Thursday, 12 February 2015

Jessica Cole Model Spy Blog Tour

Jessica Cole Model Spy: Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky

Models, spies and lipstick gadgets... When Jessica's father, a former spy, 
vanishes mysteriously, Jessica takes matters into her own hands. She's not just
 a daddy's girl who's good at striking a pose; she's a trained spook who knows 
how to take on MI6 and beat them at their own game.

I have always loved the idea of spies, cool gadgets and secret operations. I was obsessed with a cartoon about 3 female spies, once upon a time, but I cannot think of the name of it! Anyway, I also read the Gallagher Girls series way back and remember loving them! This book was a cross between that series and maybe Geek Girl? It rekindled my old obsession over wanting to be a spy for sure!

In this first book, we follow Jessica, a strong protagonist, who is really easy to connect with and great fun to follow! She is a great mix of skilled spy and stubborn teenager making her relatable, as well as admirable.

*OH!* That programme I mentioned previously was Totally Spies! You guys watched that, right? This book reminded me of that cartoon because there were so many awesome gadgets! The imagination behind them made for a super fun read!

The characters were a lot more complex than I was expecting, for example, Jessica's missing father, an ex-MI6 agent with MS. The villains were also more in-depth than I expected, they were lovely to hate! ;)

The plot of this story is made up of danger, twists you won't expect and then a trip to Paris is also on the table! I really enjoyed the mystery and  the combination of models and spies, it was a really fun twist on the usual spy tale. And all those beautiful dresses! <3

Though this is not something I would usually read, I did really enjoy this book. I'd perhaps say it was for younger teens, like the Gallagher Girls series, but I know many adults and older teens (like myself) who have found it enjoyable too. It was a quick, fun read, so if that's what you're looking for then I do recommend!

3.5 stars

Want to catch up on previous stops? Need to know where the next will be?

Thank you to Faye and Scholastic for my copy of this book!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Hey guys ;) Welcome to stop three of the RAGING STAR blog tour! At today's stop you will find an exclusive Q&A with one of the biggest queens of YA dystopian fiction! I am so excited to be a part of this tour as I absolutely adore The Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young; it is EPIC!
The trilogy kicked off with Blood Red Road, back in 2011, and has stormed the world of readers by heart. Moira managed to script Saba's voice so rhythmically and vividly into our minds that you can almost hear her inside your head, every word, every breath.

THEN came Rebel Heart in 2012. It blew me away! Blood Red Road was amazing, Rebel Heart was phenomenal; and I can only expect even more from Raging Star, the third and final instalment in this adrenaline-filled blockbuster of a trilogy!

I am pleased to say that I have a BEAUTIFUL copy of Raging Star (which I am LOVING) sat on my bookcase next to the two previous novels (SIGNED, oh yes, I met the lovely Moira - a wonderful lady indeed) and they are just perfection together. I mean, just LOOK at these COVERS!

I had the privilege of asking Moira Young a few questions and I am happy to be sharing them here with you!

Q&A with Moira Young:

1) What inspired you to write your first book?

I wrote my first book at nine. I still have it in my box of childhood treasures. It's called The Heirloom Mystery, a not-in-the-least-bit-thrilling tale of a stolen silver candlestick. I wrote it for a board of education story contest. I beefed up my entry by making a cover, cutting black construction paper letters to spell out the title and gluing them to the front. They're arranged tipsily, which I remember thinking would give a spooky feel to the thing. I was mistaken. It was returned with a blue square sticker and I have no recollection what that blue sticker means. I didn't win, I know that. There was a gap of some years between The Heirloom Mystery and Blood Red Road, my first published book. The initial impetus for that book was to somehow channel or assuage my anxiety about inaction on climate change. My fears on that front are even greater now than they were then, but it set me on the road to being a writer and I'm glad about that.

2) Is there a message in The Dustlands trilogy that you want readers to grasp?

As Sam Goldwyn said, "If you have a message, send a telegram." So, no message. A moral position, yes. I care deeply about the themes of these books and Saba's story. They're the stuff of my bones and blood and heart. What the reader takes from them will depend upon who they are and where they are in their lives.

3) Nero plays as big a part in the Dustlands trilogy as the human characters, why did you choose a crow for Saba's loyal companion?

Well, my first and greatest literary influence is the Wizard of Oz and  Dorothy, of course, had Toto. I never actually made a decision to give Saba an animal companion, I just did and the Wizard of Oz is to blame. For the three years it took me to write a first draft of Dark Eden, (my working title for Blood Red Road), Saba had a wolfdog called Tracker. The problem was that he couldn't accompany her everywhere, so I was constantly having to make arrangements for him. I was discussing this with my husband one day and he said, "You need an animal that functions in three dimensions. What you need is a bird. What you need is a crow." A crow. Besides humans, the most intelligent animals on earth. Familiar and yet unknown, the mysterious, mythical crow. How perfect! How obvious! A crow could go everywhere with Saba. And I adore birds. For a time I was lucky enough to live with a cockatiel called Lola; she was bright, with a huge personality and a big attitude and we loved each other at first sight. Twenty years on, I can still smell her feathers, still feel her sitting on my shoulder, nibbling on the tiny hairs of my neck. Nero was a joy to write.

4) Which character do you like the most/least and why?

I like all my characters, even the baddies. As soon as I knew that Blood Red Road was the first in a trilogy, I realised that Saba would need to come up against a powerful, attractive antagonist. The stronger and more complex your antagonist, the greater the danger to your hero. It was an enjoyable challenge to discover DeMalo's secrets and bring him to life. Mind you, I was slightly disturbed at the number of readers who seem to have fallen for my sexy fascist.

5) If you could live in the shoes of just one of your characters for the day, who would you choose and why?

I'd slip into Ash's sizable boots. I've never known what it is to have physical strength and stamina and courage, to not be plagued by self-doubt and endless internal wittering on about this or that. Ash is a self-confident, tireless Amazon of a girl. I probably wouldn't want to hand her boots back!

6) If someone could provide a soundtrack for the Dustlands series, who would you pick?

I hear the music of the Dustlands roaming about widely; from British and American folk, bluegrass and the blues to great classical orchestrations and opera. There's a wonderful BBC documentary called Scrapheap Orchestra. A group of the UK's top instrument makers transformed junk, broken furniture and the contents of roadside skips into a full orchestra of 44 instruments. The BBC Concert Orchestra then played their junk instruments in a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture at the 2011 Proms. The film inspired me to put a junkband into Rebel Heart. If they ever film Blood Red Road, it's my dream to have a scrapheap orchestra play all the music. For a story about a world in which people survive by cobbling together the junk of the past, that would be perfection.

7) Is there a Dustlands story to tell beyond Raging Star and would you ever go back?

For me, this is the end of the Dustlands. Saba's story is the one that was necessary for me to discover and follow and it finishes with Raging Star. Now I'll just have to bide my time until another story starts burning inside of me.

8) Which genres/authors do you like to read?

Everything. Anything. Whatever. Fiction, non-fiction, classic, contemporary, crime, pulp, steampunk, Shakespeare, Beowulf and on and on. I've always read widely. I was an early, voracious reader and my parents let me read whatever I wanted. I don't know much of anything, but I do have an eternally curious, hungry, magpie mind. If I ran the world, I would demolish all the genre ghettos that libraries and bookstores create for their readers. I'd put every book - fiction and non-fiction alike - in author alphabetical order. What a joyous, mind-blowing scramble that would be.

9) Do you plan to write more YA novels? If so, are there any details you can share with us?

I will positively be writing more books for Young Adults. I think my voice fits comfortably here. I'll be very interested to see what I do next. At the moment, I have no idea what that might be, I just have to be patient. Writing the
Dustlands, I've learned that stories cannot be forced or hurried out of me. They come when they're ready and not before.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Raging Star (which you most definitely should) then head over here!! --------->

You can find my review of Rebel Heart here->

NEXT STOP: Head over to to see what's in store! (Also, don't forget to check out the previous stops for more exclusive content and a series GIVEAWAY!)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Deep Blue Release GIVEAWAY! (UK Only)

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Published May 1st 2014)

Below the GIVEAWAY you'll find character profiles, the Deep Blue book trailer and a chapter sample - enjoy!

Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Trailer -

Read a FREE chapter sample! Click here!

Character Profiles:


Four thousand years ago, six wise rulers with mystical powers oversaw the golden realm of Atlantis. When an evil force overtook the mythical island, sinking it into the sea, Merrow, the leader of the ancients, beseeched the gods to grant her drowning people the power to breathe underwater. Those who survived, their legs magically fused into tail fins, formed an undersea civilization called The Mer.

From their Mediterranean realm, five others grew to form six undersea nations, led for generations by descendants of the ancient Circle of Six. Now, the evil forces that consumed Atlantis threaten destruction once again. The Mer nations’ only hope lies with six teenagers, descended from the ancient rulers, who’ve inherited their magical powers. Together, they form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood to save their worlds.

Loyal, brave, just, and strong—with copper brown hair, bright green eyes, and a nascent gift more powerful than all the others—Serafina is descended from the ancient ruler Merrow. Heir to the original civilization of Merfolk, Sera has been raised with the expectation that one day, she’ll be their ruler. When the undersea nations come under threat and Sera’s mother, Queen Isabella, is poisoned, Sera’s destiny leaps to meet her. She must embark on a journey to find and vanquish the evil forces at work. Her powerful magic—the gift of a love so powerful she would sacrifice herself for those around her—will guide her as she leads the mermaids in their quest. By her side is her best friend Neela…

Sassy and daring, with a non-stop sweet-tooth, jet-black hair to her tail fin, and a bioluminescent body that emanates a bright blue light, Neela is descended from Navi, ancient ruler of the waters of India,
a kind and good-hearted leader who used her riches to build hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the poor. It was said Navi could hold light in her hands as well as her heart, pulling down beams from the sun and moon and stars and bending them to her will. She gave her people hope in their darkest hours. Neela, able to create and throw powerful formations of light, is the intrepid inheritor of these gifts.

With a gentle but powerful nature and a keen intellect she’s not afraid to show, Ling—with almond-shaped eyes, high cheekbones, and a sword in a scabbard slung over her back—is descended from Sycorax, who ruled from the shores of the Qin in China. An omnivorax, Sycorax spoke the languages of all creatures—people, animals, birds, flowers and trees. She was Atlantis’ supreme justice, a peace- keeper and negotiator of treaties between realms. Ling is the able and ready inheritor of these gifts.

Fierce and quick—with curly red hair, blue eyes, and a smattering of freckles—Becca is descended from Pyrrha, who ruled the shores of Atlantica, the ancient realm between South America and Africa. Pyrrha was a brilliant and strategic military commander, but she was also an artisan—a blacksmith who could bid fire. She had a forge on Atlantis where she transformed farm tools into weapons; when her people came under attack, Pyrrha saved her people with her quick thinking. Becca, her descendant, will do the same.

Wise, witty, frank and prescient—with glossy black braids, deep brown scales, sunglasses, and a guide-pet piranha she keeps on a leash—Ava is descended from Nyx who ruled the fresh waters that flowed from the Mississippi River. Nyx was blind, but he could feel things he could not see. He never flinched from what he felt, or from speaking his visions truthfully. The magic bestowed him by the gods strengthened his gift and transformed it into prophecy. Ava is the knowing inheritor of this gift of prescience and foresight.


Headstrong, bold, and possessed of a deep well of magical power, Astrid—with cascades and braids of white-blonde hair, icy blue eyes, and the black and white markings of an orca—is descended from Orfeo, who ruled the arctic waters around Greenland. A musician who played the lyre to soothe the sick and suffering, he was a healer whose people loved him. Of the six who ruled Atlantis, his powers were unsurpassed. But it was Orfeo who mysteriously defected from the Circle of Six, unleashing a monster of his own creation whose wrath destroyed Atlantis. Like her father, Astrid turns away from the group. Unlike her father, she will rejoin them…but not until she tests them first.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Incarnate Quotes

Here are three of my favourite quotes, carefully selected, from Incarnate by Jodie Meadows.

1) "Honestly? I think people aren't sure it's worth getting to know you. It would be like you deciding if it was worth befriending a butterfly, even though it wouldn't be there in the morning."

2) I was the brush stroke that ruined the painting.

3) I was trapped, a butterfly under glass.

Review: Incarnate - Jodie Meadows

I did truly adore this novel. The cover is stunning and so is the story inside.

The world which Meadows created was beautiful and so far from the truth of reality yet it seemed so very real. I felt as though dragons, sylph and reincarnation actually existed as I read my way from cover to cover; I was so absorbed in this world.

Ana (our protagonist) was a character I adored from the first sentence and she continued to grow on me throughout the duration of the novel. She was as new to herself as she was to us; we knew everything she did and the best part was that we learnt it all with her - who she was, what she liked, why she existed and more importantly, who to trust. Meadows showed us all of this, she didn't tell us - this I liked.

Another character who I (and you will) love is Sam. He is so perfect, yet so flawed. He seemed so real throughout the book, so human. He was a lovable character and a great asset to the story.

The only issue I had with characters was that I think Meadows introduced us to too many members of the 'council' in one go so that I forgot who was who for a while. Only a few members were relevant characters yet all these names were thrown at us. This was ONLY a tiny issue, do not let this put you off the novel! You will not get confused about who is who with any main characters, I promise!

The relationships in this novel were more realistic than in a lot of YA reads these days as friendships were tested and emotions were used as weapons as well as comfort. The relationship between Ana and sam developed well throughout the story - they were each other's lifelines but also each was the other's greatest weakness.

I love the plot, the characters, the writing (the cover!) and everything else about this novel. It was well thought-out and beautifully written.

 I loved it so much that I've picked out a few of my favourite quotes! (I couldn't include all as they wouldn't have made sense out of context.)

1) "Honestly? I think people aren't sure it's worth getting to know you. It would be like you deciding if it was worth befriending a butterfly, even though it wouldn't be there in the morning."

2) I was the brush stroke that ruined the painting.

3) I was trapped, a butterfly under glass.

I loved this story as much as I'd hoped I would. I definitely recommend it and will certainly be picking myself up a copy of the sequel.

Check Out The Beautiful Book Trailer For Incarnate!

Review: Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes

"Choose your side. Kingdoms will fall."

Falling Kingdoms falls under an unfamiliar genre to me, unlike anything I've read before - it was fresh and I loved it.

My comfort zone, genre-wise, lies with dystopian novels but I was determined to give Falling Kingdoms a go as it fitted all criteria when I searched for a novel based on my love for programmes such as
Merlin. I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed, quite the opposite actually.
Falling Kingdoms is a story built around the solidity of 3 Kingdoms but is mainly the workmanship of the characters - each strong and distinct - as well as their varying beliefs.

As a whole, I'm not a fan of 3rd person (which this novel is written in) but I was so absorbed in this enthralling story that I hardly noticed it at all.

Another concern I had, which this book quickly overcame, was that I would become overwhelmed and confused with the load of characters. This certainly was not a problem; after being a few chapters in you know who is who and what they do like the back of your hand - BUT if any confusion does arise, there's a handy cast list and map for all 3 kingdoms located at the start of the novel.

The narrative (though in 3rd person) flips between the 3 kingdoms, following the perspectives of differing characters (mainly those of the princess, rebel and sorceress mentioned in the blurb). I found myself enjoying every element and perspective of this novel, never once was I bored or wishing for the plot to hurry on.

Rhodes created an outstanding world - one so vivid in my imagination with an array of strong-headed and unique characters. The plot never failed to keep you engaged.

I surprisingly loved this book and would definitely recommend it. I can't wait for the sequel.

Review: The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

This book was so good! The plot, the characters, the pacing, the writing, all of it! 

I was hooked from the start, from the moment I stepped into this world the action was raging. Not even 20 pages in and you're shown how Cassie's world has been turned upside down - literally - and how instinct has torn her heart apart in a frenzy for survival.

Cassie (short for Cassiopia) is on a lonely stretch of highway, running from the haunting past she has endured with no one to trust. The 4th wave is upon her, smothering her chances of survival while the 5th wave is unknown, but it's coming.

This story was just ghdfyjfhrhtfhj!!!!! It's an alien story, yes, but is it a typical alien tale? No. Hell to the no. This has been so intricately planned and written, it is unique and enthralling

Usually in alien apocalypse books/movies, aliens come down to earth in huge spaceships with large machines buried deep beneath the earth and the aliens are butt ugly baboons BUT The 5th wave puts an end to this. There is literally no confrontation (until the 4th wave - which you learn more about later in the book).
     Instead, the 1st wave consists of an electromagnetic pulse taking out all electricity/battery operated appliances etc. The 2nd wave is a tsunami, killing thousands and herding survivors. The 3rd wave sends out the pestilence (a deadly disease spread via birds because birds know no boundaries). The 4th wave brings Silencers, forcing survivors to stand alone. And the 5th wave? No one knows, but it's coming.

This fast-paced, action-packed plot is accompanied by some remarkable characters. There's Cassie (our protagonist) who is a head-strong, brave survivor of this otherworldly apocalypse - she's such a legitimate character, all of her actions and emotions are realistic, she's so human. 

Another character is Evan Walker BUT I can't really say anything about him (or any other characters) without slipping out a few spoilers. 

One thing I did love about this book was how you were never quite sure yourself who to trust or where others held their loyalties. You were in Cassie's shoes right up until the moment of truth.

I should have also mentioned that this book is written with alternating POVs between characters - whose I cannot say. ;)

I definitely did love this book! It's a must read for everyone - particularly apocalypse/dystopian fans! I will certainly be picking up the sequel!

Check Out The Awesome Book Trailer Brought To You By Penguin!


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