Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights any upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on. Here's mine for this week!

Title: Sweet Damage
Author: Rebecca James
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Released: April 2013

I still dream about Anna London's house.

In my dreams the house is more than it was in life; the building taller and more imposing, the hallways longer and more labyrinthine, the inside colder and darker than the real thing ever was.

Anna is sometimes in these dreams, lingering ghost-like and elusive ahead of or behind me, and no matter how much I chase her or call her name, I can never reach her.

In my dreams it's as if the house itself has sinister intentions. In real life, though, it wasn't the house that was responsible for what happened there. It was the people who did the damage.

Summary taken from GoodReads

Eep!  The first thing that caught me when I first saw this way back when was the title.  It sounds mysterious and I love it when words are juxtaposed like they are here to create a certain...something.  And while the cover may not be all that eye-grabbing, it does still kind of highlight the creepiness of the synopsis.

What about you?  What do you think?  Leave me your thoughts and don't forget to link me up!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review: Walking in the Shadows

Title: Walking in the Shadows
Author: Cassandra Giovanni
Publisher: Self-published
Released: 29th October 2012
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read In Between Seasons by Cassandra Giovanni a while back, I was eager to see what more she had in store with Walking in the Shadows.  Let me tell you, this was not as good as IBS.  It was better.  Giovanni has emerged again, this time with a (dare I say it) more compelling romance, an intriguing plotline, and a story that is overall much more well—rounded. 

Abigail Martin is a girl who now spends her life as Vera MacIntyre under the witness protection programme.  With her parents murdered by a serial killer who seems to have an unhealthy appreciation for Crimson Reign, the new vampire saga, it wasn’t safe for her to remain where she was and so moved state.  Now she’s at school, shocked by the fact that the guy she fell in love with just before term started is the guy who’s now her British Lit teacher.  As if her day-to-day life wasn’t difficult enough, now she has to make sure that no-one ever finds out about them.  It’s not long, however, until her life is even more threatened by the re-emergence of the serial killer. 

I know what you’re thinking.  Student-teacher relationship?  So not gonna work.  Or if it’s not that, then it’s about the vampire saga thing.  Am I right?  While those are totally understandable concerns, reading the book makes you realise that in this case, they’re unwarranted. 

Abigail (or Vera) was such a remarkable protag.   A lot of the scenes in this book take place in her Brit Lit class, which of course meant that I was taken in from the start, me being a Brit myself and lover of literature and all.  This girl likes Austen and Wuthering Heights, for crying out loud.  I loved seeing all the insights she had to all the texts they studied.  But, student fandom aside, she really grew as a character.  From the start she was strong, coping with a life your average teenager wouldn’t know how to; she was a lot older than her years.  Equally, she was vulnerable.  I loved seeing her grow from this girl who kept everything in to someone who learned how to let people in.  She was more open with her emotions and actually grew to remember how to laugh and relax again, and it was incredibly endearing. 

‘I am threatened by the resolve that you are my soul.  You are my being, you are every breath I take, you are my home.  The sweetest sin.’ 

Tad Knightley actually isn’t that much older than Abbi.  There was something about the two of them that just clicked, and the fact that she both acted and looked older than her years definitely helped.  I did grow a little frustrated with him at times.  While Abbi was being much more cautious and telling him to be more careful because of the consequences should anyone find out about them, he was doing the opposite and telling her he didn’t care because he couldn’t keep pretending.  But for all that, he was so sweet, and quite frankly he turned my heart to mush.  It’s become apparent to me that Giovanni knows how to write an addictive romance.  As was the case in IBS, perhaps more so, I was totally, 100% rooting for these two, constantly worried about who might find out about their relationship and wanting nothing but good things for them.

This is very much a character-driven book, but there were some other plot additions.  The murder plotline didn’t start to come in until a little later, but it was definitely there in sufficient quantity.  I was intrigued by the idea of a serial killer obsessed by vampires; admittedly, when the murderer was revealed at the end and there was a certain scene between said murderer and Abbi, I was a little sceptical.  It did feel quite stupid, quite unbelievable to be honest, and I laughed at the ridiculousness of it.  But it did also remind me of an article I read a few months back of a real case of wannabe vampirism, so I guess it’s possible.  It was so sad to see both the physical and emotional impact it had on Abbi.

Overall, this was a highly compelling book.  I loved the development of the characters and how they were well-rounded; I loved the flow. I especially loved the romantic plotline between Tad and Abbi.  I was honestly just glued to my seat, wanting to read more about the both of them, both individually and as a couple.  There was a beautiful mix of banter and seriousness.  If you’re an unashamed romance junkie like I am, I can definitely recommend this. 

A huge thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Review: Morningside

Title: Morningside
Author: Ashely Madau
Publisher: Cambridge Press
Released: November 2012
Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ava is a normal girl in the 1920s. One night sees her attending a wedding; an event that should be full of fun and goodwill quickly turns into one of danger instead and before she knows it she’s been turned into a vampire – except she isn’t a normal kind of vampire. Events see her leaving her sire’s home, only to return 80 years later. Someone’s after her blood, and they won’t stop until they get it.

This is a difficult review for me to write because everything really comes down to one issue: development. The ideas behind Morningside are brilliant. I really liked the idea of a half human, half vampire being – but it’s not in the way you might think. I also liked the kind of vampire that Julian was; Ashley Madau definitely has some original ideas here. Reading from Ava’s perspective was quite enjoyable because I could always get a sense of her emotions and each image was clear in my head.

For me, what we have here are the bones of a story. Disjointed scenes and ideas left me really quite confused because there was little flow and explanation; pretty much every scene and character could have done with fleshing out. Ava didn’t seem to be overly troubled by the fact she would never be able to contact her family again; she didn’t question the fact that Liam had human food in the kitchen (of which, incidentally, there was no sign of eighty years later). What also confused me somewhat was why it was her blood that the mysterious E was after. E was the sire of Liam, who had turned Ava into a vampire. While I knew that Ava’s blood was obviously different, I didn’t see how it was supposed to achieve the goal that E was chasing.

Liam was an OK character, but he was really closed-off. One minute hot, one minute cold, there was very little insight to his character. I grew attached to him only slightly, and it was a shame because what I saw of him – the true him, behind the mask – I really liked; what would have been better was to see much more of that. The same went for Julian also. In terms of what he was and what he could do – fantastic. There was some emotional insight but again, not enough. So for me, what I was seeing was this half-hearted, unexplained love triangle. Not a good combination. Because of this lack of development, I couldn’t see why Ava was interested in either of them…and I didn’t know what it was about her that pulled them in. strangely enough, though, if I had to pick, it would’ve been Liam.

There were some good scenes in here – when it comes to action, Madau knows how to make it compelling. That was when I started to actually feel what was going on. What was key here was the description. These scenes were the ones that were more fleshed out, that flowed better, that just had more detail. It would have been great to see this consistently across the book.

The ending, I think, was what sealed the deal. It felt very rushed, and there were no answers. None. No closure. Which then begs the question – what was the point of the story? If all that stuff happened, if Ava’s life was in danger and her blood was the key, surely we’re supposed to find out why? Find out what she is? Maybe, if it was written with care, it might just make sense. It might just be fair. But it was written so casually and quickly that it just didn’t sit right. Oh, and that love triangle? It’s not worth taking sides.

Overall, I found this to be really disappointing. What I was reading was ideas, and the ideas were fantastic. No question about it. But they needed developing and expanding; answers were needed for the question. The way it was wrapped up leaves no room for a sequel, though I can’t say for definite if there will or won’t be one. It just needs a whole lot of development, and had there been, I would have enjoyed this so much more.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Blog Tour Review & Guest Post: 6 Seconds of Life

Title: 6 Seconds of Life
Author: Tonya Fitzharris
Publisher: Self-published
Released: 1st September 2012
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first saw this, and read what it was about, I was intrigued.  A girl who steps off a bridge and has six seconds before she crashes into the sea - six seconds to reflect on her life, to think about her relationship with her parents, with her boyfriend, to think about the utter mess that her life had become.  I was so curious to see how the author could manage to write a story that covered the span of six seconds and if it would work.

Let me tell you, Tonya Fitzharris rocked it.

I loved the way it was set out.  A little bit of time was spent at the beginning just setting the scene; it didn't just randomly jump to the suicide.  Maura's state of mind was presented clearly.  There was this wonderful alternation between past and present, yet not overly so.  Even within memories, other past moments intersected - and the beauty of it was that it all made perfect sense.  Snippets of Maura's life were expertly crafted into dialogue and letters, and the overall effect of it was to give this brilliantly complete image of her life and how time was passing.

Reading from Maura's perspective was...intense.  It was so easy to feel like what it was to be in her head.  She is an incredibly tense character.  At the same time it's obvious she's broken, and the stem of it all is her parents.  So many times I wanted to snap at them to just get it together.  Her father needed to move on with his life and actually be there rather than just lecture at her and dictate terms; her mother needed to get out of this ridiculous Victorian notion of a woman, live in the real world, grow a backbone and also stick with it when she wanted to have a real conversation with her daughter rather than abandon her when it got too tough.  With all the strains and secrets of their marriage it's no wonder their already sensitive daughter was coming apart at the seams.

I was completely swept up in the downward spiral that was Maura's life.  I felt for her and was frustrated with her at the same time.  She wasn't exactly helping herself, and I wanted her to try and regain some control of her life.  But clearly she didn't know how to do that and the people around her weren't helping.  Normally I would have been utterly annoyed at how she was losing herself yet Fitzharris made me want to reach out to her instead.  I was especially glad to see her challenge her mother at the end and try and force her out of that bubble she lived in almost perpetually.

Owen also led to a softening of my heart.  It was quite weird, because in a way he did help in making Maura's life worsee by repeatedly behaving in a way that was totally unnecessary and he encouraged her to be more like him.  At the same time he took the time to actually get to know Maura and despite everything else he was actually serious about her.  It was sad to see what happened between them and sort of strange to be able to identify with both of their sides.  They reminded me of Abby and Travis in Beautiful Disaster.

The ending I think I saw coming.  It was kind of the opposite of what I wanted, but I'm just that way and it was still wrapped up neatly.  It put the finishing touches on what turned out to be a wonderful, emotional read.  6 Seconds of Life is about a girl who struggles to cope with events in her life and who suffers and is tormented to the point that she can't bear it any longer; it's about a girl whose exhaustion is so palpable it's as if you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.  I'd definitely recommend that you read it as soon as you can if it sounds like your thing.

Guest Post
Why Book Covers are So Important

 I know that we all like to pretend we don’t base our opinions on looks—but come on. We all know deep down that looks are incredibly important—ESPECIALLY for books.  The cliché “don’t judge a book by its cover” couldn’t be more wrong.  As humans, we are drawn to things that are visually appealing—it’s our natural instinct. Therefore, if we have a choice between five books, without knowing a single thing about the author nor the subject matter—what’s the first thing we’re going to be drawn to? Images (with titles right behind, of course).  A strong, beautiful image can make or break a book. A strong image can make people think, can make people curious, and make people want to know more.
Your book NEEDS a strong image if you’re going to be successful.         
If you’re aiming at or in the process of being traditionally published, make sure to have your voice heard as much as possible when it comes to making that fateful decision. That is, if you have that opportunity. I’ve read several stories of Big 6 authors who had zero say over what the editors picked and absolutely hated the final product. To me, that’s got to be painful—seeing, quite often, your life’s work presented to the world in a distasteful package. But let’s hope you do get a voice. Be sure to share your opinions to anyone and everyone who’s willing to listen—don’t chance it by leaving it totally up to them.

If you’re going to publish yourself, you get all the control. And honestly, that’s one of my favorite things about being an indie author. I love art and I love the opportunity to connect a piece of art to my own story. So when you set out to get your own cover, have a rough idea of an image in mind. Find a fantastic graphic artist who can help you bring that image to life (I know that self-publishing can get expensive, but this is not the time to count pennies. Spend as much money as you can to get the greatest artist you can. It is worth every cent). Make sure it’s what you want—it’s your own hard-earned money out of your own pocket, so don’t be afraid to speak of if changes need to be made. If you’re stuck for an image idea, think of a pivotal moment in your character’s journey that could be depicted on the cover. Or maybe even a special symbol or location. Just be sure it’s something that matters. There are far too many headless girls or girls in random pretty dresses donning the covers of the YA world these days. Do something that stands out. Do something provocative. Do something that makes people have to read your book.

Whatever you do, don’t hold back your creative intuition.
Your story is worth all of it.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#15)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.  Mine for the week is:

Title: Revolution 19
Author: Gregg Rosenblum
Publisher: Harper Teen
Released: 8th January 2013

Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed.

Summary taken from GoodReads

A robot revolution, huh?  Now there's an interesting concept if ever there was one.  The idea of robots having that degree of awareness and perhaps even emotion is definitely intriguing.  The idea of them even fighting our wars in the first place makes me unable to decide whether that's lazy of humans or just ingenius. Probably both.  Either way, once again the race has landed themselves in their own mess.  Typical, eh? I can't wait to see what the author does with this!

What about you?  Link me up!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Hey guys!

OK, so the news you've all been waiting for: the winner of my birthday giveaway.  It is...*drumroll*

Lauren @ The Headless Owl

I've emailed the winner and you have 48 hours to reply before someone else gets picked!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered. :)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Review: How I Got Here

Title: How I Got Here
Author: Hannah Harvey
Publisher: self-published
Released: 18th July 2012
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The past few weeks I’ve just been getting through the days, barely keeping up with all the work I have and the few times I’m free not really feeling in the mood to read. Finally, knowing that I had a huge number of books to get through, I pulled myself together and started reading How I Got Here. All I can say is, thank God it was a Friday. Once I started this, I could not stop.

How I Got Here is the story of 18 year old River Lee. Stuck in hospital for anorexia, she remains silent and lives in her own thoughts. The doctors can’t understand her behaviour and soon give up on trying…that is, until Oliver comes along. Sensing that she’s had a harder time than anyone realises, he helps River work through her past and gets her to explain just how she got here.

Normally, I wouldn’t read a book about anorexia. I didn’t realise that would be a part of it when I started this. Normally, I probably wouldn’t even think twice about picking it up if I’d just happened to see the cover. Luckily for me, I did read the synopsis and decided to read it. Let me tell you, what’s inside this book is beautiful. The first thing that I loved was how it was structured. The story alternates between a letter from River and Oliver’s point of view, carrying on until the letters are over and it’s just POVs. I found that it really worked; it enabled River to convey both her past and what she was feeling at the time she was writing it, and then we’d get to see Oliver’s thoughts and more of his own life as he was dealing with her case. River was quite a strong character, not only because she’d survived what had happened to her, but also because she knew what she had to do to get better, both physically and emotionally; she didn’t keep putting herself over others, and she actually brought in some humour. The way she wrote the letters really had me feeling for her.

Through River’s past, this book tackles quite a few significant issues, but at the same time not making it too heavy. It really drives home the effect bullying can have, and like River, I couldn’t believe how ridiculous the trigger for it was. I’m not sure whether it was too ridiculous to be realistic, but at the same time I’m pretty sure there are people out there who are just like Kim, the girl who starts making River’s life hell. I was also shocked at her family and the way they were just completely oblivious. Her mother’s behaviour at one point was completely unexpected; where I thought that the allegations and supposed ‘evidence’ against her had been faked by the bullies, it was actually true for once and I couldn’t believe she’d done that. River’s brother was the opposite of unhelpful, and her father infuriatingly chose to believe there wasn’t any problem. I did get quite a mixed view of him, however, as towards the end it did seem as if he grew to understand what his daughter needed.

I also found myself rooting for Oliver and River as a couple. Theirs isn’t a traditional type of relationship and actually reminded me of Sebastian and Alison in Ultraviolet. I just loved how Oliver actually took the time to know her and didn’t keep pushing her for information. His sister irritated me to no end and I was glad when he’d finally had enough after realising what she’d done. For the last part of the book every time I pressed the ‘next’ button on my Kindle I’d just keep looking at how far I was from the end, watching it get closer and closer to 100% and wondering how much further it could possible go on before I got the ending I wanted in terms of their relationship. Harvey sure doesn’t mind cutting it close, but I guess that’s half the fun. ;)

This isn’t your average book dealing with the kinds of issues River faced, and I do think a lot of that was due to the structure and way the relationship was crafted. Because of that I really enjoyed it. Again, I did have a big issue with all the grammatical errors, so this could do with a lot of polishing. If you look at the story itself, however, the events and the emotions going on, this is definitely a worthwhile read.

A big thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#14)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.  Here's mine for this week:

Title: The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Released: 12th March 2013

He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Summary taken from GoodReads
This book has been taunting me for ages and it's still not out.  I mean...that cover?  An actual bad boy?  A soul collector?  All of that and we still have to wait?  My hair's going to go grey with the pain of it all.
So what do you think? Does this sound like your kind of thing?  Don't forget to link me up if you have your own post!  And even if you don't...what are you looking forward to?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Review: The Angel and the Devil by My Side

Title: The Angel and the Devil by My Side
Author: Nicole France
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Released: 17th April 2012
Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5 stars

Abby Mathers sees demons.  Each appearance brings with it torture and pain, not to mention the extremely confusing matter of them calling her Casey.  Taking this information to her parents makes them doubt her sanity, and even when her parents are right there they can’t see the demons, making it seem as though she is harming herself.  All of this makes her look crazy, which is exactly what the demons want.   Placed in a mental institution, Abby must figure out who Casey is and how to survive against these creatures of hell, as well as learn to come to terms with her past.

I had...very mixed feelings about this.  In some ways it was good, in others it was extremely frustrating, and I think ultimately that frustration won out.  The first thing that I really need to get out of the way before I go on is that this book needs a lot of polishing.  I’m talking punctuation, capital letters, flow.  Exactly the same mistakes were made the entire way through, and I honestly expect more of a book whether published through a known company or through the author themself.  I was kind of able to look over it, but at the same time because those errors spanned the entirety of the book it was hard to just keep on ignoring it, especially as these were the very basics of writing properly.  I know some people don’t mind it so much, and it doesn’t always affect me hugely, but I have to say it really bothered me here.
Abby…*sigh* Let’s talk about her good points first.  She is a strong character.  Undoubtedly.  She deals with a mental asylum, she fights for Casey, she shows herself to be unselfish and determined.  Despite my understanding her parents’ doubt when she talked about demons, I still really felt for her because absolutely no-one was listening.  At all.  I  couldn’t believe that both her family and the doctors thought that all the damage her body suffered  was due to her own actions – and let me tell you, she was damaged a lot, and sometimes in ways that would have been impossible to do herself.  I couldn’t stand to see the way she was begging and pleading, and how the only apparent solution to her ‘delusions’ was to pump her full of drugs.

But at the same time, she was not acting in a way that was helping her case.  No sensible person would do what she did.  You can’t try to convince someone you’re not crazy one minute and then describe a situation with demons the next.  You can’t talk about angels and avengers.  It seemed she never really learned from her mistakes.  There was also a period a lot later on where she didn’t seem to care that other people knew what was in her best interests, that they cared and that they were giving her specific instructions for a reason.  If she’d controlled herself at this time, that would have shown even more strength, not to mention sense.

The writing, too, was a mixed bag.  There were some parts that were written quite well and that had me drawn in and muttering resentfully when I had to stop reading for one reason or another.  Parts that really had me feeling Abby’s suffering and wanting to know what was going to happen next.  But it was quite jumpy and there was one part that just left me wondering where on earth it had come from because it was totally out of the blue and just seemed a bit far-fetched.  The story also seemed to drag on quite a bit and I think there were definitely areas that could have been cut to save repetition.

And that ending.  I’m all for twists, but this one really didn’t work for me.   I was literally just left sitting there, Kindle in hand, wondering what had just happened.  How could the entire book have led up to that?  In one sense it was a brilliant plot twist, but I think overall for me it didn’t work and wasn’t written particularly clearly.

Overall, this was a very frustrating read for me.  Some parts of it I really enjoyed, but I don’t know that it was enough to leave me satisfied with it overall.  I know I haven’t mentioned anything about the romance – and that’s because there isn’t any.  That’s not a bad thing in this case, though (now there’s something I never thought I’d say).  Just be prepared for some seemingly pointless comments from Abby.  I know other people have thoroughly enjoyed it, so if you’re still not sure, be sure to check out their reviews.  For me, I loved the concept, but the execution perhaps wasn’t all that great.
Thank you to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

PROMO: Destiny Road by Melissa Wray

Hey everyone!  So today, I have for you the wonderful Melissa Wray talking a bit about herself and her debut novel, plus an excerpt!  Also - you know how Aussie authors are known for their awesomeness right now?  Well, my friends...this particular author is from the land of Oz herself. Enjoy. ;)

Title: Destiny Road
Author: Melissa Wray
Publisher: Morris Publishing Australia
Released: 27th August 2012

Destiny Road is a story of decisions and consequence. It is a real life journey that changes the life of the main character, Jessica, in ways she couldn't imagine.

Brought up without a father, at 16 Jessica meets him for the first time. Before she has a chance to get to know him, her mother whisks her away to a new town. Leaving her life-long friends behind and starting at a new school is more than Jessica can cope with. Being threatened on her first day at her new school doesn't help at all. She struggles to fit in and begins to question her life.

And then she is faced with a huge decision – a chance to go back to her old life – but it comes at a cost. Follow Jessica's journey as she struggles to find the right path and deals with the trauma of a new life, her first relationship and growing up.

About Melissa
From the time I could talk I was always going to be a primary school teacher. So after many different part time jobs to get through university I finally got there.  After 14 years of teaching I still love it!  Then when I had my first child in 2006 I thought (naively) I would have time to pursue my writing interest.

I never intended to write for a young adult audience but Destiny Road is very special to me.  When I was 16 I went to live with my father for the first time (just like Jessica does).  Unlike Jessica I had known him all my life but my parents had separated when I was very young.  So there are moments in the book that are written true to life...but I won't give away what those moments are!  Destiny Road is my first published novel and I am very proud of it.  I was never able to say thank you to my dad for saying yes when I asked could I live with him.  He passed away several years ago and it has always bothered me that I could not get those words out before he died. Now with Destiny Road I feel like I have said them, so hopefully he knows.

Here is a short exert from Destiny Road.

Chapter 1
First Day

You look like this chick I wanna bash.’

A girl of similar age stares in my direction. A look of amusement settles as she leans casually against the metal shelter. Plum coloured curls are pulled sharply off her face with no chance of escape. The palms of her hands thump against her thighs repeatedly. Da-dump, da-dump, da-dump. She stares at me without blinking. A hint of a smirk pulls at the corner of her lips. Movement around the bus stop freezes as those nearby notices the tension in the air. The conversations abruptly end as everyone turns to look at me.

Heat rises up my neck as I turn around, hoping she is talking to someone else. I’m desperate to know it’s not me this stranger I’ve never laid eyes on, wants to beat up. My insides sink as I discover what I already knew to be true. Some leaves scatter as a breeze bursts past but there is nobody behind me. Swirling back to face my antagonist, I realise no one is within a two metre radius. Like ants, they’ve scuttled away from the danger point. Pressure builds in my body like a slingshot straining to ping. My legs feel like they will collapse at any moment.

It suddenly dawns on me that no-one has ever threatened me before. At no time have I ever had to defend myself from bodily harm. Sure I’ve had a few disagreements with others, but nothing life threatening. The most heated argument I ever got into was when Veronica Litchen accused me of stealing her precious souvenir from an overseas holiday. She screamed obscenities at me I had never heard before. That was in the sixth grade. It turned up later in the front pocket of her school bag. I didn’t put it there. I hadn’t laid eyes on the stupid snow globe she’d bought in to show. To this day, I don’t know who took it and let me take the blame. Veronica’s anger was nothing compared to the waves of contempt rolling off this girl. Who does this psycho think she is?

Fear builds rapidly within, but I manage to keep my voice even. ‘Do you mean me?’ I manage a smile as if it is all just a bad joke that I am prepared to go along with.

She looks incredulous that I could misinterpret her accusation. ‘Yeah,’ she sneers. ‘I mean you.’


Monday, 8 October 2012

Birthday Giveaway!!

Hey everyone!

So, as you can see by the title, it is officially my birthday and as of today I'm 18.  Yep, that's right.  In the eyes of the law I am now an adult.  Isn't that what every kid strives for?  I know this is the point where I'm supposed to make some kind of joke about my maturity level and how the law should know better but believe it or not, at the risk of sounding immodest, I am actually quite mature.  So you'll forgive me if I just kind of skip over that part. :P

Anywho, in honour of the Big Day, I have decided to host a giveaway!  It just happens to be my first, and you can imagine how terrified I was, with my absolutely atrocious computer skills, that I wouldn't be able to do it. Something may still go wrong, but who knows.  Let's keep our fingers crossed.

I know you don't want to hear my rambling, so on to the important stuff.  The giveaway is a book of your choice from the Book Depository up to £8.  It is open internationally as long as TBD ships to your country.

So there you go!  Enjoy! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 5 October 2012

Promo: 6 Seconds of Life

Hey guys!  Today I'm super excited to be taking part in the promo for 6 Seconds of Life.  So, without further ado, here it is.

Purchase: Amazon|Barnes and Noble|Smashwords

Maura has just jumped.

Now she has precisely six seconds until she hits the water below her - just six more seconds until she is finally freed from her mundane and aimless existence.  Freed of all of the regrets and disappointments that have haunted her throughout her nineteen years.

She just needs to be free.

But as she falls, the most pivotal points of her life start to replay like a movie in her head: her family falling apart, her first love, her first heartbreak, her first true friends, and her first betrayal.  As she remembers these moments that brought her to this point, will she feel a sense of peace? Or will her death be her greatest regret?

            “I guess I’ll just know it when that time finally comes along,” he whispers. His lips graze my cheek and we stop waltzing. His hand comes up and brushes my flyaway bangs behind my ear, the tips of his fingers running along the back of my earlobe. An overpowering wave of desire and anticipation wells up from my stomach, causing my internal hurricane to erupt into a monsoon. I let his eyes lock with mine, restraining me like a pair of handcuffs. They inspect me, almost like they’re looking right through my skin and into everything that’s underneath, begging to learn anything and everything about me. I don’t move.  Maybe if I can manage to stay totally still, this moment might last forever.
            His face moves closer. My chest is caving in on itself.
            Is this it?
Author bio
Tonya Fitzharris is a writer, reader, blogger, mediocre cook, photograher, runner, Florida natove and cat lover.  She used to be a Middle School English teacher, but nor she's trying out the whole novel writing thing.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband and her Belgian cat named Waffles.