Monday, August 3, 2015

Audio Tour: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

0 comments

I cannot say how excited I am about kick starting the blog tour of this amazing debut by Dawn Kurtagich’s called The Dead House. I’m not someone who reaches for a horror book as my usual genre and I started this book with some trepidation. However, I can assure you tis book was amazing. More of this will be coming later in the review but now I must proceed and squeal how delighted I am to host this blog stop. Plus I was got a surprise for you at the end. Yes a Giveaway too.

Before we go any further, let’s remind ourselves about what The Dead House is about.

Title: The Dead House
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Publisher: Indigo Books, UK
Released: 1st August, 2015
Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.

 
For, this audio blog tour, Dawn has prepared these fantastic audio teasers. I’ve been lucky enough to snag the teaser where the one of the main characters, Kaitlyn introduces herself. Listen on and I promise you will be screaming for more.


Creeped out yet? Believe me when I say I jumped a few times while reading this book and yes, it was in bright daylight. I loved the format of this book, which is written in a unique format which I’ve never come across before, It was fascinating and I was hooked. Apart for my min review above, I have a copy of the final copy of The Dean House to giveaway. It is UK/IRE only and I’m not responsible for any items lost in the post. All you have to do is enter via the rafflecoptor widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fearless Blog International Blog Tour

0 comments

Let me first begin by saying how excited I am to be able to participate in this truly awesome International Blog Tour for Marianne Curley's upcoming new book Fearless.   The books have have delightful from the beginning and the third book in the series promises to be better that all the books written by Marianne herself. So to celebrate the release, I am bringing this exclusive story written by Marianne Curley, The Birth of Ebrielle, which has never been seen before. However, before we can jump into the story, let's remind ourselves what is in store for us in the latest edition of the Avena Series.

Title: Fearless
Series: The Avena Series
Author: Marianne Curley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Books, UK
Released: 2nd July, 2015
 Ebony and Nathaneal were in love before they were even born.… Torn apart and kept in different worlds, will they finally reunite in this exquisite conclusion to Hidden and Broken?

Ebony was kept hidden on Earth for sixteen years, unaware that she was an angel. Unaware that her true soulmate, Nathaneal, was searching for her. Now ready to claim her rightful place with him, in a cruel twist of fate Ebony is captured and imprisoned in a version of hell.

Knowing that Nathaneal will come for her, Ebony is determined to fight against the evil that holds her prisoner. As long as she has Nathaneal’s love, Ebony has nothing to fear. Can Nathaneal break through the gates of hell? Will these long-lost lovers finally reunite and fulfil their destiny?




Excited? I know I am. So without further waiting read below for the exclusive story



The Birth of Ebrielle 
The Avena Series


SECRETED deep in the Lavender Forest of Avena, four angels gather together in a birthing chamber of intricate silk webbing. In the chamber’s centre, lying on a bed of soft goose feathers is Lady Elesha in her twenty-fifth hour of labour. Clutching her hand is her partner, Commander Rhamiel, concern etched in the lines furrowing the bronze skin of his forehead.


Standing beside the Commander is the young Prince Nathaneal.


While Myrinda, the midwife, tends her patient’s needs with untiring attention even though it has been a very long day.


 Wanting to comfort his wife, Rhamiel releases his wings with gentle and expert precision, bringing the silken tips round to caress the sides of Elesha’s straining face. Though he acknowledges his limited experience in this field, Rhamiel’s concern continues to grow, recalling how their first child’s labour had lasted for seven hours and not a moment more.


Standing quietly watching, not once complaining of how long it is taking, the boy-prince’s yellow eyebrows furrow beneath the flop of hair that sweeps across his forehead. His arms go rigid by his sides as Lady Elesha once again stiffens and arches her back in a contraction that brings the prince’s tally to five hundred and thirty-two. And he wonders yet again how Lady Elesha can endure it.


Though unrelated by blood to the expectant parents, the prince understands the importance of his presence – a witness to the birth of a future royal bride - his bride. Since his wings have not yet emerged, and will not do so until the onset of his pubescent years, all he can do to calm his anxiety is clench and unclench his fists.


 Prince Nathaneal does not doubt Lady Elesha’s strength. He has known and admired her for all of his seven years. She is his mother’s friend and equal to his father in rank. His mother often regaled him with stories of the battles they fought, facing demons and dark angels in combat for centuries before his birth.


But Lady Elesha hasn’t cried out once, as his mother warned was usual at such times, and he is not a stupid boy. His teachers’ reports overflow with praise of his high intellect. He knows that by now Lady Elesha’s suffering is more than most can bear, that she is - simply put - in agony, no matter how she chooses to mask it on his or the Commander’s behalf.


 Elesha smiles at the prince, takes his hand and lays it on her swollen belly in an action that is so swift Nathaneal finds his fingers locked in the Lady’s steel grip before he has a chance to protest or withdraw.


Beneath his fingers a sudden flutter occurs, followed by a burst of powerful emotion, with a vision and a message. The prince’s bright blue eyes widen at the unexpected connection – a mind-link, forged from within the womb, with words and images shaped and uttered by the infant’s mind for him. Astonished, he glances up. ‘She spoke to me. She remembers our time together in the spirit world. And she showed me things.’ Murmurs of amazement pass between the parents and midwife as they digest what an incredible feat has just occurred. ‘She asked,’ the prince laughs, ‘if I belong to her.’


 Lady Elesha gasps at her daughter’s audacity, while the Commander and midwife erupt with laughter. Oblivious to the adults’ amusement, Nathaneal understands something astounding is happening. Memories blast into existence, memories of their great love, of the life they shared whilst they were both in the spirit world for the last three thousand years, and of their promise to find each other.


On the cusp of their imminent reunion, a sense of protection has the prince looking around the chamber, checking for cracks, loose threads, any sign of unravelling. So intense is his examination that he misses the question the Commander asks.


 ‘I’m sorry, my lord, did you say something?’


Amused at the prince’s excitement, Commander Rhamiel repeats his question, ‘Did you answer my daughter, Nathaneal?’


 ‘I did, my lord. I said, “Yes, Ebrielle, I am the one who belongs to you.” It was the code we came up with, a question one of us would ask the other to be sure we’d truly found each other.’


‘Ebrielle?’ the Commander says. ‘How did you know that is the name we have chosen for our child? Who told you?’


The boy shrugs. ‘No one told me, my Lord. It’s the name I know her by, what I called her all those years we shared together in our spirit form.’


Rhamiel and Elesha exchange wondrous glances.


Hoping for another chance to communicate with his future bride; and wanting to ease Lady Elesha’s suffering, Nathaneal places his palm once more on the Lady’s belly, splays his fingers and, in the way of his training, wills calm energy to dull Lady Elesha’s sense of pain. His hand glows and Elesha sighs and closes her eyes for an indulgent moment.


She glances at the young prince. ‘You have the healer’s touch, Nathaneal.’


He smiles. ‘So I am told, my lady.’


 ‘Thank you, Nathaneal, but I think…’ Replacing his hand with her own, Elesha circles her swollen abdomen, uttering softly, ‘it appears, now that our little angel knows you are here, she is in a hurry to make her appearance.’


   As the Commander ruffles the prince’s yellow hair, the midwife announces, ‘Time you were gone from here, my young prince. Your betrothed is about to join us and I’m sure she would not be pleased to know you were the first to see her naked!’

 The Commander roars with laughter. So amused by Myrinda’s declaration he forges a mind-link to Prince Jaquel, Nathaneal’s father, in charge of the protective guard that presently surrounds them.


 In the dark forest outside the chamber, with no lights to give away their secret location, Prince Jaquel laughs, and thinking to relieve his soldier’s tension, forges the amusing anecdote to the guards nearest him, who in turn mind-link the tale to the soldiers in the trees.


Hearing subdued laughter seeping through the chamber walls, Nathaneal identifies his father’s as the loudest and cringes. Though he is aware that he must leave quickly he must also be careful not to break the chamber’s protective seal. But his belt buckle catches on a sticky silken thread, pulling several more from the tight weave with each movement. His father notices and moves quickly to assist him. With his adept and experienced fingers, untangling his son’s buckle should only take a mere second, but Jaquel’s torso is still jumping with mirth and his fingers move more like thumbs.

Nathaneal shoves his father’s hands away. ‘Leave me be, father, you are making it worse. I will do it on my own.’


Overhearing the exchange, soldiers pass looks to one another with eyebrows raised.


Prince Jaquel steps back, hands in the air, mouth drawn straight and tight. His soldiers talk to him with more respect than his own son. With humiliation burning inside, he grits his teeth and hisses, ‘Do it quickly, Nathaneal, or you risk breaking the seal, allowing light to beam into the heavens for our enemies to see.’

 It takes only a few moments to free himself, but the prince fears his efforts have taken too long. Finally he steps aside, and looking through the dark shadows he notices a wave of grey mist rolling through the trees towards them. He glances to the sky and observes the grey mist obliterating the stars with unnatural speed. ‘Father!’

 Commander Jaquel rushes over, observes the mist and frowns. ‘I don’t like this.’ With his senses on high alert, his head slightly tilted, eyes darting in all directions into a darkness that continues to darken further, he listens. With eyes wide with dread, he withdraws his sword and commands his troops, ‘To arms!’ Throwing his son a quick glance, he hisses, ‘Now we shall see the damage you have done.’

The next thing Nathaneal hears is the precise swishing of steel as five hundred swords unsheathe in the darkness, followed by his father’s command against his ear, ‘Return to base as fast as you can.’

Though young and inexperienced in battle, it is not Nathaneal’s nature to run. ‘Father, don’t send me away, I can help.’


Flying demons swoop down from the skies, screeching in a guttural language the soldiers cannot understand. With bared, razor-sharp teeth the demons bring down the soldiers, gnawing at their limbs, igniting everything they touch into flames.


‘Go, Nathaneal, now!’ Knowing the boy’s courage could one day be his undoing, but that it should not be today, Commander Jaquel grabs his son by the shoulders and turns him to face direct south. ‘Run and keep running until you find Prince Michael. Inform him of what has happened. Hurry!’


Nathaneal runs fast, scattering the creatures of the forest. He puts distance behind him so rapidly their temporary camp lights soon come into focus.


 But a sudden bright flash ignites the sky overhead. He stops and turns. The air shudders before him, trees shredding their leaves as a great wave of pulsing energy lifts him off his feet and hurls him backwards into trees bent over to half their size. He staggers up, aghast at the destruction, the forest laid bare, thick smoke rising in the shape of a mushroom cloud, pushing up into the night sky above the area of the birthing chamber.

Ebrielle? 


Father?

 
 Did I do this? He questions himself.


 If only I hadn’t been in such a hurry to get out! 


A flock of black-winged demons, with a dark angel at their centre, fly fast towards him, and as they pass high overhead he hears a wailing cry. The sound is foreign to the young prince’s ears, but only for an instant before he recognises her voice. ‘Ebrielle,’ he gasps with a shadow of a small smile, ‘you’re alive. Take heart, for I will come. I will find you.’


* * * * * * * 

Check out the blog below for more blog stops for more exclusive material from the Avena Series. 

13 July: Fearless Trailer reveal  - ANZ blogger Shaheen http://www.speconspecfic.com/
 
14 July:  Exclusive story “The Birth of Ebrielle”  UK blogger 
 
15 July: Guest Blog Post from Marianne Curley about Horses – ANZ blogger Kylie http://paranormal-angel.blogspot.com.au/ and  http://paranormalangel.wordpress.com/
 
16 July: Top 10 Random Facts about Fearless  UK blogger 

17 July: Exclusive Story: “A Twist of Fate” ANZ blogger Gina- 
 

Grab your copies now as Fearless released on the 2nd July, 2015 in the UK.
 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: LOL-Lying Out Loud (The DUFF #2) by Kody Keplinger

4 comments


Quirky, witty and addictive
Title: LOL: Lying Out Loud
Series: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Hodder's Childern's Books
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Releasing: 2nd July, 2015
I immensely enjoyed The DUFF and when LOL came out I was like a cat who got the cream. LOL or Lying Out Loud is the story of Sonya who simply can't stop lying. She is a compulsive liar who lies all the time. Her best friend is Amy who is Wesley's sister ( for Duff fans like me). Then she meets Ryan, the new guy in Hamilton High whom she dislikes on first sight. Ryan who has a crush on Amy. One chance encounter online she get to chat with him and before she knows it she is falling in love with him. Only problem is that he thinks he is talking to Amy.

I really enjoyed LOL. It was nappy and a quick read. It was riddled with Kody Keplinger smart writing quips which makes me keep reading. Her characters her almost always flawed yet I find them real. Sonya was no exception. She could not stop lying and even when she knew what she was doing was hurting people around her, she struggled to give up that habit. Almost everyone in the story is flawed with Ryan who only saw in Black and white and Amy, who was too timid and unable to speak for herself.

No matter how stupidly Sonya acted and kept digging herself a bigger hole, I could not hate her. I found myself sympathizing with her. In fact, my heart broke for her when we learn about her past. The romance was so sweet between Ryan and Sonya and their connection was palpable.

Overall, I may have enjoyed The DUFF ( Read my review here) more, I do think LOL was also a solid book which will resonate with it's audience with it's witty MC and bevy of winning side characters. For The DUFF fans. there is plenty of Bianca and Wesley. It seems like Kody Keplinger has got the knack for writing great YA contemporary stories and has become a firm favourite for me.

Review copy provided by Hodder's Children's Books, UK



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1) by Page Morgan

3 comments


Beautiful, charming and dark
Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed
Series: The Dispossessed
Author: Paige Morgan
Publisher:Hot Key Books, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 3rd May, 2013
Gothic YA fantasy are rare and far in between, so when I found Page Morgan's the Beautiful and the Cursed, I wanted to give it a go. I enjoy fantasy novels and this book was no different. Ingrid, her sister and her mother move to Paris to an abandoned Abbey, to spend some time with their brother. But soon it is clear that he is missing. Determined to find him, Ingrid and Gabriella are soon embroiled into a centuries old curse. Being residents of the Abbey, they fall underneath the protection of Luc the resident young lad who works in the stables but is more than he appears to be. He is a Gargoyle, tasked with protecting the Abbey and fighting an intense attraction to Ingrid..

I really enjoyed this book and especially it's setting. While the plot was not spectacularly gripping nor the writing unique, it still kept me interested. The flow and the setting was beautiful and I found myself immersed in nineteenth century Paris, in it's dark gothic glory. The tall church spires and the e;elegant and ugly statues of gargoyles guarding building with their stern expressions and steely eyes.

For romance lovers, there is plenty to to relish as there are not one but so love stories sprouting in the midst of the confusion and mystery. While I was rooting for Ingrid and Luc's forbidden romance, Nolan's and Gabriella's romance made me slightly uncomfortable with Gabriella being 15 years old and Nolan nearly twenty. But looking at the fact that this was set 100 years ago, this was acceptable..

The Beautiful and the Cursed was a unique take in the crowded YA fantasy market. It may not have tried to achieve something new, it nevertheless kept me entertained. I could feel the cold and dark seeping into my very skin while imagining my characters walking through the beautiful streets of Paris in their charming dresses and carriages. The setting was dark, chilling and thoroughly chilling which begs I grab the second book and the third book which released last month.

Review copy provided by Hot Key Books, UK


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: The Baby by Lisa Drakeford

2 comments


Sensitive and mature
Title: The Baby
Author: Lisa Drakeford
Publisher:Chicken House Books, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 2nd of July, 2015
It's Olivia's birthday and she is having a great time, until she opens her bathroom door and finds her best friend giving birth. From then on, everything changes. The Baby is the story of five friends told in five perspective of the consequences and changes a baby brings in peoples lives. Especially in these circumstances, it changes lives but also people. .

Going too much into the plot will give the story away as the enjoyment of the book rests on how slowly facts are revealed and what you always suspected come true. I relished how subtlety and masterfully the author made me sympathises with a character I found deplorable. It showed what a profound effect children can have on people around them..

The Baby explores the relationship and dynamics between five people, how the arrival of a baby changes them for better or for worse. This is a smart book which explores many avenues including teen age pregnancies, sexuality, friendship and even abuse. .

Sensitive and mature yet The Baby manages to capture an essence of what it is like being a Teen with 'adult' problems. .

Review copy provided by Chicken House Books, UK. 

  Released on the 2nd July, 2015



Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

3 comments


Raw, primeval with wild emotions
Title: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls
Author: Lynn Weingarten
Publisher:Electric Monkey, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 2nd of July, 2015
C alling this book a mixture of gone Girl and 13 Reasons why piqued my interest enough that I had to pick this book up and give it a go.I am being repeated surprised with contemporary books lately and suicide notes from Beautiful girls is no exception.

It starts of with June getting the news that her ex best friend had killed herself. Over the last few months Delia and June had grown apart. June is filled with regret and anguish about her sudden death but soon Delia Boy friend tells her how Delia couldn't have done it herself That she was murdered. June is convinced that Jeremiah is right and is determined to find the truth. the story is told from various POV with flash backs of the past. Through June's eyes we get to see Delia and love her as much as June did.

Wild, and uncontrollable Delia was everything June was not and both had a strange unbreakable bond which slowly withers away. I enjoyed this book immensely. I thought it was gripping and June's pain for her loss was palpable. We get flash backs of their childhood together and how they were each other's soul mates. Until the 'twist' happens. I think this is where the story loses it's steam. I can't go into it as it will be spoilery but the marketing tag lines gives it away. I suppose the author was trying to leave events to the reader's imagination but some times it I felt it required a little more explaining.

Besides the crazy plotlines towards the end, I really enjoyed the writing style. The choice of words and the descriptions for the emotions churning , were raw and primeval, making my palms clammy with fear.It invoked a sense was wildness in the story which was gripping, imaginative and gruesome. I ate it up.

I enjoyed the first half of the book but found the second half lacking with many plot threads left hanging without proper explanation. I'd definitely recommended it to YA fans, who like dark, thrilling contemporaries.

Releases 2nd of July, 2015 
Review copy provided by the publisher, Electric Monkey UK



Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

5 comments

Trolls, witches, politics, music and magic
Title: Hidden Huntress
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Author: Danielle L Jensen
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 2nd June, 2015
Stolen Songbird ended with a premise that had me panting for the second book. And Hidden Huntress does not disappoint. Cecile is in the capital city looking for Anoushka and living with her mother whom she despises. While she loves the singing and the stage, her search for the ancient witch gets riddled with hurdles. One meeting with the King of Trollus and watching Tristian being tortured, Cecile finds herself, under an oath to find Anoushka at any cost.

Told in dual points of views, this edition of The Malediction Trilogy, managed to show not only Cecile’s frantic search but also Tristian’s desperate attempts at keeping Trollus together. Unlike Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress had a different flavour to it. It feels like each book takes a different turn toward the ultimate goal. While in the first book, Cecile was trapped and looking for a way out, it was very much about the politics of Trollus and Cecile’s escape. In the second book, it was that and much more. We watch Cécile sinking into the depths of madness and Tristian torn between his wife and the plight of his own people.

Truth be told, this book was a slow starter for me. In fact I found Cécile’s POV less interesting while Tristian’s world filled me with intrigue and dread. However when eventually it all catches up, it is goes all out in a flurry of fireworks. Revelations and secrets out in the open, with Cecile and Tristian finally achieving what they set do, only to be forced to face an even greater foe.

I enjoyed Hidden Huntress immensely which delivered in every aspect as much as I expected. Thankfully it does not suffer the dreadful second book syndrome which Jenson beautifully crafted out the Trilogy, where each book feels like a new chapter in Cécile and Tristian’s lives. If I didn’t like Tristian before, I freaking loved him in this one and I’m sure you guys will too.

Review copy received by Publisher, Angry Robot Books, UK
Also check out my previous post where Danielle L Jensen talks about the French connections to her Malediction Trilogy 




 

Escapism Copyright © 2011 Design by Ipietoon Blogger Template | Ugg Boots Sale | web hosting