Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx by Linda A. Cadose

Title: The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx
Author: Linda A. Cadose
Publisher: Authorhouse
Release Date: 17th January 2012
Find onGoodreads

Quick Review: American archeologist Dr. Cliff Post and his friend Egyptian archeologist Dr. Abdul Saad discover a hidden chamber in the right paw of the Great Sphinx. Inside they find an ancient supercomputer left there thousands of years ago by ancient aliens. A terrorist group seeks to obtain possession of this supercomputer. The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is the first in a series featuring the adventures of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Be sure to read the second in the series, The Underwater Pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle.

Detailed Review: I didn't really have a good first impression of the book when I was first exposed to the story and the cover through a review request from a publicist. It didn't sound YA to me (call it my sixth sense)

I was right, to a certain extent. What I was wrong about, was that twist in the end. I thought it was IMPOSSIBLE. But the author did it. I give her credit for that. This brought my rating up a level. I didn't see that coming. The story was OK, and probably needed a little more excitement and pace to keep the reader's attention going. 

What made me continue reading was the flawless writing- as in, very few grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and great choice of words. I am a sucker for those. I could feel the potential behind the words; they just needed a much better outlet than the story in The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx. The setting was also a very important key. It was good to have the story set in somewhere common, which I found a bit mainstream. The last one, was that the author wrote the book based on real facts (characters were imaginary but the hidden chamber exists) and to me, it seems quite hard to write a story based on real facts because I end up going off the topic.

The characters probably needed a little more depth but it didn't mean that I couldn't connect with them. I especially found Matt an entertaining character with his enthusiasm and energy. 

So overall, I think that The Hiddem Chamber in the Great Sphinx was a good debut. I'm hoping for a better story next time!

Brief Review: Linda's efforts in trying to engage the reader doesn't go unnoticed, from facts about Egypt to the theory that aliens actually built the Pyramids of Giza. She has potential to become a great writer and I hope to read more of her works! I'd love to read more of her the flawless writing and unique settings again!

Final Rating: 4/5 'Really Liked It'
Your Reviewer:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

ARC Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Naturals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: 5th November 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewSeventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Detailed Review<ARC received from NetGalley> 

I was hooked from the first page. That's enough said.

But on second thoughts, let me give you a brief overview of what to expect from The Naturals. Expect a love triangle, some very bloody and gory visuals of women with cut-up faces, hidden messages, and one hell of a twist with varying points of views from Cassie and a serial killer who's more dangerous and closer than you ever thought he/she was.

Prepare to be surprised. 

THE CHARACTERS: They were amazingly well-portrayed and written. They had depth and character. I especially liked how each of the teenagers of the program had an unusual past, which helped develop and shape their abilities. 

So here are the 5 kids from the program:

Cassie was a great heroine. She's everything an awesome heroine should be: bold, stubborn, smart, determined, caring. She is also a very gifted profiler, who can tell you things you never knew about someone with just a single glance. Cool right? 

Then there's Michael. He's the one who can read emotions. I love how he antangonises Cassie by telling her what emotions he's reading from her. And no matter how much she tries to profile him, from the first time they met, she ends up empty-handed.

Dean: He's considered the most dangerous because of his past. He can get into a killer's head easily. Michael also antagonises him by asking him questions related to his past. He pushes everyone away every time they approach him. But Dean does have a soft spot, when it comes to Cassie especially.

Lia: She's the lie detection expert. She knows when you're lying and is very good at lying herself. She's the one who tries to have fun, and she's just unpredictable sometimes. One day she's nice, one day she's not.

Sloane: She is described as the walking encyclopedia in the book. If say you were talking about eggs, she'd tell you which eggs are the most common in America and whether most people who eat them are male or female. I feel like she breaks the tension between the other characters with all these facts, which I sometimes found funny. But when she gets really scared, the facts she spews out are not that funny after all...

And the killer? You wouldn't have expected the killer to be so close to you and related to you in so many ways.

Brief Review: This book is a great thriller and the action simply escalates throughout the book. The love triangle is bound to make the story better and that twist at the end just makes The Natural worth reading even more. If you are looking for a boon that keeps you guessing and your pulse racing, The Naturals is your best bet. 

Final Rating: 5/5 Totally Amazing!

QUOTE: To Cassie, about her past. 

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing what to do is the worse kind of suffering---Paulo Coelho

Your Reviewer:

Review: A Comedy of Terrors by Graeme Smith

Title: A Comedy of Terrors
Author: Graeme Smith
Publisher: MuseitUp Publishing
Release Date: 14th June 2012
Find on: GoodreadsAmazon

Quick Review: 

Segorian Anderson’s an Idiot. But that’s fine with him. It’s a well paying job with no heavy lifting.

Nobody ever remembers Segorian. It isn’t magic - he just has the sort of face his own mother could forget, and she’s been trying to for years. But being forgettable is a job requirement for an Idiot.
No, he's not the Court Jester. He doesn’t wear motley (whatever motley may be). That's a different union. He’s the Idiot. In a Queen’s castle, wine spilt down the wrong dress can lead to war, so someone unimportant has to be blamed for it. That’s the Idiot’s job. He’s the Idiot that did it, for any value of ‘it’. Of course, as soon as he’s exiled-for-life out of the castle gate, he uses his back-door key and sneaks back in. But that's not all. Someday, something really bad will happen. Really, really bad. Badder than a bad thing on a very bad day with extra badness. When the world’s about to end (or the washing up won’t get done – whichever comes first), who you gonna call? No, not them. They haven’t been invented yet. You call the Idiot, someone nobody will miss if things don’t work out. And now Peladon has a case of dragon.

But the dragon may be the easy part. Segorian has woman trouble, and he’s the only person in the castle who doesn’t know it. Because to Segorian, women are an open book. The problem is, he never learned to read.

Detailed Review: << review copy given by the author himself >>

I really loved this book! I found it extremely funny and comical. Especially the main character who is called Segorian Anderson, the Idiot and the grounded dragon who are about to start a wonderful journey of idiocy and quick thinking. A strange concept but it's absolutely a book that you, comedy-lovers might become hooked at reading.

I found this book to be funny and hilarious but other times just plain stupid. Somehow comedy writing has become over-rated and entirely sensual to us human beings. A Comedy of Terrors was actually quite upbringing. The story is written in a weird form, portraying a really 'dumb' mind and other times, the setting is described in detail. 

Interesting and funny, the story portrayed a comical detailing of characters. I feel like this story was simple and ludicrous when the description part came in. 

I prefer more 'intellectual' characters because there's more depth to the storyline instead of a bland, dry comedy. 

I find a more story-building plot more exciting and comical. But of course, Graeme Smith has planned the story with such a fun 'flair' to suit and somehow make the character's personality more realistic. But it didn't really suit my style of what I like to read.

But I really appreciate the feeling of being the character and reading what they're feeling and seeing but I can't help but think that this book could do better. 

But of course, all books can't suit one reader! 

Soooo... just to finish up my point of reviewing, I kinda of liked it and at the same time, I had second thoughts of this book. 

However based on what I've read so far I kinda wished that it was more exciting and more not-so... I don't know what to say... really... but I had a fun time reading and laughing out loud!

Brief Review: Graeme Smith has written a mixture of different forms that has comically told us a story about an idiot human being and a smart dragon. Though the story was kinda slow for me however A Comedy of Terrors has described to us a very fun and interesting story that will manage a laughter across a page!

My Rating: 3/5   "Quite Liked!"

                                    QUOTE: Just for the 'Idiot'
"Passion makes idiots of the cleverest men,
and makes the biggest idiots clever."

~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Your Reviewer: 

Friday, December 13, 2013

TGIF - Feature & Follow Friday #179

FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY is a blog hop that is designed to provide as much exposure towards other bloggers as well as yourself, and to expand following. It's hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each whom feature a chosen blog for a week, it's also an interesting way to get to know one another bloggers.

Bookselling Time: Go to your biggest bookcases. Go to the second shelf from the top and pick out the sixth book. Hardsell that book to us - even if you haven't read it or if you hated it. (If you don't have bookcases, don't have six books on one shelf, etc. pick a book at random.)

I haven't read this yet so... this is gonna be hard... Well all I can say is that the story is pretty interesting and basically I buy books based on appearance (cover wise) hehehe... I don't why... So far, all my books with good looking covers have such amazing story lines (well, most of them anyway) Hmm.. I guess this story is based on parallel worlds that intersect and interconnect with each other so basically anyone can be your doppelgänger. It's pretty cool! 

Well, you should buy it anyway! hahaha 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

TGIF - Feature & Follow Friday #177

FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY is a blog hop that is designed to provide as much exposure towards other bloggers as well as yourself, and to expand following. It's hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each whom feature a chosen blog for a week, it's also an interesting way to get to know one another bloggers.

What's your favourite Thanksgiving Day food? If you're not American or Canadian, what is your favourite holiday food? 

SUCKLING PIG! Yup, that's my fav holiday food :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

ARC Review: Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title: Afterparty
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Release Date: 7th January 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewEmma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle. 

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop... 

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

Detailed Review: I was pretty much wasted after I finished Afterparty. I just felt like it had worn me out: a feeling I always seldom get from a book unless it was a) so bad that I felt it was a waste of time reading it or b) so good that I couldn't stop reading at all. But the whole process of reading just got better and better, and I found it harder to stop when I reached the halfway point; the further I got, the more intense it became. You simply can't stop your heart frorm beating too fast.

I am on the verge of spoiling the whole book for you. Even the way it was written prompts you to read on, especially the way it was structured. The book started with a page that showed a tidbit of what happened in the end. And then it jumped right into the beginning of the story. This is where you curiosity overtakes and you just have to start reading even though the ending has just been given to you. Nice. 

But the ending in that first page was not the ending at all. So imagine how I felt when I read the actual ending. Imagine how my mouth fell open with shock. 

I'm just ranting and raving about how good the book was and I haven't reached the fun part yet! THE CHARACTERS.

Siobhan was a whirlwind of a character. She was the one who stood out the most with her wild and unexpected ways. She represented the spirit of the book, wild and intense. I felt like she was actually the person controlling the story, not Emma. Try adding a boy to the equation. Emma's been having a crush on him, and it's something that could potentially damage Siobhan and Emma's fragile friendship in unimaginable ways.

The main character wasn't bad either. The beginning started with Emma the Good. Then everything changed when she met Siobhan. She started pushing the limits and breaking rules for one thing. Afterparty. She changes throughout the book and it is seems almost beautiful to me how she was evolving with every step she took and rule she broke. 

Afterparty felt so real to me. Remind me to never make pacts with best friends. I do NOT want to fall down from a building on purpose. (Oops, a small spoiler) 

And since you had enough patience to read through the whole review (I know it's long), here's a treat for you! 

If you don't know, the FIRST THREE CHAPTERS OF AFTERPARTY ARE UP ON SCRIBD. So if you want to know why I love this book so much, go on and read it. Here's the link:


Brief Review: Ann gives you no time breathe at all; she expects you to experience this book all in one breath. It was a near-death experience; but it was worth it. If you want a hangover from reading a book, Afterparty's the one you're looking for. Deeply provocative and compelling, Afterparty is a story of a friendship gone wrong and the consequences of it: losing control and most of all, losing yourself.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'

Your Reviewer

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by us, that highlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication 'can't-wait-to-read' selection is:

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author: Anne Blankman
Release Date: 22nd April 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray
Find on: Goodreads

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet sh
e can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead. comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

I'm sorry I haven't been posting WoWs lately. I've been too busy with homework, coursework, and every other type of work imaginable. But let's get on to why I really really want to read this book. First, the cover is an eye-catcher. I couldn't get it out of my mind when I first saw it. Secondly, I love historical fiction, especially ones to do with World War II since they give me more insight into our history. That's why I loved 'The Book Thief' and 'Rose Under Fire'. What can I say? I'm a history junkie.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ARC Review: Sia by Josh Grayson

Title: Sia
Author: Josh Grayson
Release Date: 20th November 2013
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewWhen seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Detailed Review: My reaction after reading this book was like that: smiling idiotically at nothing in particular. I thought, that was a great ending. This is one of the first books I've read this year with a happily ever after. 

I really liked Sia because it was certainly a fresh read for me. I seldom go for contemporaries, but after reading this and other books like This Song Will Save Your Life, it has made me reconsider my opinion of contemporaries. Yup, that's how good the book was.

And also the characters in the book had depth and character which stand out in the book and are not easily forgotten. I felt a connection with Sia and Carol. Their friendship was very touching and beautiful. It gives us a look into true friendship. It's amazing how the author only needed a few chapters to show how special their friendship was.

The story itself had an originality that sometimes resonates in only contemporaries. Starting with the very first chapter, I was hooked and I found it hard to not turn the pages faster than it took me to read them. The story was simple, but don't get me wrong, it was not plain. Just simple. But the author made a lot out of one simple story. I behold to you, the magic of contemporary authors!

I liked how the author also included real life events like the San Francisco earthquake and the Oscars. But I thought the author could have done better with the Oscars by including a bit more depth.  And perhaps the book could be a bit longer! 

But honestly, it was a great debut! And I'll say it in French. C'etait genial!

Brief Review: This book was refreshing and compelling with it's story and the characters within it. I felt a connection with the characters and especially with Sia. It gives us a brief insight into renewal, true friendship and rediscovering yourself when given a second chance. If some of the events in the book had more depth, it would certainly guarantee a five-star rating! A deeply thought-provoking debut that ensures a great start to Grayson's career! 

Final Rating: 4/5 'Really Liked It!'


This sounds cliche, but this is what I learnt from Sia,

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” --- Gandhi

Your Reviewer:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blog Tour and Review: Waiting for Romeo by Diane Mannino

Banner - Waiting For Romeo by Diane Mannino
Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by our blog for the Waiting for Romeo blog tour! Read on for my review of this spectacular book!

Title: Waiting for Romeo
Author: Diane Mannino
Release Date: 15th November 2013
Find on: Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult
Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

Quick ReviewHeartbroken by the one guy she simply couldn’t resist, Emilia King is determined to move on. But Logan Prescott is also determined… determined to win her back. He lost the only person who truly mattered to him and now he’ll do whatever it takes to convince Emilia to give him a second chance.

While their attraction to each other is undeniable, the obstacles they’re forced to confront may be too much. And just when it seems their love for each other is a bond that knows no bounds, Emilia faces her worst nightmare.

With her newfound inner strength, Emilia realizes fighting to be with Logan is her only hope…and waiting for him may ultimately determine not only their future together, but her own destiny.

Detailed Review: I loved this book to bits! It was so romantic and funny at the same time. What with the romance between Logan and Emilia and the action that kept jumping out of the dark of the most unexpected of times- this book made me light-headed. I found that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

I think the beauty of the book stemmed from the characters themselves. Emilia is a great heroine who has grown stronger through her past. She shows unlimited strength in the book and stubborn determination. She is also a loving and caring person, who cares for others before herself. These traits are evidence of a perfect heroine.

Now let's move on to Logan. He's changed after he saw Emilia. And he did not change one small thing. He changed A LOT. He was willing to cut off all ties to his former friends so she could see how much he really cared for her. Although he had his own demons, he managed to overcome them.

The romance brewing between the heroine and hero was truly what I'd wish for myself. Their love has become absolutely strong and Emilia has learnt to trust Logan to an extent when Montecito happened, which is the part I loved the most. It holds a huge significance in their relationship and is a starting point for them.

Then there's Bryn and Chloe. I think they're the best friends I could ask for. Having them together is a potent mix of long-lasting friendship. I love how they get along with each other with Emilia and am touched by how much they care for her. They're truly the best.

The other element in the book that gave me chills was the giant twist at the ending. It was uncalled for and unexpected. I didn't think it would be this good. 

And may I request that there is a sequel for Waiting for Romeo? I haven't had enough of Emilia and Logan yet. And I'll beg for it if I have to.

Brief Review: This book is so different from it's predecessor, from the story to the love that brews between Logan and Emilia. I couldn't have asked for a better sequel. Let me just sum this book up in three words: flawless, swoon-worthy & beautiful.

Final Rating: 5/5 ' Totally Amazing!'

Your Reviewer:

About The Author:
DIANE MANNINO graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in English Literature. She is a former writer for Museum and Arts Washington and Star Magazine as well as several television shows, including, Inside Edition, American Journal, and E! News Daily. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Running from Romeo is her first novel and she is currently working on the sequel.

Website: http://dianemannino.com/
You can find the rest of the tour schedule HERE.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ARC Review: Blue Into The Rip by Kev Heritage

Title: Blue Into The Rip
Author: Kev Heritage
Buy Link: 


Length: 76,000 words
Release Date: 5th November 2013

Quick Review: 

Blue didn’t want to be in the future 
...they didn’t want him there either.

A Rip in the fabric of time, a far-flung globally warmed future, a flooded Earth and the only remainder of civilisation - a militaristic organisation living underneath ‘Desert Amazon’…

Getting back home to rescue his little sister Annie was the only thing that mattered to messed up, mixed race teenager, Blue (named after his stupid, googly blue eyes) - and that was the problem – home was over four hundred years in the past.

Ripped forwards in time from his odd hippy parents, their peculiar house and his lonely school life, Blue had only one thing on his mind: return. But how does a lowly cadet in a militaristic Academy living in a globally warmed post-apocalyptic future achieve such a goal, especially with the distractions of girls, pilot training, spacewalks and his almost constant unpopularity?

The more Blue found out about this flooded, gung-ho annoying future, about himself - who and what he was (was he even human?) - and the equally disturbing and shocking truth about his ‘parents’ - the more he realised getting home was the only solution. Wasn’t it?

If Blue knew one thing, it was that he would at least try.

Detailed Review: << review copy received from the author himself >>

I really LOVE this book! 

It was an amazing read and Kev Heritage's writing is superb and unique. When I read this book, I was totally blown away from the first line till the end. The story is about a boy called John"Blue"Smith who is a gangly, big blue-eyed teen who has hippy-terrorist parents and a cute little sister called Annie, who gets pulled into a time rip where he ends up in the future. There he learns about militarism and the meaning of true friendship.

I really enjoyed this book. Heritage's writing is full of potential and notable and I really love the characters' sarcasm. The story was really funny and so were the characters, however there were times when the story became quite serious but there's always this sarcastic atmosphere oozing from the plot.

I guess, that's why it kept me reading and on the edge of my seat whenever a new chapter arrives on the next page. There were these twists which kept me confused too! Since the story was written in different peoples' POVs (though most of the time it's Blue) I was pulled here and there through the story because sometimes the story went back to the past, then the future and then to the present so it kinda went here and there. 


What can I say? Heritage's style of writing is inventive and original, I feel that if you ever read this or give it a chance, you'll not regret it! 

BLUE; personally, I think he's such a stuck up kid sometimes and other times he's a total nice guy. But other times? He worries too much but he has a hilarious personality and yet an attitude you may find annoying (you'll get over it soon, eventually). 

I definitely recommend this book to sci-fi adventure readers!!! It's a book you don't want to miss :)

Don't forget to check out the second instalment, BLUE INTO THE PLANET!

Brief Review: Blue Into The Rip is a futuristic dystopian world set in the future with creatures from space, a militarised setting and a boy who just wants to go home, that will start an adventure of a lifetime. Kev Heritage's writing is detailed and competent as well as exciting. This will definitely catch the attention of sci-fi fanatic readers! 

My Rating: 5/5   "Totally Amazing!"

Your Reviewer: 

BUY IT NOW (check out these sites for more): 

Goodreads: http://ow.ly/quUaw  
Smashwords: http://ow.ly/pYpsh
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/qsy0q

Amazon.com:   http://ow.ly/qmjOK

Paperback: http://ow.ly/qswBo

Twitter: @KevHeritage

Guest Post by Sarah J. Pepper: Author of Death of the Mad Hatter

Hi everyone! Today we'll be having Sarah J. Pepper guest-posting about her passion of writing dark fantasy and romance books. It's just a short piece but it's wonderfully written so read on!

Dark Fantasy & Romance: my forte. Why write this genre? I’ve been asked this question many times, most loudly and repeatedly by my mother. (after she read my first novel, which was an adult yum yum, Hot Tamale, read between the bed sheets kind of novel) “Sarah, what will people think?” she’d ask after finishing chapter 44, a ridiculous “stick your head in the freezer to cool down” chapter. My response? People will think my husband should write an American Kamasutra and share his otherworldly secrets. …she didn’t get the joke.
The truth is that I’ve always been writing love stories, even as a child. Any book I’ve ever read or movie I’ve seen, my imagination gets the best of me and goes then what? So did Cinderella find some new boss shoes to replace her glass ones? What happened to Prince Charming? What happened to the Little Mermaid? Did she love her life above sea or did she fall head over fin for a manlier mermaid? Did little Red Riding Hood find some new pet wolves? (or in my adult years: did Hood fall in love with a werewolf?) I think it’s a desperate cry for help, my imagination. But, I hate having a story end! Not only that, but I love when people fall in love (and out, but only for added drama).
Romance and all things fantasy will be the genre in which I write because I'm a slave to my imagination. 

Sarah J. PepperAbout the author 

I specialize in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit? 

Sarah J. Pepper lives in South Dakota with her real-life prince charming. At a young age, she fell for paranormal books and now incorporates that genre with romance that thrives in the hearts of us all. When she’s not storytelling, she’s most likely biking, hoarding chocolate, or taking a bubble bath. Get a glimpse inside her head at www.peppersreadingcorner.com

ARC Review: Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

Death of the Mad HatterTitle: Death of the Mad Hatter
Author: Sarah J. Pepper
Release Date: 29th November 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace
Find on: Goodreads

Quick Review The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?

Detailed Review: You want my honest opinion? The book was yummy. It's impossible to not continue after reading the first page. That first page sucks you right in without letting you go. It's just like falling down a rabbit hole, endless and inescapable. This retelling of Alice in Wonderland is unlike other retellings. After glimpsing the title, I already felt quite curious about what it was about since it was unlike other titles such as Alice in Zombieland- which made the content seem obvious. But THIS was different. It gave an air of mystery.

First, I must comment on the originality of the story.  The essence of Wonderland is still there, which is described as- a world where the impossibilities of our most farfetched dreams come true. But the story took on a darker twist. It is more sinister and the story revolves around several prophecies and dangerous plots. It is amazing how the author managed to do this without changing how Wonderland felt. I mean- the idea of needing sweets to think straight and fight off the magic of Wonderland in our world? That is what I call creativity. It must be no easy task, I can assure you. 

And now I present to you, the two main characters- Ryley Edward Edgar and Alice Mae Liddell. They were very eccentric characters and I absolutely loved them. Both of them had contrasting personalities and this in turn made them stand out and blend in with the story at the same time. And as people say, opposites attract because both of them fall in love with each other, thus changing the course of the story. This is what makes the book different from Alice in Wonderland. The other characters are also very unique, such as the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts. 

The story itself is not only original, it pulls you in both with its mysterious quality and the smooth flow of the story. There are no sudden interferences (if you exclude the twists). It focuses on a prophecy and shows how the characters and the story itself revolves around it. This may seem boring to you, but it turned out to be quite interesting for me. And I can tell you, not everything in the prophecy came true. That's a twist for you. It should be tempting.

Finally, the cover, is very attractive and eye-catching. The white border complements with the content of the cover. I like it. So, cover judgers, you MUST not miss this. Sorry for the long review, thanks for reading!

*Note: I sometimes got a bit annoyed and frustrated because of the occasional mistake in the story but overall everything was very good. I hope the final piece is all perfect so you want have to go through the same feelings as me stumbling through some mistake.

Brief Review: Together with an interesting and wonderful plot, this book exhibited good writing skills with originality with some evidence of craziness in it (which is essential) and characters were perfect. I was satisfied after the end. But I do need more Alice and Ryley! 

Final Rating: 4.5/5 'Really Liked It!'


  I quote from Alice in Wonderland in honor of it being a retelling,

We're all mad here.--Lewis Carroll 

Your Reviewer:

Monday, November 4, 2013

ARC Review: The Reckless Engineer by Jac Wright

Title: The Reckless Engineer
Author: Jac Wright
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, New York
Release Date: 6th Nov 2013
Find on: Goodreads 

Quick Review: 

Love is a battlefield. 
The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.

Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.

Jeremy Stone brings London's top defence attorney, John Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile? Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law? Is the divorce from Jack's first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?

The cast of characters is made even more colorful by the supporting entourage: the big Scott and his gang, Hosé and Heineken, who carry out Douglas McAllen’s “troubleshooting;” McAllens' bumbling solicitors McKinley and Magnus Laird; Caitlin McAllen’s handymen, Cossack and Levent; and Jeremy’s sidekick, the gay black actor working in the London West End.

While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister John Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense saga of love, desire, power, and ambition.

Detailed Review: << review copy received from the author himself >>

For me, this book was actually quite good but I found it quite relaxed as in the tone of the book. It kinda gave of a 'boring' feeling because this genre was not much of a YA. Well, it isn't - so it didn't really suit my taste in story. 

But the quality of storyline was amazing and the characters were expectedly detailed and not too complex. His style of writing is quite compelling if you're into psychological crime and murder stories. Moreover the story had a style of quick witted characters and characters that I have come to love. 

Putting aside my feelings of the book, I think The Reckless Engineer was written in really reality-based and proved to be very realistic. In other ways, the book was pretty good and I enjoyed it as well :) 

The author (Jac Wright) has an excessive knowledge and a clear understanding of the underworld and reality that has made me rethink and reread his book! Clearly, this book has made an impact to some readers who enjoy thriller and suspense genres. 

But what made me enjoy the book the most was it's detailed storyline! 

Wright has developed a clear understanding yet equally as confusing and thought-bearing that made me think and question the likes and dislikes of the characters and plot. But in the end I wish the book was more bending to the YA genre... 

I'd give it 4.5 or 5 stars but my rating system is designed to give a fair rating - but due to it's imaginative quality, it deserves to have a better rating. The only down side to this book was it's slow development from the start but it definitely picked off later on. 

Brief Review: The Reckless Engineer was interesting and fantastically developed. Jac Wright (the author) has used such a provocative style of writing that had finally won me over to the very end of the book! This book is definite lover to readers who enjoy a suspense and thriller story!

My Rating: 4/5   "Really Liked it!"