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Book Tour: ‘Destroyed’ by Aimee Shaye

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Today, I’m taking part in a book tour for Aimee Shaye’s Destroyed, hosted by Electively Paige.

About the Book:

Jade is a ten thousand year old vampire whose life was shattered by a curse from the Fates and a brother who took their words seriously. In an instant the lives of his friends and family were jeopardized and ruined. His twin brother, Corbin, took away the only girl that Jade ever loved, his fiancée Eliza. After her death, Jade turned away from humans and turned toward revenge.

When Jade has a vision of the girl around the corner dying in the hands of his brother, he has only two choices: save her, or let her turn rogue and ruin the world forever.

Will he save her or will he let the world burn?

My review:

[Warning: This book contains scenes were rape and gang rape are either discussed or alluded to. However, these scenes are not described]

I have awarded this book 3 stars.

Destroyed is book 1 in The Chronicles of the Seven Sons series.Destroyed Cover

As I’ve never read anything by this author before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The blurb was very enticing, so I decided to give it a go.

I enjoyed reading this. The characters were likeable and the writing style flowed quite nicely. I liked the character of Jade (though my favourite was Sypher  and I hope the series expands on his character in the future ) and I found the way that he battled between the feelings in his heart and the thoughts in his head to be effective. I also really liked the references to the Greek Gods, which I’ve not come across in a vampire book before. As I mentioned in the warning preceding this review, this book contains quite a few references to or discussions about rape and/or gang rape. However, without giving anything away, these references are included in discussions about Hell/Purgatory. Therefore, I didn’t find them to be out of place.

Unfortunately, I felt that this book was greatly let down by mistakes, both typing (the character put eggs ‘into’ a plate) and grammatical (the character picked her car keys up ‘off of’ the cupboard) .  The book is also very long; at 464 pages, I wonder if the author should consider taking some scenes and turning them into a short story as an extra to the series. It may also be worth the author considering a character list at the start of the book with the characters modern names and their Greek names, as I found that to be quite confusing at the start.

★★★ – All in all, I felt that this book was a promising start to the series. The plot was intriguing, but I feel that the author is not executing this book to the best of her ability. I will be looking out for further books in this series, but I hope that more care is taken in the following books. 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

About the Author:

Aimee Shaye is a 21 year old self-published author who lives in New York. Her first novel, Destroyed, was released on October 31, 2014 (two months early) and is the first book in The Chronicles of the Seven Sons (CSS) series. She is currently working on an erotica trilogy (Each book will be released in between the books of CSS series).

To find out more and to view her other works, please visit the following links:

Her Website

 Her Facebook profile

Her Twitter profile

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Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Books To Revisit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for not posting this yesterday. I’ve been very busy! image

Top ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a topic is posted and the participants then create their Top Ten list about that topic.

This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books From My Childhood (Or Teen Years) That I Would Love To Revisit

Here is my list:

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series by  Ann Brashares

I adored these books! They’re such fun! The film is great, too!
The Demonata series by Darren Shan

I loved the bits of humour injected into these books.
The Tracy Beaker series by Jacqueline Wilson

Yes, I’ll admit it. I was a Tracy Beaker fan! I loved how rebellious she was.
The Heartland series by Lauren Brooke

My grandparents always had horses when I was growing up, so it’s no surprise that I became obsessed with them! They’re gorgeous!

The Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz

I loved these books. I’m too scared to watch the film in case it doesn’t live up to my expectations!
Heidi by Johanna Spyri

I’ve still got my copy of Heidi! It looks VERY loved now!
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

I loved anything Dr Seuss! I loved the rhyming and thought it was very clever
The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

I was fascinated by the Greek Gods element in these books
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

This was actually the last book that my grandfather read to me before he passed away. We used to cuddle up on the sofa and read the classics and I had read/listened to most of the classics by the time I had finished primary school!

fancy_page_dividerSo, that’s my list! What do you think?

What’s on your list? Did you read any of these?

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Award: Versatile Blogger!

The lovely Heather Burnside has nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award!

Thank you very much, Heather. I’m honoured that you think my blog is worth a mention and a nomination!

I’ve been following Heather’s blog since I started mine. I love her insights into publishing and her support for Independent authors. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you really should!

Here are the rules relating to the award:

  • Nominate 15 other bloggers relatively new to blogging
  • Let the bloggers know that you’ve nominated them
  • Share 10 random facts about yourself
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post

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Ten random facts about me
1) I start my PGCE (Teacher Training) course in September!
2) I have an unhealthy obsession with Post-It notes. They’re EVERYWHERE.
3) My favourite biscuits are custard creams.
4) I own 4 onesies.
5) I can recite every line in every episode of the tv show Gilmore Girls.
6) I have every item related to baking imaginable.
7) My favourite colour is red.
8) I own two Kindles – a Kindle Keyboard (which is still going strong!) and a Kindle Fire.
9) I hated The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
10) I can say the alphabet backwards.

I’m nominating…
1) Michelle – Spider’s Book Club
2) Dayna – Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers
3) Brittney – Brittney’s Book Nook
4) Romance Novels for the Beach
5) Claire – Claire’s Cosy Corner
6) Lauren – Bookmark Lit
7) Kenzie – Bookish Things and Tea
8) Matthew – Horrorville
9) Hollie – Read Rant Review
10) Lorraine – Tidlidim
11) Krystal – Breathing in Fiction
12) Ditch the Bun
13) Erin – Raised Reading
14) Just a Small Town Girl
15) Books for Fun

Sorry if any of you have been nominated before or you don’t accept awards. I did look and didn’t see anything to suggest this!

Also, sorry to anyone that I forgot. I follow some really amazing blogs and it was difficult to pick only 15!

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Once again, I’d like to thank Heather for thinking of me when she was creating her list of who she would like to nominate.

I look forward to seeing the posts of the people that I have nominated! Enjoy!

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Thursday Quotables: ‘Juggling Balls’ by David Hadley

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This weekly feature, hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies, is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

I haven’t taken part in this meme for a while. Reading this book, though, I just had to share it!

This weeks quote is taken from David Hadley’s ‘Juggling Balls’.

Here’s the blurb:
A laugh out loud science fiction comedy in the style of Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf.

Martin Laws hates mysteries.

So why has someone sent him a bag of juggling balls?

Why has he no memory of buying a new computer?

Why has that new computer decided Martin needs to go shopping?

Why does a hairstylist he’s never met before keep saluting him?

Most of all, why are so many Elvis impersonators trying to kill him?

Here’s the extract:
Gingerly, he lowered his arms and looked around.
‘Sir! Sir? Are you all right, sir?’
‘Mandy?’
‘Yes, sir.’
Martin looked up. He had seen outfits like that before, but only in a certain type of magazine. Even in the gloom of the boiler room the black leather, what little of it there was, shone. Mandy was trying to push something back into her thigh-length leather boot.
‘Mandy?’
‘Sir?’
‘Is that a… a vibrator?’
‘No, sir!’
‘Are you sure? It looks like one to me.’
‘No sir, it is self-defence unit 0012KZ.’
‘Can I have a look at it then?’
‘No, not at the moment sir. We need to get out of here and get you to Professor Stewart’s room.’ She took a long brown thing from inside the top of her other boot. Martin relaxed when he realised what it was. Mandy lit the cigar and took a deep drag on it.
‘Right. But what about him?’ Martin gestured towards the inert form in the white jump suit.
Mandy knelt down beside the inert man with a creak of leather and felt for a pulse in his neck. ‘Elvis has left the building.’ She blew cigar smoke in the face of the corpse and stood up.
‘He… he’s dead?’
‘Yes.’
It was the first time Martin had ever seen a dead body. A real live dead person, as it were. ‘You killed him… with a vibrator?’

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So, what do you think?
If you’d like to read this book, here are the where to buy links:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Pieces of Me’ by Carrigan Richards

Genre: Young Adult (YA) / Contemporary
Length: 302 pages (approx.)

[Warning: This book contains scenes of suicide, self-harm and depression and is set in a psychiatric institution, so areas such as bipolar disorder and bulimia are also touched upon.]

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Corinne has everything. Her life. Family. Friends. Boyfriend. But in that one second, she loses it all. Now she’s left with harrowing nightmares, hallucinations, and panic attacks that seem to come out of nowhere. She tries everything to take the pain away, but there’s only one option she sees as a true way out. When Corinne is sent to live in a psychiatric institution, she doesn’t want to talk. It’s pointless. They can’t help her. But slowly Corinne opens up and wants to remember what it’s like to be happy so she begins reliving her past life to her doctor. She knows she can’t live in the past, but she sees no future and is faced with the hardest decision of her life

Review: Firstly, I want to say that the cover is gorgeous. It is certainly striking and portrays both the beauty and sadness of this novel.  Secondly, I would like to say that I have very little experience with those who have depression or who have attempted suicide or have self-harmed. Therefore, I cannot guarantee how realistic this book is, but it felt both realistic to me and a good portrayal of what a person in Corinne’s circumstances would go through.

Pieces of Me deals with the subject of suicide, grief, self-harm, depression, love, friendship and finding oneself through the form of therapy sessions that main character, seventeen year old Corinne, has to take part in as part of her treatment at a psychiatric institution, and flashbacks that she has suffered with, which I felt the author dealt with in both a respectful and insightful manner. From the first page, I felt empathy with Corinne, who didn’t feel that she needed treatment – no body can take away her actions or the pain that she’s caused, so why would she want to keep talking about it? By the time I had finished reading this, I felt as emotionally drained as Corinne! Without giving anything away, I had laughed at the interactions between Corinne and David, cried at the interactions between Corinne and Emma, got angry at the interactions between Corinne and Lisa, and completely understood why Corinne fell in love with James.

At first I thought that it took so long for the reader to be enlightened as to what ‘the event’ was because Corinne couldn’t remember the specific details, but as the book went on I realised that it was because she found it too difficult to talk about. This may annoy other readers as we do not really know what happened until nearly the end of the book, but I never found myself feeling bored as I was eager to find out what had happened to Corinne and why she was being treated in this way. Each time Corinne had a flashback, we were given a little bit more about the accident, which I felt was an effective technique as Corinne couldn’t move past the event and come to terms with what happened without admitting exactly what happened – to herself just as much as to her therapist. I also felt that the playlist that author Carrigan Richards included at the end of the book was a lovely touch.

I would have liked a couple of aspects to be developed further, particularly between Corinne and her mother, Corinne and Abby and between Corinne and Lisa. I would also have liked to see a little bit more about Scott and his visits to the institution. For these reasons, I gave the book 4 stars. While they didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story, I felt that the development of these aspects would have further strengthened the story and caused a greater impact at the end of the novel.

★★★★ – a beautiful, well written story that deals with subjects such as depression and suicide in a respectful manner. By telling the story through therapy sessions and flashbacks, the reader was able to see Corinne come to terms with the events in an insightful manner. Very highly recommended! 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon UK (Paperback)
Amazon US (Kindle)
Amazon US (Paperback)

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Getting to know: Sophie Weeks

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Hi, Sophie!
So, we’ve done the serious interview. Now, let’s get to know the real you!

What were you like in school?
I was kind of weirdly intense about everything.  My senior year of high school, I was voted most likely to become a cult leader.  

Well, that’s certainly interesting!
How would you describe yourself in three words?

Playful, pensive, passionate.

Perfect!
Imagine that there’s a zombie apocalypse and you can only use the item to your left to survive. What is it and how long would you live?
Writing at my kitchen table, so…there’s a jar of coconut oil.  I guess I’d grease my steps with it?  Might hold them off about half an hour.

Well, maybe.. Sorry, I can’t think of anything better! Good luck!
If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and what would the title be?

I was once told, in an astonishing and improbable compliment, that I resembled Drew Barrymore, so I hope she’s willing to gain some weight for the role.  The title would be Reckless Dreams and it would be a dark comedy.

If you could choose any two people to be your parents, real or fictional, alive or dead, who would you choose?
I definitely want Jon Stewart to be my dad.  My mom is getting tired about being pestered about whether she didn’t have an affair with some Jewish kid from New Jersey before I was born. For a mom, I have to dip into fiction. Araminty Brown from National Velvet is so many kinds of amazing.  Hard-headed, strong, and supportive.  Every time I reread that book I’m astonished at the depth and beauty of that character.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and why?
Flying, absolutely.  I don’t know if I could do anything useful with that, apart from rescue cats stuck up trees, but I love the idea of flying.  I still have a lot of vivid flying dreams that make me very happy.

The ability to fly would be great!
What has been your biggest fashion regret?

You know, I don’t regret the orange chiffon dress, nor the giant lavender tulle skirt…I only regret the five billion little black dresses that represent risks not taken.

Thanks, Sophie!

To learn more about Sophie and to view her serious interview, please click here.

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Author Interview: Sophie Weeks

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Hi, Sophie!
Before we get started, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m probably the oldest person you’ll ever meet who will freely admit I don’t know what I want to be “when I grow up.”  It’s not that I’m lacking in goals-far from it!  I’ve written three books, and I want to write so many more.  But I hate the idea that people can only be or do one thing.  One of my favorite classical composers, Camille Saint-Saens, was also a philosopher, poet, playwright, astronomer, and naturalist.  I like people like that, who defy the cocktail party question, “What do you do?”  If I could have a list like that, I’d also like to be a philosopher, fashion designer, activist, musician, scholar, chef, and ballroom dancer.  I may not have the talent to do everything I like professionally, but I’m strongly in favor of passionate amateurism.

Brilliant! Thanks.
So, when writing a new story, where do you start? Beginning? End? Title?

I usually start at the beginning or with some particular scene that really intrigues me.  Books are hard to start, but once you get them in motion, they’re constantly revealing new possibilities.  The biggest thing for me is to be able to hear the characters’ voices in my head. I work really hard to create a strong, distinctive voice for every character-once you do that, writing dialogue becomes a delight.

 Interesting!
What advice would you give to other authors?

The best advice I could give is to cast a wide net in gathering your influences.  Reading books in your genre is great, but you never know where you’ll find something that enriches your work.  It could be in a popular science book or a biography of someone you admire, or it could be in a song or a painting or a film.  Being a novelist is like working on a mosaic.  You’re snatching up little pieces of material to arrange in a fresh, creative way.  So if you’re gathering the same materials everyone else in your genre is using, you won’t get somewhere new.  It’s the chance conversation at the farmer’s market or the unusual historical detail that helps you make something unique and distinctive.

Great advice!
Are there any books or authors that you feel have influenced you particularly?

Scarlett Thomas is a big influence.  She writes very plainly, but explores lots of huge, juicy ideas in her work.  That combination of vivid thinking and transparent prose is very appealing to me.  She’s also written a non-fiction book on writing craft called Monkeys with Typewriters that I found extremely helpful.  I also read a lot of older authors-L. M. Montgomery has a wonderful way of story-telling that defies a lot of current expectations in a way I really like.  Where, after all, is the “tension” in Anne of Green Gables?  The beginning problem is resolved within about half a dozen chapters.  We keep reading just because we want to spend more time with Anne.  In terms of fantasy literature, I love a lot of authors who write at the margins, trying to do strange and wonderful things with their books, like George MacDonald or Charles Williams.

What has been your favourite thing to write so far?
My favorite thing is always the last thing because as I grow and become a better writer, I become cranky with the faults in my earlier works.  So my favorite book is always the one I’m writing right now.

Who has been your biggest supporter(s)?
I have a dear friend who has always been a wonderful cheerleader for my stuff.  She used to work in theatre as a director, so she has an unbeatable sense of dramatic structure.  She also doesn’t mind getting texts that just say, “I need to tell you a story.”  

Can I ask, if you don’t mind, what you’re currently working on?
I’m currently working on a high fantasy novel, which is something of a departure for me.  I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with “swords and sorcery” type stuff.  I loved Tolkien when I was younger, and I love magic and elves and all kinds of nonsense, but I never really thought I would be able to comfortably write something like that.  A lot of the conventions just didn’t seem to work with my story-telling style, which relies heavily on small, everyday detail.  Plus, the classic hero’s journey is often so linear and driven by external motivation.  But I hope I’ve found a way to take what I need and let the rest alone in this story.  It’s about a young sorceress queen who is apprenticed for many years to a dragon.  Her country is in bad shape, and she feels trapped by the fate that’s been woven around her.  I try to really explore the isolation and helplessness she experiences because of the magical gifts she possesses.  

Sounds interesting!
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your readers or just in general?

If I have anything useful to say to anyone, it’s to never settle.  Never settle for a half-love or a half-dream or, worst of all, a half-life.  The thing that distinguishes extraordinary people is not some innate gift that you don’t have.  It’s persistence and refusing to listen to those who doubt them.  That’s it.  Every single person can do amazing things if they’re willing to put their whole self into it.

Brilliant. Thanks, Sophie!
To learn more about Sophie and her work, please click the following links:
Her Website
Her Facebook profile
Her Amazon author profile
Her Goodreads profile