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Monday, 28 September 2015

Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway: The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah L Purdy







Welcome today's stop on the The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by rebekah L Purdy Blog Tour  hosted by  YA Bound Book Tours  Today's stop is a review as well as a chance to enter the great giveaway that is being run throughout this tour.

The Review:

I really enjoyed this second book in the Winter People series.

The story starts a month or so after the end of book 1 with Salome happy with her choice to remain in the Faerie kingdom with Gareth and her best friend Kadie, unaware of the most recent events of Salome's life, heading home from Texas after breaking up with her boyfriend and dropping out of college.

Unlike book 1, where the reader found out about the curse and the Faerie as Salome did, in this book from the beginning we are given a little bit more information, of a vague sort, which puts the reader just enough ahead of Salome and her friends so as to not be completely lost along with her, but not enough to spoil the story as it unravels. This adds to the experience as we follow Salome's and now Kadie's story in the world of the faerie.

I liked that we find out more about the nature of the Faerie in this story and see both  their darker, crueller side and their lighter (but not necessarily good) side.  I also like that we get to see first hand how Faerie cannot be trusted as well as see and learn more about the World of faerie itself. Ms Purdy writes her faerie characters well so we are not necessarily always able to discern which side each faerie character is on and this just adds to the suspense of the tale. Add in the bits of Faerie history we are slowly made privy too which tells the reader there is more to the tale than we were previously expecting and its just going to get better and better.

Ms Purdy layers here twists and turns well in this story so even with the added bit of information we have over Salome and Kadie, we still can't see where the story will lead and this makes it much more exciting.

I loved that we get to see more of Kadie in this story as we find out more about who Kadie is at her heart.  We get to see her in greater details than before, her feelings,  her strengths and her weaknesses and how her story will affect the main story line andI have to say,  I am loving the story line Ms Purdy has set up with her and Salome.

This book is well paced, flows beautifully and you cannot help but not want to put it down until the end. This is one of those books that makes you love a series even more and as soon as you finish it want to immediately pick up the next instalment.

I greatly enjoyed this story and give it 4 stars

Sapphired Dragon XX





The Book


The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah Purdy
 

 
 
The sequel to the chilling Winter People returns to the world of Faerie, and is a romantic and enchanting follow-up.
 
Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war.
 
Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.
 
When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen...
 
Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.
 
 
 check out the good reads link 
 
Purchase: Amazon | Booktopia  | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Entangled





ABOUT REBEKAH L PURDY:



Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate...

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Exclusive Excerpt:

Gareth kicked himself back onto his feet. The silver of his blade glinted as he swung it once more. This time the weapon connected with the backs of the troll’s legs, severing the tendons. The troll yelped in pain and collapsed into the  ferns.
 
“Turn your head,” Gareth told me.
 
My throat thickened, and I buried my face against the horse’s side. Two more loud howls erupted, then all went silent.
 
“It’s okay, he’s dead now.”
 
I pulled away from Adaba and stared in horror at the giant head lying in the leaves, its lifeless eyes still glowed even in death. Thick black blood dripped from the foliage. I covered my mouth as nausea overtook me.
 
Gareth wiped his sword off and hurried to my side. He clutched me tight to his chest. “Shh…just close your eyes and count to ten.”
 
“I feel sick.”
 
“I know. Just don’t look at the body, okay? I need you to stay right next to Adaba while I scout out the woods.”
 
“Wait—you’re leaving me alone?” My voice quivered. I so didn’t want to be left with the severed body. Hell to the flipping no.
 
“Only for a moment.” He disappeared into the undergrowth, not giving me the chance to argue.
Several minutes passed before he reappeared, breathless.
 
“Are you all right?” I caught his arm. His skin was slick with sweat.
 
“Get on your horse.”
 
“What?”
 
“Salome, you have to go.”
 
I swallowed the rock-like lump in my throat. “By myself?”
 
“Yes—this troll was only a scout. The others aren’t too far out.”
 
No. This isn’t happening.
 
“Others? But you’ll be killed. I-I can’t leave you.”
 
Gareth turned to Adaba. “Take her to the Ruined Court and hide. If I’m not there in two days’ time, get her to Summer.”
Adaba whinnied and shook his mane as if he understood. Gareth sheathed his sword and picked me up, his arms tightening around me. His lips crushed mine with urgency, as if he was taking his last breath. And I clung to him, absorbing his heat and his woodsy scent. When he pulled back, he set me
atop my mount.
 
“Gareth, please…” Tears streamed down my cheeks. I reached for him, as if that’d really keep him from going anywhere.
 
He slid a dagger from beneath his tunic and slipped it into the belt of my gown. “Don’t be afraid to use this.”
 
“Please.”
 
“I love you, Salome.” He swatted Adaba’s flank, and the horse carried me into the woods.
 
As we rode away, I heard the distinct sound of heavy footsteps tromping through the brambles.
 
I jerked on Adaba’s reins. “Turn back. We can’t leave him.”
 
But the horse ignored my feeble attempts and galloped deeper into the forest. A sob raked through me as I realized that I might never see Gareth alive again.




The Series So Far:



THE WINTER PEOPLE
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622663682

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
 
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of
maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.
 
 
Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to
decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.






The Giveaway



   Open Internationally.  See Rafflecopter Widget for Details





a Rafflecopter giveaway




http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/


Teaser Tuesday #105: The White Rose (The Lone City #2)





Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too muchaway! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My current read is The White Rose (The Lone City #2) by Amy Ewing and my paragraph is from location 65

'I, at least, might have something the Duchess wants. My body might be enough to keep me alive'




The White Rose (The Lone City #2) by Amy Ewing

 


Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.







PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Review: Darkest Dawn by Katlyn Duncan

Title: Darkest Dawn
Author: Katlyn Duncan
Release Date: September 17, 2015
Genres: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Carina UK
Source: Carina UK via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed: Sapphired Dragon
Rating: ***1/2 

My Review:

I enjoyed Ms Duncan's last series so I was greatly looking forward to reading this new book and the premise of this one sounded incredibly interesting.

However whilst I did enjoy it and found that it moved quickly,  I was left feeling a little unsatisfied.

I think my main issue was the writing style and the structure.  The story is told alternative from the points of view of Sloane and Bri and at times it was easy to get confused as to who was doing what and who was speaking which distracted a little from the rest of the story.  There was also a lot of action in this story which was great however sometime it felt like a little too much and a little too rushed.  This also distracted me from the story as there was so much going on that sometimes I would have to stop and re-read a page or paragraph to work out exactly what was going on.

What I did love however was the idea and the premise behind the story which is very different from things I have read recently and whilst I found  at times the timing of the plot developments not quite there, I kept wanting to read the story and see where it went and I am hoping there will be more books to come as I am greatly looking forward to seeing where this series goes.

I would have loved to see more about the characters other than Sloane and Bri as we only saw a very small pieces of Bri's friends and family and I am hoping we will find out more about their stories in books to come.

Overall, this is a story I definitely want to continue reading and I give it 3 1/2 stars.
 
Sapphired Dragon xx





About The Book:


 Darkest Dawn by  Katlyn Duncan


One desperate journey for the truth
Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…
Two lives changed forever
The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.
Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25413921-darkest-dawn
 Purchase: Amazon Aust | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
 
 
 
   

Friday, 25 September 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight – Vanessa Barger with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal-Bannernew

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
 
This week, we are spotlighting Vanessa Barger author of Super Freak a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books, coming October 2015!
 
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Twitter or Facebook?
Can I say both? I like Twitter for instant gratification, but I like Facebook for posting fun things too!

Favorite Superhero?
This is hard. I'm not a huge superhero person. But if I had to pick? Wonder Woman. I dressed up as Wonder Woman one year when I was little. Somewhere, I still have my golden lasso of truth!

Favorite TV show?
Okay, most TV shows I actually like get cancelled, but I have three. I love the first 3-4 seasons of Supernatural, I LOVE the Vicar of Dibley, and the Two Fat Ladies. If I'm having a stressful day, I pop the Two Fat Ladies in to relax. I'm weird, I know.

Sweet or Salty?
Sweet. But not too sweet. :)

Coke or Pepsi?
Root Beer (But def coke, Pepsi is ICK)

Any Phobias?
I don't care for spiders, and anything to do with Jack the Ripper seriously freaks me out. Like, I won't watch a TV show about it, read about it, or even read fiction about it!

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
There isn't just one, but let’s go with Fight Song by Rachel Platten. The others on my playlist are a lot more....weird? Lots of instrumental music, and oddball things.

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?
Oh, man, just one?! That's not even fair.

What are you reading right now or what's on your TBR?
I have several books in the TBR pile, but the top three are Namesless by Lili St. Crow, The City of Ember, and Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff. Oh, and I'm dying to read The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Goosebumps! I can't wait to see that one. Jack Black as RL Stine? YES, please!

About-the-Author

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube

Super-Freak-Cover

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.
To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.
Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.
add to goodreads

Giveaway


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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #14 : The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday!  Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly featured hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight the not yet released books that I wish were in my hot little hands right now.

This week I am waiting on The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan.  Being released in Oz on October 6, this is the first book in the newest series by Rick Riordan.
 
I love both Percy Jackson series' and think they are a lot of  fun so I am excited for this new series with a new main character and Norse Gods.  Its also kinda nice to be able to start reading a series from the outset and join in with ongoing excitement rather than finally catching on way after the last book has been released.
 
I am also really excited as I have managed to pre-order a signed copy from Booktopia!!
 
 
 
 


Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he's never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .



 check out the good reads link
Publication Date:6 October, 2015
Pre-Order: Booktopia  | Book Depository | Galaxy Bookshop | Amazon


What book are you 'waiting on' this week?

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: Mirrored by Alex Flinn

Title: Mirrored
Author: Alex Flinn
Published: 15th September 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss in echange for an honest review
Reviewed: Sapphired Dragon
Rating: ** 1/2  

My Review:

I will start by saying I really, really wanted to like this

I am sorry to say though, I struggled with virtually everything about this book. I struggled with the writing, with the characters, with the setting.  Normally I like my fairy tale retellings however I think that may have been part of the problem - there was more retelling than re-showing.

The first thing I struggled with was the modern setting. The idea itself was quite good but I felt like the setting itself didn't quite work and story lost some of its authenticity as a result.

The story itself didn't grab me.  I know (obviously) the story of Snow White and that wasn't the problem.  It just seemed that other than the modern setting, there was nothing all that new or fresh in the tale nor did I feel that the author really made it her own. Even with the one twist the author threw in, I still didn't feel it. I had to make myself move through it rather than being pulled through by the story itself and at times I had to stop myself from putting it down altogether

I also found a lack of sincerity behind the words which made it hard to connect with the story and the characters, and at times it felt a little trite and kind of preachy. The characters themselves seemed quite one dimensional which made it hard to feel any genuine emotion for them and at times some of their actions and they things they said did not really ring true for me.

Some books are so good that you just don't want them to end but when I finished this one, sadly all I felt was relief that I could finally move on to something else.

I haven't read anything else by Alex Flinn. It might be that if I had,  I might have felt some more connection to Kendra and to the tale itself.  It might also be that the target audience was for someone younger than me. At any rate, in the end I found the story a little disappointing.

For that reason I feel I am unable to give it more than 2 1/2 stars :-(
 
Sapphired Dragon xx





About The Book:


Mirrored by Alex Flinn




A modern, multi-generational tale of Kendra, the witch from "Snow White," who trains Violet, an ugly, lonely, and heartbroken girl in the 1980s who transforms herself into "the fairest one of all" but still cannot win Greg's heart, and Celine, Greg's daughter with Violet's high school rival, Jennifer.
     

#TeaserTuesday : The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah L Purdy





Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too muchaway! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My current read is The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2)  by Rebekah L Purdy and my two lines are from location 980 of 6268 


How would anyone find me now? I could only hope Salome would realize I was missing.




The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah Purdy

The sequel to the chilling Winter People returns to the world of Faerie, and is a romantic and enchanting follow-up.
Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war.
Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.
When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen...
Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.


 check out the good reads link

Purchase: Amazon | 
Booktopia  | Book Depository






PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Bloggiesta 2015 - Wrap Up Post #Bloggiesta

 
Well Bloggiesta 2015 is over for another and whilst I didn't get everything on my to do list done, I did still have a productive bloggiesta and learned a couple things along the way. 
  1. Write 3 - 5 reviews

    I didn't get as much reading done over the weekend as I hopped so I only wrote 2 reviews.  However that did put me up to date with my review writing so I was happy about that  :-)
  2. Post 3 Reviews

    Again I didn't do much reading but I did manage to post 2 reviews and again am currently as up to date as I can be.

    Review 1: Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru by Tera Lyn Childs

    Review 2: Ash & Bramble by Sara Prineas

  3. Post Blitz post

    This one I completed with a release week Blitz post and a chapter reveal
  4. Schedule 2-3 weeks of Meme posts

    Alas I did not get even one of these scheduled :-(
  5. Oganise my reading schedule for the October and November 

    This was a complete success with my review schedule now set out till mid November, complete (I hope) with time to read other stuff as well :-)
  6. Prepare blogging schedule outline for October and November
    Nope - Not even started unfortunately but having my review schedule done will certainly help in getting this organised
  7. Participate in 2-3 mini challenges
    This I managed, participating in:

    How to Build an Email List from Ashley at Nose Graze - getting more familiar  with my feedburner mailing list

    Clean Up Your Email from Aloi at Guiltless Reading - managing to get to inbox zero from 23000 emails



    How to Use Tweetdeck to Organize Twitter from Shannon at River City Reading   - This was the first one I did and I am so glad I did.  Finding using TweetDeck so much better than the regular twitter :-)
  8. Participate in 1 twitter chat

    Very pleased to say that I made two full chats and the tail end of a third.  Much better than previous Bloggiestas :-)
  9. Post a give away hop post

    This can be found here



  10. Visit 10-20 blogs and comment on them

    This one I failed miserably at :-(
  11. Follow at least 5-10 more blogs and 5-10 more bloggers on twitter, instagram and Goodreads
    I made a start on this one but not as good as I would like
What wasn't on my original list but I ended up doing was something I had been looking at doing for a while but it nearly led to disaster.
 
I decided to change my layout and in the process manage to lose EVERY SINGLE gadget from both my previous side bars.  I nearly had a heart attack.
 
In the end though it proved a blessing in disguise.  I now have only one side bar and as I have had to redesign it from scratch, not only have I learnt something but it is now much less cluttered and I have a few more ideas to add.
 
I have had fun this Bloggiesta, gotten to meet some new people and definitely think my blog is all the better for it.
 
Looking forward to Bloggiesta in 2016!