Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday #1

This is the first Follow Friday post for Cotton Candy Reviews. Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee. This meme is to help all us bloggers out there get to know one another. There is also a weekly featured blogger and this week is Mickey from I'm a Book Shark.

Q. In light of the Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

I have three. Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, Barrons is just so yummy. I also love her Highlander series, and that's how I got into her Fever series. Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey, I love how it has characters based losely on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. Her books are just that little bit darker.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 4

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Tiger's Voyage (Tiger Saga #3) by Colleen Houck
Publication Date: November 2011

In the third installment of the Tiger series, Kelsey Hayes pushes through the pain of lost love and strengthens her friendship with Kishan. Despite his strong feelings for her, Kishan has agreed to be her ally in helping her reunite with the man she still loves. Together, they seek to help Ren regain his memory and begin the search for the third magical gift—an object of power that will help break the curse that causes them to live part of their lives as tigers.

They board a luxury yacht and seek Durga's aid once again, who supplies them with her golden weapons. With Nilima, Mr. Kadam, Ren, and Kishan at her side, she soon learns that the task ahead will be even more difficult than the others. Confronting a dark magician, multiple dragons, and terrifying denizens of the deep seems easy when compared to facing the daunting task of stitching up her heart. Just when she thinks she's ready to set her feet on a new path, she is yanked back with a jolt to the one she's determined to leave behind.

The jarring tug-of-war that ensues for Kelsey's heart leaves her anxious and confused. Combined with the stress of almost being killed every other day, it would appear that saving the tigers is almost more than she can handle. Still, she presses on, knowing that a choice is looming on the horizon. One she cannot put off making for long.

Tiger's Voyage is an irresistible romance with a barrage of action on the high seas, where a reader will find a treasure chest full of dragons, sea monsters, knights in shining armor, fabled weapons, and enduring love. The tropic waters of India create the backdrop for the latest installment in the tiger series. This novel, a multicultural take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, delves into the complex emotional turmoil and pressure associated with not only making the best choice for a nation but also the best choice for yourself.

I'm going a little crazy for this series at the moment.  It's not a complete cover but, I can not wait until this is released! What are you waiting on?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Title: Tiger's Curse - The Tiger Saga #1
Author: Colleen Houck 
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: January 11th 2011
Publishers: Hodder
Available from: Amazon
Amazon UK
The Book Depository
The Nile

Passion. Fate. Loyalty. 

Would you risk it all to change your destiny? 

The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever. 

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

I had heard a few people discussing this books for several months and I decided to finally get a copy. I am so glad I did. Tiger's Curse is a wonderful story that features a young woman who is swept into an epic story featuring two dark, gorgeous brothers and a curse that has kept them as tigers for over 300 years. Colleen Houck has created an enchanting tale that had me glued to the pages. Kelsey is the young heroine who has been in foster care since her junior year after the death of her parents. She's a character that is easy to relate to. I have to say she is one of the better YA female leads that I have read in a long time. She's humble, quite self conscious and is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of girl. Ren is an Indian prince cursed to walk the earth as a tiger, after his brother betrayed him.. To say he's good-looking would be a gross understatement. Cobalt blue eyes, dark golden skin and black hair. I fell in love with him. He's warm, honest, caring, compassionate, noble and admirable. Then there's his brother Kishan. He's the darker of the two and brings humour to the story. He's sarcastic, and likes pushing Ren's buttons. I love the tension between the brothers. It adds a little extra to the story. Who doesn't have a soft spot for the bad boy? Damon, anyone? They're both fiercely protective of Kelsey, and it makes me feel all warm and mushy. I think I better stop now or I'm going to ramble on and on. 
I love the history and mythology that Colleen Houck has woven into this book. Fraught with danger, adventure and a breathtaking love story, Tiger's Curse is definitely one book you have to pick up this year. 

I have to share one quote from Kelsey: "Falling for him would be like cliff diving. It would be either the most exhilarating thing that ever happened to me or the stupidest mistake I’d ever make."  

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

 I went to the shops yesterday and bought these:
-Silvermay by James Moloney
-Tiger's Quest by Colleen Huock
-The Haunted by Jessica Verday
-Divergent by Veronica Wroth
-The Girl in the Steel Corset
-Forgotten by Cat Adams
-Almost Final Curtain by Tate Hallaway

I won these books from the wonderful Kristi @ The Book Faery
-Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
-Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick
-Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper
-Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

I ordered these from Amazon UK because they have free shipping to Aus & NZ when you spend over 25 pounds:
-Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
-Firelight by Sophie Jordan
-A Mortal Touch by Leah Clifford
-Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

And for review I received:
-Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner from Random House Aus.

I think I got quite a nice haul this week. Lol. What about you?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

Title: Passion - Fallen Book 3
Author: Lauren Kate 
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: June 14th 2011
Publishers: Delacorte Books
Available from: Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever." 

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . . 

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last. 

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. 

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever. 

In Passion, we follow Luce as she tries to find the origins of her and Daniels curse. I found Passion to be a little different than the two previous books, and I really enjoyed it. I liked learning more about Luce and Daniel and their centuries of story. It gave me a better understanding of them as a couple.  I think I felt more for Luce in this book. She seemed a little more real to me and I really felt for her. She goes through so much to see if what her and Daniel have is real or just a by product of their curse. Daniel always seemed so perfect and wonderful and in Passion, you get to see a different side of him. He has a pretty tragic time, having to watch Luce die over and over. His suffering is so raw and made me feel crying a few times. 
There's a lot going on but it doesn't take away from the story as it is the story. We get to visit war torn Russia, Victorian England and the ancient Maya as Luce travels through the announcers. Lauren Kate brings these past times to life, even though Luce's time in these periods is brief.  I can't really say to much as I don't want to give too much away. But there is a funny little side character that has a massive secret that I didn't see coming. Passion is probably the best in the Fallen series. It's a sweeping tale of a love that last centuries, and two characters that dare to defy a fate that was handed down to them. If you haven't picked up Passion, or it's predecessors Fallen and  Torment you are missing out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 3

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Publication Date: September 27th 2011

From Goodreads:
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.
Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.
Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

I really like this cover and have been hearing so many great things about The Faerie Ring, that I had to do a WoW on it. I am hoping it will be published in Australia because it's one I'm eagerly awaiting, that's for sure. What are you waiting on?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

This week for review I received:
* Tallow & Votive by Karen Brooks from Random House
*Passion by Lauren Kate from Random House
* Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner from Random House
* Winter's Shadow by M.J Hearle from Pan Macmillan

I'm so happy I got Passion and Winter's Shadow. These are two books I have been dying to read.
Thank you to Louise McClean from Random House Australia and Louise Cornege from Pan Macmillan for these books.

This week I bought:
* Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck (so many people are raving about this book I just had to grab it)
*Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

What did you get? Have you got any of these?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 2

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Publication Date: August 23rd 2011

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, but the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear.  Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession.  But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons.  Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

Another beautiful cover. What are you waiting on?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: June 28th 2011
Publishers: HarlequinTeen
Available from: Amazon
The Book Depository
This galley was provided to me by NetGalley.

What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.
Spellbound is about 16 year old Emma. She's had a lot of tragedy in her life, and goes t live with her Aunt Christine in New York. There she attends Vincent Academy, called Vince A by the students. Vince A is a very exclusive school for the children of rich families. Vince A  has your usual gay guy, bitchy girl and tough jock, though these characters are not as clich├ęd as you think. 
Emma is tough and isn't afraid to stand up for herself. She doesn't feel like she belongs at Vince A and she just wants to be invisible, but that doesn't go to plan when she is singled out by Kristin and stands up for herself. Of course Kristin is a character you love to hate. Emma makes a few friends quickly and their characters help bring the story to life. Brendan is Emma's love interest and has her off center as soon as she meets him. He's gorgeous and rich, and is aloof from pretty much everyone. She is very intrigued by him and tries her hardest to ignore him. Brendan's character was a little different to the archetypal young males we see in the same types of books. He's strong, handsome, smart and a little overprotective. Although this is why we love these guys. 
 I enjoyed the premise behind the story, soul mates coming together with a tragic ending. Shultz has created a love story that spans the ages, and comes to a gripping end. There's a lot of history behind Emma and Brendan's tale and I really enjoyed how it was written. The divergence from the current trend of vampires and werewolves is very refreshing. There aren't many books out there with witches as the main focus. I recommend Spellbound if your after an epic love story, great characters and an engrossing finale. It leaves you wondering if everything really is over.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto trailer!

Guess what? I get a review copy next month!! I am sooo freaking excited!

Interview with Rebecca Lim

For those who haven't heard, what is your novel about? 
Available now.

My latest book for young adults – Mercy – brings together some of the genre-mashing I enjoy as a reader. It’s a YA mystery/crime novel – but with angels and Latin, choral music, school bullies and a whisper of romance thrown in.  
Its heroine is an exiled archangel who constantly finds herself shifted into an unbroken chain of human lives – she keeps “waking” to find herself inhabiting the body of a stranger and is forced continually to think on the fly, seek to find meaning, and adapt, just to survive. Despite possessing shattered memories of who or what she once was, she always remains true to her essential nature, regardless of what’s thrown at her. I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone with extraordinary powers to be suffering from a bizarre kind of amnesia where she only has prismatic flashes of memory and insight. The inklings of more than one past life, and of what she’s truly capable of, would (hopefully) make things interesting and keep the reader guessing, because the character would always be a little off balance. She'd be experiencing pretty much what the reader would be doing - trying to join the dots so that things make sense.  

Can you tell us a little about your lead characters? 
Available now.

With Mercy herself, I consciously set out to create a female heroine who can, literally, do anything if she puts her mind to it. I wanted to show that it's okay to be a smart-mouthed, think-on-your-feet, strong and abrasive, yet empathetic character, who also happens to be female. It's not something that should just be the province of male hero-types. 
Ryan is the mortal boy who stumbles across the fact that Mercy exists, even though the face and body she’s “wearing” and the life she’s “living” belong to someone else altogether. To say he’s intrigued by her, is an understatement. 
Luc is Mercy’s flame from way back that she’s being kept away from for reasons that aren’t yet clear to her (or the reader). Despite Mercy’s exile, Luc is somehow still able to contact Mercy in her dreams, while she’s asleep, though physically, he’s never been able to track her down. When he gets too close, she gets shifted again into another life. 

Is there one place you'd love to go but have never been before? 

Marrakech. It just sounds so otherworldly and beautiful. 

Can you give us a little information about the types of books you write? 

I’ve written books for boys and girls aged 9 –12, toddlers (2 - 4), and teen (13+) and pre-teen (9 – 13) female readers. Every book has been a blast to write but I have to adjust the language (I’m often reminded “no swearing!”) and conceptual layering.  
I probably feel most comfortable writing for the YA age group because they’re open minded and willing to embrace anything the author dishes out, provided it’s a good read and they’re hooked into the story.  

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?  

When I was around 6 or 7, but reality kind of intruded and I got sidetracked into a “respectable” day job for a while.  

Was there any research you had to do for your book? 

I’m a lapsed Presbyterian choir nerd, so for the choral scenes I basically had the Mahler Symphony No. 8 score open next to me while I wrote them.  
But I have to stress that “Mercy” is not pushing any religious wheelbarrow whatsoever. Angels appear across many faiths and cultures and I’m writing non-denominational angels here.  

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?  

A bit mad. I have 3 kids who insist on popping up like gophers in the middle of the night (when I do most of my work). The words are either flowing, or I’m on another planet altogether. 

Do you think you have an interesting writing quirk? 
Does brie count as a quirk? 

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 

Everywhere. The news is pretty staggering; old poems; trashy magazines; the web; stuff I overhear in the street from eavesdropping on people. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That YA readers are the most voracious and interested, switched-on and questioning readers out there. It’s an entire universe I don’t think I was fully aware of, and I’m really privileged to be a part of it. 

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? 

I haven’t fully committed to the idea of creating a website or blogging about what I’m up to, because I’m not sure if any one would be interested, frankly. But I do catch up on some of my reviews for “Mercy” online. And some of them have been really lovely, but others have been a little surprising. 
I’m just happy when I find out that a reader “gets” what I’m trying to do. You create this stuff in a vacuum and hope that people will like what you’re doing and where you’re headed. 

What do you think makes a good story?  

Strong, authentic, believable characters. Plus, a pacy storyline that doesn't contain too many red herrings or cul-de-sacs. I personally can’t keep reading if the main female character acts brainless or has no backbone. That just gets my goat, sorry. 

Rebecca Lim is a writer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a commercial lawyer for several years before leaving to write full time. Rebecca is the author of ten other books for children and young adult readers, and her novels have been translated into German, French and Turkish.


*This is interview is taken from my other blog Strange Candy Reviews.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Fury (Fury, #1)

Publication Date: August 30th 2011

From Goodreads:
The first book in a paranormal teen trilogy featuring three beautiful, mysterious girls wreaking havoc on a small New England town.

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

This sounds really good. Love the cover too. I can't believe how many great YA books are being released this year. So, what are you waiting on?