Wednesday, 31 July 2013

POOKA IN MY PANTRY by RL Naquin



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was just as much FUN as the first one. I'm really loving this series. So much that it's fast becoming one of my fave UF series! And the covers are SO cute. Love 'em.

Zoey is a wedding planner, but she's also recently discovered that she's an empath, and her house has become a safe haven for monsters in need. She's dating a reaper--Riley--who refused to take her soul twice. Now, he's on probation, which means she's also been marked with bad luck and must survive the trial.

But of course that's not the only trouble she has to face. There's the Leprechaun Mafia--LMAO, I loved this--hassling supernatural humans and spreading all sorts of bad luck around town. And Maurice the closet monster leaves to reconcile with his estranged wife. An obnoxious, inconsiderate pooka decides to stay while Maurice is absent. Her best friend and business partner also becomes involved in all this trouble, making it impossible to keep the lies going. And of course there's Art--Riley's boss and pen-clicking enemy #1.

OMG. This book, like the ones before it, was a total blast to read. It hooked me into Zoey's world instantly. It's funny, interesting, intriguing, and even dark in some places. There were some downright sad moments too... Poor Milo. :( But some really cool moments... Sara! ;)

Oh, and the worldbuilding keeps getting better as the world expands and Zoey starts to realise what she really is and how she fits into this Hidden world.

I've already got the next book on pre-order. Can't wait!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Time flies when you're doing stuff



Hey! Hello! How is everyone? Hope you're still popping in.
 
I can't believe almost two weeks have gone by since the last time I posted a real blog post. LOL. The days are just flying past, aren't they? But at least I keep posting book reviews and even posted a contest. Yay.

Last week was a busy one for me. I spent all last week working on Round 1 edits for SHIVER, and not much else. It was a lot of fun and plenty of work. I loved every minute of it. It was also really cool to go back into the Recast world. This time the story centres around Knox and Lian. If you've read CLASH, then you caught a glimpse of Knox and will get to know him a lot better soon. ;)
 
After reading the print galley and then tackling edits, I have to admit that I feel mentally exhausted. Plus we went for a super long walk over the weekend that knocked me out, and I think I might be coming down with something... So yeah, I want to slow it down this week. Though that's not always easy for someone with a head-full of ideas, snippets and stuff.
 
So many ideas, not enough time.
 
I once again need to grab my calendar and allocate what I want to achieve for the rest of the year. There are several projects I'd like to get done during the next three months: the first draft of Recast #4, complete second & third draft revision of Sierra Fox #5, and of course tackle edits as they come.
 
It might not sound like much, but it is. Especially the Sierra Fox revision, because I'm going to be super fussy with that. It's the last book in the series and I want to make sure everything is dealt with, revealed, etc. in a way that satisfies the story arc. But anyway, that's something for another day. Today, I just want to take it easy and check a few things online before sitting down with my Paperwhite to read.
 
Oh, before I forget, check out this awesome review for ON PINS AND NEEDLES from Coffee Time Romance & More. 5 Cups! It made me SO happy. I love it when readers really get Sierra. Thanks for making my day, Maura. :)
 
Well, that's it for now. Have a great day!

Monday, 29 July 2013

JOYLAND by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG. I absolutely loved this book. I just finished reading it, and I have to admit that it made me cry. :(

I'm a huge Stephen King fan, so I couldn't wait to read this book. Still, I took my time with it because every single page was fascinating. This story is full of heart and soul, there's also a spooky angle, heartbreak, true friendship, kindness, heroism, and the backdrop of an amusement park.

Devin Jones is a 21-year-old college student who takes a job in an amusement park during the summer of 1973. In Joyland he meets some lifelong friends--Tom and Erin--and becomes fascinated by the murder of a young woman in the Horror House ride. She apparently haunts the ride, and he's interested in seeing her. But that's not how things turn out.

It's also a time of self-discovery and heartbreak, because he's getting over being dumped by his girlfriend. Something he's convinced he'll never get over. But he's wrong because the job, his kind landlady, and meeting Annie and Mike Ross (and Milo!) not only help him get back on track, but they all become a very important part of his life. Not to mention that he's trying to figure out who murdered that poor girl and winds up becoming the target of a ruthless killer.

I found myself getting swept up in the friendship he starts with the sick, wheelchair-bound boy and his mother. Each of them affects him in a different, very touching way. My emotions got a beating whenever Mike made an appearance--he's such a great character with a special gift. I absolutely adored the scene where they go to Joyland together and have the park to themselves. Brilliant!

Like I said, I loved every moment I spent reading this book. Devin's voice hooked me in right away, and his life in '73 turned out to be quite a ride in its own right.

I loved it so darn much! Another FANTASTIC King story that will forever stay on my Keeper Shelf!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Throne of Glass Contest Winners!!

 
Well, it's time to announce the THREE winners of THRONE OF GLASS.
 
They are:
 
letoile19
Nicole Fergusson
Vija
 
Congratulations!
 
Send me an email to yolanda(at)yolandasfetsos(dot)com with your name and postal address. I will then pass the details onto Bloomsbury Australia so your copy can be sent out. Yay.
 
Thanks to everyone who entered!
 
Have a great day. :)
 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD by Sarah J Maas



The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1)The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading--and absolutely loving--Crown of Midnight, I decided to start reading the Throne of Glass prequel novellas.

This takes us back to a time when Celaena Sardothien worked for Arobynn and was one of his assassins. It's also a time when Sam was still alive. So after only reading about him during her sad memories of his loss, it was great to meet him. Actually, they can barely stand each other.

After a fellow assassin is captured and another is killed, Celaena and Sam are sent to meet with a pirate. She spends most of her time hiding behind a mask and arguing with Sam. Until they find out their boss is going into the slave trading businees.

That's when Celaena and Sam use their smarts and extensive training to risk their lives and save the innocent slaves...

This was an awesome origin story. It's filled with action, witty dialogue, insane plans, horrible pirates, a remote island, and adventure. It was great to see Celaena as a spoiled, arrogant teen before the devastation that awaits her.

Loved it. Now I have to pick up the next one...

RUNAWAY DEAD by Leanne Fitzpatrick



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this novella! It was so good.

When Cherry Garcia and her father go on a routine vampire case, the worst case scenario happens and turns her life upside down. Overwhelmed by grief, she decides the best thing to do is to keep working... and finds herself in the middle of a dangerous zombie situation.

This was an excellent novella set in a very interesting world filled with monsters. I really liked Cherry and the strong bonds she has with her family. I also enjoyed reading about her job. Not to mention that I'm intrigued by Priest.

There were a few typos, but nothing big enough to distract from the great story! :)

Saturday, 20 July 2013

SHADOW by Amanda Sun



Shadow (Paper Gods, #0.5)Shadow by Amanda Sun
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had my eye on INK for a while, so when I found out this prequel novella was free I picked up a Kindle copy to read on my phone.

Katie is devastated after the death of her mother. To make matters worse, she finds out that her aging grandparents can't take her in. And that's how she ends up in Japan--alone and unable to speak the language fluently. But the fascinating thing is that something strange is happening to her.

Tomohiro is haunted by shadows every night, and has trouble controlling the monster within. Not to mention that drawing is dangerous. Still, he tries to be normal by having a girlfriend... until he realises there'll never be anything normal about him.

I loved this novella! It was interesting, sad, dark and intriguing. Both main characters are fascinating in their own ways, and I can't wait to find out more about them. I also enjoyed reading a story set in a different culture.

Yeah, after reading this novella I'll definitely be buying INK. :)

Friday, 19 July 2013

MIA because of stuff



So, how's everyone doing? Wow. Long time no post.
 
I mean, I've been posting book reviews and a few other bits and pieces, but definitely no updates. :/
 
Hubby had annual leave all last week and it was my daughter's last week of school holidays, so we wound up going to the movies to watch THE MAN OF STEEL and PACIFIC RIM. I loved both of them. We also caught up on a bunch of other movies we've had at home for a while--a few turned out to be duds. But I really enjoyed LOOPER.
 
I also got a bunch of reading done.
 
It was a really nice break from everything. Hubby hadn't taken any time off in ages, so it was awesome!
 
Then this week everything went back to normal. Hubby went to work, daughter back to school, and I hit the ON PINS AND NEEDLES print galley. I actually finished today. It was nice to catch up with the characters and story again and I really didn't find too much to add to the correction/changes sheet. But you know what the most exciting thing is? Now that the galley is done, the next time I see this story is in paperback. I can't wait. It's due out next year. So exciting.
 
Anyway, I'm really glad that the weekend is here again. And most importantly, that I got the chance to finish everything I wanted to get done this week.
 
See ya!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

KILLING RACHEL by Anne Cassidy

Rose's mother and Joshua's father have disappeared. Police inquiries have gone nowhere and the case, it seems, is closed: Rose and Joshua have been told that the police believe their parents are dead. But Rose and Joshua still hold out hope that they are alive. Joshua is determined to follow up his own inquiries, which includes working out the meaning of the cryptic notebooks - the murder notebooks - they have discovered. Then Rose is distracted by odd, desperate messages she receives from Rachel, a former best friend from her school, followed by the terrible news that Rachel is dead. But perhaps Rachel's death will provide one more piece of the puzzle about what has happened to Rose and Joshua's parents . . .

A taut and pacy thriller in The Murder Notebooks series, from an acclaimed writer for teens.
 
Last year I read and really enjoyed DEAD TIME--the first book in The Murder Notebooks series--so I was eager to find out what was next for Rose and Joshua.
 
Rose and Joshua aren't real brother and sister, but their parents lived together for a while so they both remember living as a happy family. Then Rose's mother and Joshua's father went missing, tearing their lives apart. After reconnecting via email and finally meeting, their mutual need to find out what really happened to their parents led them to a mystery that has given them hope. For the first time in years, they're starting to wonder if their parents are still alive.
 
With the help of Joshua's best friend, Skeggsie, and some notebooks that are written in code, they're hoping to get some answers. But Rose isn't as obsessed with this as Joshua is, and she's gotten caught up in another mystery. Her ex-best friend keeps sending her desperate letters and keeps trying to call her, but Rose wants nothing to do with this girl. When she finds out Rachel is dead, Rose goes back to Mary Linton College to see if she can find out what happened.
 
During this weekend away--in which Joshua is chasing a lead nearby that takes them to a deserted cottage--they both get caught up in separate mysteries, which might just be connected.
 
I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I have to admit that it started out a bit slow, and when Rose goes back to her old school I kept trying to figure out how what happened to Rachel linked back to the investigation Joshua and her are doing... and all I had to do was keep reading. It's definitely worth sticking with the book because everything comes out in the end, and it's quite surprising.
 
The characters in this book are once again well written. I enjoyed following Rose on a trip down memory lane to the only true friend she ever had. The same girl who betrayed her trust and lied so much Rose didn't believe the only truth she ever told her. It's also interesting to see how her feelings towards Joshua are getting all twisted and confused. I wonder if they're ever going to be honest with each other about this? ;)
 
Killing Rachel is another great suspense story that gives you small answers to the big picture and keeps you feeling as hopeful as the main characters. It's another edge-of-your-seat thriller, intertwining several mysteries that lead the reader down many twists and turns. It's a great read!
 
I can't wait until the mystery involving their parents finally unravels... 
 
Killing Rachel, April 2013, ISBN  9781408815519, Bloomsbury Childrens

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

CONTEST: Win a copy of Throne of Glass


Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia, I'm giving away THREE paperback copies of THRONE OF GLASS!
 
 
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?

I've read this awesome book, and loved it! You can read my review here.
 
For your chance to win, just leave a comment on this post.
I'll pick the three winners next Monday, July 22.
 
Good luck!
 
::CONTEST IS ONLY OPEN TO AUSTRALIAN ADDRESSES::
 


 

Monday, 15 July 2013

1984 by George Orwell



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a classic that I've been meaning to read for ages, so when I saw it on the Google Play Store, I grabbed it for my Galaxy Note.

The year is 1984, the world is at war and Big Brother not only controls everything and everyone, but he can also see what everyone is doing. Every home and place of work has a telescreen which spits out propaganda, news, and can watch your every move.

In this world, there is no privacy. There's no individual thought. There's only fear and hate. Children are horrid little spies, marriages are organised, and betrayal happens all the time. It's a barren society with no colour.

It's also where Winston Smith's story takes place. He's in the Outer Party and works at the Ministry of Truth. He plays by the rules just like everyone else, but when he starts secretly writing in a journal his whole life changes. Now he's starting to think about things, he's starting to question why the past needs to be altered, and can actually remember instances of changes being made that he knows are false. He's also noticed Julia.

When the two start seeing each other in secret, they both know they're breaking the rules and will eventually get caught. But neither one of them cares because Winston is falling in love with her, and has become obsessed with the rebellion...

I kept hoping that Winston and Julia would just runaway and escape the Party, but of course they don't do that.

This book is an amazing read! It's well written, hooked me in right away, has some pretty elaborate worldbuilding, and a narrator that you can really feel for. I have to admit that at one point the info got a bit much, but I soon forgot about that because of the devastating situation that followed. :(

It's a sad story about a man who wants the world to be different but has to pretend he's compliant like everyone else. It's also a story about forbidden love and the strength of the human spirit. It's also about endurance and being pushed so far that breaking point becomes the only solution.

It's one of the best books I've ever read, yet at the same time it saddened and angered me. It's depressing, and the ending tore me up inside because it's just so hopeless. But I have to admit that it's fitting, and certainly didn't go the way I expected.

Yeah, I loved it. This is one of those books that leaves a lasting impression on you.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Countdown Begins!





 

Monday, 8 July 2013

HIDDEN by Marianne Curley

Ebony has always known that she is different. Her violet eyes mark her out, and her protective parents have kept her in a gorgeous valley, home-schooled, safe from everything - almost as if she's being hidden. But she's changing: glowing, getting more and more beautiful, and stronger than anyone knows.
Ebony can't stay hidden for ever, and when she meets complicated, intense Jordan, something explodes inside her - something that can be seen from the heavens; something that changes everything. Ebony is a stolen angel, concealed on Earth. Now the heavens have found her, they want her back.
 
 
When I started this book, I really didn't know what to expect. This is my first Marianne Curley novel, and I didn't know much about it... but it hooked me in right away.
 
Ebony Hawkins is a sheltered teenager who recently started attending high school. She's not like other girls, she's actually stronger, faster, and has violet eyes. She's always suspected she was different, but the night she sneaks out and finally confronts her parents to get some answers, she winds up having more questions. And becomes determined to find out where she's from and what she really is.
 
Jordan Blake is a teenage boy who's had a tough life. He constantly gets into trouble and knows that life usually gets worse before it gets any better. The night he's savagely attacked and nearly dies two angels offer him a second chance at life, in exchange for helping them find a lost angel. He accepts and the decision sets his life on a new path.
 
What neither one of them know is that they both have important roles in an ancient battle between angels and demons. And that Ebony is a vital part.
 
The book is told in the POV of both Ebony and Jordan, which turned out to be an awesome technique. I loved seeing what was going on through both of their eyes, and got a deeper understanding of each personality. I also thought the worldbuilding was interesting, believable, and revealed at just the right pace.
 
Hidden is an amazing story of self-discovery and destiny. It's also about growing up while trying to live an average life until you realise you're destined for so much more. The mystery at the centre of Ebony's life was intriguing, the suspense gripping, and the turn of events that lead her down an action-packed path had me hooked! 

This story is filled with secrets, confusion and a miraculous conclusion. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Ebony and Jordan's story.  
 
 
Hidden, March 2013, ISBN  9781408822623, Bloomsbury Childrens


 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Sierra Fox, Sunny Weather & Teeth


Hey!
 
So, this feels like another Sierra Fox week to me. :)

Seriously, they seem to become all about Sierra a lot... which is actually a very cool thing. I love writing this series, and I'm going to miss it so much when it's done.

That's why my head is buzzing with spin-off ideas, and other stories I could set in this world I love so much. It's driving me batty because my brain is getting crowded. As much as I love Sierra, Papan, Lavie and everyone else, I really am looking forward to getting stuck into new worlds.
 
Anyway. The print release of SPLIT AT THE SEAMS was yesterday. And in case you missed the news, the fourth book will be released next year. So excited about it. Like I said before, this year has been filled with Sierra Fox goodness. ;)
 
So, remember how it rained continuously for over a week? This week has been perfect--sunny every day, warm during the day, nights aren't too cold. Like I said, perfect. I always love these short glimpses of spring in the middle of winter. It makes the cold months a little easier to cope with. If I could have spring, summer, and autumn only, I would. I would gladly skip winter. LOL.
 
Last night marked one week of wearing the splint while sleeping. I have to admit that it's still weird having to wear it every night, but I'm getting used to it. I think it's doing its job too. Or at least I hope it is. The worst thing is that my front teeth hurt a little as soon as I take it off in the morning. Not sure if that's normal or not, but I'll mention it to the dentist on Monday when we go in to (hopefully) pick up hubby's splint.
 
This is also my daughter's first week of school holidays so I've been catching up on housework, online updating stuff, and sorting through things. No point getting stuck into anything too involved when she has holidays, especially since hubby will be off ALL next week as well. Yay. Can't wait.
 
Well, that's it for today. Have a great day!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Print Release: Split at the Seams

 
 
The second book in my Sierra Fox urban fantasy series is now available in print!
 
It's just as beautiful as the first one. I *love* it.

All it takes is one broken stitch for everything to come apart at the seams.

Sierra Fox, Book 2

Spook catcher Sierra Fox has paid her debt to the Spook Catcher Council. Life should be easier. Except everything is going to the dogs—or demons, as the case may be. Her boyfriend Jonathan is acting like a possessive jerk. She can’t stop drooling over Jason, her hunky, injured houseguest, who turns out to be a werewolf. To top it off, something seriously freaky is happening to spooks all over Sydney.

Prime example: a ghost who wants to hire her fades while inside her office, and soon they’re disappearing all over Sydney— sucked out of existence. When Sierra finds out who’s behind it, it’s more than just her own life at stake.

As the problems continue to mount, keeping her head above water is a daily battle. Add a stalking, feral animal who is determined to take a piece out of her hide—literally—and life is anything but a bunch of buttercups. Especially when those around her start dropping their fa├žades.

Eventually, she knows, the dust will settle. Only this time, life as she knew it may never be the same.
 
Warning: Spook catching: Do not try this at home, if you’re under eighteen, or under the influence. Must be prepared to fight off ghosts, demons, weird black dogs and sexy werewolves… Okay, maybe not the werewolf.
 
 
 
 
 
Yay! ;)
 

Monday, 1 July 2013

More Awesome Sierra Fox News!


As if the recent release of ON PINS AND NEEDLES, and the upcoming print release of SPLIT AT THE SEAMS wasn't enough for me to be super happy about... I've got something else to share!

I'm super excited to announce that I've just signed another contract with Samhain Publishing. This is my seventh, and it's for the fourth book in my urban fantasy Sierra Fox Stories series.
 
That's right, the penultimate book in Sierra's series will be released next year, and I'm SO excited about it!!

OMG. Yaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy. :D

My editor Holly is awesome, and she totally gets the characters and the world. I had a blast working with her on the third book, so I can't wait to get stuck into this one.

Oh, and before I forget, this is the title: TORN FROM THE SHADOWS.

If you've read any of the books in the series, you might have a clue about what this title actually means. ;) A lot of stuff happens in this book, and some of it isn't good. At all. Evil author! LOL.

Anyway, here's a little trivia: I actually wrote the first draft of this book during last year's NaNoWriMo. I love taking part in NaNoWriMo.
 
I'm so excited about this book and series. Can't wait to see the next cover...
 
 

 
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