Like Candy by Debra Doxer | ARC Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Candy #1)

Published: July 28th 2015

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romance, Mystery, Young Adult

Page Count: 258

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon


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Welcome to my review tour stop of Like Candy by Debra Doxer, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital eARC of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

Like Candy was an entertaining romance and mystery (mostly romance)! I know the genres include ‘mystery’ but really the majority of the book was romance, or that’s how it felt like. It wasn’t ’till I reached near the end of the book where my heart was really beating because of the mystery, my toes curled in anticipation to see what will happen next. Although this was misleading and kind of threw me off, I really enjoyed this book nonetheless.

Plot

The plot was kind of a surprise to me, mostly because from the blurb, I was expecting some kick-butt action from the main character, Candy, but instead got a girl with no skills other than to be able to manipulate and pull pranks on people who’ve wronged her. I also think it could’ve been better executed, it had the potential to be both a contemporary romance as well as a mystery and spy novel, and sometimes that clashed. That being said, the plot was still very entertaining. Despite what I just said about the two genres clashing, I really enjoyed the fact that while we were led to believe the book was all romance by the first part, there were little twists and turns here and there that made the storyline more engaging and unexpected. A lot of the book did focus on the romance between Candy and Jonah, though, so beware of that. Although the plot wasn’t exactly what I expected, I liked the way things turned out, even though the expected cliffhanger at the end has me cursing that I can’t yet read the next book. 🙂

Characters

Candy herself was an interesting character, one for which I have conflicted feelings toward. On one hand, her manipulative attitude, and actions, instead of coming off as badass, as she says herself, at times felt plain mean and petty,and rude for no reasonNot to mention throughout the book she hardly showed any assassin or badass skills at all, which was kind of disappointing. On the other hand, I did understand why she acted the way she did, and found it intriguing, as twisted that may sound. All she really wanted was her father’s approval, the one thing she never seems to be able to get. Her father is often cold and distant, which frustrated me because Candy deserved more, from her father, at least. She was, no matter how much of a strong, assassin kind of character she claimed to be, still really innocent and with no mother and a pretty bad childhood, she wanted, no, needed her father to be proud of her. I understood that, it really made her character, although sometimes hard to like, easier to sympathize with, because a parent’s approval is something we’ve all wanted some time or another, am I right?

As for the other characters, they shined less brightly than Candy, obviously, except for Jonah and Candy’s father. But starting with Jonah, the love interest. I can’t exactly say what I liked most about him, but I did like his character.

“I wish I was the first guy you fell for. Then maybe the shadows in your eyes wouldn’t be there, and when I told you how beautiful you are, you’d believe me. You make me want to erase those shadows and chase away the memories that put them there, because every day that you don’t realize how amazing you are is a tragedy in my book.”

He was definitely swoon-worthy! And hidden inside him there are a bunch of mysteries and secrets which added both depth to his character and more uncertainty that kept me engaged in the story.

As for Candy’s father, I was quite frustrated with him in the way he treated Candy, both hot and cold moods (generally cold) but his character really intrigued me. By the end of the novel we hardly knew anything more about him than when we started (which was kind of irksome, to be honest) and he was in a cloud of mystery. He has a lot of potential to be a crucial part in the story, and I’m really interested in seeing how he will turn out to be.

Writing Style

The writing style was great! I couldn’t stop reading, everything flowed seamlessly, and there were often parts of the book where it was like reading poetry without actually reading poetry, if that makes any sense.

“As I watched my mother fade and my father grieve, my inability to do anythings sat like a weight on my chest, growing heavier each day until something as simple as breathing hurt. All I could do was stand by while everything fell apart, and no matter how much I wished for things to get better, they never did.”

Although novels written in first person is sometimes a hit or miss kind of thing, in this book, I really felt Candy’s emotions, her feelings, really clearly and the writing was executed very well for the story. It was steamy in some places, mysterious in others, cute in several places. All arranged nicely to really show Candy’s feelings.

Overall…

This book felt more like a ‘hit or miss’ to me. You either like it or you don’t. The plot was an interesting combination of both mystery and romance, while most of the book focuses on the romance, there is more to it that keeps you engaged in the story. I’ll be looking forward to the second book, especially after the cliffhanger in this book! I’m also interested in seeing more of Candy’s development. She was fine in this book, however there are several things about her that I think I was supposed to enjoy, but instead I found came off as shallow and unmoral, and which might be delved into more in the sequel. I did really sympathize with her and understood her though, which is a plus in the reading experience. The secondary characters weren’t the greatest, but both Jonah and Candy’s father had a lot of depth to them and have the potential to be great characters in the sequel. The writing was easy to read, seamlessly flowing and really helping to get the readers acquainted with the way Candy thought. All in all, this book was quite enjoyable and I liked it!

This book will have you gobbling it up like candy! Eat it quickly!

Analee 10


Debra

AUTHOR BIO:
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”
Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


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Pretty Dark Sacrifice by Heather L. Reid | ARC Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Pretty Dark Nothing #2)

Published: July 28th 2015

Synopsis:

It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since his body disappeared without a trace.

Everyone wants Quinn to move on, but she can’t, not after a spirit appears to her at Aaron’s memorial, convincing her he’s still alive.

When a mysterious box materializes on the very spot Aaron disappeared, Quinn finds she’s at the center of an ancient prophesy of betrayal, revenge, and sacrifice that takes her to the depths of the underworld to face Lilith—Adam’s first wife.

If Quinn can stop Lilith from unleashing the demon horde Eve, trapped inside the box during the Battle of Eden millennia ago, she will save the human realm and free Aaron from an eternity in torment.

All it will cost is her blood.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: Month9books, LLC.

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Young-Adult

Page Count: 230

Format: ebook

Purchase LinksBAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks


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Welcome to my review stop of Pretty Dark Sacrifice by Heather L. Reid, a haunting YA paranormal romance!

Note: I received a free digital eARC of this book for review purposes thanks to Chapter by Chapter and the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

The sequel to Pretty Dark Nothing was just as gripping, unique and full of twists as its predecessor Pretty Dark Nothing [review]. Unfortunately I did find the main character to be annoying at the start of the book, unlike in Pretty Dark Nothing,where I was able to sympathize and understand the protagonist. However, I did come to accept her by the end of the book, and that’s one of the main reasons I rated this book closer to 4 stars than 3. The plot and writing were also great!

Quick Summary

It’s been over a month since Aaron sacrificed himself to save Quinn. Everyone has pretty much moved on, except for Quinn, who refuses to believe Aaron was dead despite the fact the search was called off becuase there were no results. She soon finds that he is held captive by a dangerous threat; Lilith, who plans to create an army of demons to destroy the human race. Quinn is desperate to get Aaron back, and would do anything to save him. Question is, will she be able to do it without getting humanity destroyed in the process?

Plot

I really liked the plot, it was relatively unique and I would say I liked it even more than that of Pretty Dark Nothing. By just a little bit, though. One of the things I liked, that I usually like in all sequels, is the fact that I was already introduced to the characters and the book was able to start off immediately in the middle of action. There was no need to start off slowly, after all. But what I liked most about the plot was the storyline. The whole thing with Lilith and the demons. I’ve read several books with demons in them, but both this and Pretty Dark Nothing provided me with a more different take on them, which I enjoyed reading in this book. These demons, they fed on negativity, and the way this was portrayed was so interesting!

“Where she went, the demons followed. Already, they invaded the ever-widening cracks in her mental barrier. She could feel their insidious claws digging into her memories, searching out her pain.”

(Pretty Dark Sacrifice ARC, Chapter 1)

Characters

I will say right off the bat that Quinn was more difficult to enjoy in this book. In the first book, she made a lot of mistakes, but for the most part I was able to understand why and sympathize, which was the main reason I was okay with her. But in this one, it was different, because while I understood why she did the things she did, I couldn’t exactly sympathize or approve. Okay, so she’s in love with Aaron and feels guilty because he sacrificed himself for her, but that doesn’t mean it’s fine to be reckless and risk everything to save him, when it meant that the whole human race was at stake. I did understand why though; she was desperate and guilty, and I guess when you’re in love, that’s what happens? I don’t know, but I was annoyed with her attitude for most of the first part of the book. However, I did come to like her soon enough. I did admire her bravery and determination, not to mention strength when facing Lilith and her demons. I also really liked the lack of love triangle in this one, if there had been one it wouldn’t have made sense and it would’ve just been bothersome. Quinn came off as annoying and weak at the start, but by the end I actually did come to really care about her.

Aaron, the love interest, we don’t get to see much of in this book, but I did like him. Probably even more than I liked Quinn. I really liked his dedication and love for Quinn, (although I would say he deserves better). He was also very determined, and never gave up on finding a way to escape and defeat Lilith.
As for the other characters, I think they kind of fell flat, but they were still good nonetheless. I liked Marcus, Aaron’s best friend, he was a comic relief and very sweet. Reese, Quinn’s best friend, I wasn’t that impressed, but she was alright. There was a good cast of characters that were essential to the story and relatively interesting to read about.

Writing Style

The writing style was great, I really liked the mood Heather L. Reid was able to create with her writing; dark and mysterious. There were also a lot of descriptive passages, which were great because they weren’t overdone and were useful in visualizing the world. It kept me interested in the book, and as a result, I flew through the pages!

Overall…

I liked this book! I would say I liked it around the same as the first book, although I would say I liked the plot for this one a bit better. I found the main character to be a bit annoying in the first part of the book, but I did warm up to her as I continued the story, and by the end of the story, although I didn’t love her, she was a good character. The other characters were interesting too. What I liked most about this book was its storyline, I definitely recommend giving this series a try if you’re looking for a refreshing take on demons or like paranormal romance. From what I read in the ending, it seems like this will be a trilogy, and I’ll be looking forward to reading the last book! 

Hungry? Not hungry? Either way, I definitely say you should gobble it up if you like paranormal romance meals!

Analee 10


Heather L. ReidABOUT HEATHER L. REID:

Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and writing new tales of fantasy and horror.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram


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All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway

(Stand-Alone)

Published: June 15th 2015

Synopsis:

The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them…everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate.

She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions’ path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn’t stand the most? Yeah, he’s her new housemate.

A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romantic Comedy, Contemporary, Young-Adult

Page Count: 329

Format: e-book

Purchase:

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Welcome to my review tour stop of All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes thanks to YA Bound Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

Boy, am I glad I read this! This was a great contemporary novel, full of humour, romance and simply wonderful characters! The book is actually based from the Japanese manga series named Hana yori Dango or Boys Over Flowers.

Quick Summary

All I’ve Never Wanted follows Maya Lindberg, a high school student who has no interest in the Scions, her school’s most popular guys; Zack Perry, Carlo Tevasco, Parker Remington, and their leader, Roman Fiori. But after an unintentional mistake, Maya now has so much more than what she’s ever wanted.

Plot

Oh my god, I just completely fell in love with this plot. It was simply so addicting, and I had so much fun reading it! There was plenty of humour, romance and simply that touch of special that made me want to keep reading, at all times. What I especially loved was the comedic aspect of it. The author has a great sense of humour! I usually don’t laugh out loud reading books (I do have a sense of humour though! Or at least, I like to think. LOL.) but I did reading this one. Not to mention the fake-boyfriend idea. I haven’t read many books with the fake-boyfriend thing, to be honest, the ones I mostly remember are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han [review], and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West [review]. But now I can add this one to the list! And this book put a twist on it too. Well, you can kind of expect the twist, but still. It was different. To me, anyway.
All in all, the plot was great! I loved it.

Characters

Ahhhh the characters were the best part for me, I think. I simply fell in love with each and every one of them! Although I have to admit, I did get a few Twilight flashbacks in how the characters were set up. The Scions are kind of like the Cullens, you know? Rich, attractive, mysterious and all. Not to mention Roman’s temper definitely matches Edward. And Adriana, one of the Scions’ sister, reminded me a lot of Alice Cullen.
But Maya, while she’s technically in the role of Bella, she wasn’t. At all. Maya was totally awesome; smart, sarcastic, witty and rebellious, and she just cracked me up! She made stupid mistakes, sure, and her jealousy in some parts of the book might get on your nerves, but she’s not one of those girls who just let people (the Scions) push her around, and I loved her strong nature. It was great to see her develop over the course of the book, and it was so easy to connect with her, even though we don’t actually have as much in common. Maya was simply likeable. You just had to like her. At least, I did.

The Scions were awesome too. I especially liked Carlo and Parker, as well as Roman and Zack. Carlo was simply so nice and sweet! I can smile just of thinking of him, he does such nice things for Maya and is simply great. Parker… he’s one of those guys. The players. But he’s still super awesome, and I loved how he just went along with everything, no questions asked. I smile just of thinking about him too. Really, I smile thinking of all the Scions, but that’s besides the point. Roman is a jerk, I’ll tell you that. We get chapters in his POV, and at first, I really felt like chucking him with a baseball bat all the way to… Africa or something. Or maybe Antarctica. We’ll see how he survives there. His temper sometimes got on my nerves, and his jealousy was kind of annoying… but still sweet too. But by the end of the book, I’m happy to say I really liked him! It was great seeing him change his attitude. Lastly, Zack! He was really funny, his light, care-free personality really made me smile, almost all the time.

As for the other characters, I just loved Maya’s grandmother! She was hilarious, I burst out laughing in several of her scenes. She was just too funny. XD Maya’s friend Venice was great too, I liked how supportive she was of Maya.

Writing Style

All I’ve Never Wanted is in 3rd person, generally in Maya’s POV. There are also some chapters in several of the Scions’ POVs. I liked this set-up, as it kind of gave different perspectives that were both interesting to read. I wouldn’t say the writing style is for everyone, but I did really enjoy it, it was easy to read, flowed nicely and kept me hooked into the story. I will definitely be looking into more stuff from this author! 🙂

Overall…

All I’ve Never Wanted was such a great contemporary story! I haven’t watched the Japanese manga series this book was based on, (called Hana yori Dango, or, Boys Over Flowers) due to lack of time, mostly, but I’d really like to! Although I’m kind of glad I didn’t, as it gave me a chance to read this book without having my mind automatically compare to it. I loved the fake-boyfriend idea in this book, along with the awesome characters. This book did give me some Twilight vibes, but I assure you, for Twilight-haters, it wasn’t bad at all. Maya was a wonderful protagonist; witty, smart and sarcastic, what more could you ask for? The writing style was really good too, which was an added bonus. All in all, if you’re looking for a book with humour, a witty protagonist, great characters and a cute and hot romance, this book is definitely for you. I’m so glad I read this book!

Hungry? Well you should be! You simply have to gobble it up, it’s all you’ve ever wanted.

Analee 10


About the Author:

Ana Huang, better known as ACRL37 on Wattpad, primarily writes Young Adult and Romance. She started writing her first novel, All I’ve Never Wanted, when she was sixteen; it was originally inspired by the Asian manga Hana Yori Dango (also known as Meteor Garden and Boys Over Flowers). Her second novel, If We Ever Meet Again, was loosely based on her own study abroad experiences in college. Her stories currently have a combined view of over 20 million on Wattpad.

Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys politics, brunch, and traveling.

Author Links:

WattpadGoodreadsTwitterFacebook


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We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway

(Mindshare #1)

Published: December 16th 2014

Synopsis:

Henry Malone’s childhood was shattered by the unexplained suicide of his father. Now a teenager, his days are spent studying to become a Neural Implant Technician for Planetary Link Corporation, helping them maintain an iron grip over his walled country and every iota of knowledge contained within—but he leads a double life. Henry’s nights are spent helping his mother wage a cyber war against them in her quest to find the truth behind his father’s death.

He’s managed to keep his two lives separate, a delicate balance that’s endangered after he repairs the neural implant of a stranger. He finds she’s in possession of illegal memories from the outside world, unauthorized knowledge of his father, and a message: speak to me later and tell no one. Henry has a choice to make—ignore the message and maintain his double-life, or answer and risk everything to uncover secrets Planetary Link would kill to keep buried.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Publisher: Primrose Publishing

Genre(s): Dystopia, Young-adult

Page Count: 286

Format: e-book

Purchase: Amazon


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Welcome to my review tour stop of We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart, a dystopian and sci-fi young-adult novel!

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

This book was intriguing, to say the least! It had an interesting, new world, with advanced technology that all took some time to get used to, but overall I really liked it.

Quick Summary

Henry Malone has always been in the spotlight since his famous father, Scott Malone died. His mother has been continuously attached to her NEX, (basically like our smartphones these days except implanted in the brain). Now Henry’s works for Planetary Link (Plink) as a technician in Neural Implants. One day, when he comes across a girl who has strange memories of the world outside, and of himself and his father, Henry’s world turns completely upside down. Instead of continuing to work for Plink, Henry suddenly finds new revelations, revelations that change everything he’s ever known.Read More »

Synthetica by Rachel Pattinson | Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Synthetica book cover_low resBook Details:

Title: Synthetica

Author: Rachel Pattinson

Series Status: Synthetica #1

Publication Date: April 1st 2015

Genres: Science-Fiction, Young Adult


Synopsis:

This city is falling.

Seventeen-year-old Anais Finch lives in a world where everyone is born beautiful, where every dream is a possibility – and where their every move and every piece of personal information is recorded by an ID picochip inserted behind their right ear. When technology giant, Civitas, finally announces the launch of their highly anticipated Scholarly Learning Programs, which allow people to download and learn any subject instantly, Anais can hardly wait.

But not everyone is pleased with society’s progress, and not everyone wants to fit in. When Anais witnesses a brutal murder on an innocent citizen and is implicated in the crime, she becomes determined to uncover the truth, especially when others like it begin to occur all over the city. But it may already be too late for Anais to stop the man who calls himself ‘the Hacker’ before he commits his most appalling crime yet… 

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Tell us a little about yourself…

 Hi there! Thanks for having me today! I’m Rachel and I’m a Young Adult sci-fi author. I’m 24 years old and I’m an English girl, born and raised. I love tea, cake, Lord of the Rings, bread and butter, and rain. You have to learn to love the rain if you grow up in the north of England. 

When did you start writing?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Even in primary school, I remember folding up coloured pieces of A4 paper to make a book, scribbling a story in the first few pages and then abandoning it (that habit hasn’t actually changed that much – only, I now use a computer rather than random bits of paper). Making up stories has been the only thing that’s been constant throughout my life – I’ve never doubted I’d become a writer one day, but it’s only in the past few years that I’ve decided to take that ambition seriously. I first started writing novels three years ago, when I was about to graduate from university. It was while I was waiting to hear back from the hundreds of job applications I’d sent out that I decided to write my first novel and see what became of it. I’ve stopped and started a lost of books over the last few years, but I finally feel like I’m ready to take my writing career seriously.

What made you decide to write Young Adult science fiction?

I’ve got to be honest with you – it’s a genre I kind of accidentally fell into. All my previous attempts at writing have been YA dystopian/apocalyptic novels. I never set out thinking that I’d end up writing science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love science fiction films and I love reading other YA sci-fi books – learning about new technology/civilisations and the way in which these things impact on society have always fascinated me. But it wasn’t until I was a good halfway through writing Synthetica that I even realised I was writing sci-fi. I just thought I was writing a ‘futuristic’ YA novel…it wasn’t until I had to define it in a category for my query letters that I realised it was, in fact, sci-fi. And now, I can’t seem to stop thinking of other science fiction stories to write…

Tell us a little bit about your book, Synthetica

Seventeen-year-old Anais Finch lives in a world where everyone is born beautiful, where every dream is a possibility – and where their every move and every piece of personal information is recorded by an ID picochip inserted behind their right ear. When technology giant, Civitas, finally announces the launch of their highly anticipated Scholarly Learning Programs, which allow people to download and learn any subject instantly, Anais can hardly wait.

But not everyone is pleased with society’s progress, and not everyone wants to fit in. When Anais witnesses a brutal murder on an innocent citizen and is implicated in the crime, she becomes determined to uncover the truth, especially when others like it begin to occur all over the city. But it may already be too late for Anais to stop the man who calls himself ‘the Hacker’ before he commits his most appalling crime yet.

What inspired Synthetica?

The idea for Synthetica came about while I was watching The Matrix with my better half. It was the scene where Neo downloads the ability to learn martial arts and for some reason, this sparked a thought in my mind – what if programs like this were available for everyone to download? What if you could download knowledge about any subject you liked directly to your brain? And then, what if someone hacked into these programs and used for their own means? It took a couple of months for me to get all the details of this plot worked out, but once I had, I knew this was a book I simply had to write.

How did you come up with the title Synthetica?

 The title simply came to me while I was outlining the book. I don’t know what inspired it or why, but to me, it just felt right. This book is set in a world which only cares about physical and material possessions – your DNA can be changed so you can have the exact look you want, everyone keeps up to date with the latest fashions and looks (which change almost daily), everyday objects must be bought new and changed regularly –  and to me, the title embodies the traits of this world perfectly.

Who was your favourite character to write about?

This is a hard one to answer! Although I love all the characters in Synthetica, there are two in particular that I couldn’t wait to write: Clay Winterbourne and the Hacker. I loved writing Clay’s chapters because he’s such a misery guts and he’s got such an intriguing background, that I could have a lot of fun exploring his reactions to certain situations. He’s not used to being around people and suddenly he’s thrown into this situation where he not only has to interact with people, but he also has to go back to the Imperial City and try to face his personal demons head on. He’s turned his back on the city that framed him for murder, but he has to decide whether he’s stubborn enough to refuse help to someone who genuinely needs him.

And the Hacker – well, who doesn’t love writing about villains? I always knew I wanted the Hacker’s POV dispersed throughout the novel, so we could get a sense of his motivations and why he was committing the crimes he did. It was a challenge to get across his personality in such short scenes, while also making him a bit of an enigma. The Hacker continued to surprise me throughout the book – I always knew he was going to be a sociopath, but I found myself constantly wondering exactly how far he’d go to achieve his goals. He’s a man who genuinely has no regard for human life, which makes the stakes all the higher when Anais encounters him.

Is Synthetica part of a series?

Yes! It’s part of a trilogy.

What can we expect from the rest of the series?

 The second book in the series is mainly about dealing with the fallout of Synthetica. The Imperial City is in chaos, and the second book is not only exploring the consequences of both the Hacker’s and Anais’ actions; it’ll also bring in other characters from the first book, so we can see firsthand what their reactions to the Hacker are. Anais now has to process  everything that happened to her, but she doesn’t end up doing such a good job of handling her emotions, unfortunately. The Hacker is still determined to claim the city as his own, and now that he knows who Anais is, he’s going to make sure they meet face to face. It’s a lot darker than Synthetica – there are parts of the book that have broken my heart already.

I’m still outlining the third book, but it’s going to bring everything to a head. Anais and the Hacker are both determined to bring each other down and now, they’re set to collide in a big way. But with the future of the entire Imperial City at stake, neither of them can afford to lose. I can’t wait to write this book – it’s going to bigger and darker than anything I’ve done before.

Would you ever consider writing in any other genres?

 At the moment I’m happy writing YA sci-fi. I love writing for the YA market, but I wouldn’t say no to writing in a different genre, perhaps a dystopian or a fantasy. I’ve got a couple of ideas for a fantasy series, but I don’t know if it’ll come to anything yet. I don’t see myself moving away from writing for young adults any time soon, but never say never!

What are your current writing projects?

 At the moment, I’m currently having a lot of fun writing the sequel to Synthetica, which I hope will be published before the end of the year. Just a word of warning – if you thought Synthetica was dark, it’s nothing compared to what’s in store for book two *evil cackle*.

I’m also currently outlining an idea for a standalone novel, which I’m working on during my breaks from the world of Synthetica. Nowadays, people seem to put a lot of emphasis on the amount of ‘likes’ or attention they get on social media (myself included), and this got me thinking – what if you took this concept and applied it to a situation where it actually mattered how many ‘likes’ you received? For example what if in this world, the amount of ‘likes’ you had decided whether you lived or died…? I’m super excited to explore this idea, although at the moment I’m having a hard time getting the characters of Synthetica out of my head!

What advice would offer an aspiring author?

Don’t give up. I’m not going to lie – writing a book is hard. It takes a lot of perseverance. There are times when you’re halfway through writing your first draft and you suddenly realise everything you’ve written is awful, or you’ve written in a character that doesn’t work with your plot anymore, or you’ve just spotted a gaping plot hole. It can be disheartening, but remember, no first draft is perfect. Just keep going, and eventually it all comes together. First drafts (and second, and third , and fourth drafts…) can always be rewritten and restructured, so just remember to keep writing. You can change the words you’ve written, but you can’t change anything on a blank page.

 Finally, if you could invite any three book characters to dinner, who would they be and why?

Aragorn, without a doubt. He’d be top of my list. He was pretty much my first book crush (and remains one to this day) and I’d love to the chance to get to interrogate him about Middle Earth in person. Secondly, I’d have to say Jaime Lannister. I started off absolutely hating him in GOT, but he’s now one of my favourite characters. I’d love to get inside his head and ask him whether or not he’d ever get together with Brienne (and if he’s going to do everyone a favour and get rid of Cersei). I was going to choose a different book for my third character, but there’s so much I want to know about GOT, that I’d have to invite Sandor Clegane as well – another one of my favourite characters. He’s got such a messed up sense of loyalty, and I want to know why he stuck with Joffrey for so long, and yet. Why he wanted to save the Stark girls. Hm, I’ve just noticed that all these characters are flawed in some way…I guess that just goes to show how much I love my messed up characters!

Thanks for having me today! It’s been great!


 

rachel pattinsonAbout the Author

Rachel Pattinson graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Hons in Publishing Media. Born and raised in the north of England, she shares a love for anything to do with tea, cake, bread and butter, rain, the dark, lakes, fells and Lord of the Rings. She now lives in Norfolk with her partner in crime, and is currently working on several new projects, including the sequel to Synthetica.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon


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Banish by Nicola Marsh | Blog Tour Review + Giveaway!

(Soul Retrievers #1)

Published: May 26th 2015

Synopsis:

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit… and save her soul.

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural…despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?


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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre(s): Young-adult, paranormal

Page Count: 264

Format: e-book

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Soul Retrievers Novella – Vanish: (Currently FREE!)

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Welcome to my reviewing blog tour stop for Banish by Nicola Marsh! I really enjoyed this book, and I’m super happy I got the chance to read it. A suspenseful story dealing with the supernatural, Banish was a thrilling and interesting read.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book for review purposes. This does not affect my opinion on the book.

Quick Summary

Alyssa Wood flees her town of Broadwater after no longer being capable of dealing with the aftermath of her ex boyfriend’s suicide (right after she dumped him) to live with her Wicca High Priestess aunt. What she didn’t expect was for her ghosts to follow her… and now she has to fight to live and find out the truth before it’s too late.Read More »