Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Book Blast: Interview with Sophia Sharp, Author of Forsaken

I'm delighted to be taking part in the book blast for Forsaken by Sophia Sharp today! The book is the first in The Forsaken Saga and was released on December 15th.

Nora Colburn was perfectly content in life. A junior in high school, she had good friends, a great family, and did well in school.  Nothing particularly exciting ever happened where she lived, and everything was stable.

But that all drastically changes when a new student arrives at Nora’s school. Wild rumors swirl about his past, and Nora becomes determined to find out the truth.

As she gets to know the mysterious student, he shares with her an ancient secret... one that may yet put both of them in grave danger.

And for the first time in her life, Nora is exposed to a completely unfamiliar world. She is swept away on an exhilarating journey that takes her to a place where romance and great destiny may yet await... and where supernatural powers run wild.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it? I had the chance to ask Sophia a few questions about her new novel!

Hi, Sophia! Can you tell us a little bit about your novel, Forsaken?
Forsaken is a story that takes place in a magical, supernatural girl.  It's a book for YA readers who like a large dose of action and a sprinkling of romance.  

What inspired you to write Forsaken?
I grew up reading fantasy/YA books, so writing in this genre is something that always appealed to me. The idea of Forsaken came to me in a dream... and once you've read the book, you'll know *exactly* what that means ;)

Did you relate to any of your characters at all whilst writing the book?
Funny enough, the character I related to most was Hunter, the male lead and our protagonist's love interest.  I grew up with two younger brothers, so sometimes it seems like it's easier for me to understand the male mind than my own!  Hunter's story is only just revealed in Forsaken, and will take a much more central role in the following books.

What was it that made you want to write for a YA audience?
Why young adult?  Because it's what I love to read.  And why paranormal/fantasy?  Because that genre gives me the greatest opportunity to create a quixotic, magical world that I can fall in love with.

I know that Forsaken is book one in a series. Have you started work on book two? 
Yes!  In fact, it's already ready!  I'm releasing it in early January.   There are going to be four books in total, and I'm already 90% done with the third.  So readers will NOT have to wait a long time to read the entire series :D

Thanks for your time, Sophia!

About Sophia:
I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Actually, that's a bit of a lie. I've been writing since the third grade, when a wonderful teacher asked everyone in class to write a fairy tale, and ended up picking mine as his favorite. He didn't tell the other kids, of course - but confided it in my parents. He said I have a natural knack for writing (his exact words! and I remember them to this day), and should never stop. So, I've kept going..

I've mostly been keeping it to myself, though. I've never really thought about becoming an "author," or a "writer" (quotations because those goals are still so far away!), so never had the need to share with anyone or publicize my stories. But, I'm just finishing up my second year in college, and have really started to think about careers and life goals and such other mysterious things. And while my friends were all busy trying to get internships for the summer this year, I just kept to myself with my writing hobby. I don't have an interest in going out and working professionally in the "real world" -- I want to keep writing forever, and I want to have time to do it. The only way I see myself having that time, though, is by becoming a published author.

So there you have it. That's the abbreviated history of one Sophia Sharp. I've been working on a few young adult paranormal/fantasy novels for the past few months, and I'm putting them all up as soon as they're done! Why young adult? Because it's what I love to read. And why paranormal/fantasy? Because that genre gives the greatest opportunities for creating a magical, romantic, quixotic world that I can fall in love with.

You can buy a copy of the book in the following places:

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Four Festive Reads

Christmas is the time of year to curl up in front of the fire and read a good book. Feeling festive, I always want to read a Christmas related story in December. Here are a few stories that I love to read during the holidays.

4. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

You can't beat a classic. The snow, the constant winter and even an appearance by Father Christmas himself, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the perfect winter read.

3. Clara Claus by Alexandra Lanc

If you haven't read this one, you really need to. It's not often you come across a Christmas fantasy novel for Young Adults, but this one fits the bill. Set on the north pole, the story follows Clara Claus and Jack Frost.

2. Ex-mas by Kate Brian

I love this one, it's a really cute Christmas read. The story follows Lila and her ex-boyfriend Beau as they go in search of their younger brothers who have ran off in an attempt to save Santa. Quirky characters and a perfect story line, you need to give this one a read.

1. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I have to admit, this one is my favourite. I found the idea so unique and creative. If you have to pick just one to read before Christmas, pick this one.

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Blog Tour: Freaks by Lisa M. Forester

So today is my stop on the Freaks tour! Freaks is the debut novel by Lisa M. Forester and I've been super excited about this book for a long time. I'm so excited to post my review of the book for the blog tour!

Bookish Details:
Pages: 228
Release Date: 28th November 2013
Source: eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Nobody's perfect... or are they?

Abigail always knew that she was different, but what she didn't know was just how different.

That was until her 16th birthday, when her parent's revealed a devastating secret that confirmed her worst fears and changed her life forever.

Abigail is an Allelobrid: one of five children born as a result of their parents illegal science experiment in genetic engineering. The aim: to create a perfect human.

Yet perfection comes at a price.

Forced into a life on the run, Abigail finds love, danger and an organisation that will stop at nothing to get what they want.

When lives are at risk and freedom is threatened - could being perfect be enough to survive?

My Review:
I love it when a book jumps out and throws action, adventure, drama and romance, oh and science at me all at once. And that’s certainly what Freaks did. Combined with a unique plot and a fantastic array of characters, Freaks is definitely a book to get excited about.

The story follows Abbie as she discovers a secret that her parents have kept from her throughout her whole life. She is and Allelobrid. A human created, in a science experiment, to be prefect.   

Now, I’m going to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, because I want all you to go and read this fabulous book. So, I’m going to tell you why I loved it and why you should, too.

First of all, Abbie is an amazing protagonist. I’m fussy with lead female characters because I like them a little feisty. I like them a little brave and able to stand up for themselves, and Abbie is all of that and more. She’s an extremely realistic character and she’s also entertaining in her narration of the story, which makes reading from her perspective all the more enjoyable.

The other Allelobrids are equally as great characters as she is. I don’t want to sit here and gush over how much I love Max, but you know I’m going to. I would like a 6 foot Australian Allelobrid of my own please. I loved him from the moment he sent his first cryptic message to Abbie. I loved how they bonded during the course of the story and found myself looking forward to the dialogue between them because it was so great.

The science side of the story is perfectly written. The way it’s explained sucks you into believing that this could actually happen, that Allelobrids could easily be out there. The plot is exciting from start to finish, with plenty of little twists to keep you from wanting to put the book down. 

The plot twist near to the end of the story was what drove me to give the book five stars, because I honestly didn’t expect it. When I think back now, I can see the hinting of it appear in the story but I was clueless until it was revealed. 

Then there’s the ending. Oh my God, why would you do this to me, Lisa? How can you end it like that? I’m going to be tearing my hair out until I get book two!
It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel. The writing is fabulous and it’s definitely got me excited for more. If you like a story that has a bit of everything to offer, this is one for you to read. Just go read it, okay? And then come back here and get excited with me about it. 

Royal Rating:


About Lisa:

Lisa M Forester is the author of ‘Freaks’ – a Young Adult fiction novel that is due to be released on the 28th November 2013.

She has lived on a diet of books since she was six (when she was handed an Enid Blyton story for the very first time) and she constantly lives in hope that reading will become an Olympic sport. After being inspired to write by the plethora of amazing YA writers that exist across the globe, she put pen to paper and produced ‘Freaks’ – which I am sure she would very much love you to read.

Contact Lisa:
Twitter: @lisamforester

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