Saturday, 15 August 2015

REVIEW: Defects by Sarah Noffke

Bookish Details:
Series: The Reverians #1
Pages: 227 eBook
Publisher: One-Twenty-Six Press
Release Date: August 15th 2015
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK

Synopsis:
In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities. 

Em is a Defect—one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead—but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.
 

My Review: 
I completely adored Sarah’s first series, The Lucidites, so I had high expectations for this first instalment in The Reverians. Still set within the Dream Traveling world, Defects follows Em as she discovers not all is as it seems within her cosy little hometown of Austin Valley.

On the outside, Austin Valley seems to have the perfect set-up. Secluded from the outside world, everyone is cared for and treated well, given a profession and a purpose. At least, that is what the citizens believe. Underneath the ‘fair’ rule of President Vider, there is something much more sinister at work.

Em is a Defect, a Dream Traveler who, for some unknown reason, has yet to discover her gift. Every day of her life, she must receive an injection that she hopes will allow her gift to surface. Without it, she feels held back and not able to fulfill her true purpose, which isn’t helped by her older sister’s constant taunts, and her parent’s disappointment. 

If I expected The Reverians to be anything like The Lucidites, then I was extremely mistaken. Although this series still focuses on the Dream Traveling ability, that is where the similarities end. Austin Valley is like a completely different world, one that is a lot darker than anything in The Lucidites series. 

There is always something creepy about towns and societies that shut themselves out from the rest of the world, and this town is no exception. The President is a terrifying character, especially with the influence he has on most of the people around him. 

The pacing of this novel is perfect. At first, we get hints here and there that something isn’t quite right, but then as the plot unfolds, we start to realise just how wrong the situation in Austin Valley really is. 

I can’t begin to describe how well written the more sinister characters in this novel are. Em’s father made my skin crawl with how vile he was. He’s one of those characters that remains eerily calm as creates chaos. I really couldn’t decide who I hated worse, him or the President.

Em is a wonderfully developed protagonist. When the events start to unfold and she begins to realise how much her father has deceived her, she takes on a whole new and feisty personality, one that is strong and determined to seek justice for the poor people of Austin Valley who have no idea what is happening around them. 

The rest of the characters are all fantastically written. Rogue is the President’s son, and Em’s best friend whom she believed to be dead. He returns to Austin Valley and tells her and their friend Zack the secrets that his father has been hiding. Secrets that were awful enough to make him run away and allow his friends to think him dead. I fell a little bit in love with Rogue from the moment he was introduced. He’s witty, but serious when he needs to be. I can’t wait to discover more about him in the series. 

I liked how Em wasn’t completely alone within her family. She had support from her younger sister Nona, and her grandma, Tutu. They’re both hugely important to Em, and I’m hoping to see more of the bond between the three of them in the future.

There was one other thing that tied this series to The Lucidties: Ren. He was one of my favourite characters in the previous series, so I was thrilled to see him and his sharp, sarcastic commentary once again. He is brought to Austin Valley by the President to record any changes in the Defects’ lack of abilities, and he also happens to be Em’s uncle. I’m excited to see what part he’ll play throughout the story.

This is a strong start to what I predict will be a thrilling series. Eerie from the very start, every chapter has a new revelation that keeps the reader hooked. It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s full of surprises, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Royal Rating:


Friday, 7 August 2015

REVIEW: The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram

Bookish Details:
Pages: 278, eBook
Publisher: Bluefields
Release Date: May 4th 2013
Buy It From: Amazon - Amazon UK

Synopsis:

When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.
 

My Review:
Avery has had her heart broken by her best friend, Aiden. She's been in love with him for years, but when he decides that the two of them need some space, she confesses her love to him, only to have him tell her that he doesn't feel the same way.

Aiden and Avery have been partners in the science fair each year, so this time around, Avery has to go it alone in coming up with a project and finding a parter. Unknowingly to him, Aiden's actions give Avery an idea. In order to get over her broken heart, she recruits Aiden's brother, Grayson, to help her with an experiment in which she aims to prove that the seven stages of grief can cure a broken heart.

Whilst Avery thinks that everything Grayson is doing is in the name of science, much to his own surprise, he's actually starting to fall for her. Throughout the course of the book, he tries to help Avery get her life back on track after Aiden's dismissal, both learning a lot about themselves and each other in the process.

This book was an incredibly fun read. From the moment Avery accidentally ended up in the shower with Grayson, I knew it was going to be a wild tale, and I wasn't wrong. With a fantastic bunch of characters and a plot that never stops delivering, this made for an entertaining and heart-warming read.

As someone who generally doesn't favour split-narrative stories, this book wouldn't have worked without Grayson's hilarious perspective on the events that occur. The stark contrast between him and Avery was brilliant and I utterly enjoyed the huge difference in narration from each of them. I found myself laughing so much during Grayson's chapters that I was glad I wasn't reading it on public transport at the time!

Avery's innocence and constant blushing could have ended up slightly annoying if it wasn't so well written, but because Grayson finds it so adorable, and the way it endears her to him, makes the reader see it through his eyes and appreciate the way he sees her.

Avery herself is a great character and I adored her development throughout the story. At first, I almost wanted to shake her by the shoulders and tell her to get over Aiden myself, but I love how she learns and grows stronger as the book goes on.

The supporting characters are all wildly entertaining. I dare you not to love Avery's friend Libby, the cats-on-clothes wearing science geek who tells it like it is. I was thrilled to find out that Kelly Oram's next book is a follow on from this story, but about Libby. I cannot wait to see more of her.

Also, I can't tell you enough how much I loved the breaking of stereotypes when it came to the popular characters in the story. Usually, the queen bees of the school are bitchy and generally not nice, but Pam and Chloe welcome Avery, a member of the science club, into their world with open arms, offering to help her. That's not something you see very much in contemporary YA!

I completely enjoyed this book and all it's fun-filled stages. Avery and Grayson's relationship was sweet and believable, as was her journey to accepting Aiden as a best friend rather than the love of her life. This is a book that definitely left me smiling, and I can't wait for the follow-up story, The Libby Garrett Intervention!

Royal Rating:


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Blog Takeover: Science Geek Appreciation Week Day 3!



Well we're mid week now--half way through Science Geek Appreciation Week--and it's time to get up close and personal with the author of the Science Squad series, Kelly Oram.

If you missed any of the previous posts about The Avery Shaw Experiment or The Libby Garrett Intervention, be sure to stop by the Facebook event. Along with the posts, there's all kinds of extra bonus material, games and giveaways going on. Lots of chances to win signed books and swag, talk to the author and just have fun with other science geek loving friends. There's a new giveaway every day. CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE PARTY!

So, what should you know about Kelly Oram?

The Obvious:
I love to write.
&
I'm a ginger.

The Basics:
I wrote my first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about my favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which my family and friends still tease me. I'm obsessed with reading, talk way too much, and like to eat frosting by the spoonful. I live outside of Phoenix, Arizona with my husband, four children, and my cat, Mr. Darcy. And we named his litter box Pemberly because it's where he makes ten thousand (poops) a year! 

 Connect with Kelly:
Newsletter * Amazon * Facebook * Twitter   

The Fun Stuff:
1. I love to sing and went to college as a voice performance major.
2. I once competed in the Miss Michigan Teen USA pageant. (I did not win LOL.)
3. I’m a baseball fanatic. (Go D-backs!)
4. I broke my head as a kid and had to wear a hockey helmet to school as my cast.
5. I own my own 10-sided dice for role-playing that no one but me is allowed to role.
6. I’m left handed.
7. I am credited as associate producer for the independent film Amber Alert.
8. I live for road trips. Best vacation I ever took was a three-week coast-to-coast-and-back drive with my father.
9. The Backstreet Boys were my 1D in high school, and I was a total fangirl. I still have a whole collection of fan paraphernalia.
10. I took both golf and bowling classes in college to fulfill my PE credits. (I still suck at both.)

The Bookish Stuff:
How did you come up with the idea for The Avery Shaw Experiment?
I remember the day I came up with the idea, but not exactly how the concept popped into my head. I went for a run. (Okay, it was more of a walk-run during one of my on-again times where I was dedicated to working out. The off-again times are way more frequent.)

Anyway, I'd ton for a run and it was one of those precious moments where I was by myself, no distractions, no kids--just me and my thoughts. The concept for a girl getting over a broken heart using the seven stages of grief popped into my head, and before that half an hour (yes, that's all I can run before I want to die) was over, I had most of the book plotted. 

I was in the middle of another manuscript at the time, but I went home and wrote Avery's prologue right away. Five weeks later I had a finished book. The Avery Shaw Experiment had been my easiest book to write so far. It just flowed so naturally, and honestly, I blame that on Avery and Grayson's natural chemistry. (Hehe science pun totally intended!)

Are you a science geek yourself?
I am a geek of many colors. Music, fantasy, sic-fi, choir, books... But no, I was never a science geek. I was actually a very mediocre-to-horrible student. I never liked the academic stuff, and I struggled with a lot of it. (I spent too much time in my own imagination!) But, that said, I can see the fun in doing science experiments, and I find the occasional documentary about science stuff interesting. Most of my science geek inspiration was drawn from my mother. (She is a HUGE science nerd!) The woman love bugs and dissection and all things dealing with the human body. She worked in a chemistry lab when I was younger and now works with a team of rocket scientists putting rockets in space and sending supplies to the space stations and things like that. It's a dream come true for her every time she travels to Virginia to launch one of her rockets. She's a hard-core nerd and I love her dearly for it, which is way I had to dedicate The Avery Shaw Experiment to her. (Love you Mom!)

How did you come up with the idea for The Libby Garrett Intervention?
Libby was a little different. The idea didn't come as easy. It took a lot more planning. I loved Libby's character and really wanted to write her a story, but it took me a long time to commit to it. As much as everyone asked for a Libby and Owen story, I really felt like Owen wasn't the right one for her. The idea for the Libby Garrett Intervention sparked from me imagining what a relationship between Owen and Libby would be like based on there characters from The Avery Shaw Experiment. I just couldn't imagine Owen ever being a Grayson, and falling for Libby the way she deserved. That's where the idea of Libby's "addiction" to Owen came in and it was a short leap from there to the Twelve Step program. I loved the idea of the steps because it fit perfectly with the stages of grief I used in the first book. It was the perfect companion story. And suddenly, volia! I had the next book.

Will there be more Science Squad books in the future?
There will be at least one more. I have a story already plotted out for one of the other science squad geeks, though my writing schedule is so packed that it will probably take me a couple years to get to it. After that, I don't know. I'd love to end the series with Aiden's story, but I'd have to actually come up with a story for him first. I've pit the idea in my head though, and am letting it simmer, so we'll see what happens.

What's your favorite part of the story, and your favorite quote from The Avery Shaw Experiment? Oh, goodness, that's award one. I know most people probably love the shower scene (it's not what you think!) in the beginning, or the dancing scene, or basically all the more romantic scenes between Avery and Grayson, but my favorite scenes are actually the science/school. stuff. (Maybe I'm a bit of a science geek after all. My mother would be proud!) I love the scene where the science squad takes Grayson to the bowling alley for a lesson in applied physics and explain Newton's laws. Like I said, I struggled a lot in high school, because, like Grayson, I have a different style of learning than most people. I need things to be interactive and fun, and I need things explained to me in ways that are applicable to my daily life. I had a lot of fun finding a way to make science fun and creative. 

My other favorite scene is between Grayson and Mr. Walden at the end. As much as I loved Grayson and Avery, I had a special place in my heart for the relationship between Grayson and his Physics teacher. I've been where Grayson was, and I had a couple of cool teachers that, despite my grades and struggles, really understood me. Those were the teachers that made a difference in my education, and I really wish there were more great teachers out there. So, yeah, developing the relationship between those two was a lot of fun for me, and in the end when they've completed character arc, it still makes me smile every time I read that scene.

As for my favorite quotes? I have a million, but I'll narrow it down to two for you. I already have them in convenient photo teasers for you to pass around the internet, should you feel so inclined. ;)



So, that's me in a nutshell. Hopefully you've recognized my brilliance by now (and my sarcasm) and I've convinced you to check out the books. I think they're a lot of fun and I'm so excited to share Libby with the world!

                                                

The Avery Shaw Experiment is on sale this week only for just $0.99. 

I promise, it's worth the dollar! 

Amazon * iBooks * B&N * Kobo

And The Libby Garrett Intervention is now available for the special preorder price of $2.99. 

(Regular listing price $4.99 after it goes on sale, so order now and save yourself some money!)

Amazon * Kobo * B&N

If you'd like to see more, there are more teasers, excerpts, character interviews, games and giveaways happening on the Science Geek Appreciation Week Facebook event. Make sure you stop by the party and enter to win some of the giveaways. Signed books and swag! FACEBOOK EVENT 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: K.C. Tansley

Hello, bookworms! 

Today I'm super excited to share with you this awesome interview with the wonderful K.C. Tansley, author of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts! 

Hello! Can you tell us a little bit about your novel, The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts?
Absolutely! It’s a YA time travel murder mystery. In The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

I adore stories that feature ghosts! What was it that inspired you to write a story about them?
Me too! I’ve always been a fan of gothic stories and ghosts stories. My favorite book is Wuthering Heights. I believe in the unbelievables—ghosts, spells, and time travel. I wanted to put my own stamp on ghost lore and it was so fun to have them in the story.

I laid down the story bones of the time travel murder mystery first. I wanted Kat to have a cool secret that had to do with the paranormal. Toria’s ghost came into the story later and I realized I wanted her to have a bigger role earlier on. I also wanted to give Kat a really unique inner conflict, knowing something exists, but having to convince herself it doesn’t. She has to lie to herself to protect herself from ghosts.

Have you ever had any ghostly experiences happen to you?
I have. When I lived on Wall Street, there were several nights in that haze between dreaming and fully awake where I saw ghosts at the end of my bed. People dressed in clothes from another era and exuding an eerie bluish light. It turns out there were some horrible fires that destroyed buildings down there. I think when people die tragically something of them remains.

In my apartment in Washington, D.C., I used to hear people walking in the living room at night. At the time, I lived alone. It scared me so much I would throw the covers over my head. Because as we all know that protects us from the supernatural. I never went to investigate, but to this day, I think ghosts were moving around in there at night.

You have a lot of history featured in the story, especially with the time travel that occurs, how did you research for writing those events?
It involved many trips to the library and a ton of internet research. I read dozens of books on Victorian fashion to make sure I got the clothes right. I researched historic homes to make sure the decor fit the time. I couldn’t have a chair that was made in 1895 sitting in a parlor in 1886. Even my word choices, I checked the etymology of phrases to make sure my characters weren’t saying slang that was invented after their era.

The hard part is hunting down a single detail like the electrical features of homes in that time. Knowing what was possible vs. what would exist in the castle. Sometimes I had to make a choice to stay a little further in the past with technology because it wasn’t widespread or they wouldn’t have done that type of work to an old castle yet.

Did you relate to any of your characters at all?
I relate to all of them in some way. I get why they do what they do. I have to feel what they feel and understand their motives and what’s at stake for them to write them. That’s part of my writing process. I slip into my character’s skin.

My friends tell me they see a lot of me in Kat. She’s the first character I ever created so I poured many of my experiences into her.

What was your favorite part of the writing process, and what did you find the most difficult?
I really enjoy the first draft. I have an outline, but there’s still so much discovery going on as I write. I love figuring out where the story will go and going there. Sometimes I hide a seed for a future subplot without realizing it. Then as I revise I realize I planted something that I can nurture in revision. It feels like future me went back in time and put something in the story to help me along.

The hardest part is probably revisions with the editor. When she points out something that isn’t working, I can’t see it. If I did, I’d have already fixed it. So I have to change my perspective and see my work the way she does. That’s the only way I can fix the issue. It’s incredibly hard to do, especially on a deadline. I had 8 weeks to do editorial revisions, which included a rewrite of the first 100 pages. That 8 week deadline includes the time I spent reading the editorial letter and processing the feedback too.

'The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts' is the first book in 'The Unbelievables' series. How is book two coming along?
Much better than I expected. I’ve written most of the first draft already. I’ve been writing 2,000 words a day since June 9th. It’s a rigorous writing schedule, but it worked really well with this story. I still have to do a round of edits in August and then I’ve got to switch off to my other series.

I’m really excited with where we go in Book 2. I can tell you I’ve been doing a ton of research on 1831 Vienna.

Finally, if you could travel back in time and witness any historical event, what would it be and why?
Oh that is a tough one. There’s so many things worth going back to see. Right now, I’m immersed in Vienna and I’d love to go to 1831 Vienna to see what the hotels and streets were like so I could write them with an authentic feel.

If I had to pick a historic event, it would probably be the Congress of Vienna in 1815. I’d love to see all those powers coming together in Vienna to settle things after the Napoleonic Wars. It seems like there was a clash of personalities and a ton of parties.

Thank you for stopping by The Queen of Teen Fiction! Also, thanks for writing a kick-ass female character with glasses – there aren't enough of them in YA fiction!
Thanks! I feel the same way. As a girl with glasses, I always longed to see more of them on book covers.

About The Book
In The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

Bio
K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in her YA time-travel murder mystery series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.
  
Social Media
Website: http://kctansley.com
Blog: http://kourtneyheintz.wordpress.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kourtneyheintzwriter Twitter: http://twitter.com/KourHei
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13530245.K_C_Tansley

Buy Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Ignored-Ghosts-Unbelievables-Book-ebook/dp/B00WZOJ028/ref=la_B00X369K3G_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434139756&sr=1-1

Monday, 3 August 2015

Blog Takeover: Science Geek Appreciation Week Day 1!



Welcome to Day 1 of Science Geek Appreciation Week with author Kelly Oram--a fun-filled week of teasers, interviews, games, giveaways, and lots and lost of science! We're going to kick off the week by introducing you to the stars of the Spanish Fork High Science Squad--Club President Avery Shaw and her newest recruit, Grayson Kennedy--in their debut novel The Avery Shaw Experiment.

Title: The Avery Shaw Experiment
Author: Kelly Oram
Publisher: Blufields
Pages: 221
Available: AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Summary: 
When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

Teasers:
Avery


I was so out of it that I’d slipped into the bathroom while Grayson was in the shower, and I didn’t even notice until he poked his head out from behind the curtain with a surprised look on his face. “Aves, babe, I’m a little busy here.” He cocked an eyebrow and gave me a crooked smile. “Unless you’re planning to join me...?”


Just then there was a loud knock on the door, and my mother’s worried voice called out to me. I looked up at Grayson and in a moment of sheer panic didn’t think twice before jumping behind the curtain with him.


“Whoa! Avery! I was only teasing!”


I could hear Grayson, but I couldn’t really respond. I leaned my back against the cold tile wall and closed my eyes, letting the hot water rain down on me. There was another knock, louder this time, and then the door opened. “Avery? That you in here, sweetie?”


I frantically shook my head, praying that Grayson would do the right thing.


“Sorry, Kaitlin. It’s just me.”


“Oh. Sorry, Grayson. I thought maybe you were Avery.”


“Yeah, I get that a lot,” he teased.

My mom laughed and then sighed heavily. “If you see her after you’re done, tell her I’m looking for her.”


“Will do.”


The door clicked shut and things got quiet. I stood there for so long that my head started to hurt and I got really dizzy. My knees buckled. Grayson quickly caught me under the arms. “Avery, breathe,” he commanded.


I took a breath. As oxygen flooded my lungs, I realized it was probably the first breath I’d taken in minutes. Literally.


“Aves,” a low steady voice said. I felt hands on either side of my face. I opened my eyes, and Grayson’s beautiful piercing blue ones were staring down at me from just inches away, taking up my entire field of vision. “You good now?” he asked.


I may have been breathing, but I would never be “good” again. I flung my arms around him and began to release gut-wrenching sobs into his chest.

Grayson

I always looked at her as sort of a pesky little sister, but that all changed the day my brother dumped her. Why, you ask? Let me put it this way: When a girl lets you be the one to hold her as her entire world falls apart, even though you’re ass naked, it changes the way you see her. The soaking-wet, see-through t-shirt didn’t hurt, either.
...

“You look really nice,” I blurted, unable to hide my surprise.


The compliment startled her. She blushed and looked at her feet as she mumbled, “I need to blow my hair dry.”


I grinned. “Don’t want to have to explain to anyone how it got wet, eh?”


She turned even brighter red but then glared at me. “I just don’t want my hair to freeze.”


I laughed as I threw my hands up in surrender and then laughed even harder when she stalked past me into the bathroom. I leaned against the door and watched, curiously, as she dried her hair. There was something oddly fascinating about watching Little Avery Shaw primp. She’d never seemed like such a real girl to me before. She wasn’t so little anymore, either. She caught me staring at her in the mirror, so I quickly said, “I thought dorks were supposed to have bad hair and horrible, frumpy fashion senses.”


“Just because I enjoy learning doesn’t mean I’m a dork,” she said, insulted.


“Two words for you Aves: science club.”

This week only, The Avery Shaw Experiment is on sale for just $0.99! Make sure to snag a copy while it's cheap! 

Amazon * iBooks * B&N * Kobo

For more bonus material, teasers, games, and chances to win things like signed books and swag stop by the Facebook event, happening now through Friday.


Kelly wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.

Connect with Kelly                
Newsletter - Amazon - Facebook - Twitter         

Saturday, 1 August 2015

REVIEW: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by K.C. Tansley

Bookish Details:
Series: The Unbelievables #1
Pages: 256 Paperback
Publisher: Beckett Publishing Group
Release Date: August 1st 2015
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

My Review:
Ghosts, a murder mystery, and even time travel, this exciting first installment in The Unbelievables series has it all.

This book follows Kat as she is sent to the magnificent Castle Creighton to try and solve a murder that happened 129 years ago. Along with the added pressure of trying to break a curse, Kat and her fellow researchers have just a matter of weeks to figure out what is causing the death of first-born Radcliffe sons on either their honeymoon, or their 23rd birthday, whichever comes beforehand.

This story just ticked all of the right boxes for me. I have always adored stories that feature ghosts, so I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis. Then to find out it included historical murder mysteries and some time travel, too, made me even more excited. So it's safe to say I had high hopes for this book, and I was not left disappointed.

Kat has been able to see ghosts for as long as she could remember, but after a spooky ordeal as child when a ghost tried to possess her, a spirit named Toria stepped in to help. She warned Kat to block the spirits out by ceasing to believe in them. That was when Kat started to label ghosts as the Unbelievables.

After years of successfully avoiding belief in the Unbelievables, studying a historical murder rakes up her own past that she can no longer run from. At Castle Creighton, Kat can't continue to pretend that ghosts don't exist.

Whilst Kat and a fellow researcher, Evan, are investigating the murder, they stumble through a portal to the past, where they must witness the days leading up to the wedding night on which the murder occurred.

Reading this book, I felt like someone had taken all of the story elements I love and mixed them together to create the perfect combination. Ghosts, mysteries, and time travel. What more could you possibly ask for?

Along with the awesome plot, we're also treated to a fantastic set of characters. Kat is wonderful, and I love how she develops over the course of the story. I think there's so much more of her that we still haven't seen, so I'm excited to see her progression over the course of this series.

I also loved Kat's sweet and genuine friendship with Morgan, and also her developing relationship with Evan. Seeing them constantly get on each others nerves at first, only to watch them be thrown into the past together was a great element to the plot. The pair being forced to live through this nightmare together brings them closer, and I'm definitely excited to see how they move on from that in the second book.

The mystery was paced out beautifully and kept me guessing throughout the story. Just when you think you're figuring it out, you discover there's more to it than you originally thought. It kept me needing to read on, so I had plenty of those 'just one more chapter' moments. Also, the fact that the characters are faced with a race-against-time situation makes for some real heart-stopping scenes.

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is such a promising start to what I predict will be a thrilling series. It was exciting and fast paced throughout, and I've been utterly sucked into the mysteries of Kat's world. I can't wait to see what lies ahead for her and the others. 

*Also: on my reading wishlist for 2015, I said I wanted to find a bad-ass female character who wore glasses - I guess I can tick that one off my wishlist now! 

**Another also: I'll be posting an awesome interview with K.C. Tansley next week, so be sure to stop by and check it out!

Royal Rating:




Friday, 31 July 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015

Hi, everyone!

As you may have noticed, things have been extremely quiet on here for the past month. That's because I've been taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo throughout July! I kept to the traditional NaNo goal of 50,000 words, and I've just completed it - yay!


I've been filming weekly videos diaries for my YouTube channel, discussing all things writing-related, and updates on how my story was coming along. You can view the video playlist here.

So now that my wild month of writing is over with, I can get back to my usual reading schedule. I've got a few exciting posts planned for this week, including an interview and two stops on a blog tour, so be sure to check them out!



Thursday, 16 July 2015

REVIEW: Revived by Sarah Noffke

Bookish Details:
Series: The Lucidites #3
Pages: 327 Kindle
Publisher: One-Twenty-Six Press
Release Date: November 20th 2014
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK

Synopsis:

The pieces of Roya’s life don’t fit together anymore. Nothing makes sense. Joseph could be to blame for the fall of the Lucidites’ society. Zhuang is back and more powerful than ever. Chase, a gorgeous psychopath, is demanding her love and commitment. And the Institute is swarming with lies, betrayals, and conflicts. Roya knows she needs to focus and reconnect with Joseph if she is to survive, but how can she find clarity when everything around her is unraveling? 
 
The final chapter in The Lucidites Series will take up residence in reader’s bones. All secrets will be revealed. All villains will be confronted. And the greatest obstacles will be that of the heart. Revived delivers, giving audiences what they want most from the last in a fast-paced, thrilling series. 

My Review:

This review contains spoilers for the two previous books in this series. Please don't read on if you haven't read either of those books.

So here it is, the final installment in The Lucidites series, AND I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS. Roya's journey has finally come to it's conclusion, and it was everything I wanted for her and more. 


This is one of those books that I struggle to review because I can't quite put into words how awesome it is. The entire series has gotten better and better as it went along, resulting in a fantastic final installment that was nail-biting from start to finish.

We continue Roya's story after the discovery that Zhuang has been brought back to full strength by an unsuspecting Joseph. The siblings are trying to come to terms with Trey being their father, and Roya is still struggling to deal with Chase's mind control over her, so the stress levels are high. Amongst everything else going on in her life, Roya also has to face the situation she's stuck in with George and Aiden.

Whilst news reporting for the Institute, Roya witnesses an event that will put the Lucidites in grave danger at some point in the future. They don't know when it'll come to pass, so they must sit and wait for the day to arrive.

Refusing to be forced to exit the institute when the danger arrives, Joseph and Roya come up with a plan to put an end to the terror, no matter the risks to their own lives. What follows is an epic battle between good and evil, and Roya learns more about her past and herself along the way.

The personal journey of each of the characters in this final book was wonderful. I just have to take a moment to talk about Joseph because he truly shone through this time around. He's been one of my favourites from the start and it's been great to see him develop over the course of the series. There have been many times when I've wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and protect him from the world. There was a little twist regarding his personal life in this book that I don't want to mention directly because I don't want spoilers here, but I absolutely loved it. His developing relationship was beautifully written and put a huge smile on my face by the end of the story.

As for Roya's love life, there was a perfect conclusion that I'd waited for all along. But I'll admit, even though I didn't really have much love for George in the first book, I've grown to adore him throughout this series. He's undeniably sweet and caring, and I felt sorry for him by the end of everything.

Roya was stronger than ever in Revived. I love everything about her character: her wit, her courage, her dream travels. I always adore strong female characters that can fight for themselves and those they love, and she's delivers all that and more. She's been so entertaining to read about over these past three books, and I'm going to miss her a lot!

What I also loved is that even though the story focuses on the relationship between her and Aiden, it didn't interfere with the main plot. A lot of the YA series' I have read recently put way too much focus on the romance, and the plot would depend heavily on the love interest. With this series, Roya's overall journey was something she fought through herself. Although she had Aiden's support, she didn't need saving by him. She was strong enough to fight her own battles! This is one of the reason's why their relationship worked so well for me. We were given just the right amount of it.

All of the lose ends were neatly tied up by the final chapter of Revived, leaving me more than happy with the ending. I'm not going to lie, there were parts that tore my heart apart, especially towards the end. The epilogue was as much of an emotional roller-coaster as the entire series – I was a mess by the end of it! 


It has been such a pleasure to be able to read this series and I'd like to thank Sarah herself for introducing it to me. I have enjoyed the company of these wonderful characters over the past couple of months, and I can't wait to see what awesome stories Sarah Noffke has in store in the future.

Royal Rating:


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

REVIEW: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Bookish Details:
Series: Princess Diaries #11
Pages: 451 Kindle
Publisher: Macmillan (UK)
Release Date: July 2nd 2015
Source: NetGalley
Buy it From: Amazon UK - Waterstones


Synopsis:
In ROYAL WEDDING (William Morrow), Princess Diaries XI, Princess Mia’s planned nuptials to longtime love Michael Moscovitz are in jeopardy when the paparazzi uncover a startling secret: Mia has a long lost younger sister.

Now a scheming politico is using the royal scandal to force Mia’s father from the throne, leaving Genovia without a monarch . . . unless Mia can prove to everyone—especially herself—that she’s finally fit to rule.

ROYAL WEDDING will be the first ever adult installment of the Princess Diaries, published by the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.

My Review:
If you're here expecting an informing and insightful review, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you're not going to find one. It's quite impossible for me to come up with anything that isn't overly emotional fangirling.


The Princess Diaries is one of my favourite series of all time, so you can imagine how shocked/confused/ecstatic/emotional I was when I discovered that Meg would be writing a new adult book in the series. I fell in love with Mia's story as a teen, and now I get to rejoin her in adulthood. I couldn't ask for more.

Oh how I have missed the journals of Mia Thermopolis. Catching up with her again after all these years has been such a joy, it's like reuniting with an old friend. She's still as hilarious as ever, and her dramatic life as a royal is just as entertaining to read about as it always was. The story takes place several years after the ending of the tenth book. Mia is now 26, she's still hopelessly in love with Michael, and unbeknown to her at the start, they're about to be engaged. I still adore her and Michael's relationship. And as the book says, he really is the world's greatest lover.

I enjoyed getting to see how the characters were doing in adulthood. Lilly is still wild, Tina is as sweet as usual, and I was completely shocked to see that Boris had become the world's hottest superstar. It was also great to see that Grandmere was her usual self. Her character is fabulously intimidating and always super hilarious. Mia trying to have a touching moment with her near the end of the book was brilliant.

This story takes place around the same time as Meg's spinoff series, 'From The Notebooks of a Middle School Princess' in which twelve-year-old Olivia discovers that she is Mia's half sister and a Princess of Genovia. Because I've read this part of the story from Olivia's perspective, it was great to finally see Mia's reaction to it all. She handled it in true princess style, keeping calm about it on the outside, yet freaking out in her journal.

Now, of course, I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't. BUT THE ENDING. I didn't expect the final few chapters at all, even though there were hints to it throughout the story. I had to put the book down for a little while and have an 'OHMYGOD' moment. It was such a cute surprise.  

Obviously, the book is called Royal Wedding, so it's not exactly a spoiler to talk about the wedding between Michael and Mia. His proposal was so adorable, and so Michael. The scene where Mia is trying on the wedding dresses is awesome because it brings together her friends and finally gives us a chance to see them all interact again.

I had so many high hopes for this book, and it delivered all of them and more. I've loved getting to reconnect with this series throughout the course of this book, and it tied everything up perfectly. Thank you to Meg Cabot for once again creating a story that has left me smiling from ear-to-ear.  

Royal Rating:

Of course I had to give the future Queen of Genovia the highest amount of crowns. 





Wednesday, 17 June 2015

REVIEW: The Establishment by Mel Deverell

Bookish Details:
Pages: 249 Paperback
Release Date: April 7th 2015
Buy it From: Amazon UK


Synopsis:
Fourteen-year-old Cassie is different from most people, and The Establishment wants her eliminated. Her brother Dan has been sent on a desert expedition and is already missing, presumed dead. Her dad is acting strangely and her mum has told Cassie that they must escape to 'the outside'. Travelling separately to avoid detection, Cassie has to cope alone.

But she doesn't understand why this is all happening to her. She doesn't know where to go, how to get there, or who to trust.

As Cassie makes her way towards the outside, she is pursued by members of The Establishment. Fighting for survival she discovers that the world is not as it seems...

My Review:
This story follows siblings Cassie and Dan on the start of separate journeys. Cassie has been separated from her mother, and she believes that Dan is dead. Dan is part of an expedition team who are searching for a water source, and none of the team members are yet aware of the fact that The Establishment has informed their families that they're dead.

We follow Cassie's journey in first person, and Dan's in third. I'm usually not a huge fan of books that have split narratives/tenses, but it worked brilliantly for this story and keeps us readers toes. I much preferred having two different locations and plots to follow.

Cassie is searching for her mum, and on her journey she meets a wonderful variety of characters who help her on her way. Because we don't learn much about them, I'd love to hear from them again in further instalments of the series. Throughout the story, Cassie has recurring dreams about a girl who's face she doesn't yet know, and it adds an element of mystery until the end.

Dan is on an expedition with four other team members, including Chloe, who's boyfriend died on a previous expedition. Because of the loss she has suffered, she is protective of her team and acts almost like a mother to them in order to avoid a repeat experience. I really enjoyed the bond that started to form between her and Dan as they shared more scenes together. The team have only ever known the ways of The Establishment, so it's exciting when they finally start to discover the truth.

The relationship between Cassie and Dan is touching to see when they finally get reunited. I can't wait to see the pair of the them getting to work together in the future of the series, because I just know they'll make a fantastic team.

I found most of the secondary characters highly intriguing, especially Peter., one of Dan's fellow teammates. I have no idea which direction his personal story is taking him, but I am keen to find out. I'd also love to find out more about Mack and Sam, the two remaining members of The Expedition. 

What I really wanted to learn more about was The Establishment itself. I felt like this book only gave a basic knowledge of how they came to be. Although I knew that the characters had reason to fear them, I wanted to see more of that threat, so I'd definitely like to learn more about the leaders and their plans, and see more of the atrocities that take place behind closed doors. The pills that are mentioned throughout the story were fascinating and showed exactly what The Establishment is capable of, so I'd love to see more of that in this series.

Deverell sets up her world strongly from the start, giving you a clear picture of the Zones and the way things are run. This book is perfect for anyone who loves dystopia, and it's always great to see a good UKYA dystopian novel. With an exciting plot and well-developed characters, this is a thrilling world to lose yourself in.

Royal Rating:





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