Friday, 28 February 2014

February Recap

Read:






Favourite Reads:




Reviews:

http://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-deeper-caroline-west-1-by-robin.htmlhttp://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-impostor-variants-1-by-susanne.htmlhttp://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-such-sweet-sorrow-by-jenny-trout.html

http://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-doctor-who-into-nowhere-time.htmlhttp://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-me-since-you-by-laura-wiess.html

http://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-waking-engine-by-david-edison.htmlhttp://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-contributor-contributor-1-by.htmlhttp://jesswatkinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/review-vengeance-fracture-2-by-megan.html


Book Blitz + Giveaway - Riding Desire: Alpha Bad Boy Biker Boxed Set






*14 Romance Books, 14 Bestselling Authors, 1 Fierce Savings*

1200 pages/ 435000 words

Helmet required: intended for readers 18+

Hop on for the ride of your life in this NEW exclusive limited edition box set of 14 never before published books from the industry's hottest authors in contemporary romance.

Whether you crave alpha heroes, possessively wicked boyfriends, sexy inked rock stars, or passionately naughty lovers, Riding Desire will fulfill your bad boy biker fantasies like no other boxed set you've ever read.

Priced at only 99 cents, this is your chance to enjoy books from today's New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors.  

Get Riding Desire now before it's gone.




***

About the stories:

This accountant is about to learn that one rough biker plus three of his friends equals a HOT RIDE she'll never forget. By Opal Carew.

One sexy rookie cop. One seductive outlaw biker. One unforgettable one-night stand. Sarah Castille's sexually explosive BURNOUT is a hot and wild ride you won't want to miss!

What happens when a reporter looking for a story is thrown inside an outlaw motorcycle club on the verge of war? Drama, action, and lots of hot sex! SAVAGE HEART by Sara Fawkes

Combine one sassy biker chick with one badass Australian rocker for a full throttle ride in ONE WILD RIDE by Lauren Hawkeye, part of the New York Times bestselling Three Little Words series.

When Aubrey Rhodes comes face to face with the mysterious bad boy Caleb West, nothing can prepare her for the wildest ride of her life in FULL THROTTLE by Adriana Hunter.

In HEART RACER, the first of Marian Tee's new biker series, notorious underground moto racer Leandro Christopoulos needs to convince snarky philanthropist Roberta "Bobby" Granger he's in love with her...even if he's not.

Mari Carr's latest romance, CRASH POINT, proves nothing could be hotter than a former bad boy biker looking to make good, the sexy photographer he loved and left and those sultry New Orleans nights.

Who doesn't love a little rumblin' between the thighs? Join Tessa Savage on a wicked ride of corruption and seduction in HOW TO DEBAUCH A BIKER, the latest in the Savage Series by Daire St. Denis.

Listen up, adrenaline junkies: your pulse will roar as if you're street bike racing when you meet gorgeous speed junkie Sawyer Tremaine in FAST AND MINE by Sharon Page.

Delilah is caught between an old crush and a new attraction...she's in for one wild ride. R.G. Alexander's ménage romance DIRTY DELILAH is guaranteed to rev you up!

If you love snarky socialites and dominating NYPD motor cops than get ready to laugh your ass off with LOVE, LEX by Avery Aster.

Romance, redemption and chrome-plated sizzle! Nothing can bring this Dominant rock star to his knees like the ex-wife he's never been able to forget in Eden Bradley's OBSESSION!

When a birthday girl's plans go up in dust along with her broken down car and lying jerk of a boyfriend, there's only one hot mechanic who knows how to make it all better in Roni Loren's NICE GIRLS DON'T RIDE.

Rev up the heat and take a ride on the wild side with Rio's sexiest off-road motorcyclist in CONQUISTA by Suzanne Rock.











Blitz-wide giveaway

Open internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog giveaway

Open internationally
 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review - And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard



Title: And We Stay
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Pages: 240
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: 28th January 2014

Blurb from Goodreads:

Sent to an Amherst, Massachusetts, boarding school after her ex-boyfriend shoots himself, seventeen-year-old Emily expresses herself through poetry as she relives their relationship, copes with her guilt, and begins to heal.





My Review:

*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random House Childrens' and Jenny Hubbard*


 3/5 stars



And We Stay tells the story of Emily Beam, a seventeen-year-old who is sent to a boarding school, and follows Emily as she tries to overcome the event that sent her there - her ex-boyfriend's suicide.

This was a well written story and I liked that Emily's poems were included at the end of each chapter. 
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Emily - there were times when I liked her and times when I didn't.
I did feel sorry for her though because of what she'd been through.

Overall this was a good read that I enjoyed.
 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway - After the Curtain Falls by Ainsley Shay




After the Curtain Falls by Ainsley Shay
Publication date: January 31st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Erik never had to be anything other than a freak…until now.

Two hundred fifty-three days is a long time to fake being normal when night after night you perform miraculous feats on stage in a freak show. Thousands have paid to witness the miracle, suspecting nothing more than a hoax. But it is very real and it is slowly destroying him. Erik is weakened to the point where he’ll stop performing and start going to school for the first time ever—in his senior year. His only goal is to rebuild his strength so he can return to the stage and perform doing what he loves most in this world. What he didn’t plan for was the appearances of beautiful Addison and mysterious Naya. Now, unfamiliar feelings and bizarre new friendships threaten to unbalance Erik’s future as a miracle-performing freak.




Purchase (book is on sale for 0.99c during the blitz!):



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AUTHOR BIO


 Ainsley Shay avoids insanity by living mostly in the fiction world. She believes surrounding herself with positive people, and strives for balance in everything. She owns more jeans with rips and holes than without; and has recently found the magic of patches. For her, reading or writing the perfect sentence is better than the smoothest piece of dark chocolate melting in her mouth. She is a deltiologist for pure enjoyment, not for the study of. She longs to move north one day, even though she hates the cold. (Go figure!) So, for now, she continues to live in warm south Florida with her incredible husband, three beautiful daughters, and two lazy cats. (We won’t mention the dog.)


Author Links:






Teaser:

   The moment is perfect to lean in and kiss her. And I badly want to put my hand on her cheek and bring my lips to hers.

     Addison looks at her wrist, my fingers still there. “I should go,” she says shattering my thoughts.

     I slide my hand from her wrist, along her palm, lingering on her fingertips with my own. Looking up into her eyes, I ask, Are you sure you want to?”
     She meets my eyes. “No.” Her voice whispers the simple word I was hoping she would say. “But they’re expecting me down there.” My stomach aches when she starts to get up. “Thanks for catching me when I fell.” She brushes the sand off her dress and walks through the wheat grass toward the shore.
 



Open internationally
 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Review - Contributor (Contributor, #1) by Nicole Ciacchella




Title: Contributor (Contributor, #1)
Author: Nicole Ciacchella
Pages: 233
Publisher: Sweenix Rising Books
Release date: This edition - 2nd January 2014

Blurb from Goodreads:

When the Great Famine threatened the existence of mankind, the Creators saved humanity. Humanity has been their loyal subject ever since.
This history has been ingrained in seventeen-year-old Dara Morrow since her first day of Creator-sponsored school. Grateful for the life-giving necessities her Creator provides, Dara is thrilled to be one of three students chosen for an elite, year-long apprenticeship program. Now is her chance to prove herself a devoted Contributor.

But Dara’s competition is ruthless and will stop at nothing to win the competition. Worse yet, her exacting master has little patience for her.

Then Dara’s mother is seriously injured, and Dara realizes the price of being a Contributor: once you’ve outlived your usefulness, you’re discarded. Can Dara learn to manipulate the system to save not only herself, but everyone she loves?





My Review:

*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. Thanks to Patchwork Press and Nicole Ciacchella*


3/5 stars


Dara Morrow lives in a world where people live in domes that are each controlled by a Creator.
Dara is one of three students selected for an exclusive apprenticeship and she must prove herself to be the best for the chance to be assistant to the Head Engineer.
In a world where being a good Contributor means everything, Dara learns that things in her dome aren't as she thought they were and that maybe there's more to life than being a Contributor.

I found Contributor to be a unique and enjoyable dystopian read with likeable characters and a plot that, although was slightly predictable in places, held my attention.
   

Book Blitz + Giveaway - Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison




Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…





Purchase:


B&N


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AUTHOR BIO

 
I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I'm not writing, I'm usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he's eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog, find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page, and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores!





Describe Of Sea and Stone in six words.
 
Atlantis, steampunk, sunlight, seawater, secrets, romance.

What books have you read and loved lately?
I am almost finished with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and it’s an absolute delight. Witty, immersive, and utterly compelling fantasy that reminds me very much of my beloved Megan Whalen Turner books. 



Ice cream or cake? 

Ice cream cake, of course! It’s the best of both worlds. 



What authors have influenced your writing style the most? 

I grew up on a pretty steady diet of mystery, actually, so I feel like classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie had a strong influence on me. When I was a teenager, I started reading fantasy by authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Sherwood Smith. The Blue Sword, Ella Enchanted, Crown Duel...I loved those books. I also had a huge love of historical fiction, so Ann Rinaldi, Elizabeth George Speare, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw influenced me a lot as well. As far as more recently-written books that I didn’t grow up reading, I continue to be an awe of fantasy authors Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, etc.) and Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock), dystopian author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), and contemporary young adult authors Lucy Christopher (Stolen) and John Green (A Fault in Our Stars). 



If you had to pick a shoe that represented your writing style, what would it be? 

Have you seen those canvas shoes where an artist has drawn original artwork on the front and sides and is selling them online? I think my books are like that—in some ways they feel familiar, but they have their own surprises and twists that make them unique.

Who has been the most supportive person in your writing career?
My husband. About two years into trying to get published, I was ready to give up on my stories and get a job doing something tremendously ill-suited for me, like being a secretary (I am a very bad secretary. Very disorganized). He convinced me to give it more time, and he is probably the sole reason I am published today. He is my first reader, my strongest encourager, and my most reliable critic. 



Are you working on anything else currently? 

Yes! I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Secrets of Itlantis series, and I’m also working on a few secret projects on the side—one is a more traditional fantasy, another is a post-apocalyptic novel. I hope to have more details about them for my readers very soon.




Excerpt:

The sea sang to itself in the music of blue water and salt and gulls’ cries as I sat above it, crouched atop the column-like Looking Rock with a spear clenched in my hand and words of frustration crawling on my tongue. The water below lapped at the edges of the rock, foaming over the pebbled shore that ringed the rock, and the foam hid the fish I was trying to catch.
I bent over the water and stabbed the spear into the foaming waves. When I withdrew it from the pool, a fish wriggled on the end, and I smiled with a quick jerk of my lips. I had always been good with a spear, somewhat inexplicably according to Nealla.
I tossed the fish into my sack and moved to the other side of the Looking Rock, where the tide pools were often filled with exotic things washed in from the sea. It was a secret place, and few knew to look here. I came often whenever I had a moment of freedom from my duties, for if I could catch enough things of value, I could sell them in the marketplace and add coin to the stash I kept hidden away, the stash that would one day buy my freedom.
The first tide pools were disappointingly empty except for a few anemone and starfish clinging to the sides of the rocks, and a yellow fish darting away from my face as I peered down.
I moved on. Three more pools, empty. But luck had not abandoned me. At the final pool I stopped, transfixed by the creature I saw beneath the surface.
It was eerie and beautiful, with fluttering fins along its throat and back and tail, speckled blue scales, and a mouth full of teeth. It wasn’t a fish or a dolphin or a snake, but something that looked like bits of all three. I had never seen such a creature. It was some monster from the depths, but a small one.
I bent over the rock, sliding my belly forward by inches, peering into the deep glassy green of the pool beneath where the creature swam in small circles, imprisoned until high tide. I didn’t want to use a spear on such a magnificent creature. For this, I needed a net.
I stabbed my spear into the edge of the pool, marking the fish-creature as mine. Then I scrambled to the edge of the Looking Rock. The wind swirled around me, wetting me with a mist of sea spray as I brought my arms forward and dove into the sea below.
Bubbles exploded around me as I swam through the green-blue water. Below, fish wove between a jewel-colored spread of coral. A dark line at the edge of my vision signaled where the shallow waters ended and the deep water began.
No one ever went out into deep water.
I reached the larger rocks that rose from the water like the spearheads of giants and hauled myself onto a sea-carved shelf of white stone. My master’s house was before me, a collection of caves and hollows in the rock. It was a nice house, with a strip of pebbled beach facing west. Beyond the beach, a shallow place for bathing and washing was surrounded by thin white stones that protruded from the water like fingers and broke the force of the waves.
A hole in the rock wall led to the interior. Strings of shells formed a curtain barrier, and they tinkled and clicked in the wind. I shoved them aside and stepped into the cool stone passage leading to the house.
I needed one of my master’s nets. Just to borrow, to catch that fish.
The master’s father sat on a mat beside the fire, muttering to himself. Beside him were nets, the small ones used for hand fishing. He was mending them, his wrinkled hands moving swiftly as he worked over a hole.
“Hello, Old One,” I said, speaking carefully and respectfully. “I need to borrow a net.”
He lifted his head and scrutinized me. I was dripping from the sea. My hair stuck to my neck and forehead. Droplets fell from my fingers.
He reached for one of the nets and lifted it toward me, but pulled it back before I could take it.
“Don’t go in the deep places,” he said, and his voice creaked. “The Sea People are in the deep places.”
“Yes, Old One,” I said, leaning forward to reach the net.
The master’s father was crazy, but gentle. Sometimes he liked to ramble about fables from his youth, and sometimes I listened, because none of the others did, and I felt sorry for him.
I didn’t have time for it today.
“I saw one of their ships the other night,” he continued, pulling the net farther away and out of reach again. “Came up from the depths, black as a wet stone, bright with lights. They’re watching us.”
“Don’t worry, Old One,” I said. “We’ll keep you safe.”
He harrumphed as if doubtful and handed me the net. “Stay out of the deep places,” he said again.
I snatched the net and hurried outside once more. The wind fanned my face. I stopped at the edge of the water and shaded my eyes against the glaring sun.
Someone else was on the Looking Rock. I saw a figure moving around the pool. Confound that Old One and his stories! I splashed into the water, my heart pounding as I swam hard, kicking my legs. I reached the rock and hauled myself up, hair dripping, leaving wet footprints as I ran to the tide pools. A young man stood at the edge of the pool, his feet hanging in the water, his arms braced behind him and his face tipped toward the sun. He was lounging, waiting for me, stretched out as if to show off his physical perfections and the gold bracelets on his arms and ankles. That handsome, arrogant face, smirking mouth, and long, dark lashes that contrasted with his pale, wavy hair—I’d know him anywhere.
Nol.
I looked past him into the water and stopped in horror.
The creature was gone.
My bag of sad little fish lay at the edge of the rock, looking deflated in the sunlight. My spear lay beside it.
Fury built up at the back of my neck and swept through my throat to take hold of my tongue. Anger licked at my bones.
“You stole my catch.”
Nol opened one eye and looked at me. “What are you talking about? Your bag of fish is right there. I didn’t touch it.”
“No. The creature in the pool—it was my catch. I found it first, as was clearly demonstrated by my spear marking the pool. You took it! Where did you put it?” I was furious, devastated.
Nol straightened and blinked at me. His smile was slow and smooth, like butter being spread across bread.
“It wasn’t your fish,” he said. “It wasn’t in your net, so you had no claim.”
“I marked it with my spear—”
“You aren’t a fisherman, thrall-girl. The rules of the village don’t apply to the likes of you. You have no identifying marker that deserves to be honored, and that thing you call a spear is simply a piece of garbage with a point at one end. It could have washed into the pool on its own, for all I know.”
I wanted to strangle him. My anger was hot and fierce, and it made my legs tremble. But he was the mayor’s second son, and he could do as he liked. Instead, I bit my tongue and turned away.
I’d lost this round, but I would not lose to Nol again.





Blitz-wide giveaway
Open internationally
  

Sunday, 23 February 2014

My Week in Books (17th-23rd February)

Read:

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1) by Josephine Angelini


4/5 stars



Vengeance (Fracture, #2) by Megan Miranda


3.5/5 stars

Read my review here.





She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
 

3/5 stars



The Waking Engine by David Edison


DNF

1/5 stars

Read my review here.





Fractured (Slated, #2) by Teri Terry


3/5 stars



Kindle Freebie:

Forever & Always by Jasinda Wilder





Won:



I won a signed copy of both of these books (which I adore) as well as an ARC of Valkyrie, the third book of the series, once it is finished as well as a manuscript critique of up to 60k words.
A massive thank you to Lindsay Leggett!




For Review:



Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)




Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Itching For Books




Thanks to 47 North



Currently Reading:

Contributor (Contributor, #1) by Nicole Ciacchella



All pics from Goodreads.

Hope you guys had a great week!