Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: Banished by Liz de Jager

Bookish Details:
Series: Book #1 in The Blackheart Legacy Series
Pages: 400 (Paperback)
Publisher: Tor UK
Release Date: 27th February 2014
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher
Buy it From: Amazon UK

Sworn to protect, honour and slay. Because chaos won’t banish itself…

Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.
My Review:

If you want an amazing new adventure to fall in love with, this is the series you need to pick up next.

With plenty of action, heroic missions, awesome characters and a cute prince, Banished has everything you want to read in a story.

What I instantly liked about this story is that Kit already knew who she was and what responsibilities she had. In most YA fantasy books, the story usually follows the teenage girl as she discovers she’s actually not a normal girl. I like that Kit was introduced from the beginning as someone who wasn’t just an ordinary teenager.

The plot is completely epic from start to finish. I was worried about coming across the same fantasy story clich├ęs, but Banished makes everything feel refreshed. It takes the creatures and myths that you might already know and twists them into a new and improved story element. 

Although the fantastic battle scenes and epic plots were great to read, it was the characters that really made me fall in love with this story. I adore Kit. She’s completely badass and has a great funny side, which is everything I love in a lead character. She’s definitely not the damsel in distress and is always willing to throw herself in front of danger to protect her friends.

I may or may not have completely fallen in love with Thorn, the cute prince with some not-so-cute problems. He is such a wonderful character and I’m really excited to see how he progresses through this series because I’m sure there is so much more to his story that we don’t discover in this first book.  

I also really liked Kit’s family. Her cousins and her Uncle Jamie are all great characters and I think each of them will play their own important role in the future of this series. I’m looking forward to finding out more about them. 

The writing of the story is gorgeous. I felt like everything was told in a very cinematic way and the detailing is vivid, making it easy to clearly imagine how each scene would play out. There is always something exciting going on to keep you turning those pages.

Overall, this is a completely stunning debut and I’m eagerly anticipating the second instalment of this story. I know there is so much more to come and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it. I’m predicting big things from Liz de Jager in the future! 

Royal Rating:

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Author Interview: Kristen Kehoe!

Hey, everyone. I'm pleased to share with you all an interview with author, Kristen Kehoe!

Hi, Kristen! Tell us a little bit about your book, Life Interrupted.
Hello, Katie!
Life Interrupted is a Mature YA novel, set in Corvallis, Oregon, a small college town in western Oregon.  It follows the senior year of Rachel “Flow” Reynolds, who is not a typical teen for multiple reasons, the largest being that she has a one and a half year old.  At sixteen, Rachel spent one perfect night with her best friend, Tripp, a night that filled her heart with everything she’s ever wanted…until she woke up and found him gone without a word the next morning.  After that Rachel felt reckless, and in her recklessness and her absolute conviction to get over Tripp, she slept with someone else, someone she didn’t love, and got pregnant. 
Although her backstory is not a happy one, the story itself has comedic moments as Rachel is a character who isn’t afraid to drop an f-bomb or say what she feels.  She’s strong—this is my favorite quality about her.  Despite a hard life with some hard lessons, she’s surviving, and really, working on thriving.  Tripp and Rachel’s story didn’t end after their one night, no matter that both of them tried to ignore it, each for reasons of their own.  Now, with six months left in their high school careers, Tripp finally makes the move to show Rachel how he’s always felt.  He’s determined to make her his, but Rachel is more cautious now than before, not just for her own heart, but for that of her daughter.
The story has a Happy Ever After, because I’m not an author who’s learned to write the sequel just yet, and as a reader, I hate a cliffhanger. Even if I’m going to see the characters again, I need this story to end with a possibility of happiness.  It’s why I love romantic fiction.

What inspired you to write the story? Did you relate to any of your characters at all whilst writing the novel?
I was inspired to start Life Interrupted by a few of my students and a very dear friend who had a baby at sixteen.  While her story is not a direct parallel to Rachel’s, many of the emotions and difficulties are ones she showed me through her own time as a struggling teen mother.  As a new mother myself, and a mentor to some girls who have worked through high school to support themselves and their babies, I understand the absolute love and fear a child instills within you.  When Rachel flashes back to her own pregnancy in the story, I was writing these scenes while coming out of my horrific delivery and c-section, so many of the things she endures were consequences of my own pregnancy.  I think she may be stronger than me, though.  She’s a character I wish I could be in so many ways. 

Why did you decided to write Young Adult novels?
Originally, I wanted to be a romance writer.  I grew up on an overwhelming diet of Nora Roberts. She was all I would read from the age of twelve on, because every time I dove into one her novels, I felt what the characters felt—and her heroine always learned to fight.  Too often I’ve felt that I wasn’t a fighter, that I’m the character who stands to the side, so being able to live through a person who learns to fight, or who was born fighting for what they want, was inspiring.  When I first tried to write a romance, it was difficult to find the words and the experiences that I didn’t really understand yet. I started seriously writing at nineteen, and it took me until twenty-one to realize my life experience as an “adult” wasn’t enough to understand where my characters should be or go.  At twenty-two, I became a high school teacher, and a month in I understood that contemporary young adult was a genre I understood.  Not every person has a story that’s horrific or amazing, but every life is unique, if only because of the emotions we feel.  After one year as a teacher and a little motivation from a friend whose never learned to back off (said with a smile), I penned FINDING YOU.  Even in its darkness there is some innocence, and an overwhelming desire to see the light, and that’s how I view high school.  The need to see the beauty and amazing-ness in the world, even when each person may choose a piece of the darkness, too.

What were some of your favourite stories to read as a teenager?
As I’ve said, Nora Roberts inspired me.  Honest Illusions and Hidden Riches were the two stories that I went back to time and again.  Quirky, strong, fun characters with demanding men who were made a tad softer by love. I discovered Sarah Dessen in my twenties and have never been so moved as I was by Dreamland.  My husband forced me to finish it so I would stop being so sad. Recently, Tammara Webber’s Between the Lines series is one of my favorites.  Reid is the badboy we love because he’s innately good, and absolutely aware of his ability to be a dick.  He doesn’t change for everyone, but he’s not a liar or absusive.  He’s honest. 

Do you have any advice for other inspiring writers out there?
Advice for writers…don’t quit.  I know, a horrible thing to say when sometimes all we want is to quit, but as a relative nobody in the YA writing world, I can assure you there are going to be more bad days than good—days when it appears everyone you read is being read by others, and that they are beloved while you’re still unknown.  A true writer has to write, no matter who reads their work, so write what you know, what’s true to you, and understand that your stories mean something simply because they are yours.  I’m learning to ignore bad reviews, especially the ones that attack you as a writer as well as your writing.  Amanda Hocking gave the best advice years ago when she said ignore them, they are allowed to say what they want because they’ve bought your book.  It’s true.  You can’t please everyone, so please yourself.

Finally, are you working on any other novels at the moment?
I AM working on another novel.  It’s what one would term New Adult as the charactes are in college getting ready to graduate.  It’s an addition to my novel Beyond the Horizon, though it can be read as a stand alone.  The Light of Day follows Cora, the main character’s cousin from BTH, and her journey as she discovers how to live up to her own expectations rather than those of the people around her.  It’s a little edgier, as Cora has made some bad decisions to get where she is today, and unlike Life Interrupted, it’s alternating POV from Cora to Jake, her love interest.  The first two chapters can be found at the back of Life Interrupted and on my website,

Thanks for stopping by! 
Thank you for having me!  Happy reading, and studying. :) 

Kristen's new novel, Life Interrupted, is free on Amazon until midnight tonight. Be sure to download your copy!

About Kristen
I am a writer of YA/NA contemporary novels.  I write about those crazy ages of 18-23 because there is nothing scarier than being told to grow up and decide what to do with your life and who to be so suddenly.  I write about love because it's my belief that love, in one form or another, saves us all at some point in our lives.  I am married to a man who understands and believes in me, and mother to a beautiful baby girl and a neurotic Great Dane Puppy.  

Friday, 14 February 2014

Cover Reveal: Blackout by Alecia Stone!

Hey everyone!

I'm pleased to be able to reveal to you all the cober for Blackout by Alecia Stone!

Blackout (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2) by Alecia Stone
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Publisher: Centrinian Publishing Ltd

Summary from Goodreads: 
What was shall no longer be. Was was not shall now become.

Despite having the protection of the talisman and the Legion, a reforming force of warrior angels and elementals, guarding his every move, things are not looking good for Charlie Blake. Tasked with the responsibility of saving mankind, finding the four diamonds to restore the talisman is all he can think of, but when his prophetic visions start to invade his reality and he suddenly can’t distinguish the dream world from the real world, the pending extinction of mankind becomes the least of his problems. Everyone assumes Charlie’s dormant powers are activating, until he starts showing symptoms of a deadly disease.

With his nemesis, Gaddis, threatening the lives of his loved ones, he faces a race against time to locate Raphael’s Stone, the air diamond, before an imminent pandemic destroys civilization. As he ventures into dangerous lands once again, he unearths shocking revelations about his past life that forces him to question his allegiance. With no one to turn to for answers, he can’t help but wonder if his purpose is truly to save mankind.

This is the second book from the Talisman of El Trilogy and I'm so excited to read what happens next! Be sure to read the book when it comes out in March.

About the author Alecia Stone
Alecia Stone is a full-time writer who spends most of her days with her head in a book. She loves anything and everything paranormal - the stranger the better. Her fascination with all things supernatural sparked her obsession with books, particularly young adult fantasy fiction, which she has never grown out of. She graduated with a BA in Film & TV and has worked in television for a short period of time before branching out into storytelling.

When she's not writing, she enjoys watching movies and travelling. Blackout is the sequel to the Amazon bestselling YA fantasy novel Talisman Of El. She currently lives in the UK with her family.

Author Links:



Thursday, 6 February 2014

Cover Reveal: Play by Kylie Scott!

Hey, everyone! I'm excited to be able to share with you the cover for the novel Play by Kylie Scott.

This is the cover for the second book in the Stage Dive series. It's not exactly a YA story, but a good cover deserves to be shared! The book is out in paperback in the UK in May. Find out more about the series and Kylie at her website:

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