Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Rating: 5 stars

This book is absolutely stunning. Truly, there's no need for elaboration about Ten and I was seriously considering ending my review here. I physically couldn't look away from the book while reading. I was frozen on the spot on my bed where I sat before I started the book and was only able to move when I finished it all in one go. I literally couldn't move. I was compelled by the story and was so rigid the whole time! I did not realise it would be such a stunning and scary read. Seriously, I wasn't expecting much successful horror elements in it. But oh my, I was surprised. Sitting in my room downstairs alone at eleven at night while reading this created an enormous atmosphere for the scariness and creepiness of the book. Well, I've got to say, this is my favourite YA horror and thriller of all time.

Gretchen McNeil started right off with action. No dandying around with useless stuff. While doing this, she also created the atmosphere and set the mood/tone of the story. A series of clues was dropped by characters in the story about a few different relationships and I enjoyed trying to put the pieces together and making guesses at what happened (of course the full answers were revealed at some point in the book). Also, the way Gretchen McNeil used emotive language and different sentence structures also helped to build up suspense about the central event/muder mysteries of the book. I tried to figure out the answers along with the central character (though at times she can intentionally lead me wrong), but the end result was so not what I expected. That was brilliant!

Through out the book, I felt connected with all the characters (especially Meg) and I seemed to be in the story and filled with fear myself. Imagining all the scenes in my head made it so much more realistic and horrifying. I liked a few characters, namely Meg, T.J. and Gunner, but not so much about the rest. However, all of that was of the author's intention. Meg was smart and curious; she was the thinker. While T.J. was a good leader, a kind and active person. Gunner was just steady and funny. While the other characters displayed traits ranging from hypocrisy, dishonesty to slutty (or being man-whores for guys) and falt-out hostility, the characters worked well together to create the twist and turns of the story.

The plot was fast moving and intriguing. Ten was not only about horror and murder, it was also a book that taught me about relationships in everyday life and portrayed the growing up of a girl into a new adult in a short time. There were so many things that I liked about the book and so little fault. So I've got to say, final verdict: an awesome and thrilling read. Highly recommended!


Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Keeper's Curse Blog Tour

Hi everyone, welcome to my stop of The Keeper's Curse Blog Tour! Today, Diana Harrion, the author of The Keeper's Curse, will be here to do an interview with me! Thank you Diana for the awesome interview! And at the end of this stop there will also be a giveaway for 5 ecopies of the book. Enjoy!

1. How did you come up with the idea to write The Keeper's Curse?

Ever since I was a kid, I have always been interested in the idea of the soul being a physical entity. When I was twelve, I wrote a story about a girl who held the soul of a boy inside a necklace, and that story grew and changed throughout my teen years until it became what it is now. Luckily, it’s pretty much nothing like the original, which was pretty awful.

2.  Do any of the characters in The Keeper's Curse resemble/reflect you in anyway? If so, how?

Every single one of my main characters has one personality trait of mine, including the villain (which is kinda scary). It’s a way for me to be able to empathize with my characters. The one I’d say is most like me is Gabe, who everyone assumes is shy and insecure, but is really just extremely introverted and is probably more sure of himself than anybody.

3. What is your favourite time of the day to write and why?

I like to write in the afternoon at my school library (when I should be studying). It’s the time of day when I’m most alert and have the free time I need between my classes.

4. If there’s one place in the world you could choose to live in, where would it be and why?

London, England! I’ve been obsessed with it for years; I love everything about it – the culture, the weather, the accent – all of it is wonderful.

5. What is your all-time favourite movie and why?

I don’t really have one favourite movie, but the first movie I love that popped into my head was that 80’s movie with David Bowie, Labyrinth.

6. What is your favourite snack in between working hard on your books?

Anything that is made out of, contains, or is sprinkled with, chocolate.

7. What do you think is important for a Young Adult book?

For me, it’s to authentically capture what being a teenager is actually like. I was only a teenager a couple of years ago, and I clearly remember all the insecurities and confusions, and not knowing who I was yet. Sometimes writing a genuine teenager can be lost when you’re writing fantasy, as the characters do such amazing and impossible things. I do my best to make my characters act like teenagers, being moody, occasionally unconfident, but always awesome.

8. If you were given the chance to be a supernatural being, what would you be?

I’d want to be a phoenix so I could live forever. And, y’know, catch on fire.

9. If one character could come to life from any book, who would you choose and why? (what book is he/she from?)

I’m going to cheat a little here and give you two: Fred and George Weasley, from Harry Potter. They’d be a blast to hang out with, I could follow them around and laugh at everything they said, and I could blow up my school with fireworks too.

10. What is the most surprising/interesting thing you’ve learnt from writing this book?

How much fun it was. People were always telling me how much work it was to write a book, and I was worried it’d be a slog. Not true. I thought daydreaming about this stuff was fun, but writing it down, after it had been in my head so long, was so entertaining!

Thank you very much for having me on your blog, Angela.

Diana Harrison is a proud Canadian, currently studying English literature at the University of Calgary. With a passion for books, magic, and teens, as well as being a chronic daydreamer, it is only logical that she is a young-adult fantasy writer as well.
You can friend her on Goodreads.
Her debut novel, THE KEEPER’S CURSE, releases in November 2012.

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December New Releases Giveaway Hop

This is the first time I'm participating in the New Releases Giveaway Hops hosted by O'Dell at Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews, but it's such an awesome series of giveways and I'm excited to share with you the possible prizes I've got for the winner.

The winner of this hop can choose ONE of the three books listed below. These are books which I'm dying to read (I'd would love to pre-order them for myself too, but I've only got so much *sigh*). However, if you are the winner and you really REALLY hate the choices I've got for you here, you can contact me and instead pick a December release book under $13 NZD (Sorry, but I'm only a poor student). This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to you. My usual giveaway rules apply (ie the winner must reply to my email within 48 hours and no dishonest entries please). Thanks for stopping by and good luck! :)

The three December releases you can choose from:

Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
The Farm by Emily McKay

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The winner is Jessica Bell and she chose Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Friday, 14 December 2012

End of the World Giveaway Hop

Thank you to Kathy from I Am a Reader Not a Writer and My Life With Books for hosting the End of The World Giveaway Hop! To find the rest of the amazing giveaways, click here. This time I'm going to be giving away a book I read this year which I loved and I would take with me even at the end of the world. I'll be giving away a SIGNED copy of The Torn Wing (The Faerie Ring #2) by Kiki Hamilton. This is the sequel to The Faerie Ring. There will be 2 winners: the first winner will win the signed book and the second winner will win 2 signed book marks of The Faerie Ring series. Thank you to Kiki who has kindly donated these awesome prizes. This giveaway is open internationally, so anyone can enter! Just fill in the Rafflecopter below. The winner must reply to my email within 48 hours after I've contacted him/her, or else a new winner will be selected. I retain the right to disqualify any dishonest or unvertified entries. I'll put the image of The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton here, as I have no time to take a photo of all the prizes just now. Will be updating this post soon with the actual image :) Other than that, as always, GOOD LUCK!

The Torn Wing

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For some reason, Rafflecopter is not letting me display the winner's name on the widget, so I'll announce them under here.
The winner of the signed book is Helen R. and the winner of the signed bookmarks is Susan Voss. Congrats to them both! :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1)

The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1) by Laura Bickle

Rating: 3.5 stars

What better book to read than The Hallowed Ones for Halloween? It was actually by chance that I picked up The Hallowed Ones around the end of October (it took forever for it to arrive in the library) and it was an awesome Halloween read. I initially didn't think that this book was going to have any scary component in it, just another typical YA book, but to my pleasant surprise, it was rather unique on its own. 

Through reading The Hallowed Ones, I learnt a lot about the Amish people and culture. Before picking this up, I knew nothing about the Amish, now (wouldn't say I'm an expert) but at least I know where they live and their life style. It was interesting to compare the Amish to the "outsiders" (everyone else) and see where their values differ yet work together. In this book, Laura Bickle also posed questions about religious believes. Are all forms of preaching and religion different or are they equally holy? It was interesting to read that when "evil" infiltrated the society, where people could find a safe place. Are some people more worthy of protection or is everyone deserving of a safe place? These were just some of the questions this book made the reader think about. Under these heavy humanity issues, there's also an undercurrent theme of the want of power. Sometimes, although it might not be the best option, a group of people is isolated because it gives the leader ultimate power. Laura Bickle also reinforces the old moral lesson that sometimes, knowledge can be learnt from people a lot younger and less experience than yourself. 

Aside from those intriguing problems, I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline of The Hallowed Ones. It was not very predictable and had interesting twist and turns that kept me reading. When I first met the "red-eyed monsters", I was a little bit freaked out! As I've said, I was not expecting a scary book (and truth be told, this book really wasn't as scary as some people made it out to be). But reading the "exciting" parts alone at eleven o'clock at night did give me a bit of a chill. I totally understood why Laura chose vampires as the monster she least wanted to be stuck with in a dark house, *shudder* To find out what the hell I'm on about, go on and read the book! :D

Lastly, the character of Katie was another reason I enjoyed the book. She was a typical girl on the verge of becoming an adult. However, she experienced a range of events that shaped her to become who she was at the end of the book. Some of her founding morals had undergone fundermental changes by these series of events. To cope with unexpected truths/realisation and dealing with accusations from people who were close to you didn't sound easy. Katie not only did this successfully, but she also stood her ground and made the right choices.

There were a few things that I thought could have been done better in this book, one of them was the connection between the reader and the characters. I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters, but rather had a very far-away feeling when I was reading the book. Unlike many of the other books I've enjoyed, it did not feel like that I was in the story myself, and some of the emotions fell flat. Also, the descriptions of the surroundings, as well as actions could have been a little more advanced (perhaps more details and descriptive words). But otherwise, it was a good job. 

Final verdict: an enjoyable read, recommended if you have the spare time. A rather impressive YA debut, but probably not a book I would feel pushed to buy. However, I'm very looking forward to the sequel The Outside! Can't wait to hear more of Katie's story! :)


Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Frost Fire Book Blitz

Frost Fire is an interesting new book which just came out. Today I'll be sharing the cover and summary, as well as a special extract from the book provided by the author Olivia Rivers. There will also be a giveaway for an ebook copy of Frost Fire which is open internationally.

Frost Fire by Olivia Rivers - YA Paranormal Romance
Publication date: November 20th, 2012

“Magic is just like love, Allai. It won’t wait for permission before it destroys you.”

Like sand in an hourglass, Allai’s future is dwindling away. She’s spent her entire life fighting the Mages who threaten humanity, and dreams of someday eradicating magic. But all it takes is an anonymous phone call for the truth to spill out: Allai is the one thing she despises most. 

She’s a Mage. 

Though ancient law mandates Allai’s death, she still has one last chance of survival. His name is Drake Rhaize, and he swears he can lead Allai to a sanctuary for Mages. Allai hasn’t seen Drake in years, but she remembers him as the Demon boy who used to hold her close and softly whisper that he’d keep her safe. But Drake has changed since then: He’s now suspected of murder, and has been out-casted for betraying his own kind. 

While Allai doesn’t trust Drake, she has no choice but to put her life in his hands and hope he can get her to safety. Because Allai’s father has hired a pack of Demons to bring her back to him, dead or alive–and Demons never stop the hunt.  



Olivia Rivers
Olivia Rivers is a high school student, a literary agent intern, and an obsessive-compulsive reader. She has a slight obsession with Kootenai County in Idaho, and she’s pretty sure life will always be awesome as long as Irish accents exist. She lives with dysautonomia, a chronic medical condition affecting her nervous system. Portions of proceeds from her “Tortured Elements” series go toward supporting youth with dysautonomia.

Author Links:

Excerpt from Frost Fire:

Luke cleared his throat, bringing her thoughts back to the present. “So, about these nightmares.”
“I thought we changed the subject away from them.” Allai crossed her arms and fingered the sleeves of the old t-shirt she used as a pajama top. She always felt like her hands had to be doing something. The Demons she lived with were constantly alert and responsive, so the least she could do was look active.
You changed the subject,” Luke said. “I never agreed to it. So how are you going to stop your nightmares?”
“You said it yourself. They’re not just going to stop.”
“Of course not. You have to make them stop.”
“How the hell do you expect me to do that?” She took a deep breath, and then said in a calmer tone, “He tried to kill me, Luke. You were there, you know the details. How am I supposed to just push that memory away?”
“Don’t push at it,” Luke said. “Just accept it. Embrace it, and then move on.”
There was no way she could do that. Part of her wanted to; getting that memory out of her head would be beyond relieving. But the other part wanted to remember, because every memory she had of Drake Rhaize was a piece to a puzzle. And part of her hoped that once she put together the entire puzzle, it would tell a different story than her nightmare.

Now, the giveaway!

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Monday, 3 December 2012

The Immortal Circus Book Blast and Giveaway

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you a show unlike any you've seen before.

Within the walls of THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS, you'll be amazed by acts of tragic romance, seductive magic, and maybe even a little murder.

After all, loves, nothing is what it seems under this big top. Not even your innocent little heroine, Vivienne.

Released every two weeks through the Kindle Serials program, we'll be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, right up to the breathtaking conclusion that will have you begging for more. But don't worry, loves—you'll delight in the anticipation.

I personally guarantee it.

Follow our spectacle across four blogs representing the two Faerie Courts. There will be exclusive interviews and artwork, backstage reviews and more from the author, A.R. Kahler—and trust me when I say, he knows the circus well. Pick a side, promote the show, and compete for your chance to win a spectacular prize of circus goods.

And my eternal love, of course.

Trust me when I say, when the final curtain falls, no one and no thing will ever be the same. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The show's just beginning.

Are you ready to run away forever?


Ringleader, Fashionista, and Queen of the Winter Court

Choose Your Court...



Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can't quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader Mab is the Faerie Queen of legend…and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.

Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargains for.

The show's just beginning.


About A.R. Kahler

Most little boys dream of running away to join the circus. Alex didn't just dream it: he did it. But then, he rarely lets a good dream pass him by.

In the past six years he's toured and trained across America and Europe. He's performed in Amsterdam, taught trapeze in Madrid, studied in Glasgow and even had a stint as assistant to Holly Black and Cassandra Clare in New England. He's constantly on the lookout for new places to explore and new worlds to invent. He's a Sagittarius fueled by full moons and espresso. The way to his heart is a latte and fan art. Just for the record.

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS is his first New Adult novel, and is being released exclusively through the Amazon Kindle e-Serials program by 47North. It will be available in print and audio when the episodes are complete.

MARTYR the first book in his post-apocalyptic fantasy, will be published by Spencer Hill Press in October 2014

Find him: TWITTER as @ARKahler, TWITTER as @ImmortalCircus, WEBSITE

There are 10 Kindle eBook serial copies of THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS up for grabs.

The giveaway is 3 days ONLY and it’s open to anyone 13 and older who can receive gifted Kindle books.

The winners will be announced within 24 hours after the giveaway closes in the Rafflecopter form.

All giveaway rules are listed in the Rafflecopter.
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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Author Interview with Laura Bickle and Giveaway of The Hallowed Ones (Book lover's Holiday Hop)

Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams). Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. 

Hey everyone! Today Laura Bickle, the author of The Hallowed Ones, a new, enticing and a tiny bit spooky YA novel (XD) is stopping at my blog for an interview and giveaway! Thanks so much for being here Laura, and I hope you'll enjoy the interview. I've read The Hallowed Ones a while ago around Halloween and I must say, it was a pretty good Halloween Read! My review will be coming very shortly. Laura is also giving away a copy of The Hallowed Ones. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL(Yay!) as long as Book Depository ships to you. Thank you so much for this generous donation Laura! Now, let's get on to the fun part:

1. How did you come up with the idea to write The Hallowed Ones?

I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like.

Some of that curiosity lingered, and I always wanted to revisit it in a story. It popped back into my head when I was writing about a catastrophic contagion. Considering all the incredible self-sufficiency they apply in their everyday lives, it seemed to me that the Amish would be uniquely well-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster.

2. Who was your favourite character to write about in this book and why?

Katie is my favorite. Katie was an interesting character to write because she's very strong in a quiet, enduring kind of way. She struggles to develop her own moral compass, independent of her parents and community. That requires a great deal of fortitude, just as much fortitude as dealing with the evil creatures in her world.

3. Does Katie or any of the characters in The Hallowed Ones resemble/reflect you in anyway? If so, how?

I think that there’s always a little bit of me in every heroine I write. Katie is a quiet observer of people, like I am. But she’s much stronger and more centered than I am. More grounded.

4. What is your favourite genre of books to read?

Definitely fantasy, in all its flavors. I love the whole speculative aspect of it, all the “What if?” questions that the genre allows us to explore.

5. If you had to stay in a dark room with one type of monster, which one would you least want to be stuck with?

Hm. I think I’d least like to be stuck with a vampire.

6. If there's one place in the world you could choose to live in, where would it be and why?

I’d like to live someplace with more forest. Someplace I can hear wind in trees and crickets at night. There’s just something very soothing to me about that.

7. What do you think is important for a young adult book?

I think it’s important for the reader to be able to imagine herself in the protagonist’s shoes – no matter how unusual or different her life may be from the reader’s.

8. If you can choose to be any one character, who would you be and what book are they from?

My all-time favorite book is Robin McKinley’s THE HERO AND THE CROWN. I read it when I was a pre-teen, and fell in love with fantasy ever after. It was the first book I’d read that had a female protagonist, Aerin, who slew her own dragons.

9. What is the most interesting thing you have learnt from writing this series?

In addition to visiting the Amish settlement near my home, I did a good deal of reading as I researched THE HALLOWED ONES. There are a lot of great books out there that look at the Plain way of life from a sociological perspective. National Geographic has also done a number of very good documentaries about the Amish.

I’m really fascinated by the idea of separateness from the outside world in Amish culture. It’s very interesting to me to see what kinds of connections are allowed and which are discouraged. Commerce with the outside world, in many ways, is permitted. Other connections, such as telephone lines and electrical wires attached to the home, are not.  

10. What are the top three country you would love to take an extended vacation in?

I’d love to vacation in Australia, New Zealand, or Japan.

11. Now, I know lots of us are excited about Book 2 The Outside. How far are you from finishing it and could you at least drop a tiny hint to us about a little something in the book?

Thanks so much! The first book left us with something of a cliffhanger, yes….but the second book will deal with how Katie deals with the devastated world beyond her community. Katie’s story comes full circle in THE OUTSIDE.  

Alrighty, onto the giveaway! I'm giving away a paperback copy of The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1) donated by Laura. This giveaway is also part of the Book Lover's Holiday Hop hosted by Kathy from I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Maryann from Chapter by Chapter. To hop to other blogs in this hop, find the list here. This giveaway is international, so anyone can enter! (As long as The Book Depository ships to you) The winner must reply within 48 hours after I've contacted him/her, otherwise a new winner will be selected. I do retain the right to disqualify any entries that are unfit. Anyway, other than that, GOOD LUCK!

The Hallowed Ones

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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Skylark (Skylark #1)

Skylark (Skylark #1) by Meagan Spooner

Rating: 4 stars

When magic is the source of all power (literally), wouldn't some people do anything to control it? Skylark is a percular (in a good way), different and other-worldly book. It is very different from any other books I have read. Meagan Spooner invents a story world where people with magic is the source of all energy and poses the question: once that energy is gone, where do they obtain more?

This book is not one of your typical YA, angry teen confusion and useless love triangles. On top of a drawing and intriguing story, Skylark, in my opinion, also deals with questions about humanity and the future. Is a closed-off and tightly controlled community worth an ultimate sacrifice of one individual (or perhaps a few individuals)? Aside from the humanity question, I also enjoyed the original idea of having magic as the a source for providing energy. The indoctrination of the so-called "Institute" (kind of like the government) obmits the truth of a celebrated event called "the Havest" from the citizens of the City. This was what led to Lark (the main character)'s discovery being so shocking and attention-grabbing to the reader. 

The story world of Lark is different from many I had encountered. Although the "Outside" and "Inside" aspect had been written numerous times by YA authors, Meagan Spooner made the aloof and cold world of Skylark stand out. The writing of the author also enabled me to imagine every little detail of the forest, the magic pockets and the city; as well as picturing tiny movements of the pixies and the character's actions. I particularly liked the description of the "Outside" world. Although dangerous, it seemed like a wonderful and magical place to explore. As I read the story, I closed my eyes and it seemed that I was in this bluish-purplish space (just like the book cover) and seeing everything in a surreal fashion. 

Another reason I enjoyed the story was the character of Lark. As the main character, Lark develops through the story. Right from the beginning, Lark was careful, genuine and intelligent. She used her intelligence to figure out things that any other adult wouldn't question and made decisions that were hard. Through the course of events, Lark became braver and stronger (she had always been adventurous). I appreciated the strong family bond between Lark and her brother, the trust and hope Lark has for him even though all odds were set against him. Nix was also a constant and caring companion I enjoyed, I hope Nix stays with Lark in the next book. The relationship between Lark and Oren is something I loved reading about. This relationship too, develops from its original tentative and enstranged state into something worthy. Oren was a mysterious character whom I didn't quite understand until the very end. However, he was protective and had a good survival instinct. The ending of Skylark left me wondering about the two and I'm eager to find out what happens next. 

However, there was still some little things that could have made the book slightly better. One of such is the amount of one-character time in the book. It was not monologues as such, but sometimes (especially the first half of the book) there were too much running around alone time with Lark. Having a character by herself for a long period of time is not very interesting to read and thus I didn't really got fully drawn into the story until quite a bit into the book. Once other characters (particularly human characters) came into the book and interactions were made, the plot became a lot more interesting. I know that this was quite hard to do in relation with this particular story, but I would like to see less of just the main character running around in the forest by herself in the next book.  

Overall, a book I really enjoyed. The ending also leaves me hanging and desperate to read the next book. Recommended! :) 


Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.
Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them? 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Author interview with Meagan Spooner and Swag Pack Giveaway

Meagan Spooner

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes. She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads. 

Skylark (Skylark #1) is one of my 2012 reads that I really enjoyed, as it is unique and deals in a world that is very separate yet somehow parallels to our own world. It involves a lot of adventure and perhaps futuristic ideas that drew me in. I will be posting my review of Skylark in the next two days (almost finished writing it! :D). But today I'm very excited to invite Meagan Spooner, the author of Skylark to my blog! Meagan has also kindly donated an amazing Skylark Swag pack as a giveaway (INT) at my blog! It's something I would love to win and scroll below to see a photo of some of the swags you can win. Hi Meagan! It's awesome to have you here and thanks for doing an interview with me :)

Meg: Hi Angela! I'm so glad that you enjoyed Skylark -- it really means the world to me to hear from people who've read and liked the book. I'm thrilled to answer some questions for you on your blog!

Alrighty, on with the interview!

1. How did you come up with the idea to write Skylark?

The world of SKYLARK came about first, while I was thinking about the energy crisis we're going through in our own world. I started thinking about alternative forms of energy, and magic popped into my head--that was where the idea came from for machines that run on magic. The rest fell into place as I went along.

2. Does Lark or any of the characters in Skylark resemble/reflect you in anyway? If so, how?

I think to a certain extent all characters are a reflection of the author. Things we love, things we want to be, things that frighten us. I get asked a lot of Lark is like me, but I don't really think she is. She's a lot tougher and braver than I am, especially as she learns and grows throughout the story. Lark makes incredibly tough decisions, things I'm not sure I could deal with!

3. What is your favourite time of the day to write and why?

I don't really have a favorite time to write. I'm a full-time writer, so I can write at any time, and often the writing happens whenever I can cram it in between email, blogging, and other book-related promo stuff. If I absolutely had to pick a time, I think I'd say first thing in the morning. I wake up very early, so when I've had a good writing day I'll have 3-4k words written by 9 AM, and there's nothing like that feeling of accomplishment.

4. If there’s one place in the world you could choose to live in, where would it be and why?

That's impossible to decide! I have way too many places I'd love to live, even just here in the US--not even overseas. When you include the entire world, it's just absolutely impossible. But places I wouldn't mind living someday include Melbourne (Australia, not Florida), Ireland, Seattle, and San Francisco.

5. What is your all-time favourite movie and why?

Again, an impossible choice! My favorite movies change places all the time. I will say that one of my consistent all-time favorites is Contact. It's a science fiction movie starring Jodie Foster, based on the book by Carl Sagan. I'm fascinated by the intersection of science and faith, facts and beliefs. (Clearly, or else I wouldn't have written a book about machines running on magic!)

6. What is your favourite snack in between working hard on your books?

I eat a lot of apples, which I like cold straight from the fridge. If I'm being bad, though, salt and vinegar potato chips are like my crack. I could eat them until my mouth just shriveled up from all the vinegar!

7. What do you think is important for a Young Adult book?

Choice. I think one of the defining charactistics of being a teenager is that you're making decisions for the first time, big decisions that could possibly impact the rest of your life in a very real way. I think that good YA books reflect that, placing a bigger than usual emphasis on the choices of the protagonist and how they drive the plot forward. A YA book should never be about the hero or heroine being bounced around by fate from one thing to the next--what happens should come straight from the choices the hero/ine makes.

8. If you could live in any ONE story, which one would it be?

THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Phillip Pullman. I want a daemon. I want one BAD.

9. What is the most interesting thing you’ve learnt from writing this series?

For the love of God, give your characters someone to talk to! I had no idea when I started writing SKYLARK how rough it is when your protagonist is alone for significant portions of the book. It worked out for the best, though, because I realized the problem while I was writing--and it led to the creation of one of my favorite characters of mine to date: Nix, the pixie that accompanies Lark throughout her journey. Needless to say, though, books two and three have a lot more characters around than book one does. 

Now, on with the giveaway! Thanks to Meagan for the awesome swag pack. Here are some of the swags you can win (a pack including signed bookmarks, signed book plates, signed postcard, buttons, stickers etc.):

To enter the giveaway, simply enter the Rafflecopter. This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway (YAY!). The winner must reply within 48 hours after I've contacted him/her, otherwise a new winner will be selected. I do retain the right to disqualify any entries that are unfit. Anyway, other than that, GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway