Monday, 24 November 2014


Title: The Christmas Spirit
Author: Susan Buchanan
Release Date: 27th November 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it. 

Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.

Eighty- two year old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her? 

Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.

Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?

The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?


Approaching this one I was hoping for a "feel good" Christmas themed read, hoping it wasn't too sickly sweet or predictable. I was looking forward to reading it, even though my mum was reading it and finding it slow moving for her tastes.

I received a free e-copy of this one in exchange for reading and reviewing and posting as part of the blog tour. 
The cover is bright and cheery looking with the Christmas Tree, the four silhouettes around the tree. I like the font style and colour effect on the title. 
So would I pick this book up from a shelf in a book store? Yes, I think I would
The main character in this book is a female called Natalie Hope. Natalie has arrived in Scotland to supply temporary cover whilst the older lady that owns the bakery called Sugar & Spice has an operation. Natalie is there to do a special job starting 1st December and ending the 24th December. Natalie is renting a cottage from the owner of the Sugar & Spice. Natalie gets to "help" just four people, to bring them some Christmas cheer. Though by the time I finished reading this book, I think she actually brought hope and Christmas cheer to a lot more than just four people.
The other main characters in the book are Stanley, Meredith, Jacob and Rebecca. Stanley is an elderly gentleman who lost the love of his life, and is definitely not looking forward to Christmas. He is naturally missing her beloved wife Edith, whom he had been married to for 65 years. I have to admit to immediately loving this character and his wife Edith, they so reminded me of my own grandparents, I certainly had tears in my eyes at a few points within the book that were about Stanley. The next character is Meredith, who is basically a workaholic, she has a PA who she runs ragged and expects a lot from. Things change when she is forced to slow down due to her health. She rediscovers her family love as her sister takes her in and she spend Christmas with her family and see that there is more to life than work. I also believe that through "helping Meredith, that Natalie actually helps Sophie too.
The third main character is Jacob, who has been unemployed and is very disheartened as he is sending out numerous job applications and receiving no replies or even acknowledgments back. Jacobs family are stinking rich, yet offer no help financially or in gaining employment. Jacob ends up being in the right place at the right time, so gains a job, and becomes a popular member of the community. Along with Jacob being "helped" he is then in a position to help his sister Tabitha, when she needs a supportive shoulder.
The final and fourth person is Rebecca, she is depressed at having split from the man she thought she would marry. She is going through the whole tug of war over possessions and the home they have shared. Things do get a little worse before they improve for her.
So I've introduced you to the main characters, hopefully without giving away too much about them. 
This book gives you a serious case of the "warm and fuzzies".  It's heart warming, uplifting book which I really enjoyed a lot. I highly recommend reading this one. it'll put you into the Christmassy mood! I also like the end of the book, when you really realise who/what Natalie Hope is.
So did I enjoy the book? I really did love it!
Would I recommend the book? Yes, a perfect read for by the warm fireside when its cold and wintery outside!
Would I like to read more about the characters in this book? Yes, I think I would, perhaps another holiday, like Easter or something just a novella maybe to catch up with the characters. Then again this book does end really well anyway.
Would I like to read other books by this author? Ooo yes please!


What is your favourite Christmas Tradition?
I always watch Christmas movies on Christmas Eve, although to be honest now that I work from home, I try to watch them as much as possible throughout Dec. Since I was small and school would finish at lunchtime on Christmas Eve, I would rush home, have a bowl of soup (winters were bad then) and watch Christmas movies with my parents and siblings. Now it’s my turn to keep the tradition going with my daughter who is 19 months old.  Very much looking forward to Christmas this year.

Have you ever had a Christmas romance?
No, but I did meet my other half on New Year’s Eve in the Scottish Highlands, so surely that’s the next best thing.

What is the best romantic Christmas gift you've ever received?
 I’d love to say tickets to somewhere exotic abroad, but since we used to always go a long-haul holiday in January anyway, that kind of put paid to that as a Christmas present idea. It’s going to have to be jewellery, I think. I’d hinted at a necklace I might like for Christmas many years ago, but instead of the silver one I’d been asking for, I got the solid gold version, which was very unexpected.

Do you stay home and do Christmas, or do you go to someone else for Christmas?
Since we moved into this house four years ago, Christmas is here. Previously I always went to my parents. Instead we go there on Boxing Day (26th Dec for non-UK readers!) and celebrate with the whole family then. Plus now that we have a child of our own, I wanted her to be able to celebrate it in her own house, instead of dragging her around the country on Christmas Day!


Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for Edward Aubry's Literary-Fiction, 
Science-Fiction Romance UnHappenings, scheduled for release January 8, 2015. 
The stunning cover was designed by Andy Garcia

Title: Unhappenings
Author: Edward Aubry
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: 8th January 2015

BLURB supplied by Curiosity Quills Press
When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the UNHAPPENINGS begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice. Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and alone. And then he meets Helen. Brilliant, hilarious and beautiful, she captivates him. But Nigel’s relationships always unhappen, and if they get close it could be fatal for her. Worse, according to the young guide, just by entering Helen’s life, Nigel has already set into motion events that will have catastrophic consequences. In his efforts to reverse this, and to find a way to remain with Helen, he discovers the disturbing truth about the Unhappenings, and the role he and his future self have played all along. Equal parts time-travel adventure and tragic love story, Unhappenings is a tale of gravely bad choices, and Nigel’s struggle not to become what he sees in the preview of his worst self.

Goodreads Link


Edward Aubry is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a degree in music composition. Improbably, this preceded a career as a teacher of high school mathematics and creative writing. Over the last few years, he has gradually transitioned from being a teacher who writes novels on the side to a novelist who teaches to support his family. He is also a poet, his sole published work in that form being the sixteen stanza “The History of Mathematics.” He now lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife and three spectacular daughters, where he fills his non-teaching hours spinning tales of time-travel, wise-cracking pixies, and an assortment of other impossible things.


Sunday, 23 November 2014


Title: The Gift: A Christmas Miracle
Author: Joanne Clancy
Release Date: 6th November 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Julie wants only one gift this holiday season, but it’s going to take a Christmas miracle to make her wish come true. 

Julie Hamilton loves Christmas. It’s her favorite time of year, from the cinnamon smell of freshly baked mince-pies to the excitement of buying gifts for family and friends, decorating the tree, and hanging stockings for Santa Claus on the mantelpiece. 
This Christmas promises to be extra special because she’s expecting the perfect gift--her first baby--on Christmas Eve. 
However, a chance encounter turns her world upside down, and soon, she’s praying for her very own Christmas miracle. 
Can the spirit of the Christmas season and the kindness of strangers find a way to make her wish come true?


Approaching this book, I am expecting a "feel good" warm hearted Christmas themed tale. I am looking forward to learning what the great Christmas Miracle will be.

I received this one from Amazon courtesy of the author, in exchange for my honest review.
The cover fits the title quite well in that it looks like a Christmas gift wrapped up. 
Would the cover make me pick this one up from a bookstore shelf? If I was looking for a short Christmas themed book, it would yes. Its bright redness on the cover would certainly draw your eye to it.
So there are two main female characters, Julie who is happily married, pregnant, full of Christmas plans and spending the season with her family. She is then told she has to go into hospital to be induced due to a blood test result showing problems. 
The other female is a lonely troubled woman, who didn't have the best childhood, as she had two alcoholic parents. She also had an alcohol problem/habit herself. This female is planning for a birth too, she obtains a blank birth certificate. This female has been spending time watching routines at the hospital, and she steals a baby. The reason given for stealing the baby is that she herself was pregnant, and had attended an ultrasound where she was told her baby had died.
I won't say much more about the specifics as that would give away too much. I feel like I have told more of the plot than I would like to already.
This one is a really hard one for me to review, as I don't want to come over biased or too negative. However I really hate the rather predictable cliché of a woman who has had a miscarriage stealing another woman's baby. A woman who has a miscarriage wants their own baby back, not to replace that child with someone else's. As for the description of how the woman was told her child was dead, yes things like that can happen. I would have preferred to know more of her story, leading up to and including the moment she was told the devastating news. The "troubled woman" and her character seemed to be too quickly skimmed over. The novella felt a bit rushed really, this was a decent read but could have been so much more.
As a member of the Miscarriage Association, and of having had been told my baby had died when I had a routine ultrasound I felt disappointed. I wanted the author to have done more research. I wanted to read more of the "troubled woman's" story than that of the perfect Julie and her perfect family. To be truthful the whole idea of a woman who miscarries goes out and steals someone else's baby is one of my pet peeves. It's something myself and my fellow members of the M.A. have discussed, and agreed, that what you want when you have miscarried is your own baby back and that stealing someone else's would be the last thing you would think of. Why would you want someone else to feel such a tragic loss, by you taking their precious child?
The writing style does keep you reading, the pace could have done to have slowed a little, and the plot could have been stretched out more. I felt the author could have explored the whole concept of feeling, grief etc of the "troubled woman's" miscarriage more. Why she thought stealing someone else's baby was the thing to go do. Or if she didn't wish to explore that highly emotional part of the experience within her book, there maybe could have had more details on the police investigation of the stolen child or the Police search.
So did I enjoy this novella? It was alright, I just felt it had more potential to be much better.
Would I recommend the novella? It's not the first novella I would jump to if asked to recommend a Christmassey read, but it's a good novella to read in a short time. A decent quick read. A decent quick read. I did actually read it within one sitting and I have featured it on my "Seasonal Reads" page.
Would I want to read more about the characters in this novella? I would have liked to have known more about the "troubled woman" perhaps had her meet the mother of the baby she stole. I just felt the full potential of this story were not explored.
Would I want to read more books/novellas by this author? Having said all of the above, yes I would still look at other books/novellas by this author.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Title: The Union
Series: The Union
Author: T. H. Hernandez
Publication Date: 18th November 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.



When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside my head, I live in San Diego, California, with one husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. In addition to my day job as a technical writer and editor, I write young adult fiction and blog about books, movies about books, and anything else that moves me. I particularly love the young adult genre with the intensity of teen emotions and the way they're still figuring out life.

When I'm not writing, you can find me with my nose in a book, hanging out with family and friends, hiking, or knitting. I'm obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes, social media, binge watching TV shows on Netflix, microbrewed beers, bad lip reading videos, and the San Diego Chargers.
You can find me online at 


Coming up with the perfect actors to cast in the roles of my characters was hard. Really hard. Because these characters are so real and alive to me, it was difficult to find someone to become them. But if The Union were ever to be made into a movie, these are the actors I’d love to see portray my imaginary friends.

Evan Taylor
She was the toughest by far to cast. Evan’s signature is her crazy red hair, but I didn’t want that to limit my choices. Instead, I chose an actress that I think has Evan’s spunk, and embodies all of her physical characteristics with the exception of her hair. Since hair is one of the easiest things to fix, I’d want Sofia Vassilieva as Evan Taylor. 

Bryce Vaughn
 Bryce was easy. Jacob Artist with a pair of gray contacts is Bryce. 
Always has been, always will be.

Lisa Kendall 
Lisa is the quintessential girl next door, so casting her was easy as well. 
I’d love for a blonde Alyson Stoner to play bubbly, fun-loving Lisa.

Colin Jennings
 Brenton Thwaites is exactly as I imagine Colin to be. 
I wonder if he can also sing and play the guitar.

 The minute I saw Austin Butler on Switched at Birth, 
I knew if I ever got to cast The Union, he would make the perfect Jack.

 Cyrus is the single most important role aside from Evan, so he had to be perfect. 
And I knew I needed my Cyrus before I could find Lucien. 
When I stumbled upon Spanish actor, Maxi Iglesias, I knew he was it.

Once I had Cyrus, I needed to find his dark-eyed brother and
 that led me to the very yummy Juan Pablo Di Pace.

 Only one person can pull off Draya’s coolness and 
carefully guarded warmth and that’s Maiara Walsh.

Sonia is beautiful and tough. 
The minute I saw Candice Patton on The Flash, I knew she could be Sonia.

Marcus is happy. All the time. Corbin Bleu and his giant smile can pull off Marcus. 
And the fact that he’s adorable doesn’t hurt.

I would love for Chloe Grace Moretz to play the complex and haunted Ally. 

Friday, 21 November 2014


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Title: Stargazer 
Series: Halos #2
Author: Sunniva Dee 
Publication date:
November 2014 
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

BLURB supplied by Xpresso Tours
I’m Luna, and I’ve been in the Twilight Zone since I moved in with my sister and her boyfriend.
I sense their secrets in every corner of the house.
Gabriel is eerily beautiful, and his personality disturbingly perfect, while Gaia’s inexplicable PTSD and mood swings bounce her between bliss and despair.
Until Gabriel’s brothers pay a visit.
He’s the night to his brother’s day. He’s sex personified and the devil in one hell of a stunning package. It’s been years since I last saw him, but this man makes me burn. He hooks me with his touch. Enthralls me with those oddly simmering eyes. He pierces my soul with his knowing smirks, and I am losing myself in him.
With pearlescent hair and spring green eyes, he crashes into my world. I thought this crazy, beautiful man could mend my bleeding heart. Make things recognizable again—normal. Instead he pulls me from the embers and feeds me to the open fire.
College life. Is this what everyone goes trough?



Title: Shattering Halos
Series: Halos #1
Author: Sunniva Dee
Publication Date: February 2014
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal

BLURB from Goodreads
I traded my death for love. I wasn’t given a choice. His decision has caught up with us, so now I am a living, breathing catalyst to war between Heaven and Hell.

The violations he committed saved my life. Since the collision, he’s appeared everywhere. In my hospital room, my school, even my house. He shows up in my paintings, my drawings, in all of my art projects. I can’t stop thinking about him.

He says his name is Gabriel, and he doesn’t understand what’s happening to him. He doesn’t know how I can see him or why he wants me in ways that should be impossible for a Celestial.

My obsession grows. I need him to hold me, kiss me—give all of himself. For every day he protects me, the consequences loom darker and taller. Soon, they’ll crash down on us.

The war is about to begin.



I write New Adult fiction with a paranormal twist and don’t shy away from romance and heart-wrenching passion when necessary.

I moved from Norway to the United States in 2001, and the first awesome five years I spent in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. Then I read “The Book,” aka Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which spurred my husband and me to move cross country to beautiful Savannah, Georgia.

I’m currently on my seventh year in the Deep South, where I enjoy the heat and the humidity. Besides writing, I spend my time with our “petting zoo” as in an opinionated parrot, a herd of cats that are experts on keyboard shortcuts, and puppies that…uh, bark.

I hold a Master’s degree in languages, with concentrations within literature and linguistics. I taught at college level for a decade before settling in as a graduate adviser at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Writing is my passion, my joy, and my addiction. When I’m not writing, I read.
Shattering Halos is my debut novel, and its standalone sequel, Stargazer, is due out later this year.




The night was grey when the doorbell rang, and I remained in bed for a minute, gathering my thoughts. I’d dreamed about Cassiel, a sweet mix between my regular dream from Spring Hills and the visit in his apartment yesterday.
The ringing became rhythmic. One long, two short. Another long and two short ones. I threw on the clothes I’d laid out for school and stumbled off to answer.
Outside, Cassiel stood with a small smirk playing on his face. Hands buried in his coat pockets, he looked down at me, awake and ready to go.
“Mornin’,” he said. “Rise and shine!”
“What? Why?” I squinted against the parking lights from his car. “Do we have some sort of…appointment?”
As usual, Zeebs wanted in on the fun. He purred, snaking between my ankles and peering up at Cassiel. I frowned, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. We hadn’t agreed to do anything today as far as I knew, much less at such an ungodly hour. I shoved my bed hair away for a glance at my watch, but before I managed, Cassiel replied.
“In my opinion, we do. It’s already five thirty, so we got to get going if you want fresh bagels.”
“Nu-huh, oh you are so kidding me. Five thirty? Dude! I’m not even hungry.”
Amusement made his eyes shine olive-green. “Don’t worry. You will be when we get there.”
“Cassiel? Rain check. What do you know about bagels here anyway—you just moved here. Besides, I can get fresh bagels whenever I want. With a toaster!”
His laughter rang out sexy, indecently awake. “Nope, not like these. You want them fresh from the oven. With…” He bent lazily, hands still in his pockets and his nose almost touching mine, “loads of homemade, sun-dried tomato cream cheese.”
“Cassiel,” I whined, snubbing the heat unfurling in my stomach at his closeness. “I could be sleeping right now.”
He clicked his tongue, ignoring my complaint. “Where’s your jacket? It’s freezing out here. And your shoes? C’mon.”
Oh no, he didn’t. Did he? Yeah, he freaking did. “Hey!” I cried out as he carried me to his Escalade. He opened the door and dumped me on the seat.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

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Thursday, 20 November 2014


Title: Breeders
Series: Breeders Trilogy
Author: Ashley Quigley
Release Date: 13th May 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Ariet has been taken from her family, who are told she has died of an illness; when, in fact, she has been drugged and removed against her will to a secret underground location. Selected for a genetic breeding program by the Creators, the Monarchy of the New World, Ariet and her captor Mason, have to provide an offspring with a predetermined inherited genetic profile, or face termination. They find mutual empathy for one another when their unborn child does not carry the desirable gene. Unable to accept the scheduled termination of her pregnancy by the Creators and to save the life of her offspring, Mason helps her escape to an area outside of the Four Quadrants. Mason's childhood friend Thor, a Guardian in the Great Tower, flees with Ariet to protect her from the unknown, whilst leaving Mason behind to bring down the rulers of the New World. With the aid of refugees from the Old World, Ariet, together with her child and Thor risk everything to join Mason in his fight to destroy the Monarchy.


To be totally truthful I have two books with similar titles and ended up reading this one first by mistake, but it turned out to be a great mistake . . 
I was looking forward to learning more about what sounded a complex yet highly interesting dystopic society.

Absolutely loved it! When can I have more please?

The cover of this book features the main female character of Ariet, and also a genetic marker too, which is a very brief gist of what the book is about. Ariet lives in Quadrant 4, one of the smaller yet still prosperous areas to live in. Ariet's life consist of daily medical tests taken via urine and blood samples. Every Monday the residents of Quadrant 4 have to attend a medical examination, where your breeding potential is checked. Dependant on your health and these tests and their results you are allocated points. Points are used for toiletries and food. Every Monday morning Ariet and her mother prepare a special breakfast which uses up the last of that weeks food supplies. Once the breakfast is ready, the men, Ariet's twin brother, Alec and their father rise from their lie in and they all eat the breakfast as a family. They then go off to the medical test centre, where the males and females are filtered into different lines and then the younger woman are split from the older women. Ariet and Alec Langley are very near the age where society expects them to find mates. If you do not choose a mate yourself then the Creators arranged a pairing for you. Then you are referred to as "Selecteds". There are restrictions on whom you may "pair with". "superiors" such as Ariet and Alec are told to look in other quadrants rather than their own. this is to prevent bloodlines from becoming crossed. The rules A superior cannot for example pair with a creator (considered a higher member of the society). One a couple is paired they are expected to produce two children within the first few years of their marriage. Ariet goes through all the routine tests as she does every week and then she is told she has another test due to her age, and the fact she will soon be pairing. That's about all Ariet remembers then everything goes dark. When Ariet awakens she discovers she has been taken away from her family and everyone she knows and loves to be paired to a male she doesn't know as part of a special Breeder program. Ariet has been specifically chosen for a highly secret genetic breeding project. Ariet has been paired with a young man named Mason Black, it is he that has been left to explain everything to her. Naturally Ariet finds it extremely hard to accept that she can never see her family again. Ariet tries to argue the point that she has not been given chance at "natural pairing" and that by giving her a "selected" pairing the government has broken its own laws. is supposed to she later finds out is the grandson of the "Mother". The "mother" who we find out is 100% behind the regime and will stop at nothing, even killing her own child to keep to the Breeding Programme. The "Mother" does break the normal chain of events by asking for a meeting with Mason and Ariet, where it is made crystal clear that Ariet has no choice but to accept her fate. To oppose the "Mother" would put her and Mason in danger not to mention the consequences of any rebellious acts by the pair would have on Ariet's family. The "mother" is not adverse to threats and blackmail to make everyone around her do as she dictates. Alec explains that though he is a blood relative of "the mother" he has had no more choice in the matter than Ariet has. In fact Mason turns out to be as opposed to the system as Ariet is. They will both need to learn to develop an understanding if they are to survive. They will have appear to become closer and to build up a increasingly intimate relationship if they are to be kept alive within the breeding project. If they cannot do this well enough Ariet will be locked away in a tower and impregnated and drugged to keep her compliant. It is extremely dangerous voice any pessimism against the establishment or indeed any of the rules within the breeding project. It becomes clearer as time goes on that Mason will succeed the "Mother" as the head of the whole regime when she chooses to stand down. That is when Mason plans to change the way society lives and works, but until that day he has to toe the line and be seen to behave and agree with "the mother" in all things.
I really enjoyed how the relationship[ between Ariet and Mason changed and grew closer as they faced uncertainty and a harsh ruled regime together. I also became fond of the brotherly relationship of Mason and Thor. In fact Thor goes on to help Ariet despite their negative feelings towards each other shows how deep his friendship is with Mason. In fact Mason and Thor are the nearest thing to a family that Mason has.
I want to go on and on about the characters in this book, as well as the plot but there's so much to discover, and I don't want to give out too many spoilers. The whole dystopic society within this book is intriguing and really pulls you in.
There's also a great epilogue section at the end of the book, though it skips out quite a bit of time and moves the story on considerably. I'm still not sure whether I would have preferred not to read that part. I'll be interested to see what other readers think about this part of the book.
So did I enjoy the book? I was totally pulled in, and immersed in the dystopic society. Consequently I found the book a highly pleasurable read.
Would I recommend the book? Yes, I'd put it in my dystopian must reads!
Would I want to read another book in this series? Oh yes please. I want . . . no need to know what happens next to Mason, Ariet and Thor! as well as how things may change for the dystopic society too. It would also be great to check back in with the family that Ariet was forced to leave behind.
Would I read other books by this author? I would be really interested in anything written by this author.


Ashley is an author from South Africa whose book interests lie in science, medical and thriller fiction. She also enjoys romantic comedy books and widely supports Indie authors.