PODs (PODs #1) by Michelle Pickett Review

PODsBook: PODs (PODs #1)
Author: Michelle Pickett
Pages: 313
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Received an ARC for an honest review
Rating: 5* 

Ever since I read the blurb of PODs by Michelle Pickett last year I was really excited to read it, and thanks to the wonderful people at Spencer Hill Press I received an ARC for review.

PODS didn't disappoint, I absolutely loved it, and can't wait for the sequel, The Infected, released fall 2014!

I love dystopian books where humanity is in peril due to some natural disaster or a mysterious virus. In PODs we have a virus wiping out humanity. Once you are infected the virus kills you within a few days. The virus is incurable, scientists have no idea how to cure it. The only option- to protect humanity at all cost. The solution- the PODs, underground bunkers where a limited number of humans can live for a year safely to wait the virus out. Who gets a place in the PODs? A lottery decides!

So much happens in PODs. It spans over a year starting with just as the virus is killing people, the year in the PODs, and after everyone emerges from the PODs. I thought initially because it spanned such a long time there wasn't going to be enough and it was going to be rushed but the pacing was perfect.

The story is told though seventeen year old protagonist Ava who gets chosen as one of the Seventy Thousand picked for the POD's. Michelle Pickett depicted perfectly though the eyes of Ava the emotions of having to leave your family knowing they where going to die from the virus, to be saved and put into a bunker with strangers and to continue to live your life knowing millions of people where dieing.

There is some great secondary characters in POD's. We have Tiffany who is in her early twenties and pregnant and we see her go though the birth of her baby in the POD's. There is Katie who is the youngest in Ava's POD and the emotions she goes though really made it feel real, that a virus was killing everyone you loved and cared about. And then there is David, my new book boyfriend. David is Ava's love interest and I absolutely loved him! David and Ava are perfect together and I loved seeing their relationship growing thought out POD's. Ava's personality of trying to be funny in the most dire situation went well with the serious side of David. David thought about the consequences of doing something where as Ava's did what she thought was right even if it meant putting herself in danger. The genuine love they had for each other was lovely. It wasn't an insta love which I liked and felt like a real relationship, that develops over time where two people grow to truly love and care about each other.

POD's was a fantastic book! It had great characters, a genuine romance and was fast paced with twists and turns, what else could you want from a book, oh yeah, how about though some Zombies in there!  (When the inhabitants leave the POD's they realise that some of the humans have survived the virus and are now Zombie like creatures ready to kill anyone in their path)! I can't wait to read more from Michell Pickett!

Invisible Blog Tour: Book Spotlight & #Giveaway

*Come back on the 19th June for my review of Invisible by Cecily Anne paterson*

Book blurb:

Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible.

For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along in life pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now. But something’s got to give – and soon.

When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she follows along without thinking but quickly finds herself part of their plan to vandalise the drama classroom. Jazmine manages to save the key prop, a jewelled headdress, before drama teacher Miss Fraser walks in to find a room full of destruction. Later, sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: become a ‘runner’ for Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a three week suspension and a permanent mark on her record.

It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play and leaves her invisible life behind.

For a while it’s all good. Writing in the new journal that Miss Fraser gives her connects her to the memories she has of her father. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In the play, Jazmine becomes the prompter and a stand in and discovers to her amazement that she loves the stage and has a natural talent for acting. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela breaks both her ankles and with only a week before the curtain goes up, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary.

But it’s not quite as good as it seems. Jazmine is still fearful and doesn’t want to give too much away.  She can’t quite believe that Liam likes her, and is worried that if people knew what she was really like, they wouldn’t want to be her friend.

But then Shalini returns from her suspension. In her mind, she has been betrayed. She’s out for payback, and she expects that Jazmine is going to do what she’s told, or else she just might expose her greatest secret...

Author Bio:

Cecily Anne Paterson is what they call a TCK, or a third culture kid, which basically means she grew up overseas and has some weird issues. Now she’s a mostly normal Australian living in a small town in New South Wales, although her four children don’t wouldn’t necessarily agree with the mostly normal bit. She’s been an editor, a communications officer, an ESL teacher and now a writer. Her ambition is to write two young adult books a year for the next ten years.

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YA Feature: Levi Stack

The Author: Levi Stack

I’m a debut author who lives in the mountains outside San Diego. At twenty-one, my love of historical epics and fantasy led me to plan The Card Game Series, which I’m now working to complete. In my free time, I have many nerdy hobbies, like chess, juggling, reading, and, of course, writing.

Somewhere in the depths of a business class at the University of San Diego, I decided to become a writer. Now deciding to flip your career plan on its head during a single moment of epiphany isn’t exactly stable ground, but in a way, the decision was a long time coming. I’d spent much of my childhood digging into stories, and in my teen years, I became even more obsessed over my favorite books. After leaving USD, it took me six months to plan The Card Game series. I think it was time well spent. My first book, The Silent Deal, won ‘Outstanding Fiction’ at the Southern California Writers Conference. I haven’t looked back since.

The Book: The Silent Deal
Inline image 2
When Viktor and Romulus, two peasant boys, dig too deep into their town’s strange past, they awaken the wrath of a mysterious overlord. As the blood brothers struggle to survive, their search for answers takes them through gambling parlors, bare-knuckle boxing matches, and dark forests full of wild animals and men alike. But even with the help of their friends, can they escape the deathly experiments their foe is creating in Staryi Castle?
Enter the bold lands of the Russian Empire where the colorful characters of The Card Game dwell, from the fortune-tellers and fire-jugglers of the Romani Gypsies, to the dangerous criminals that make up the Thieves World, the predecessor of the Russian Mafia. A perilous journey awaits…
Can you describe your protagonists Viktor and Romulus in less than 140 characters each?
Viktor is a serf tortured by violent events he witnessed as a child. He thinks he’s doomed to never understand his town’s secrets, but then he meets Romulus, an orphan who lives in the forest. Romulus befriends wolves and builds explosives, brooding over the day when he can take revenge. Together, they get in way over their heads.
 If you could encourage anyone to pick up The Silent Deal what would you say?
It’s an adventure you won’t want to miss. Gypsies in graveyards, madmen in castles, thieves lurking on all sides – what’s not to like?
Bookie Questions:
Favourite genre and why?
I love historical fiction and fantasy, mainly because it lets you escape to other worlds and times.
Favourite YA author and why?
I do love how Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy pulls its culture from the Russian Empire.
Debut author/ upcoming author we should check out?
W.A. Fulkerson. He writes great fantasy.
Favourite 2012 read and why?
The Maze Runner. It’s a plot that clicks along incredibly quickly.
A book series you love and why?
Harry Potter, of course. I’m someone who obsesses over plot structures, and that’s about as complex of a web as you can create.

Moonlit Blog Tour: Interview with author Jadie Jones & #Giveaway $25 Amazon Giftcard

moonlit tour
The Author: Jadie Jones
My background is about as far from a desk and a computer screen as you can get. Growing up, I spent every possible moment on a neighborhood horse farm. I lived for the feel of the sun on my face and the sound of the wind as it moved through the tall grass. Now, I coach a high school hunt seat equitation team (horseback riding), and that childlike love of horses remains wholly intact. Listening to the sounds of a farm or breathing in its scents can still relax me like nothing else, and helps me work out any writer’s blocks or plot tangles.
Reading has always been one of my favorite ways to escape. As a kid, I would stay in my room all weekend and read. So, naturally, I started crafting stories of my own. I believe in the idea of something else – something bigger. So it’s a way for me to explore those ideas and make them real in my own way.
The Book: Moonlit
Moonlit Blurb:
Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods. When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t. But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?
Moonlit spans several different genres: fantasy, epic adventure, and a little sci-fi (because what’s a good fantasy story without a complete blood transfusion?) Animals often make more sense to me than people. They’re easier to predict, often reacting on the instinct of fight or flight. So I thought to myself: what if a human’s blood was somehow completely changed with an animal’s blood? Whose instincts would win? And what if that transformation set into motion an ancient prophecy… but now I’ve said too much.
Can you describe your protagonist Tanzy Hightower in less than 140 characters?
A small town farm girl with a dark past – and, unbeknownst to her, a past life.
If you could encourage anyone to pick up Moonlit what would you say?
If your thoughts sometimes scare you, if there’s a shadow inside that’s capable of things you would never admit, you might have been marked by Asher. But, if you like neat and tidy stories and a damsel in distress, you probably shouldn’t pick up Moonlit.
Bookie Questions:
Favourite genre and why?
I enjoy genres that explore supernatural/spiritual occurrences in real life –so maybe paranormal or supernatural. But my favorite of these involve humans with supernatural gifts, and not so much supernatural creatures. I love tales about very rural communities and small town life, especially when supernatural elements are introduced.
Favourite YA author and why?
I just read “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved this book. The relationship between Puck and Sean simmers on a psychological level, and the exploration into little known mythology was a magical, unique journey. Her voice is also very unique in the YA genre, and the story is also a literary experience. I haven’t read any of her other books yet, but if this story was any indicator, I definitely plan to.
Debut author/ upcoming author we should check out?
CJ Redwine, who is the author of the Courier’s Daughter Trilogy. Defiance, the first book, came out last year. Deception, the sequel will come out this year.
Favourite 2012 read and why?
My favorite 2012 read was Defiance by CJ Redwine. She tells the story through two first-person perspectives, and she does an exceptional job seamlessly switching between them. She also flirts with a few dark lines without crossing them, which always piques my interest. I didn’t see the end coming, and that says a lot. I can almost always figure out how a book will end.

A book series you love and why?
I love the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. I think the stories did an exceptional job of growing with Alec, the main character, and the ending of the series left so much to the imagination, which I loved and mourned. And I’ll never forget it.


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Sweet Oblivion Blog Tour: Book Spotlight & #Giveaway

Book Blurb:  

sweet adjective ˈswēt a : pleasing to the mind or feelings
​obliv·i·on noun ə-ˈbli-vē-ən, ō-, ä- 1: the fact or condition of forgetting or having forgotten

Have you ever wanted to forget? Nariella Woodlinn has. Many times. Especially when her already frustrating life gets turned upside down by a mysterious boy who randomly shows up in her small town and she can’t seem to understand anything about him, despite how much she tries.
​Nari hates everything about her life except for her best friend Rydan, but now that they’ve been separated during their senior year of high school, she has to learn to make new friends without him. When strange unexplainable phenomena start becoming an every day part of her life, Nari struggles to come to grips with reality. And with love.

Naminé has responsibilities. Duties. It is her obligation to fulfill all that is asked of her by their King. But when a glimmer of hope is introduced to her by a prisoner she tends to and it means life or death for her and her people, she does all that she can to turn that hope into reality and finally end the vicious war that has been ensuing since she was born. Even if that means keeping it secret from her King. Even if it means carrying out the biggest betrayal against the King ever seen during her time.

She has hope. She will fulfill her duty. She will not let her people down.
Some secrets are best kept in Oblivion.
Author bio:

Bailey Ardisone is a collaboration by two sisters born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. They took the last names of their two grandmothers and combined them together to form their pen name. They both married the love of their lives and spend their days submerged in books, movies, music, or art and love traveling. Fantasy books and movies have been a huge part of their lives and are obsessed with Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Sweet Oblivion is the first book they have written together and is the first installment of a series.
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1 paperback signed of Sweet Obilivion by the characters (Nariella, Naminé, Rydan, and Mycah)
3 ebooks of Sweet Obilivion
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Ends 30th June 2013

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Dissolve by Andrea Heltsley Release Bash & #Giveaway

 All the following information was provided via Dilly Dally PR.

Cora is thrilled to leave high school behind and kick start her summer with her boyfriend and best friend, Nessa. In an unexpected turn of events, tragedy strikes and Cora turns to Nessa for help.

Cora and Nessa discover they are not alone and become entangled in things much bigger than they expect. As the two of them meet new allies, it’s obvious that clearing Cora’s name and going home seem like the least of their worries. The further they travel; the more complicated their lives become. Someone is after them and they are just getting started.
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Andrea Heltsley
Author Bio:

An ex-scientist biology nerd who loves reading and writing just about anything paranormal, Andrea has four new book releases out in 2013 which you can keep updated with all the deets on her blog. When not hard writing she is being a coffee addict and believe's she should own her starbucks by now!
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Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #13)

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)Book: Dead Ever After
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #13
Author: Charlaine Harris
Pages: 338


*Warning Spoilers*

Charlaine Harris always knew the way she would finish the Sookie Stackhouse series from day one. Not everyone was going to be happy with the ending. Everyone has their own vision of the way the book should have ended. I for one was always rooting for Eric and Sookie to live Dead Ever After together but we can't always get the ending we want. The conclusion of the Sookie Stackhouse series has had many negative reviews because of the way it has ended but I think it has ended perfectly!

Everyone who knows me, knows I love the Sookie Stackhouse series and have been championing Sookie and Eric from the start. The conclusion I wanted hasn't happened and I was a little upset when I saw spoilers (by accident) of the conclusion of Dead Ever After but after reading the book I feel differently. It would have been great if Sookie and Eric ended up Dead Ever After but when you think of it, it was never going to work. Sookie was never going to become a vampire and if she did it would have contradicted her whole character.

In Dead Ever After there is alot of wrapping up to do. Lots of dotting the i's and crossing the t's. I have to say the fate of all the characters felt right. Now I don't know is Ms Harris would ever consider doing a spin off series with some of the characters but I think it would be great to continue Amelia and Bob's story with their little one on the way! :)

Overall I loved Dead Ever After and the Sookie Stackhouse series as a whole. The last sentence was perfect and made me smile with happiness "I am Sookie Stackhouse, I belong here."

Interview: Alicia Sheehy author of Wingsong

The Author: Alicia Sheehy

I grew up surrounded by books that invited me into enticing adventures that have changed my life forever. With my husband and five children, I love to explore, create, learn and play, especially in my home state of Idaho. My love of stories prompted me to spin tales of fantasy for young adult readers.
My writing addiction began with reading. I learned to love escaping into stories. I was really shy, reading gave me permission to go on some fantastic adventures and strive to become strong and determined like the protagonists. Soon everywhere I looked I saw stories. In order to catch them, I became a hunter, pulling them into my net of words.
The Book: Wingsong
 When her parents mysteriously disappear, fear saturates Lissy’s world. An overprotective, but loving grandma assumes the role of vigilant guardian until her death.
Her cruel uncle abandons safety efforts exposing her to deepening dangers. Dark forces, including the sudden appearance of a menacing stranger, relentlessly move against her.
In an astonishing turn, gloom and treachery are pierced with a shining new hope. Lissy discovers she can converse with the birds and ride the wind. Unleashing these abilities summon new mysterious strangers who profess to be helping Lissy. Are these new people friends or enemies? Can she escape the persistent evil? Will she be strong enough to confront her fears and find a safe haven in her world?
Wingsong is a YA fantasy, Wingsong is the first in the Danaan Legacy series.
Can you describe your protagonist, Lissy, in less than 140 characters?
Until she escapes into the sky from her bleak and oppressive world, Lissy is a shadow of who she once was and who she might become.
If you could encourage anyone to pick up Wingsong what would you say?
Wingsong's main character, Lissy, struggles, as so many of us do, to find even a glimmering of hope when despair seems to have conquered. In surviving bullying, abuse and the constant threat of danger, she feels like she has become little more than a shadow. Like for Lissy, life can be devastating in so many ways. Fortunately she discovers she can fly with the birds, which soon brings into her life quirky characters, Spriggly, Willow, Spider, Cowboy and Judge Daisy, with their array of unusual abilities. Hopefully this exciting adventure will do more than entertain, it will help inspire us to forge through the rough times and strive for better than just a glimering of hope for ourselves and others
Bookie Questions:
Favourite genre and why?
Ultimately I love imagination and the fantasy genre gives more room to break a few rules, but I love action, mystery and history as well.
Favourite YA author and why?
I have such a difficult time choosing between Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine. I love the worlds they create and the interesting journeys of their protagonists.
An author we should check out? 
Devri Walls is a YA fantasy author with her The Solus Series (Wings of Arian, Wings of Tavea, and Wings of Nestor). I not only enjoy her fantasy world and creatures as well as her character interaction, but she is a fantastic person.
Favourite 2013 read and why?
So far, Janitors by Tyler Whitesides. It’s a middle grade fantasy that is just a riot of crazy characters and adventure.
A book series you love and why?
I will always adore the world that the Anne of Green Gables series drew me into as a child. Anne invited me into the heady realm of imagination, and I haven’t looked back since.
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SSP Anthology Extravanganza: Southern Haunts: Spirits that walk among us -Review & #Giveaway

Book: Southern Haunts: Spirits that walk among us (Anthology)

Edited by: Alexander S.Brown & J.L. Mulvihill
Pages: 304
Publishers: Seventh Star Press
Note: Received via Stephen Zimmer via Seventh Star Press for honest review. I was not paid to review the book!

When I received Southern Haunts: Spirits that walk among us I only knew a few things about it. I knew if was an anthology of short stories all based in Southern states in the US, all with paranormal aspects. I was excited to read it as I love Southern Gothic novels. However I have to admit I was disappointed with some of the stories but with is being an anthology I did expect to like some stories more that others :)

One of the things I liked about the book was of course not only the stories but the art work. The cover art is creepy yet beautiful and at the start of each story is a piece of artwork that to me gives the reader a clue to what each story may be about which I loved. (Artwork by Robert K)

To get my overall book rate I rated each story out of 5*'s and then decided on my final rating of 3.5. (I did debate whether to go with 4* but decided 3.5* fitted my overall thoughts on the book)

Here are my thoughts on each short story:

Interview for a ghost hunter by Windsong Levitch- For an opening story of the anthology I was disappointed. The story was a funny paranormal story but I just couldn't get into it. The writing style didn't pull me into the story and I wasn't sure what the rest of the anthology was going to be like from there but I am happy to say the next story was GREAT! An Eclipse over Elmwood by H.David Blalock was one of my favourite shorts. I really wanted to hear more of this story. A lunar eclipse causing strange going on's in a Memphis Cemetery leading to ghosts who died of Yellow Fever in the epidemics of the 1800's to appear, what more could you ask for :)

Sidney's Cotton by Richard Parks was another short I liked. Parks writing really had me there in the cellar of the industrial building in the old warehouse district of Jackson seeing ghosts from the Civil War era.

Ghost Road by Jason Hughes gave me chills. A deserted mile long road in Texas with creepy things happening who wouldn't get the chills. I am glad I was reading this story during the day!

The next four stories I wasn't keen on. Cals Cutoff by Henrik R. Raymer was OK it just didn't grip me like some of the other stories. The Shack by Diane Ward and Haints by Roland Mann just weren't for me. The Shack creeped me out and not in a good its good to feel creepy way. Haints just didn't appeal to me but I do get that this story would appeal to others. You will come to your demise by L.S. Nadler was a sweet story in a way I did like it but it wasn't one of my favourites.

Hells Gate by M.R. Williamson was a story that really interested me. I felt that it could be the start of a longer story that I would really interested to read. From the title you can probably guess it's regarding a gate leading to hell!

Maddness by William R.Eakin wasn't for me. Ghost children and hauntings along with murder are not for me (I really don't like ghost children they kinda scare me they are just too creepy! LOL)

Wellspring by Roman Merry is a story that interested me and I think there is alot of places it could go if the author wanted to take it somewhere. Who is the ghost down the well? What really happened to them? I want to know this story.

The next four stories I LOVED. The Bequest by Kalila Smith I loved alot! :) A mansion in the French Quarter of New Orleans that is hunted, that makes the tenants think they are crazy from whisperings! I want a full length novel of The Bequest (waves at Kalila Smith :) ).

The Cleansing by Miguel L.Viscarra was great. The writing made me feel like I was there with the characters, that I was feeling what the protagonist was feeling. I felt like I was in the haunted penitentiary of New Mexico!

Bath 10 by J.L. Mulvihill was also a great story. The hot springs of Arkansas is the setting for the story and a creature that need sacrifice. The last sentence of the story gave me chills!

Nightmares at mocassion bend by Angela Lucius was story that I loved, about an asylum in Mississippi and the wrong doings done to the patients. The story was sad rather that creepy like alot of the other stories. The final sentences where heartbreaking.

The final story The top floor by Alexander S. Brown was a good story. A creepy hospital in a the basement is the perfect setting for a ghost story surrounded by death and decay.

Overall I really enjoyed the majority of the stories. They where creepy and spine tingling to read. There are definitely some authors I will be checking out more of their works including H.David Blalock, M.R. Williamson, J.L. Mulvihill, Angela Lucus and Miguel L. Viscarra! If you like stories that are set in southern states set in the US, stories that have ghosts and unexplained happenings in them, Southern Haunts: Spirits that walk among us is the book for you!

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