Tuesday 29 June 2010

Start Your Day With Serial: The 13 to Life Blog Tour

Welcome to Shannon Delany's Start Your Day with Serial Tour! Shannon's debut novel (and first in her YA paranormal series) 13 to Life started as a winning cell phone novel written in serial segments. During the tour you can read bits of the book in order. Miss a day? Hop to Shannon's blog http://13toLife.us/blog and check the link to the blog tour calendar in her sidebar.

There will also be a contest that will close at the end of the tour. Winners get a bunch of stuff!
What's 13 to Life about?

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to sho w a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

Read a snippet from the book! Check out other snippets on http://13tolife.us/blog!

13 to Life: Chapter 4, part I (used with the author’s permission)

Pietr’s foot began to tap softly. He glanced at Mr. Miles, then at the clock, then at his notes. Then the clock, his notes and Mr. Miles.
Mr. Miles told us how, as Hitler sent extermination squads out after the remaining gypsies and Jews, his troops balked at the idea of entering one forest. It was reportedly haunted and the S.S. was superstitious. But Hitler didn’t grasp the meaning of no and made them go in.
Shannon's debut novel, 13 to Life, launched exactly 1 week ago today. If you haven't had a chance to read it, Shannon says it's available at almost every bookseller (both online and in person) and she encourages you to spend your money with a company whose policies you respect. Find out more about Shannon and her YA paranormal series at http://ShannonDelany.com or http://13toLife.us/blog or follow her on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Shannon_Delany .
Shannon's hosting several contests during the Start Your Day with Serial Tour. The big contest will award one lucky winner with a royal amber pendant, pietersite jeweled bookmark, stuffed wolf, mousepad, pen, tote, signed poster, personalized copy of 13 to Life pins. All you need to do is comment at 13 of the blogs hosting Shannon during her 30 day tour. Everyone who does so will be entered into a random drawing. Winner may be international.

Monday 28 June 2010

Review: Perfect Chemistry

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Reading level: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Rating: 5/5
Companion Novel: Rules of Attraction

Publisher's Summary:
Get ready for a whole new take on star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, bad boy meets good girl...

At Fairfield High, everyone knows that south-siders and north-siders aren’t exactly compatible elements. So when cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners, the results are bound to be explosive.

Neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all – love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart?

WOW! This books is HOT! I needed something to get my blood pumping and this did the trick! I loved the writing style! It is written in 2 points of view, a chapter from Brittany and one from Alex. It flowed effortlessly!

This story is about love. It is about romance, it is about finding your soul mate. In the midst of turmoil, and danger!! I really loved these characters, and wanted them to be together. Knowing if they could they would make each other better people. There is loads of kissing! Hot kissing. Descriptive kissing. I actually felt like my insides were on fire as I was reading it. Melting me from head to toe. Seriously. I thought I was kissing Alex Fuentes! and he's hot....

Totally a West Side Story kind of book, loved it! Amazing! I spent the 2 days after I'd finished it just re-reading my favorite parts over and over again. Seriously so good. This books will take your breath away!!

Note to parents: There is bad language, teen drinking, and teen sex in this book.

"I want to know how to make this girl laugh. I want to know what makes her cry. I want to know what it feels like to have her look at me as if I’m her knight in shinning armor" ~Alex

Saturday 26 June 2010

Review: The Splendour Falls

Title: The Splendour Falls
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 528
Rating: 3/5
Publisher's Summary:
Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

I picked up this book because the back said there was a romance that would take my breath away. I'm all about the romance.

This story starts out slow, and goes slow the whole way through. There is nothing wrong with that, it is very detailed and you get a sense of living in Alabama. Yet, I had a question mark over my mind the whole book. What was really happening? There weren't many clues. I felt in the dark for the first 450 pages. I still read the book in 2 sittings, so I obviously thought it was good enough to keep going.

The love story did not blow me away. There definitely wasn't enough of it, and I wouldn't have put on the back that it would leave you breathless. It was barely there.

I did like the writing style and it moved effortlessly through the topics and situations. I just wish I knew more of what was going on than the day to day life. Overall, a nice debut novel, creative, and well written. Needed more romance, and a faster pace, but it was good overall.

"Don't be obtuse princess. It's only because I'm a gentleman that I haven't let you know that I find Victorian ruffles insanely hot." -Rhys

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Review: Fairytale of New York

Title: Fairytale of New York
Author: Miranda Dickinson
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Reading Level: Adult

Rating: 3/5

Publisher's Summary:
Are happy-ever-afters made in Manhattan? Find out in this gorgeous debut, perfect for cold winter nights.

Once upon a time an English girl went to New York to live out her very own fairytale… Florist Rosie Duncan's life couldn't be better, she has a flourishing business on New York's Upper West Side and fantastic friends. Moving to Manhattan feels like the best decision she ever made. Even though at the time, it was her escape route from heartbreak . . . For the past six years Rosie has kept her heart under lock and key, despite the protests of her closest friends - charming, commitment-phobic Ed, unlucky in love Marnie and the one-woman tornado that is Celia. Then a blossoming friendship with publishing hot-shot Nate begins to shake Rosie's resolve at the same time as her brother arrives in the Big Apple, hiding a secret. But a chance meeting brings Rosie face to face with her past, unravelling the mystery behind her arrival in New York. Rosie is forced to confront questions she has long been trying to ignore, including will she ever get her very own happy-ever-after? A sparkling, romantic comedy about an English girl who finds herself in the city where dreams can come true - or so she thinks…

I picked this book up over the winter. I liked the cover. On the cover it says," Are happily-ever-afters made in Manhattan?" I love me a happily ever after! Sold!

Cute book! I'm happily surprised! It's been awhile since I've read a good chic-lit! Rose owns her own flower shop. How fun! She helps people through flowers. I've always wanted to be a New Yorker. This book really showed me the glitz and glamor of it all in a real way.

Rose has a past, who doesn't! It is just that no one knows about it, not even her closest friends. Why hasn't she dated anyone since she moved to NY 6 yrs ago?

There were a few things that could definitely have been left out of the book. They weren't essential to the story and to me just took up space away from the true story. I'm not a person who likes fillers. Just get on with the story already!

Go through the ups and downs of life in Manhattan with Rose and see if she can find love, right in front of her face. Great story! Enjoyable read. Character's are believable and lovable. Great debut novel! I would have never guessed this was her first!

Friday 11 June 2010

Review: The Demon Kiss

Title: Of Witches and Warlocks: The Demon Kiss
Author: Lacey Weatherford
Publisher: Global Authors Publications
Reading Level: Young Adult

Rating: 3/5

Publisher's Summary:
Can someone else's past come back to bite you? After being drained of nearly all the blood in her body, novice witch, Portia Mullins, wakes up to find that her warlock boyfriend, Vance Mangum, has fled in search of his demon father. Determined to keep him from facing the evil alone Portia follows after him, unknowingly setting herself on the path of a new adventure that will take her, Vance, and their coven over international borders, into a foreign place where they will discover that the black magic which awaits them is far worse than they ever imagined. Portia finds herself tangled up in a web of lies and deceit in another's quest for demonic power in the excitingly romantic second paranormal novel in the Of Witches and Warlocks Series, The Demon Kiss.

I was very excited to get my copy in the mail. I have been anxiously awaiting what's next in this new Paranormal Romance. I love a good love story. I'm a sucker for anything romantic. The Demon Kiss has loads of romance.

I enjoyed the new twist in this next installment. I don't want to spoil it for you, but we learn more of Portia and Vance's powers, and we see some new additions to the coven!

One thing I didn't really like was that Portia is engaged at 16 yrs old. I feel that is a bit young. Well a lot young. I didn't get married until 28 though, so who am I to say? I understand why they are engaged and their binding spell makes them even closer, but I still feel it would be a little more taboo than everyone was making it out to be.

If you want something new, then try out this series. It is a nice twist on a romance with a witch and a warlock! I love me some of that Vance!

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Review: Garden Spells

Title: Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: Hodder
Reading Level: Adult

Rating: 3/5

Publisher's Summary:

Welcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The house that`s been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumors of dangerous loves and tragic passions. Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic.

Claire has always clung to the Waverleys` roots, tending the enchanted soil in the family garden from which she makes her sought-after delicacies – famed and feared for their curious effects. She has everything she thinks she needs – until one day she waked to find a stranger has moved in next door and a vine of ivy has crept into her garden . . .

Claire`s carefully tended life is about to run gloriously out of control.


I borrowed this from a friend. I loved the cover. It looked like a YA Fantasy novel. It's not. It is about a woman who makes magical food out of flowers! It is about sisters who are finding themselves again.

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. Which I liked. I felt part of the Waverly family. I could smell the aroma of the roses in the garden and the juicy apples from the magical apple tree on a hot summer's night.

It is a coming of age tale really. These women may be grown in size, but the soul always has room to grow. And these Waverly women have kept their hearts under lock and key for quite some time. Will they find love? Will they be ready for it?

Good book. Nice summer read. Full of magic, love, and soul searching. Let Garden Spells whisk you away into the Waverly's Magic Garden.

Monday 7 June 2010

Review: It's Not Summer Without You

Title: It's Not Summer Without You
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reading Level: Young Adult
Other titles in the series: The Summer I Turned Pretty

Rating: 4/5

Publisher's Summary:
Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

I've been waiting forever for this book to arrive in the post. When I got home from work, there it was. I opened it and read it in ONE sitting. I love doing that. I feel like I get all the facts and feelings without stopping. I can fully immerse myself in the story. I love it.

This book was just what I was hoping for, but more. I really wish I had summers like this growing up. Wouldn't it be so fun to have a beach house and stay there ALL summer long?

Everyone is grieving over Suzanah's death and this is the first summer of Belly's life that she won't be at the beach house. How will it feel like summer? Belly is growing up and Conrad and Jeremiah are starting to look at her as more than just the younger sister type they grew up with at the beach house every summer. But then Conrad gets into some trouble and Jeremiah asks Belly to help him find Conrad, it leads them to the beach house. Can they save the summer?

I was upset at Belly and Conrad and how they treated each other though. Come on guys! Just figure it out! Do you want to be together or not?! But, I was secretly rooting for the underdog Jeremiah. Come on Jer, get the girl!!

GREAT summer read. When I read these Summer novels by Jenny Han I feel like I'm living a summer I've always wished for. I'm caught up in Belly becoming a woman, and I'm wishing and hoping that she picks the right boy. So good. Enjoyable read. You won't be disappointed.

Note to Parents: There is teen drinking in this book.

Saturday 5 June 2010

My Top 10 Beach Reads 2010

I'm heading to Tarragona, Spain today guys! I've been thinking about which books I wanted to bring and it got me thinking about what my favorite beach reads for the summer have been so far. I've compiled a list of my top beach reads for the summer. Some are not out until the end of the summer, while some are already on the shelves! I hope you'll pick some of these up for your summer holiday!

Spells by Ap
rilynne Pike
In this second installment of a se
ries that started with the best-selling Wings (2009), Laurel, who recently discovered she is a faerie, finds herself completely immersed in her new world when she begins studies at the Academy at Avalon. There she can spend more time with Tam, the faerie who is hopelessly in love with her, and also learn about the benefits and burdens her heritage entails. But the action really begins when she returns home. The trolls that stalked her in the previous book are more dangerous than ever, and this time Laurel is not the only one being targeted. At the heart of that conundrum is the affection she feels for both her earthly love, David, and the deliciously different Tam.

The Summ
er I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from S
usannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach? It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad
stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
Things ar
e suddenly starting to look up for the hapless but optimistic Emma Corrigan. She has kept her job at Panther Cola for nearly a year, has the perfect boyfriend and hopes for a promotion to marketing executive should her first opportunity to strut her stuff and land a business deal be successful. Unfortunately, things don't go quite as planned, and on her unusually turbulent return flight from a disappointing client meeting, in a terrified state, she confesses her innermost secrets to the good-looking stranger sitting beside her. When she shows up at work the next morning, she is horrified to discover that her mystery man is none other than the revered and brilliant Jack Harper, American CEO of Panther Cola, on a weeklong visit to the company's U.K. branch. Thus begins a series of chaotic, emotionally exhausting and funny episodes that thrust Emma, with her workaholic best friend, Lissy, and their awful flatmate Jemima, into a world of fairy tales, secrets and deceit.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
(Aug 24, 2010)
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

he Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirror
s Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...

by Lauren Kate
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Of Witches and Warlocks by LM Weatherford

Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her gra
ndma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant from a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school's handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance's checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life.

Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
Ten years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort.

Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane – the High Council’s most feared man – recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft – a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog (July 13, 2010)
Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest. But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. In the past, Eron has broken rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her. . . .Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?

Friday 4 June 2010

Review: Winter's Passage

Title: Winter's Passage
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Free Novella
Reading Level: Young Adult

Rating: 4/5

Publisher's Summary:
No way, is Meghan Chase’s reaction to the news. But the truth is undeniable. And now, Meghan must enter a world where anything she touches may kill her—including the icy prince who stirs her wakening senses. As she steps into the Nevernever, finding her brother is only the start of her problems. For the trail leads Meghan toward the most dangerous threat of all, the mysterious Iron Fey..

This is a free Novella from Harlequin Teen, Until July 31st. It is a short story inbetween The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Perfect to wet your appetite before The Iron Daughter comes out in August!

It is only about 50 pages, so it is an easy read, but helps to clarify what happens when Prince Ash took Meghan to the Winter Queen, Mab. It is there travel there. A bit of romance, and some action. We get to know a little bit more about the characters in preparation for The Iron Daughter. Good novella. Enjoyable read. I just love me some of that Prince Ash! Yum yum yum!

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Review: Fallen

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult

Rating: 4/5

Publisher's Summary:
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

I can not believe it took me this long to read this book! I've had it on my shelf for months. I liked the cover, but I had no idea what it was about. It is about a Fallen Angel guys. A hot fallen angel.

I was immediately sucked in to this story. It is an easy read. It is almost 500 pages, but you don't feel it. You'll speed right through it. This is a wildly romantic tale. I felt butterflies in my stomach every time an we had an encounter between Luce and her 2 suitors Daniel and Cam. I'm a sucker for anything romantic and this did not disappoint. Great Book! Interesting concept, and worth the time!

I am eagerly awaiting Torment, the 2nd in the Fallen series out in Sept.

"What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?"

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Monthly Review-May

This month was full of reading for me. I found some really great books and just couldn't stop reading. I love that! Many I brought to bed with me to get started on, but then I read them in one sitting! Read a book before bed? I love it! Wish I could do it every night!

The weather here in Scotland has been rubbish. I'm still wearing a fleece pretty much where ever I go. I don't believe summer exists in Scotland.

My husband and I went to Portugal a few weeks ago to enjoy time with the in laws. Had a wonderful time! I downloaded a few e-books on my net-book for the trip and enjoyed my first E-Books! I packed tons of books for minimal space. I think I need a Kindle now.

around the bend is the nudist beach

In case you missed anything here is what happened at The Sweet Bookshelf in May:

Book Reviews:
Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
Of Witches and Warlocks by LM Weatherford
The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Jr Correspondent Kids Book Reviews:
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
The Bad Bad Kitty Series by Nick Bruel

Lizzy's Vlog
Kids@The Shelf News

Author Interviews:
Mary Naylus, author of The Dresskeeper
Jenna Burtenshaw, author of Wintercraft
Lacey Weatherford, author of Of Witches and Warlocks

Books Received for Review:
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Library vs. Book Stores

Wintercraft Wednesday

Borrow My ARC Tour:
May Books

The News Stand {12}

Book Giveaways:
We gave away 5 books and 7 loot bags to 10 lucky winners this month!

Let me know if there is something more you'd like to see here at The Sweet Bookshelf, and we'll make it happen!
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