Monday, 31 March 2014

Book review: Divergent - Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)

               



The Blurb.
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.




My opinion.
Where to start... I absolutely loved this book. Instant fangirl. Veronica Roth created an amazingly intriguing world. Together with the main character Tris, she takes you on a journey through her city, its inhabitants, customs and history. When we meet Tris, she's on the verge of making the most important decision of her life: will she stay with her family, or will she choose another faction... another way of life and another group of people to call "family".

I loved how open minded she was from the start, even though she was raised in what we would call a very "traditional" and sheltered way. She understands how every faction brings something good... and bad, and it makes her a better person and the perfect main character to introduce you to this world.
Four is the one responsible for her training. Closed off and strict as he is to most people, Tris never feared him. I guess she saw through him from the start. He's the typical bad guy who turns out to be sensitive and soft as well... except that there's nothing typical about Four at all. Nothing in their relationship feels rushed and it doesn't take over the story. Four has some definite "book boyfriend" potential ;-)
From the moment you start reading you feel this series is going to be something epic. It's about discovering who you are... about belonging somewhere. Forget about bookmarks, you won't be able to stop reading... and I suggest you buy the book box, 'cause there's no way you can wait to read the rest of Tris' story!



   


Movie books
I read this book as a part of my new reading challenge: "movie books". After reading the book, I went to see the movie. To see how I liked it in comparison (once I've watched it), take a look at my challenge -page here.



Thursday, 27 March 2014

Book Blitz: Rock My World - Julie Shackman + Guestpost

BOOK BLITZ
+ Guestpost
Julie Shackman




Ruby Cameron is an ambitious reporter for a local paper where she is fed scraps of news, and lives with a man whose “idea of living dangerously is to leave the heating on when we pop out to the shops”. But after catching her squeaky clean boyfriend in flagrante delicto she ups sticks and moves into her own small home, only to discover the ghostly presence of a cheeky rock star who becomes her confidant as the dynamics of her small town, and her feelings about her dashing new boss, begin to throw up more questions than she can answer. Will Ruby discover who she really is, and perhaps more importantly, who she wants to be? 

 


About Julie. I trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of mine. When I’ve not got my head in a book or drafting one, I write verses and captions for greetings card companies. Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me – I usually require coffee, music and noise.
“Rock My World”  is my first contemporary romance novel . I have just finished writing my second novel and am polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for my third. These are also contemporary romances with a good dose of humour (hopefully!). I’m married, have two sons and live in Scotland.

Find Julie on Twitter, Facebook and her blog!

Thank You! By Julie Shackman

Having someone turn round and say to you “I loved your book. I couldn’t stop reading” is an
indescribable feeling.
As a debut writer, I don’t think anything can prepare you for the rush of delight when this is said to you.
All the hard work, compromise and effort of writing your novel are re-paid instantly.
The realisation someone has picked up your novel; they have chosen to read your work. And most importantly, they have enjoyed reading it!
When I was writing my debut contemp romance “Rock My World”, I hoped that readers would enjoyit every bit as much as I did writing it.
In fact, as well as a sense of accomplishment when writing those two special words “The End”, I also felt somewhat sad.
I suppose it felt a bit like saying goodbye to an old friend.
To have readers contact you to say how much they enjoyed your book, is something to be treasured.
To hear how your characters, which’ve come straight from your imagination, touched them or made them laugh, cry or nod in sympathy, is priceless.

My dream is to write more contempt romance novels, that people will feel they can lose themselves in.

That, for me. is what it’s all about.


Julie Shackman
March 2014.


Thank you Julie, it was a pleasure welcoming you to M's Bookshelf today!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Book Tour: If You Only Knew - Zanna Mackenzie


Crooked Cat Publishing

Is the past about to destroy the future for Faith when she discovers her new boyfriend and her first love are in business together?

Would you have the courage to feel the fear and fall in love anyway...?

Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she has been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.

Then Zane and Matt arrive on the scene as the new owners of the Carrdale Adventure Sports Centre.

Dating Zane, she soon discovers he’s not the Mr Perfect she thought he was; and why is he so reluctant to talk about his past?

As for Matt – well, to Faith he isn’t Matt at all because he was a completely different person when he broke her heart all those years ago.

With her new boyfriend and her first love running Carrdale as business partners – Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets – Faith struggles to keep the peace between them whilst trying to figure out how she feels about the two men in her life…


My opinion
What an incredibly sweet love story! I really, really enjoyed reading If You Only Knew. The outdoor adventure sports center was an original backdrop for a 'classic' love story about trust and forgiveness. I really liked how Zanna took her time with it. Nothing felt rushed and the way Zane and Faith's relationship evolved felt very natural. There were times I felt very frustrated with her about letting Matt in her life again, but I guess she was more mature about it than I was, and she really did know what she was doing.
Faith was perfect as a main character. Kind, sweet, loving, hard working,... and I was really impressed with her patience and how she seemed to know exactly what it was Zane needed from her. It was also nice reading some parts of the story from his point of view: although he stayed a mystery until the very end, you could relate to him just enough to like... and love him.
Really enjoyable read - I will be on the look out for more of Zanna's work!



  

About the author.
Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.
Find out more about Zanna on her blog www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk, on Twitter via @ZannaMacKenzie or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

Connect with Zanna

Excerpt
This couldn’t be happening.
Zane had said his business partner was called Matt. She was sure of it. Yes, he’d definitely just introduced him as Matt. But the man standing before her wasn’t Matt.
It was Aaron.
Faith wiped her hands on a tea–towel. She wanted to speak, but couldn’t get her brain into gear enough to make her mouth form the words.
She’d thought Aaron was gone from her life.
It looked as though she was wrong.
She took a step back, wrapping her arms around herself. Suddenly she felt cold and shaky. Aaron was back? This was impossible.
Yet here he was, standing in her kitchen. She felt dizzy and light-headed.
How should she react? Should she admit they knew each other? Why had Aaron changed his name to Matt anyway? Would he prefer it if the fact they knew each other was kept quiet?
But she knew she couldn’t keep something like that from Zane.
As she debated what to say and do next, the room remained awkwardly silent. Zane was looking at her questioningly.
What should she say?
Come on, think, woman. Think.
Too late. Aaron spoke first.
“Faith, it’s amazing to see you again after all these years.”
OK. So he didn’t want to keep it a secret that they already knew each other.
“Aaron,” she managed to say. “This is a bit of a shock.”
“That’s an understatement,” Matt said, stepping forward to pull her into a hug.
“Hang on a second,” Zane said, pushing into the room. “Aaron? That’s your proper name isn’t it?” He raised enquiring eyebrows at Matt. “What’s going on? You two already know each other?”


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Book Blitz: Kept - Elle Field + GIVEAWAY

BOOK BLITZ

'Did she really just say that? I am fifteen again, except the reality is I am experiencing full parental horror, aged twenty-five. I want to die.'

Life hasn't quite worked out how Arielle Lockley imagined it would. Becoming the next Coco Chanel was always her childhood dream, but she's spent the past four years living a dizzying whirl of glitzy parties, luxurious holidays and daily shopping sprees - all paid for by boyfriend Piers - and not doing anything to make her Coco dreams happen.

When the recession hits, it's not just the economy that takes a tumble and Arielle finds herself living back with her parents, on bad terms with Piers, and having a CV that's as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. And maybe it's the location, but she's also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart are popping into her head...

What's a girl to do? Can Arielle figure out what it is she now wants to do with her life and move on, or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life dwelling over her worst mistakes, stuck listening to her parents' embarrassing dinner table talk each night? 


"Quirky, original chick lit with brilliant characters and a fab heroine. I really enjoyed the author's writing style and loved that the story didn't end up going where I was expecting... Highly recommend this and looking forward to reading more from Ms Field. "
~ Shalini Boland, Author


"Kept is a brilliant debut novel from Elle Field... Kept will appeal to readers of chick-lit and I felt that it had a similar feel to some of Marian Keyes' early books. I think that Elle Field is one to watch out for and I would definitely read her next book."
~ Dot Scribbles, Book blogger

OUT NOW!

 

Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in London. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty's capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London's culinary delights.

 To find out more about Elle, please read her blog; follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook!

Elle Field’s fab and quirky debut novel Kept, published last April, made it to #1 in the Amazon.com Best Sellers (free) chart this week, as well as #1 in the Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction, Romance and Humorous Fiction categories . It also reached #5 in the Canadian Best Sellers chart and #13 in Australia.
This was the last time Kept will ever be free on Amazon but, to celebrate the huge demand, Kept will now be available for the next five days at the bargain price of 99p/99 cents for all those who didn’t get their free download. With an average rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon.co.uk, you need to read this book!
As a thank you to all those who help to spread the word about this, make sure you enter yourself into Elle’s giveaway  for your chance to win one of six Amazon vouchers or a signed copy of one of Elle’s books.  


Kept’s sequel - Lost - will be out in summer 2014, but if you fancy reading another fabulous novel by Elle Field before then, Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not is available worldwide on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check out Elle's novel Geli Voyante's HOT or NOT


  

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Book Tour: Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn - Tilly Tennant - GUESTPOST


There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.


The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right? She’s safe inside her fantasy bubble.


Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …

My  review here.


Today I have the pleasure to welcome the wonderful Tilly Tennant to M's Bookshelf.
She's here to talk about how it all began... 

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn – how did Holden begin?

One question most people have asked me since Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was released is where the idea came from.  Shamefully, it’s probably true to say that Bonnie is not that different from me.  My friends affectionately refer to my ‘crush list’ a sort of Top of the Pops style countdown of my favourite celebs/actors/musicians.  My friends can usually tell within seconds of seeing a man on the screen whether he will make it on there, which is quite telling about how well they know my taste (or how predictable I am). Some entries stay, a constant feature of the list, some move up or down or disappear completely according to vague whims.  Bonnie’s, from Hopelessly, however, is one constant fixation so I suppose that makes her far more loyal than me. 

In view of all this, you could say that the idea for Hopelessly has been rolling around in my subconscious for some time, even though I’d never thought to write about it.  It wasn’t until I heard the One Direction song ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ that it hit me smack in the face.  Girls all over the world long to hear their favourite band member utter those words directly to them. What if you were one of them?  Fair enough, but what if you were not only one of them, but were really now too old to be one of them? What if you had this crazy, slightly inappropriate crush when you were in your thirties with children and responsibilities that demanded your time unlike your average teenager who could daydream to their hearts content? What if, despite all this, you really couldn’t stop thinking about your crush? What if the rest of your life was so disappointing that it was all you had to keep you going?

That’s what Bonnie finds in Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn.  She makes up for the loneliness and betrayal that the men in her life so far have brought her by focusing all her energies on one unattainable man, safe in the knowledge that if she can never have him, he can never hurt her like all the others have. She doesn’t count on fate stepping in and presenting her with the unlikely scenario that she does get to meet him.  Not only that, but she makes quite an impact on Holden, so much so that he wants to meet her again.  Everything she believes about life and relationships in the real world, the one that she knows, is about to be called into question with some unexpected consequences. 

Sometimes, it’s true that you should be very, very careful what you wish for…

Get in touch with Tilly:
via her WebsiteTwitterGoodreads and Facebook

Enter my BDay giveaway to WIN 
a copy of Hopelessly Devoted To Holden Finn!


Big thank you to Tilly,
and to the amazing Gosling Girls!
 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

M's BDay Giveaway!!

You've been invited
t
o M's 22nd BDay party!


Welcome to my party!
On 26 March I celebrate my 22nd birthday and I'm so happy I get to do that with all of you!
To make this occasion extra special, I wanted to share some of my favorite books with you,
by giving you a chance to WIN them!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS INTERNATIONAL!

Their will be 1 lucky winner for each bundle. 
All books are e-copies, except the book in BUNDLE #5
Click on the bundle -image for more information about the books!











My favorite BDay memory
For my 5th birthday, my mum and dad gave me a doll. After a very hard elimination process she ended up with the name "Laura". From the moment I unwrapped the box she was in, she was my baby. I didn't care much for the dress she was wearing, so I ended up asking my parents to get all my baby clothes from the attic and dressed her in my own clothes. She also sat in my old high-chair and went everywhere with me (because, what kind of mother leaves her baby at home, right?). Laura has been to Holland, to France,... She's been everywhere. One time we sat in a carousel- car. I was behind the wheel and Laura was in the back seat (duh, safety first!). The guy checking our tickets came by and asked me about my little sister's ticket. I turned around, thinking someone had had the nerve to step into my car. But the only one on the back seat was Laura. The guy mistook her for a real baby! 
Laura is still in my old bedroom. 

Big, big thank you to all the lovely authors who were willing to celebrate my birthday with me by giving away a copy of their book(s). I was (&still am)really overwhelmed by your response and enthusiasm and I cannot thank you enough. You already made this a birthday I'll never forget. So thank you to
Karen-Anne Stewart,
Dustin Stevens,
Hilary Grossman,
Faerl Marie,
Tilly Tennant,
AJ Nuest,
Natalie Herzer, 
Katy Regnery.


Cover reveal: See Jane Fall - Katy Regnery


COVER REVEAL
See Jane Fall


Katy Regnery
When Trend magazine contracts Lindstrom & Sons to manage a fashion shoot in Yellowstone, easygoing Lars Lindstrom rolls his eyes at the assignment. “Babysitting” supermodel Samara Amaya’s assistant for a week sounds like a snore, even amidst the park's lush wildlife and scenery. Little does he know that spending time with Jane Mays, Samara’s down-to-earth, smart-mouthed assistant and cousin, will be the most exciting week he's ever spent. Her smoky voice and surprisingly sweet heart are everything he never knew he wanted.

Jane has been hurt before, but this time her handsome tour guide seems a perfect match. From loving the same music to some effortlessly sexy sparring, Lars "gets" her, and Jane can't seem to keep herself from falling for him...until Samara blows into town. Used to living in Samara's shadow, Jane knows that Lars will be nothing more than a notch in a bedpost if the spoiled supermodel has her way. In the past, maybe she would have stepped aside. This time, Jane'll find the strength to stand up to her cousin once and for all…and trust that Lars will be there to catch her if she falls. 

I'm a big Katy Regnery fan! To learn more about her and her other books,
check out my previous reviews and posts here!

Find Katy on her websiteTwitterFacebook and Goodreads

Katy is also currently taking part in my BDay Giveaway!
For a chance to WIN her fabulous books, click on the banner below:


Excerpt from "See Jane Fall," Heart of Montana #3 by Katy Regnery:

“You know you’re cute, right, Jane?” Lars asked.
“You don’t have to say that.”
“I wouldn’t if it wasn’t true.”
“All part of the service.”
“Nope, that’s my personal opinion.”
Jane had had just about enough. “You don’t have to do that.” An edge crept into her tone.
He pulled over to the side of the road, put the car in park and cut the engine, looking at her. “I don’t have to do what?”
“You don’t need to butter me up. You don’t need to flatter me. I’m the assistant. Let me school you here, Professor… I’m the girl that’s the friend, Lars. I’m the girl you talk to about the girl you’re going out with on Friday night. I’m the girl who tells you which restaurant to take her to, and what kind of wine she hopes you’ll order. I’ll even come over beforehand and help you pick out what shirt to wear, and if you forget your wallet while you’re out with her, I’ll jimmy your bedroom window open, find it in the pants you wore yesterday and drive it over to the restaurant. And when I hand it to you, she’ll look at me like I’m nothing…and--”
“Jane.”
“What?”
“Stop talking.” In an instant he had unsnapped his seatbelt, unsnapped hers, slipped one arm around her waist and pulled her across the seat next to him.
He placed his hands on either side of her face and before she could completely get her head around what was about to happen, she felt his lips brush gently, but firmly, across hers.
Her eyes closed, tearing up from the unexpected sweetness of his reassurance, and as her lips opened in surprise, she kissed him back. His fingers played with her curls, tilting her face exactly how he wanted it, moving his lips with more urgency.
            She lowered her hands to rest her knuckles on his thighs, and he moved his hands from her face down her arms to her hips where she felt his fingers curl into fists along the waistband of her jeans as the kiss deepened, as he slipped his tongue into her mouth and pulled her closer to him. His tongue plunged deeper, satiny and stroking, making her dizzy from the contact, her breathing fast and fierce as her palms pushed down on this iron muscles of his thighs.
Her heart pounded, her head was spinning, her insides a swirling mess of longing and warning, feuding in the overwhelmed territory between her head and her heart. She felt his fingers graze the skin of her waist under her shirt, which made goose bumps rise all over her body, and somehow prompted her back to reality.
“Wait.” Jane drew back, panting. She didn’t dare look into his eyes, staring at her hands on his leg instead, listening to the sound of her breathing, which was amplified in her ears, heavy and ragged.
She unfurled her fingers and reached up to touch the tender, hot skin of her lips with a tentative caress, finally looking up at Lars. He was watching her, searching her face with a frank, unapologetic, unwavering gaze. She read it quickly; Hungry for more, but happy with what he’d just gotten.