THE FAERIE RING. By then my daughter was twelve, so a young adult book was perfect for her to read. Plus, I find that the stories are usually more fast-paced than adult books and I love the wide variety of genres to pick from. As young adult books are becoming more popular there seems to be a larger crossover of adult readers as well as adult writers now writing for young adults. So, it’s a win/win for everyone!


xo
Kiki



I have read and reviewed The Faerie Ring already, to check out my review click here.
I want to say a massive thank you to Kiki for stopping by BelleBooks today for this guest post, and also for sending me my signed copy of The Faerie Ring as well as some awesome swag.


I'm going to share some of this awesome signed swag with all my lovely followers!
The giveaway is open to UK/IRE/EU residents only and there will be three winner.
1st place winner gets a badge, postcard and two bookmarks (one signed)
2nd place winner gets 2 bookmarks (one signed)
3rd place winner gets 1 bookmark (signed)

To enter this giveaway all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends 1st Jan 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Faerie Ring Review




The Faerie Ring (The Faerie Ring, #1)

I am so happy tp be taking part in this blog tour for Kiki Hamilton's The Faerie Ring.

Today I am going to share my review of the book with you all.

My rating: 4/5 stars

At first I wasn't too sure about The Faerie Ring because I'm not usually a huge fan of historical fiction. It was one of those books I put to the back of my mind and thought I'll get round to reading it at some point. Then I was asked to take part in this blog tour for the book and decided that was just what I needed to go ahead and give the book a try. I am so glad that I did read this book sooner rather than later, I actually really enjoyed it.

The book is set in Victorian London and features a lot of places that I'm sure most of my followers will be familiar with, King Cross Station, Buckingham Palace, Charring Cross and Trafalgar Square. I loved seeing all these places throughout the book, to me it seemed to make the story more alive and I could really see the plot playing out for real.
We follow teenager Tiki who lives in an old abandoned clockmaker's workshop with her little family of orphans who she cares for and she picks pockets to make a living. One day however she steals a ring, not just any ring though it belongs to Queen Victoria herself! The ring is said to have a tie to the faerie world and when strange things start happening around Buckingham Palace a reward for the safe return of the ring is posted. Tiki must somehow return the ring with and claim the reward money without being caught, which will set her little orphan family up for life. Of course nothing in books is as easy as that, there are twists and turns along the way which make Tiki question herself, her little family and what she is going to do with the ring.

The writing in the book flows together lovely, it is easy and straightforward to read. There are a few laugh out loud moments well placed throughout the book as well, which I think helps to lighten the tone a bit. The description and imagery used throughout the entire book is amazing, Kiki Hamilton manages to make the story come to life and place the reader right into the heart of this magical Victorian London setting.

The reader also cannot help but fall for poor little Tiki and want the best for her. After you read about her heart wrenching past and how she became an orphan you will her on in your mind and hope for the best possible outcome for both her and the other children she cares for. Tiki is a great heroine and there is not one part of the book that made me think twice about her, she is selfless and lovable.

Overall I was really pleasantly surprised with this book, it seems to have changed my view on YA historical fiction and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the rest of this series now. I'm rather excited for the release of The Torn Wing  next year which is book 2. I'm super excited to see what is in store next for Tiki and what she will find out about who she truly is.

I just want to say a massive thank you to Kiki Hamilton for letting me part of this blog tour, for sending me a signed copy of the book all the way from the US and for all the lovely book swag she sent me as well. Kiki, you rock!




Remember to stop by again tomorrow for day two of my blog posts where I will have an exciting guest post from Kiki Hamilton and a Faerie Ring giveaway for you all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Night Circus is a book that seemed to pop up everywhere I looked online, but one the I had never really heard much about. It seemed to just magically appear almost overnight. If you have read the book you will realize that the book seemed to appear just the way the circus in the book does!
I had some extra audible.com credits and decided to go ahead and purchase the audio book of The Night Circus to give it a try, I was also super excited to find out Jim Dale was reading the book. For those of you not in the know, Jim Dale read the Harry Potter audio books and personally I will to listen to anything he reads, he does the best voices I've ever heard! After listening to the first few chapters of the book I ended up buying the UK Hardback as well, I fell so madly in love with it!

The picture above is the US book cover, which I prefer to the UK one. Although I have to admit the UK hardback is still the prettiest book I own, and probably ever will.

The book does jump from different characters and time lines, I do sometimes have difficulties trying to remember the different characters and plots, especially when I've not picked up the book for a day or two. With The Night Circus I had no problems what so ever. Perhaps that was because I was listening to it on audio so all the different characters had different voices. It's hard to pin point exactly what The Night Circus is actually about, as there is so many interconnected plots and characters woven throughout the book. What I will say is that even though there is so much going on, Morgenstern does an amazing job of tying everything and everyone back to the circus in their own way.

The story itself is completely one of kind and like nothing I have ever read before. Even though the essence of the book is following a travelling circus around the world, the circus itself and it's performers are the same which help to keep the main plot grounded.

I really can't say too much more without giving away any of the plot, which I am trying my hardest not to do.
Overall it is an amazing book with great, lifelike and loveable characters, awesome twisty plot lines and just enough magic and sparkle to leave you questioning yourself. I would highly recommend this book to all book lovers, not just YA book lovers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: Destined (House of Night #9) - P.C. Cast


4/5 Stars

Destined is the ninth book in the House of Night series, as much as I am still in love with this series and it's characters I do feel that the past couple of books have felt a bit dragged out to me. So I was hesitant about this book, but at the same time I was still super excited to get my hands on it and start reading it.

So if you don't know what the House of Night series is, here is a quick overview:
School full of teenage vampires who have magic abilities based on one of the five elements, the schools headmistress is pretty much evil and is after one young vampire in particular, Zoey. The story follows Zoey and her witchy circle of friends as they find themselves in some very tricky situations.

Destined once again follows on where we left off in the previous book, to be honest I don't remember it's name and I can't be bother getting up and looking at my bookshelf to find out. The story centres around Zoey Redbird and her ever growing group of friends, boyfriends, warriors, half boy half bird people etc, (You get the picture) As they return to the House of Night after Zoey's mum has just been killed by none other than the evil Neferet.

This time around I found the storyline very predictable, maybe after 9 books I'm just getting used to the writing style in this series and am getting good at guessing what is coming next. There was a few new characters introduced in this book as well. To be honest I think there was just too much going on in this book to keep up with it all.
There was too many different points of view going on, I got confused over all the different characters names and what they did. All the jumping around felt out of place for a House of Night book to me. 
Maybe it's just been too long since I read the previous book but everything just felt too much to me.

Even with all that going on I did still really enjoy the plot and after about halfway through the book really did start to pick up again for me and turn into something that I've come to expect from the House of Night series.

Overall it was a good read and I'm glad I bought and finished the book. I will be carrying on with the series, but really feel like it needs to come to an end soon before it becomes even more dragged out.

Inside Out by Maria V Snyder UK Giveaway Winner!

Inside Out (Insider, #1)

And the winner is:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Character Guest Post from Charity Delafield

The Haunting of Charity Delafield

Today I am super excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Ian Beck's The Haunting of Charity Delafield.
I have a special guest post from miss Delafield herself to share with you all:


From the secret jottings of Miss Charity Delafield

Stone Green Hall

Warwickshire

_______________________

(An incomplete fragment found written in the wide margins of an old book of
mathematical problems)

________________________

I live here at Stone Green Hall which is a house set on a rise and surrounded by a garden full of trees cut in square shapes and white stone statues. Rose told me it is a very big and important house. I wouldn’t know because I have never been to any other house. Rose said that she grew up in a very small house which itself was not much bigger than the nursery where my rocking horse lives.

*

I am trying to make sense of all the odd things that have happened to me recently. It seems now that even just a very short while ago, a few days at the most, everything was so straightforward. My routines were fixed and my life went on in the usual way in this house.

*

Every day Rose brushes my hair, which is fine and easily tangled so that Rose must brush it hard at least seventy five times in the morning and the same number of times in the evening before I go to bed. When I was younger I used to wriggle and cry and complain because the brushing hurt me so much. Now, especially after all the things that have happened, I just stare back at Rose in the looking glass. I won’t let her see me cry, I won’t even wriggle because I am braver now and things have happened and I have something secret to do.

It started the other morning. I was excited by two things. First I found some secret chocolate that someone (who I will not name in case there is trouble) had left for me in the saddlebag of my Rocking horse. The second thing was that it had snowed and the garden, when I looked out from my window, was all covered in soft white and so beautiful.

After my hair was brushed I hoped I was to be allowed out for a walk in the fresh snow with Rose.
Father said something at breakfast which made me very unhappy. I was allowed outside and Mr Tompkins came with us. I noticed that he lifted his little black paws up out of the snow very quickly as he walked. I don’t think cats like getting their paws cold. Then a big something happened which excited me and made me forget just for a moment how unhappy I was.

*

I met the mysterious old lady at the gates. She told me that she often walked by hoping to see me. She had been waiting for a long time to get a chance to speak to me. She told me something which was very exciting and I gave her my secret chocolate to eat because she looked so hungry. She blessed me and told me that I must look for a certain thing. It is a special thing, and it is also a secret thing.

I cannot reveal what it is. I cannot write it here in this space, in this horrible book next to all of these mathematics problems. The old lady said that I must find a secret thing before my next birthday. I will just write that it is a very important secret and that I will not write down exactly what it is. Instead I shall keep it to myself because Rose might read these words somehow, and she didn’t approve of the old lady at all. She shooed her away from the gates quite harshly and Rose said that the old lady was dirty and a beggar and she was worried that I might have touched her and caught a terrible illness. Instead of working out mathematics problems Father allowed me to play on that first morning after the snow had fallen.

*

I played with Rose and Edward. It was a game called Hide & Seek something which I had never played before. Mr Tompkins and I were sent to hide first and in the place where we were hiding I found a hidden envelope and inside it was a key. I don’t want to write too much about the key either, because of the key I found something else, something very mysterious, and Rose was frightened and cross and she took the key away from me at once.

*

If I look out of the Nursery window now I can see that the snow has finally stopped its dancing fall through the air. It has settled in big white patches on the tops of the square cut trees.

The trees march in two long lines all the way down the avenue to the padlocked iron gates. Beyond the gates and across the winding road is the forest. I have never been into the forest but I think the old lady lives in there somewhere among those dark and twisted trees and one day I hope I will go there and find her again.

I am watchful now. I can wait patiently. I have a task, and it is to find what I have to find and I will keep on looking for it. I have a new place to explore in the house too and I shall go there as soon as everyone is asleep. I think I know where Rose has hidden the key that she took away from me. I shall be very patient and very watchful and when the time is right I shall go and get the key and then who knows what I might find…?

I have to say a huge thanks to Charity for this post, and to the wonderful Ian Beck for creating such a brilliant character. Also massive thank yous are owed to Random House Children's Books for sending me a review copy of the book and allowing me to take part in the tour!

Be sure to stop by the rest of the blogs taking part in this awesome blog tour!

Ian Beck Blog Tour

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hunger Games Official Trailer


Today is the official release day of The Hunger Games trailer.
I am in love with it, I was pretty unsure about the teaser railer we saw a while back from the MTV awards, but this one has made me think again. I am pretty happy with the casting and the way it look so far.

I really like the little glimpse of Rue that you get when she's peeking out from a door. I also really like the fact that you kind of see Katniss in the chariot on fire, but you kind of don't at the same time, I want to wait for the full movie to see that bit as I think it will be amazing.

What do you all think of the trailer?

Inside Out by Maria V Snyder UK Giveaway

I have an awesome giveaway for all my UK followers today!
You can win yourself a copy of Inside Out by Maria V Snyder!

Inside Out (Insider, #1)

All you have to do is fill in the rafflecopter below!
Giveaway run from 14/11/11 till 2/12/11
Good luck!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: Crossed (Matched #2) - Ally Condie


Name: Crossed (Matched #2)

Author: Ally Condie

General Release Date: 24th November 2011

Date I finished it: 5th November 2011

Type: Paperback ARC

From: Razorbill 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars





I was super excited to get a UK ARC of Crossed, it is out on November 24th over here.
I actually devoured this book pretty much in one night. Most of you will already know I am a huge YA dystopian fan and I loved the first book in this series, Matched. I actually squealed with excitement when I opened a parcel and found this book inside and started reading it straight away! 

Crossed picks up right where we left Cassia and Ky in Matched, separated and with Cassia vowing to track down and find Ky one way or another. The book itself is told from both Cassia and Ky's point of view through alternating chapters. I'm not usually a big fan of different viewpoints but it worked really well in this case because the two characters are not actually together. It's tells the reader two different stories and allows you to see into both of their life's at the same time.

While Cassia has been working in the labour camps with other girls, living a hard but almost normal life. Ky has been living in what is perceived as another labour camp, but is infact a death camp. Where unwanted members of society are dumped in order to wait out their deaths. In a last ditch attempt Cassia manages to find her way to this so called death camp, just when Ky has managed to escape! The rest of the story involves   her follwing Ky's trail and hoping they will find each other again.

I'm not going to give too much of the plot away, so I won't say if they do meet up again or not. You'll have to find that one out for yourself!

To me the book started off really well, it had bee a while since I was in the Matched world, so it took me the first couple of chapters to get back up to speed with the characters and this exact dystopian world. I found that I managed to pick everything back up again really quickly with only a little recap needed at the start of the book.

As the story progresses I did get more and more hooked. Was Cassia ever going to find Ky, or would she be stuck wandering around in this canyon forever? Would the Society find them first? Would they die of hunger?
I loved all these questions that kept popping up throughout the book, these plus the tragic love story of the two characters is what really kept me hooked.

I also really enjoyed the new characters that were introduced throughout this book, some of them became more meaningful as others as you get to the end and others you can't help but fall for when they are first introduced. I think Ally Condie did a really great job of introducing the new characters and the way she had them interact with both Cassia and Ky. I also loved the fact that some old faces pop up in this book as well, and Cassia's grandfather is mentioned a few times as well. It's nice to see that some of my favourite characters from Matched haven't been forgotten.

Towards the end the story did seem to feel a bit dragged out to me. I feel like there could have been some time in the canyon cut out. Almost all of this book is set in a canyon. I can see why it's needed though, This is the middle book in the series and everything needs to be set up for the big finale in the next book. The canyon sort of represents a turning point for the characters in the book as well. They are no longer in the Society, but also not quite free yet. They are also stuck in this awkward in-between stage, just like the book itself.

Overall I did really love it. The book is filled with suspense, romance and an element of the unknown.
It was nice to see Cassia and Ky start to grow up and realise they hold their own fate in their hands. I cannot wait to see what book three will bring!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Post from David Farland

Nightingale

Today I am super excited to have a guest post from David Farland, author of the awesome, new, interactive novel, Nightingale.



Reading in the Future

Imagine that you put on your “reading glasses.” The glasses are dark, fitted with lasers and high-quality stereo earbuds, so that as you put them on, your entire field of vision is captured. A laser inside the glasses flashes a novel title on the interior surface of your eye.

Of course, the book you see is my book (why not, it's my fantasy). The letters start small, off in the distance and they quickly draw closer to you, but they don't stop, they wash right over you and just when it seems they're all around you, they explode in a burst of light, “Nightingale, by David Farland.” You can hardly imagine what life was like before 3D. As soon as you read the last word, a laser with a computer link that tracks your eye movement cues the background music, and images begin to flash in your eye—a holographic video-clip of the character of Bron, as an infant, being abandoned outside the door of a cheap hotel in the Utah desert. The camera pans up to the face of his mother, Sommer, bitter and broken, with tears in her eyes. We flash to the prologue, where Sommer runs through a forest at night, her breathing deep, while dogs snarl and bark as they give pursuit. Fireflies rise up around her.

Words to the novel appear on screen, as background music continues, and you begin to read. As Sommer twists her foot and falls, the lasers pace your reading and insert a sound-effect—the thud of a body falling, the hiss of breath knocked from Sommer’s throat. The dogs bay more excitedly. A man’s heavy footsteps can be heard tromping through the brush behind the reader, and a startled mewling cry escapes Sommer’s throat. . . .

Welcome to the future of reading, where text, images, sounds and music forge a collage. That’s the vision I have that led me to become a co-founder of East India Press.

The technology to do this already exists. The use of heads-up displays in fighter jets was pioneered in the 1960s, and that technology has now gone public. Though readers now are using the iPad2 and the Kindle Fire, I’m looking forward to the devices we’ll have five years from now, or ten years.

How can reading technology be better than with current books?

We don’t want to replace reading. We don’t want to make movies. Reading often engages the audience’s imagination in ways that movies fail to. We want to keep it that way. We want the reader to be a partner with us in bringing a tale to life. At the same time, we hope to ‘enhance,’ the story, help readers become more fully involved with it, yet keep budgets reasonable. With film clips, animations, illustrations, background music, and sound effects, we can create something that fuses a lot of
storytelling tools.

Creating e-books has become cheap and easy. This year, it is estimated that three million people will be putting their own e-books up for sale. That’s a staggering number. If you spend twelve hours a day just examining those titles, and spend only ten seconds studying each e-book put up this year, you wouldn’t be able to glance at even 1/100th of all the books that will be published—much less read one!

Readers are being deluged, often with books that aren’t any good. Most of those books, unfortunately, wouldn’t have made it past an editor. The author just wasn’t ready. Sure, there will be a few diamonds among all of that coal, but no editor will have time to sort through it.

I've had my share of sorting through manuscripts. For nearly a decade I was the first judge for one of the world’s largest writing contests. A funny story, once an editor of a major publisher asked me to help pick a book to give the “big publicity push to” for the next year. I read through thirty books and selected a book that the marketers thought was “too-long” for its intended audience. I pointed out that the book was also written several grade levels too high for its intended audience. But it was a great book, so I urged them to push it despite the book’s apparent problems. It was called Harry Potter.

Even though authors can publish their own works, we’re going to need editors in the future who understand how to green-light a novel, who can recognize what will please an audience. But once a work is selected, the editor will take the role of a producer—assembling a creative team of composers, musicians, illustrators, animators, directors, sound-effects engineers, and so on.”

Distributing enhanced books won’t be expensive. After all, it will be done electronically. There are no copies to print, ship, or store. But creating them will be expensive and time-consuming.

Still, it will be a lot less expensive than making a movie. To create a really great movie with a lot of special effects can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and it will only give the viewer an hour or two of entertainment. But by meshing technologies, we can create a similar experience with novels, spending
perhaps only a hundred thousand or two—and it will give a reading experience that might last for twenty or thirty hours or more! Novels have a unique ability to let us achieve deep penetration into the minds and emotions of a character, much more so than with a film. I’m excited about the possibilities.

In fact, I am so excited about the possibilities that I went indie with this next novel. I didn't have to by any means. I'm an award-winning New York Times bestseller. Instead, I decided to start my own publishing company for enhanced novels. I see potential. Nightingale is the first young adult novel I’ve written, outside of a little work with Star Wars and the Mummy. I knew it could be a hit, but I wanted to do something . . . unique with it. I've trained dozens of other #1 international bestsellers, people like Brandon Sanderson and Stephenie Meyer, and I've learned to spot “good,” whether it's someone else's work or my own. Nightingale has it.

Now that it’s done, this is a first step toward creating a more-engaging form of novel, the kind that kids who are reluctant readers might devour. I’m looking forward to see what we can do in ten or twenty years. But Nightingale is a step toward that future.

Nightingale is the story of a young man, abandoned at birth, rejected from foster home after foster home. People see that he’s brilliant and talented, but also “strange.” He’s the ultimate loner until he meets Olivia, a marvelously gifted teacher, who recognizes that Bron is something special, something that her people call a “Nightingale,” a creature not quite human.

I was excited to see how it would be received. I was even more excited when the first reviewer said, “I devoured the novel. It was absolutely incredible! . . . I struggled to explain just how much I enjoyed it in my review. . . . After reading Nightingale, I don't think I will even be able to go back to reading regular e-books again. Like it says in my review, reading the enhanced Nightingale felt like an ‘experience.’ It didn't feel quite like a book or a movie. It initiated all of my senses. . . . enhanced ebooks are actually a real deal.” That's what we were hoping people would see in it. The future of books is beginning now.

Best of all, East India Press has created a new web simulation technology that mimics how the book appears on the iPad, so you can see and hear it for yourself for free at www.nightingalenovel.com.

Thanks so much for doing this guest post David.
I've had a little sneak peak at the new Nightingale enhanced novel and it is pretty awesome, it's such a new experience which I think is great to the publishing and book blogging world.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lauren Kate Double Cover Reveal

I am super excited to show you all the two new covers for the upcoming Lauren Kate books



Aren't they pretty?
Massive thanks to Random House books for allowing me to share the covers today!

Unnatural Law (Darwins's Children #2) - Guest Post from Jaycie Lerner


Today I am super excited to be part of the blog tour for Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry.
Unnatural Law is the second book in the Darwin's Children series. I loved book one, you can read my review of it here.
I'm reading Unnatural Law at the moment, and so far I am loving it! Sadly I just don't seem to have a lot of time to read this week with work, so I'm getting a bit behind!

Here is the blurb for Unnatural Law:

Seventeen-year-old Jaycie Lerner’s psycho-kinetic power surge is over, and her astounding powers are under control for the time being – sort of. As she struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of the awesome terror and responsibility of her abilities, she also yearns for the chance at a normal life – and a relationship with Matt Carter, the best friend she had to leave behind. But Matt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not about to give up on his feelings for Jaycie.

As Jaycie and her family grapple with the day-to-day routine of trying to keep their world together, Jaycie’s mother figure, Allison Young, endures a personal crisis of her own. The superhuman blonde possesses the physical equivalent of Jaycie’s awesome psychic power.

So evolved, at ninety-two she still looks twenty. But what good is extended life when everyone else around her is so fragile? With no one to share her unusual life, she’s a uniquely lonely woman yearning for the romantic love she sees all around her. But in a dream she gets her wish – and it quickly turns to a nightmare for everyone else in her life. The memory of a rose is all she can hold onto in the storm of obsession that nearly sweeps her away.

Things quickly turn deadly for the vampires, but the Dey-Vah Guard fairies refuse to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the nature they protect. As the danger gets ever closer to Jaycie and her family, the race is on to find answers before a secret plot can destroy them all.





As part of the blog tour today I also have a special guest post from Jaycie herself, talking about Edenvale.
This is actually Jaycie's second time on BelleBooks, if you want you can check out her first guest blog here.
Jaycie Lerner Talks about Edenvale

I know that I seem like I’m above everything other girls my age are into. I mean, yes, when I started at Edenvale Academy I wore my plaid skirt to my ankles. It was a rebellion against Ally and my dad. I mean, looking back, I understand why they did it. But, at the time all I knew was that my life was over.

I was an outcast as soon as I walked through the doors, which has to be a record. High school students are always vicious beasts, but even so, no one lives down having a psychotic break
about the voices in her head. Sure, no one knows I’m a telepath. I don’t think having that information would have changed my experience.

The fact that I threw up all over the Headmaster…and myself… kind of sealed my fate.

I hated my parents for making me go back and, of course, my dad wouldn’t use his telepathy to erase that horrifying moment. He was so happy that I finally had normal, teen problems. Raising super humans changes a lot of parenting rules. Especially when your telepathy manifests when you are six years old. I don’t like to talk about it. Just imagine thinking every nasty insult every girl around you is thinking and every equally disgusting thing the boys were trying to look like they weren’t having. Gross. And I’m not na├»ve, I just don’t have experience.

So, while the boys were bad. The girls were just plain mean. The thing teenage girls think about their “friends” are pretty bad, not to mention the ones directed at me. I mean, I never thought I was drop dead gorgeous, but I went home most days feeling like a troll. My lips were way too big, which was the only reason any guy would want me: to give them a… hehehe… nevermind. My boobs were too big- gross big, not perky enough. My hips were fat. Thankfully, I re-learned how to keep them out before I could kill myself.

I just got over it quickly. My family and the people I grew up with were enough for me. I’d rather hang out with my dad than trade dirty texts with some jerk. Until I met Haylee, I never had a girl my age to hang around. Not like, in any way that was significant. But, as much as Matt means to me, every girl needs a BFF. Haylee is my soul mate, and she will always come first.

Most of the girls in high school- the mean ones- none of them really cared about their girlfriends. Three girls at Eden vale really cared about their chosen best friend- and those were the same three that never thought nasty things about me. They just let me be. Sometimes, I regret not talking to them. Even the mean ones were just insecure. Funny, most of the guys were not. Even the less attractive ones.

I think that’s why my parents put me there, because in truth I don’t understand most people that aren’t super powered. How could I? It was what I equated with normal. But, people like us can’t afford to not understand that.

Awesome or what?

Massive thank yous have to go out to Jaycie for stopping by BelleBooks yet again with some another awesome guest post, Natasha Larry for writing such awesome books and letting me be a part of her blog tour!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Parallel by Claudia Lefeve Giveaway Winner


The winner of the e-copy of Parallel is:

Blackwolf!

Congrats, your e-copy should be with you soon, I've passed your email address along to the powers that be!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2012


Since my TBR pile keeps getting bigger and bigger I've decided that next year I really need to tackle the books I've bought but not got around to reading yet. So I'm taking part in the Mount TBR Reading Challenge.

Anyone can join in!
First you need to pick a level, I'm aiming for El Toro. Which is 75 books from my TBR pile.
It might seem like a lot but I have already managed over 200 books this year. I want to leave some space for review books and ARC's next year, so I think 75 will suit me just fine.

The rules are pretty simple:

Challenge runs from Jan 1st till Dec 31st 2012

You can sign up anytime from now until Nov 30th 2012

Books must be owned by you prior to Jan 1st. No ARC's, no library books and no re-reads.

Books may be used towards other challenges as well.

I am really super excited about this as I have way too many books to try and get through next year.
I will probably post a list of all my books that would count towards this challenge nearer the time.

If you want to join in then you can sign up here

Friday, November 4, 2011

Follow Friday


Today's question is something new, an activity.
We Want to see what you look like! Take a pic with you and your current read! Too shy? Boo! Just post a fun pic you want to share.

Well here goes...




Ugh I look terrible. I'm just home from a long day of shopping and have scraped my hair back and put my pjs on lol!
Super excited to read Crossed, This is the UK ARC which I got today. I think it's already out in the US but it's not out here till the end of the month.

800 Follower Giveaway Winner!


The winner of my 800 follower giveaway is....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Paranormals series by J.L Bryan Blog Tour


Today I am super excited to be a stop on J.L. Bryan's blog tour for his Paranormals series. This blog tour has been going for almost a full three weeks now, sadly it's coming to an end. I'm the second last stop on the tour, and luckily I get to talk about the last book in the series, Alexander Death.

While Seth searches for Jenny, Dr. Heather Reynard of the CDC unravels Seth and Jenny’s secrets.
Alexander opens Jenny’s mind to her deep past, and to the full horrific extent of her powers.
Torn between her feelings for Alexander and Seth, and between her past lives and her present, Jenny must prepare to face her enemies in the final, catastrophic battle…



I loved all three books, I thought they were amazing and so original!
You can read my reviews of all three books under the review catalogue tab at the top of the page.
And I also have a really cool interview with Jenny herself to share with you:
Emma: Did you ever have any slip ups when you were a young child? I mean it must have been really hard being so young and not being able to go hug your dad whenever you wanted to?

Jenny: My dad was very strict about that. He always wore gloves and things around me, until I was old enough to be the one wearing gloves and being careful.  He always taught me that the biggest rule was to never touch people.  The biggest slip-up was on the playground at school, when Ashleigh Goodling attacked me, and I scratched her face, and it got all diseased.  That’s when the kids starting chanting “Jenny pox!”  But Mrs. Fulner didn’t believe them, and people kind of forgot about it or started remembering it differently as we grew up.  But everybody in my grade avoided me, so I think they kind of remembered in some part of their mind.

Emma: That must have been really hard for you. Tell us a bit more about Ashleigh, I know you and her don’t get on. What do you really think about her?

Jenny: I think the word that best describes her is “manipulative.” (Well, I can think of a few other words, but I shouldn’t say them here on your nice blog!) She’s able to make anyone love her just by touching them...except me, because if she touches me, she’ll get the pox!  That’s why she hates me.  But sometimes I even feel sorry for her.  She doesn’t know how to love anyone, I think.  She can make anyone love her, so she doesn’t know what it means or how to appreciate it.  She can gain all kinds of power, but she’ll never know about real love.

Emma: I know what you mean about Ashleigh, I haven’t actually met her but from what I’ve heard she can be a bit of a ….handful lets say!
Do you think sometimes all that power has just gone to her head?

Jenny: Sometimes?  Like every moment of her life!  She doesn’t care who she hurts, she’s just addicted to power.

Emma: Haha! Okay enough about Ashleigh. Tell us what it’s like growing up in a small town like Fallen Oak?

Jenny: For me, it was really unpleasant, because everyone knows who you are, and they know things about your family, too.  So you can’t just hide in the crowd very well.  You’re that weird girl who lives back in the woods with your father who drinks too much, and everyone knows it.  Part of me would like to live in a big city just so nobody knows me, but it’s really not a good idea for me to be around crowds of people.  So the other part of me wants to escape to a place that’s even more rural, where there’s nobody at all around.  Fallen Oak is kind of a sad town, too--it’s best days were a hundred years ago, and a lot of the downtown is just empty now.

Emma: That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
Okay onto the good stuff. Tell us a bit more about the whole Seth and Alexander situation?

Jenny: Serious boy trouble.  Most of my life, I couldn’t touch anyone.  Then I met Seth, and I could touch him, because he has a healing power that cancels mine.  And later, I met Alexander, and he can touch me because my power feeds his.  These are very different guys...Alexander is a lot more dangerous than Seth, but he makes me feel...it’s just more intense with Alexander!

Emma: If you had to choose between them both, which one would you choose?

Jenny: Hmm...I guess I’ll have to get to know Alexander a little better...he’s kind of a mystery to me still!

Emma: Okay, so what are your plans for the future?

Jenny: From here, I just hope to make the right choices, avoid fights with people and, you know, killing them, and do my best to live a normal, quiet, happy life.  I just hope we’ve dealt with all the evil people from our past lives...and if I never meet another paranormal again, that would be fine with me!  Most of us aren’t very nice.

Emma: That sounds like a good plan Jenny, I hope everything works out for you!
Thank for stopping by BelleBooks today!
As part of this blog tour J.L. Bryan will be giving away an awesome brand new Kindle Fire, skinned with the winner's choice of Paranormal's artwork and loaded with an amazing indie library. And as a special Halloween extra, I am able to offer my followers an extra 3 bonus entries into this giveaway!! I'm afraid this giveaway is only open to US/CAN Followers only. You can enter the contest by entering the form here.

Make sure to stop by the rest of the blogs taking part in the Alexander Death week!
Monday, October 31st - The Slowest Bookworm
Tuesday, November 1st - Buried In Books
Wednesday, November 2nd- Paranormal Opinion
Thursday, November 3rd - BelleBooks
Friday, November 4th - Supernatural Snark

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Alexander Death (The Paranormals #3) - J.L. Bryan



Name: Alexander Death (The Paranormals #3)

Author: J.L. Bryan

General Release Date: 13th September 2011

Date I finished it: 27th October 2011

Type: E-Book

From: Review Copy

My Rating: 4/5 stars





Alexander Death is the third and final book in The Paranormals series. I have to say at first I honestly didn't know how much more of this story could be told after reading the second book, Tommy Nightmare.
The book itself starts off right where we left Jenny in the previous book, on her way to Mexico with this strange new character who can raise the dead, Alexander.
As the story unfolds we find out more about Alexander and his previous lives he has spent with Jenny. Meanwhile while the two are relaxing in Mexico, Seth hires a firm to track down Jenny having realised that Ashleigh is still alive and was behind the riot at the end of book two.

At the same time Dr. Heather who was working the original case at Fallen Oaks starts to dig a little deeper and starts to believe that something paranormal rather that biological was behind the mass deaths.

I think I enjoyed this book the most out of all three in the series, the more I read the more I wondered how everything was going to be tied up in just this one book. Somehow J.L. Bryan manages to introduce new plot lines, characters and wrap up both the original story as well as this book.

In Alexander Death I started to see Jenny grow and question both herself and others, which is something that is only lightly hinted at in the previous two books. Like the others as well the love between Seth and Jenny really shows through that pages and is a great reminder that in most fiction love conquers all.

Overall it was a really great book and a great series as well. I would like to see something else about Jenny, perhaps set in the future where we see an older more mature version of Jenny.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday #3


This week's topic is top ten books I had very strong emotions about.

Firstly this is so hard to pick just 10 books. The majority of the books I've read, I bought after doing research into them and reading reviews, so I knew I would like them beforehand.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
Infact all of the Harry Potter books made me fell something, but this one in particular because it was the last book in a series which I grew up reading.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
2. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
This was the book that got me hooked on YA Paranormal Romance, and also on Richelle Mead's writing.
I loved the story and the characters in this book. The entire series kept me on the edge of my toes constantly!

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)
3. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Such and awesome book and trilogy.
This book took me through so many different emotions, sadness, anger, relief, shock, amusement and happiness. All I can say is if you haven't read this series, get on it now!

Matched
4. Matched -  Ally Condie
This book made me fall in love with dystopian. Again it made me feel so many different things, almost every chapter had a different feel to it and a different part of the story to tell.

The Declaration (The Declaration Series, #1)
5. The Declaration - Gemma Malley
This was the first proper dystopian I ever read, and at the time I didn't even know what dystopian was!
This is a brilliant book, and a brilliant trilogy! I don't think it gets enough recognition. To me it felt more real as it is based in the UK rather than the US as with most YA fiction these days. 

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
6. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Love Love Love this series so much!
To me this series just screams excitement and anticipation. Readers are left guessing at the end of almost every chapter, which continues on with the rest of the series as well!

Before I Die
7. Before I Die - Jenny Downham
I'm not usually a big fan of contemporary fiction although I do have a few on my shelf - it's not my go to genre when I'm looking for something to read. Before I die really changed my opinion on YA contemporary. Such a moving and beautiful story.

Every Last Kiss (The Bloodstone Saga, #1)
8. Every Last Kiss - Courtney Cole
It's unusual to see indie books on these lists usually. However I loved this book and the rest of the series as well. Each book kept me gripped into the story from page one and they all had a different way of reaching out to me and making me feel regretful and hurt for our main character for all the bad things she has to endure.

9. Wasted - Marya Hornbacher
This is one book thats been on my shelves for around ten years. It's my go to book when I'm feeling down or depressed. I haven't had to pull it out in a while though. My copy is completely falling apart from all the times I've re-read it. Although it is a great read, it's really not for the faint-hearted.

Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love
10. Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love 
I always have and will be a massive fan of Courtney Love. I was lucky enough to see Hole play live last year and the night was amazing, spectacular and magical. I never thought I would ever see Courtney sing live as I was much too young when the original Hole where together, it wasn't till my teenage years long after Kurt Cobain passed that I fell in love with Courtney and her band.
This book filled in all those little gaps of information I never knew about.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Guest Post from Courtney Cole



Happy Halloween everyone!
I hope everyone is having a great day and having lots of fun celebrating Halloween in their own way.
My plans for the day are to catch up with my reading, have a nice long hot bath with the Lush Halloween/Day of the Dead products and then scare myself silly with some Japanese horror films!
I love everything Japanese, and the great thing about Japanese horror films is that no matter how much you want to to turn away from the screen, you can't because you need to keep reading the subtitles!

As a Halloween treat for all my lovely followers, I asked one of my favourite authors, Courtney Cole to do a guest post about Halloween. Although once again Courtney has went completely above board and not only given you a guest post to read but also a letter from Cadmus to Harmonia.



Cadmus and Harmonia are the main characters in Courtney's Bloodstone Saga, if you haven't read the series you should really check it out! I loved every single book, you can read my reviews of them under the review catalogue tab.

So Without futher ado, it's over to you Court...


Ahhhhh. Is there anything better than raging bonfires with crackling, Autumn leaves drifting from the trees above and the smell of roasted marshmallows in the air… all while bundled into a toasty cashmere sweater? I thought not. And that’s not even taking into consideration those yummy, beautiful little foil-wrapped packages of fun-sized deliciousness (Otherwise known as Halloween candy). Halloween is by far the best time of the year, in my opinion.

 There’s something about the magic of it… the air just feels different as Halloween night approaches, chilly and crisp and fun. I love the lit jack-o-lanterns, the costumes, the full moons, the scary movie marathons and the witches. Part of that might be because I’m a paranormal writer—we tend to love the magical side to life the imaginary possibilities that we conjure up when we stare into the night.

And I’ll just admit it- I’ve got a huge imagination. I’ve been under the impression that my house is haunted for  quite a while now- but my husband thinks that I’ve just got an over-active imagination. *shrugs* It’s possible, I’ll admit. I might just wish that my house was haunted. Because honestly, what better fodder for a book than if my house was actually, truly, scarily haunted??

But I digress.  
I’m actually here to share a letter that I thought you might want to see. If you follow my Bloodstone Saga, then you are familiar with Harmonia and Cadmus. They are two of the most romantic people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. Cadmus might not sparkle, but he has been Harmonia’s soul mate for several millennia—fighting for her time and time again with a true warrior’s heart. And honestly, there is nothing sexier than that. So when I saw this letter, I just knew I had to share it with Bloodstone Saga fans. Cadmus does offer Harmonia a warning… a warning that everyone could benefit from during this time of year. You can never be too careful. I wish you all a spooktacular Halloween filled with magic and full moons and chocolate. I hope you enjoy Cadmus’ letter. Trick or treat!!

My Dearest Harmonia,

My love, you have only been away for a few days, but already
I miss you. I am happy that you travelled to the Spiritlands to assist Hecate with a Seeking spell, because we owe Empusa much. I want to find her as much as anyone. But I do miss your smile, your sweet scent and your laugh. Waking up to your smile for eternity is the best kind of bliss and I am a very blessed man.

Raquel is well. She misses her mama, but she knows you will return soon. She wants you to give Aphrodite and Ares her love. She specified that you should give them each 100 kisses, but I would guess that one or two would suffice. Your sister follows her around everywhere she goes- Ortrera is quite protective, but I suppose that is her nature.

Sweet, I do want you to be careful as you return home. Youmknow that All Hallow’s Eve approaches, which means that the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. The dead are not always pleasant, so you must use caution. With Mormo still free, you must be on your guard- particularly since you are trying to help Hecate find Empusa. It is hard to say what lengths he will go to stop you. And he is not the only unhappy spirit that will be about on Halloween. Please be careful. If you need me, you need only say the word and I will be there in a scant moment.

Come home to us soon, my love. This palace is empty without you in it. Until I see you again, I will dream of your beautiful face.

Hurry home.
All my love,
Forever,
Cadmus


All I can say is wow!
After finishing the series not too long ago, it's great to hear from some of my favourite characters again!
Thanks so much for doing this special Halloween guest post today Courtney, I hope you and your family have a great Halloween.
And to all my followers - have a great time no matter what your doing, but stay safe :)
Leave me a comment to let me know what your plans for Halloween are!
 
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