Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Sarah’s Review of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


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First of all, I need to give a huge thanks to FreeBookFriday for awarding me with this book! What an awesome website! If you haven't been there before, check it out, you have a chance every week to win free books!

The Darkest Part of the Forest takes place in a small town called Fairfold. Here, humans and faeries exist amongst each other. Tourists from all over the place flock to Fairfold upon hearing about what they believe is harmless magic. But one local girl, Hazel Evans, knows just how dangerous the faeries really are and has figured out a way to stop them. Or at least she thought she had. One of the most mysterious things about Fairfold is found deep within the woods. There you will find a glass coffin containing a horned boy with pointy ears, who appears to be sleeping. Hazel, and her brother Ben, both fell in love with the horned boy when they were children. For as long as the town can remember, the boy has slept in that coffin without ever waking, until now. Hazel finds herself thrown into the middle of the mystery where she has to put her childhood fantasies of being a knight to use. Hazel finds herself struggling with love, loyalties and family and isn’t sure if everything she knows will be enough.

This story is a dark fairy-tale, with themes of love and romance, as well as friendship and loyalties. But the most important one I think is the struggle between good versus evil.

When I first began reading, I found there to be an awful lot of info to follow and the story line was a little slow. There were a lot of characters and places thrown at you in such a short section that at times I found myself going back to reread certain parts in order to make sure I understood it right. But once all of that is out of the way, the story really picks up the pace and pulls you in. The rich description of the town and the forest gave way to great imagination. Holly Black did a good job in describing all of the surrounding features and made it easy to get lost in her fairy-tale world.

There were a lot of characters in this book. And while most of them ended up being well explained throughout the book, near the beginning you are given so many new names that is was hard to keep track of who was who and how they all fit together. That being said, after diving more into the book I found that those main characters were strongly developed and Hazel’s character especially was relatable. She had such inner strength and tenacity that she held the story. You follow her through her struggles within herself. She wants to do the right thing, but at times she isn’t quite sure what that is, so she learns to follow her heart and to let go and trust those that love her. I love the interaction between Hazel and her brother Ben. Anyone who has a sibling, whether brother or sister, can totally relate to the way they feel about one another. Even though they have their disagreements and struggles, when it comes down to it, they’d do anything for each other. The horned boy’s character is very interesting. In the beginning you’re not sure what to think, or how to think of him, but then he awakens and still you are unsure. Holly Black keeps you guessing until just the right time about his intentions and temperament.

The story really came together near the end and I found myself hooked, especially the last third of the novel. I just got lost in my reading. Holly Black is very good at describing even the most fast-paced scenes so that you can picture it exactly and know where each character is, all while still making it feel quick. And the true monster in the forest will surprise you. 

This book was an interesting read, especially if you enjoy books about faeries and magic and worlds we can only imagine on paper.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sarah's Review of Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

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Before I Go To Sleep is one of those books that just grabs you from the start. It's a captivating thriller that pulls you in and when I finished the book, I was still shocked and my mind was reeling. Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson, is about a woman named Christine whom upon waking each day has no idea where she is, who is laying beside her, or even how old she is. Every night when she closes her eyes and falls into a deep sleep, her mind erases everything she has learned that day and most of her past. Most mornings she wakes up feeling as though she is still in her twenties, sometimes as a teenager and sometimes as though she is still a child. Our memories are what moulds us into the people we are, so what do you do when you don't have those memories? How would you live your life? Every night she forgets the peoples she loves, yet every morning there's someone there beside her who has to explain it all to her again. Through pictures with labels on them, and the help of her husband Ben, Christine begins to piece her life together day by day. Then, with the help of a Doctor, she begins to keep a journal documenting her day to day discoveries. But Christine begins to wonder if that one person whom she can rely on, the one and only person she trusts, is keeping things from her, only telling her half of her story.

What an exceptional psychological thriller. This book plays on such an interesting topic, memory loss. And it just shows us how intricate our brains really are and how much we still don't understand about the way they work. As I said already, our memories are what define us, it's what makes us who we are. I can't imagine what type of life it would be to just exist, never remembering who you are, how old you are, who the people around you are and why they are there. It must be a struggle every day to wake up and relearn what has already happened. As hard as living that life would be, I think being the one to take care of them would be just as catastrophic. I know that cases of these rare diseases of amnesia like this may or may not exist in our real world, but whether it's fiction or not, it's still compelling.

The structure of this novel is very different from any other books I have read. The bulk of the middle consists of pages of her journal, and while some of it is repetitive, I found it very informative and suspenseful as while reading it, you are experiencing what it would be like to have that illness and rediscover it all again. It also helped me to remember little things that may have slipped my mind. The startling discoveries that Christine makes every day kept me hooked. Definitely a good read.

Friday, 16 October 2015

EVO Release Day Blog Tour





Title: Evo
Series: Divine Hunter World #1 / Divine Hunter #2.5
Author: L.J. Sealey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Released: October 6th 2015

* Can be read as a complete standalone

Blurb 

The hunter just became the hunted. . .

Evan O’Reilly was used to fighting demons. A bounty hunter for the underworld, he was always precise. Efficient. Ruthless. But that was before he had to battle with his own.

Being a powerful deity had its advantages, and Alethia, goddess of wind and shadows, was thankful she could watch over her friend completely undetected. That was, until his carelessness began to garner the wrong kind of attention, leaving her no choice but to step in.

Now, Evo is being hunted by his own kind, closely followed by a revenge-hungry demon. He is on the run, and Alethia is running with him. While passion ignites, and tension threatens to tear them apart, they discover that there is something far more sinister after Evo’s soul. As Alethia fights for him, she is forced to face an agonizing truth: to save him, she may have to lose him forever. A story about new love and sacrifice, Evo is the first book in the Divine Hunter World series of books that focus on the much loved characters from the Divine Hunter series.







And here is an excerpt....

Chomping at the bit. . .
That’s what people called it. Only, Evo had gone so far past chomping that he’d swallowed the damn thing whole.
Cleaning his weapons, again, he contemplated leaving the confines of the boathouse before his babysitter got back. Ironic, really, how he’d ended up a prisoner again so soon after his time in Mathrah. Okay, so that might have been an exaggeration, but the way Alethia was riding his ass lately, that’s exactly how he felt. He was desperate to get out on a hunt, but if he did go he’d only piss her off and he’d already begun to realize that a pissed off goddess was way too much hard work.
Nah. . . he was being unfair, but this whole confinement thing was making him twitchy. Most of the time Alethia was good company and he did appreciate what she was doing for him.
Now that he was sporting some clean clothes, and his others had burnt away to almost nothing, he felt refreshed. But the scrub down had done nothing for his frustration. The cause of all that blood was still unknown and he was unsettled by the whole sitch, especially as he couldn’t even remember leaving his bed last night. He’d already begun to doubt his own sanity and this latest thing was only pushing him closer to the edge of the crazy cliff.
Just as he’d been asked, Evo waited for Alethia to return from getting supplies, wondering how long they’d have to stay in this shit-hole for. The place itself wasn’t all that bad—it was dry, had running water—but there was a God-awful smell coming from the toilet at the end of the hall. ‘Least it flushed. Amazing how you learned to appreciate the small things.
Evo was just contemplating jumping in the river and ending it all, when he heard a familiar sound.
Alethia was about to make an appearance and he’d started amusing himself by trying to guess where she’d land. Again, he was wrong, and when she came into being over by the doorway, she looked extremely pale, and he wondered why she wasn’t loaded down with groceries.
Before he got a chance to ask, she said, “You need to come with me,” while hurrying over to him.
He stood and placed the knife he’d been polishing, into the arm holster. “Why? What’s going on?”
She shook her head. “No time to explain.”
- Copyright © 2014 L.J. Sealey

 Other Books



****** AWAKEN is FREE on eBook AmazonUK | AmazonUS ******
 
DARK DELIVERANCE Available NOW: AmazonUK | AmazonUS
Also available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY:

* WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY OF EVO *
and eBooks of books 1&2 in the Divine Hunter series
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 About The Author

L.J. Sealey was born and raised in a little Welsh town by the sea. It rains a lot, so she often has a great excuse to sit at her writing desk and while away the hours at her laptop. She still lives in N.Wales and when she’s not travelling around the country working with her husband – who is a professional singer – or singing backup vocals herself, she likes to read and watch her favourite TV shows which normally includes plenty of CSI, The Vampire Diaries and endless amounts of sitcoms.

Being addicted to reading about vampires, demons, shifters and angels, she has always had a thing for all things paranormal and is a big sucker for impossible love stories. So it was inevitable that when she started writing herself she would mix the two together.

L.J. Sealey is the author of the paranormal romance series Divine Hunter.

STALKER LINKS: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ 






Monday, 28 September 2015

Sarah's Review of Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

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Sophie Kinsella has done it yet again. She has written a witty, romantic comedy, full of whimsy. Wedding Night takes you on a roller coaster of emotions while keeping an upbeat demeanor. This book introduces you to an over the top romantic, star gazing type of girl named Lottie. She has this theatrical way of viewing her life and how things are going to happen. And Lottie is so certain that her boyfriend Richard is going to propose to her over lunch one day in a fancy London restaurant that she begins telling people before it has even happened. But when the "big" question isn't a proposal, but a trip to another country, Lottie is devastated and embarrassed. All that Lottie wants at this point in her life is to be married and start a family, so when she believes that Richard wants nothing of that, she leaves. Then, out of nowhere, her first love, Ben, calls her and while reminiscing he reminds her of their marriage pact if they both found themselves single at age 30. Being married is all that Lottie has on her mind, and Ben is just as attractive as when they were teenagers, so with that lust coursing through her she gladly accepts. But instead of having a big ceremony like she had always dreamed of, they opt for a quick walk down the aisle with a honeymoon on Ikonos, which is where they first met.
Lottie's older sister, and best friend, Fliss, is shocked. Lottie has done outrageous things in the past after a breakup, but never anything of this caliber. And Lorcan, Ben's workmate and friend, worries that Ben is rushing into this marriage way too quickly and sees it as a disaster for the business he just recently inherited. So Fliss decides to take matters into her own hands. After going through a brutal divorce herself involving child custody, the last thing she wants for her sister is for her to get pregnant only to regret the whole marriage later on and go through everything she is going through. So Fliss comes up with a crazy game plan to ruin their wedding night and honeymoon. Fliss and Lorcan are headed to Ikonos while Lottie and Ben are experiencing a honeymoon that they will soon not forget.

I have not yet read a book by Sophie Kinsella that I did not enjoy. She has this way of writing that just pulls you in and grips you. The plot line of Wedding Night is hilarious and things keep moving at just the right pace. Kinsella is great at throwing out unpredictable events so when you think you might know what's going to happen, you're thrown off, but in a good way. This particular story is such a comical romance. Lottie's idea of romance is very much rooted in fantasy, but as the story progresses we gain a better understanding of her character and are just hoping that everything is going to work out for her, whether it be with Ben or somebody else. All of the characters are well rounded, unique, individuals that are relatable. I love the twists and turns the story takes and the game plan that Fliss comes up with is priceless.

Wedding Night is a great combination of romance, comedy and drama. Kinsella's in depth descriptions allow you to put yourself right there in their shoes, and it's easy to find yourself empathizing with all of the characters. What an extravagant piece of writing! Another great novel from Sophie Kinsella.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sarah's Review of Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Don't Look Back is by far the best book I have read in a long time! Jennifer L. Armentrout's writing captivates you right from the first page and keeps you hooked until the very unpredictable, very shocking conclusion.
Don't Look Back is about a teenage girl, Samantha, who wakes up not knowing anything. She is quite literally a stranger in her own life. She has amnesia and absolutely no recollection of who she was, where she's from, who her friends and family are, etc. She quickly learns that she had been missing for quite a few days, along with her best friend Cassie, who has yet to be found. Sam learns that she had it all, she was popular, her family had a lot of money, and her boyfriend was one who all the other girls wanted, every girls dream. On the surface it seemed like the perfect life. Sam wants to remember, not only her life but also what happened to her and Cassie. As she is trying to piece everything together and begins to learn about her so called friends, she quickly realizes that she wants nothing to do with her old life. The old Sam was disrespectful and a mean girl, and her friendship with Cassie wasn't what it appeared. Apparently they were more like frenemies (best friends who were enemies with each other). Even though she wants to remember so she can help the police figure out what happened to Cassie, she feels as though losing her memory was the best thing to happen to her because she now has a second chance to be a better person all around and finds herself drawn to a boy who's not her boyfriend. Carson Ortiz has always been there for Sam, even when she would treat him terribly. She found herself falling for him hard.
What is even scarier than not remembering anything, is that while she is trying hard to remember, she finds that someone else, someone she can't remember, also knows what happened the night the two girls disappeared and that person may stop at nothing to keep Sam from remembering. Sam starts to wonder if not remembering is the only thing that is keeping her alive.
Armentrout explores the role of the subconscious is this book and how tragic events can trigger memory loss along with many other things. I love that the author tapped into the subconscious and such an intriguing aspect such as amnesia. The flashbacks and memories that Sam begins to have help unravel the story perfectly in just the right time frame. This book deals with what it truly means to be good, to have a good heart, what true friendship means, and how sometimes you just have to follow your heart. This book is also a good example of how people can change and why second chances are good and sometimes life changing.
Armentrout delivers it all within this book with shocking discoveries and twists you don't see coming. I am so glad I picked up this book. It has quickly become a favourite.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Sarah's Review of Eternity by Heather Terrell

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Ellie is a typical high school student, at least she used to think so. In this second book of the Fallen Angel Series, Eternity, we find Ellie trying to come to grips with the reality that she is the Elect One. The one and only person who can save the country and humankind from devastating forces. Not only is she dealing with the business of being the Elect One, she finds her relationship with Michael is getting more tense. Then she meets Rafe, a mysterious new boy, who can make things even more complicated. Not only with Michael, but with her fate as the Elect One as well. While hoping she had more time to prepare, she finds that the time has run out and she has to stand up against the fallen angels who are trying to destroy the world. She tries to push her personal problems aside, but realizes that her heart and her destiny are intertwined and she needs to figure out what her relationship is with both Michael and Rafe. The end of days is quickly approaching and with it she needs to listen to her heart and decide who she truly trusts and loves.

This is the sequel to Fallen Angel, the first in her two book series. And while I hadn't read the first book, which I think I now want to, I was surprised at how quickly I could pick up what was going on. The plot and the climax of the book all happened so quickly though. In my opinion, I wish there would have been more conflict while they were battling the fallen angels. It almost seemed too easy to conquer all they had to, especially after taking quite a bit of time learning all they had to on how to destroy the fallen angels. I kept waiting for a big twist, especially with Rafe's character, but there was none. That being said, it was still a good book and focused on some major themes common in our society. The main theme being good versus evil. It just goes to show you that all things good should end up coming out on top and that honesty and truth are above all else, the fundamentals to our society. Evil forces are constantly trying to corrupt us and it is our duty to see through those false identities to the truth of the matter, before more harm comes to us. You need to trust your instincts above all else.

The character development is pretty phenomenal. Ellie's character shows so much growth and strength throughout the story. She overcomes her own fears and suspicions for the sake of others and seems to take on the personality and responsibilities of someone much older than she really is. But with the outcome of the world on your shoulders, she doesn't really have much of a choice. She learns how strong she can truly be. When everyone else is counting on you, you need to give it everything you've got. I just wish, with this being a paranormal romance, that there was more to the relationship with Ellie and Michael. They were hardly together at times and were so distant during much of the story. I know that their attitude towards one another does play an integral role in the outcome of the plot, I just wish there had been more elaboration on their relationship.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sarah's Review of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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The Fault In Our Stars is such a heartbreaking, dynamic novel. It is full of tragedy, but also humour and grace. John Green really capitalizes on the old saying "tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
The Fault In Our Stars is about a young teenage girl, Hazel Grace, who has been diagnosed with cancer, yet has gotten a few more years due to a new medical drug that is supposed to cause her tumor to shrink. It's a miracle drug, but Hazel still knows that her diagnosis is terminal. Upon her parents request, she attends a Cancer Kid Support Group in a church and it is here that she meets Augustus Waters. Everything Hazel thought she knew about her life and herself suddenly takes a huge turn as she finds herself irrevocably drawn to him and falls in love.
This novel helps put things into perspective while living in such a fast paced career driven world. It shows us that those that we love, our family and friends, are the most important things in our world and we should cherish them and make them a priority. We need to step back and figure out what it is that we truly want to do, what we love to do, and then follow those dreams in order to be truly happy.
All of the characters in this novel are filled with rich descriptive and they all play an integral role in the development of the story. The story is well-written and unfolds naturally over the course of their lives. Even though we only see a glimpse into Hazel's life for a short period of time, it is easy to fall in love with her character and to truly empathize with her. It's a sad reality that most of us readers know somebody or has known or loved somebody in a similar situation as Hazel, being diagnosed with cancer is such widespread and unfortunately happens too often in our society. Cancer touches many lives, and this novel shows just how deeply others are impacted with one's diagnosis.
There is a lot of tragedy in this novel yet through it all we find that amongst the anguish, tragedy brings people together. We see this especially in Hazel's friendship with Isaac.
I think the most important thing that I got out of this novel is the message to do the things that make you happy and spend your time with people you love because you only get one life and whether it is a short life or a long life, you want to make it yours and you want it to be memorable. I don't give many books 5 stars, but this one deserves it.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Sarah's Review of Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

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Wow! When I finally landed my hands on this book I was so excited to start reading it! I have read every other Shopaholic book Kinsella has written and she has never disappointed me so far. And once again she nailed it! In Shopaholic to the Stars, Becky's witty antics and frenzied inner dialogue keep you laughing and crying throughout the whole thing. If you've never read one of Sophie Kinsella's books, especially one in her Shopaholic series, then I suggest you go out and grab one right away. The character, Rebecca Brandon, nee Bloomwood, is one of the most unique, yet relatable characters I have ever met in the pages of books.

In this novel, we find Becky, Luke (her husband), and their daughter Minnie, living in Hollywood of all places! Luke has a client who is a movie star and Becky is what you would call star struck. Everywhere she goes she is hoping to catch a glimpse of somebody famous. And if only she could launch her fashion career as an A-list Hollywood stylist, she would have it made, or so she thinks. Luke's PR work is for the famous actress, Sage Seymour, and so Becky's secret desire is to become Sage's very own personal stylist, but Luke is not too keen on introducing the two of them. According to Becky, he just doesn't understand the whole Hollywood star thing. While waiting for an introduction to Sage, Becky's dream beings to come true when she gets the chance to style Sage's archrival. This makes things quite complicated in Becky's world. She is thrown into what she thought was the life she always dreamed of, red carpet premieres, tons of paparazzi competing for her attention, but after being thrown into this world she starts to wonder if it's all it's made out to be. Will she have to give up what she has in order to be famous? Is this the life she really wants?

Kinsella's writing style is remarkable once again. She has a way with words that keeps things flowing from beginning to end, truly a page turner. Everything is written from Becky's point of view, so along with all of the crazy and funny events happening, you also dive into Becky's inner monologue. To hear the inner workings of her mind, you find yourself connecting with her. Her ramblings and justifications of why she does the things she does is what makes this book a star itself.

We see through Becky's struggles that things aren't always as they seem. What we see on the surface of anyone's life is just that, the surface. We have no idea what is truly going on in their lives and why they do the things they do. No matter how well you think you know somebody, there's always something more to learn.

This book also brings to light how important family and true friends are and these are things we should never take for granted. These are the people who love us unconditionally and allow us to make mistakes, but are there for us through it all. We need to remember that just like they are there for us, we need to be there for them too, because you never know when they may need you. Those of us who have found unconditional love in family or a close friend should consider ourselves lucky and to always remember that even though the love is there, it is a two way street. So if they are there supporting you, you need to be that support right back to them, don't take them for granted.

Shopaholic to the Stars makes you laugh and cry, it shows us darkness and light, and love in a unique way that only Kinsella can do. Definitely worth a read.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Sarah's Review of Rapture by J.R. Ward

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When I first picked up Rapture by J.R. Ward I had no idea what to expect. It is part of the series of books called The Fallen Angels and I hadn't read any of them before, but I was hoping I could pick it up and still know what was going on. Thankfully I could.

The story centres around a female reporter, Mels Carmichael, who writes for the Caldwell Courier Journal and a man named Matthias. Matthias comes into her life outside of the local cemetery. While driving home one night he just happens to limp out in front of her car. Without any time to react she hits the man and then crashes her car. While in the hospital she finds out he has amnesia and so she wants to help him recover his memories, not realizing just how scary those memories could be. While uncovering those memories they also find themselves falling passionately in love with each other, like they never had before. One thing that Matthias does remember from the start is the name of 'Jim Heron' on a gravestone, so their search begins there. Heron is a fallen angel who's job is to rescue souls from the seven deadly sins. Heron is in for a fight between good and evil once again when it comes to Matthias and we find that his soul is on the line. But from the memories he recovers, it's hard to see how one who has done so much wrong in his life could redeem himself enough to save his soul.

Of course, as you could tell from the description, we find the overwhelming theme here to be good versus evil. We have the fallen angel, Jim Heron, fighting against a demon, Devina, for the soul of Matthias. Each one wants his soul for their own reasons, and they are in a game against time to win this round and claim his soul as either good or evil. Matthias must come to a crossroads, which neither Heron nor Devina know what it will be, and will have to choose. This decision will ultimately decide who wins, Heron or Devina, good or evil. And Heron finds that it is his job to steer him to the side of good, but with his past he's not sure that is possible.

The theme of love is very prevalent throughout the whole story. And I would deem this as a paranormal romance due to the amount of description the author goes into during intimate love scenes. We find Mels and Matthias falling in love with each other despite all odds and wonder if true love can save a soul and ultimately change the course of someone's life.

J.R. Ward does a good job in explaining what is going on in each of the character's lives so much that I was able to dive into book #4 without having read the previous three and I still understood what was going on. But I am left wondering if the other novels deal only with Heron and Devina with other challenges, or if Matthias is a character throughout the novels. I also wonder if we will read more about him in the next book. My guess is we will follow the fallen angel and the demon through their game.

This book delivers a lot, from heartbreak and love, to humour and tragedy, romance and sex. I was truly captivated by both the character of Mels and the character of Matthias. As he was the main character in my opinion, I found his story fascinating. His soul was so corrupt one could not even fathom the idea of saving it, but somehow the author makes it so that you are rooting for him to make the right choice. During his amnesia you see a changed man, and even as his memories come flooding back, the decisions he makes are not reminiscent of the past, but of a new person, most likely due to the love he has found in Mels. His story is truly heartbreaking and uplifting.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sarah's Review of A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks


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So after reading my very first Nicholas Sparks book a few months ago, The Best of Me, I decided that I loved his writing style and picked up another one. Yes, I know, where have I been? Everyone asks me that, and as an avid reader I have no excuses, other than the fact that no one had ever recommended one of his books before. Crazy, I know! Anyways, the book I picked up was his book, A Bend in the Road. Quite a story about morals and love, what is right and wrong, and forgiveness.

The story begins with the story of a deputy sheriff and his son. Miles Ryan is a deputy sheriff in New Bern, North Carolina whose life was turned upside down two years prior after his wife, Missy, was killed in a hit and run accident which left Miles as a single parent to his son, Jonah. The case was never solved. They never found out who did it and Miles has poured over the case for two years trying to find the person who did it and bring them to justice.
Miles's son, Jonah, is in second grade and that is where we meet Sarah Andrews. She is her teacher, and she has just moved to New Bern to be closer to her parents while trying to heal from a devastating divorce. She reaches out to Miles after she notices that Jonah is falling behind his peers in class and quickly learns about their past. They end up becoming friends and while reaching for help from one another they quickly find themselves falling in love. Something neither of them thought was possible. Unfortunately fate has a way of intervening and weaving their lives together in a shocking way which leaves them to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand this secret.

Sparks brings his characters to life with his rich descriptives and fluid story telling. We see how one small thing can irrevocably change the course of our lives. It's up to us as to whether we will be stronger from life's tragedies or if it will consume us.

Sparks takes the approach of writing from various different viewpoints, which helps the reader get a bigger grasp on each character's lives and the tragedies that they are dealing with individually. We even get a glimpse into the conscious mind of the person who caused the accident and with this we are able to sympathise with them. This story is a good example of how quick we are to judge others, based on just circumstantial evidence, without knowing the whole story. We need to remember that everyone else is dealing with things in their own world, and what we see on the outside isn't the whole truth. We shouldn't jump to conclusions. Sometimes we get so caught up in one thing that we fail to see what else is going on around us. For example, Miles is so caught up in his tragedy of losing his wife and trying to figure out what happened, that he fails to realize that he is distancing himself from his son as well, at a time where he needs him the most. Sometimes the hardest things to do is to let things go.

Sparks makes us really consider our own morality and what is right and wrong, not only in the law but in our own beliefs. Is forgiveness something we are able to give? Can we really let go of something that's been our driving force for two years? And is love strong enough to withstand even the greatest of obstacles? We are forced to look inside ourselves at our own values and upbringings and evaluate what we would do had we been forced into that situation.

A Bend in the Road is a great story that allows us to look deeper within our own lives from the comfort of our homes and to reflect and be thankful for all that we have.






Thursday, 30 April 2015

COVER REVEAL - EVO


I am very excited to be able to do another cover reveal for the talented author, L.J. Sealey!
Evo is a tie-in novel to the Divine Hunter series of books. It should be read after book 2, Dark Deliverance, and before book 3, yet to be released. But if you have yet to read the Divine Hunter series books, Awaken and Dark Deliverance, don't let that stop you from reading Evo. It can be read as a stand-alone book as well. I have read both Awaken and Dark Deliverance and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Evo is a character in both books and when I heard that L.J. Sealey was working on a book featuring him as the main character, I was very excited! I can't wait to pick up a copy and read it!

Here is a little bit about the book, Evo...

The hunter just became the hunted. . . 

Evan O'Reilly was used to fighting demons. A bounty hunter for the underworld, he was always precise. Efficient. Ruthless. But that was before he had to battle with his own.

Being a powerful deity had its advantages, and Alethia, goddess of wind and shadows, was thankful she could watch over her friend completely undetected. That was, until his carelessness began to garner the wrong kind of attention, leaving her no choice but to step in.

Now, Evo is being hunted by his own kind, closely followed by a revenge hungry demon. He is on the run, and Alethia is running with him. While passion ignites, and tension threatens to tear them apart, they discover that there is something far more sinister after Evo's soul. As Alethia fights for him, she is forced to face an agonizing truth: to save him, she may have to lose him forever.

A story about love and sacrifice, Evo is the first book in the Divine Hunter World series of books that focus on the much loved characters from the Divine Hunter series.


Goodreads link : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23698854-evo

And here it is! The long anticipated cover for Evo!





This cover is spectacular! I am a very visual read, in that when I am looking for a new book, the first thing that draws me to one in particular is usually the cover. I can honestly say that if I were to see this cover in the store I would be drawn to it and it would be next on my list of books to read.

Teaser:

 
 
Other books in the Divine Hunter series:
 
• Awaken (Divine Hunter #1) is currently FREE on eBook
• Dark Deliverance (Divine Hunter #2)
 


Both books are available on eBook and paperback.

Author Bio:
 
 

 
L.J. Sealey was born and raised in a little Welsh town by the sea. It rains a lot, so she often has a great excuse to sit at her writing desk and while away the hours at her laptop.
She still lives in N.Wales and when she’s not travelling around the country working with her husband – who is a professional singer – or singing backup vocals herself, she likes to read and watch her favourite TV shows which normally includes plenty of CSI, The Vampire Diaries and endless amounts of sitcoms. Being addicted to reading about vampires, demons, shifters and angels, she has always had a thing for all things paranormal and is a big sucker for impossible love stories. So it was inevitable that when she started writing herself she would mix the two together.
 
 Stalker Links:



Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sarah’s Review of The Mortal Instruments Book Six City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


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City of Heavenly Fire is the last book in the series The Mortal Instruments and this last installment did not disappoint! The concluding novel was amazing and written superbly. It should be said, that in order to fully understand the book you need to read the others. In short, Clary and her friends, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle are Shadowhunters, they help to guard the world from demons by fighting them and sending them back to their world. This world where Shadowhunters are needed to fight demons also inhabits vampires, werewolves, warlocks, even faeries or the fair folk.

In City of HeavenlyFire, Clary and her Shadowhunter friends are faced with the biggest challenge they have faced so far. They are challenging Clary’s brother, Sebastian Morgenstern, who has managed to turn Shadowhunters against one another with the Infernal Cup. He has turned them from brave, demon hunting Nephilim to almost robotic like beings that have no resemblance to their former selves. They are called the Endarkened and the Shadowhunters are faced with fighting these Endarkened who were once one of them, which leads to some very hard feelings. Sebastian begins by attacking different institutes, turning more and more Nephilim into Endarkened, growing his dark army ever bigger and tearing families apart. With the institutes being attacked, the rest of the Shadowhunters run to Idris, which should keep all demons away, but it can’t even keep out Sebastian. It seems as though every Shadowhunter is locked away in Alicante, which means that nobody is out there guarding the rest of the world from demons.

Clary, Jace, Alec and Isabelle find out about a huge betrayal amongst some of their so called allies and decide to take the fight against Sebastian and the Endarkened into their own hands, even if it means entering the demon-realm, Hell, without knowing if they will ever return.

I want to start off by saying that I found it a little bit difficult to get wrapped up into Part One of the book. There wasn’t much action and it was a lot of building up for new characters (which will be a new series) and working the way to the climax of the book, which inevitably was found in Part Two. But as soon as I began the second part, I could hardly put the book down. The action and the writing just draws you in and leaves you wanting more.

So many themes are found running around in this book. While the biggest them of course is about good and evil, Heaven and Hell, angels and demons, you find that almost everywhere you look there is also love. One thing made clear through the book is that it is so important to be honest and open with the ones you love and to trust them. I found this final book to wrap up the series beautifully.

This book will leave you with so many emotions. Some will make you happy, some will make you sad, angry, mournful, ecstatic, etc. But that is what a true writer does. She can take the pen and create her words to take you into a world like you’ve never known before and yet feel as though you’ve always been there right beside the characters. Her writing also shows through her characters that some memories and experiences are so important that nothing and nobody can take them away from us. Even if they are blocked from our conscious mind they are still there subconsciously, molding the person we are. The past makes us who we are and we should not hide from it, even if we are not fully proud of where we came from or some of the decisions we have made. Every experience we have helps to make us into the person we are today.

The characters are so relatable, even some of the eccentric ones. I think at some level we can see bits and pieces of ourselves somewhere in the Shadowhunter world or within their friends and allies. I love how the author makes each character so different. They are all so unique and it’s that uniqueness that makes them work so well together. This book dives even deeper into the lives of the Shadowhunters and friends and we feel like we really know who they are inside and out.

The ending to the series has everything you’d ever want in a Shadowhunter book and then some. As the big battle gears up we inevitably expect to read about loss, but being invested in so many main characters makes you nervous. Not to worry though. I won’t give any spoilers, but each person’s story concludes in a pretty spectacular way, some leaving you wondering what could happen next in their lives. I’m sure the new series will touch upon their stories as well, at least I’d hope they bring in some of these characters.

If you have read the other books in The Mortal Instruments series, then I’m going to say that you definitely need to read this last and final book. The outcome is amazing and even though some parts make you think you know how it’s going to end, you are never sure until it happens and then it isn’t what you’d expect. I was surprised at how everything came to end, but it was fascinating.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sarah’s Review of The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks


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I loved this book! The Best of Me is, as sad as I am to say it, the very first Nicholas Sparks book I have ever read. Why? I have no idea, because he is an amazing author. His writing style is impeccable and just draws you in. With that being said, I will be reading more Nicholas Sparks books in the future.

The Best of Me is a story about two high school sweethearts, Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole, who, despite all odds against them and coming from two entirely different worlds, fell in love in high school. They came from a small town in North Carolina, Oriental. After their senior year of high school, just as they are getting ready for what the future has in store, they are torn apart and set off on two very different roads. The story goes back and forth between their love in high school to the present, twenty five years later, when they are both brought back to Oriental for a funeral of a mutual friend, Tuck. Both Amanda and Dawson have lived their lives, but not in the way they thought they would, and they both can remember how passionate their love was for one another. While in Oriental, they are forced together and pushed to face their memories while uncovering truths about themselves.

This is a story about young love, and how, even though years can pass, feelings sometimes do not go away. The theme of right and wrong and morals is strong throughout the book, and it leaves you wondering which decision you would essentially want Amanda to choose. I was torn myself, as a reader. You see the love that her and Dawson have for each other and really wish for them to have that love and happiness in their lives. Yet, you are also aware of the new life she has had with her husband and her children. Even though they have their challenges, they are the path that she chose.

As someone who has found and is still with the love of my life, I could not imagine not having that. I can’t imagine not being with the one you love, your best friend, your soul mate, and it really tugs at the heart to know that Amanda and Dawson have had to give all of that up and go their separate ways. You realize that not everyone has a marriage full of love and in that sense, I was hoping for the passion between them to be reunited. Yet I was also very aware of her present life with her children, and didn’t want her to leave what she had forged with Frank. The whole time I was reading this book, I didn’t know which decision I wanted Amanda to make. I can’t even imagine the internal struggle she was faced with. It was very evident how hard it was in her words to Dawson and in her inner monologue.

I loved the way Sparks wrote, linking memories from the past with the present and filling in the blanks by jumping time frames. His characters are so well developed. I felt as though I knew exactly who they were while I was reading, almost as though I had grown up alongside them and had been witness to their love. I love how Tuck has gotten to know the two of them so well and as his dying wish wants them to come to the realization of their true feelings. Yet he is not one to push too hard, he just puts the wheels in motion and allows them to make their own decisions. Tuck was a very smart man.

The ending really ties things together in a way you’d never imagine possible until the last few chapters. The irony of it all is so very sad, yet stunning. Sparks knows just how to wrap things up so you’re not left wondering.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Sarah’s Review of Dark Deliverance by L.J. Sealey


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Dark Deliverance is book #2 in the paranormal romance series Divine Hunter written by L.J. Sealey. At the end of Awaken, Lacy and Michael were forced apart. Lacy believes Michael to be in Hell, but Michael is in Kentucky where he is searching for answers to help his friend, Evo, and hunting demons. He has found a new group of demon hunters whom he calls friends, but despite all of their hard work they aren’t finding out any valuable information. Evo has been sent to Mathrah, and none of the demons that they capture will talk. Since he is coming upon no information, Michael decides that the only thing left for him to do is to once again enter Hell in the hopes of finding and rescuing Evo himself. He hopes that while there he can put an end to Varesh and once again find his way back to Lacy. He has been staying away as he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her.

Lacy is living in Oakland and is trying to once again figure her life out, after having her heart broken, and believing that Michael had been sent to Hell. She has found a new friend in Nina and has just begun her own business. While taking a form of self-defence class with Nina, she meets Paige, who she believes may help her find Michael and reunite them. Unbeknownst to Lacy, Michael does not need saving, and through both of their adventures, they find each other, only to realize that there may be an even bigger threat than they once believed. Now they have to work together to fight the evils that are growing. Michael and his new friends are put to the test, and Michael hopes that he is strong enough to defeat Varesh and the evil he is planning.

In this book, we find out more about both Michael’s past, as well as Lacy’s.

I found Dark Deliverance to have two major story lines, one right after the other, and one major theme I kept seeing was that of friendship. You really see what a real friendship is, and how that love will force you to go to great depths to help each other out. I think we all need at least one friend like that in our lives, to see us through everything and love us unconditionally.

Right at the end of the book, Sealey throws out another curve ball to hook you into her next book, not to mention the epilogue! Both the ending and the epilogue pull you in and I can’t wait until the next one is out!

One point to mention is that this book does contain mature content, it is recommended for 17+.

LOVE UNCOVERED IS LIVE!

  The second standalone book in the Babes of Brighton series is out now and available to read for FREE via Kindle Unlimited -  myBook....