Novel and Graphic Novel Giveaway!!!

Hi Guys!

Today I have an awesome giveaway for you all and I’m actually giving away 2 books! I’m giving away Scarred for Life by Kerry Wilkinson and Kick Ass 3 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr (covers featured below).

There will be two winners, one for each book. Find out how to enter below!

Scarred for life by kerry wilkinson

Kick Ass 3 By Mark Millar and John Romita JR

Scarred for Life is a thriller crime novel, the 9th in the Jessica Daniels series. Centered around the death of a student but this is only one of the problem’s she’s facing right now!
Kick Ass 3  is the culmination of the series and includes the final 8 comics with in it. Are you desperate to find out what happens to Hit Girl? And is Kick Ass’ doubt too much to over come?
To enter you must be:
-A European Resident
-18 or above (or have your parent’s permission to release your address)
Please note that your address will be passed on to the relevant publisher as they will send the book from their office, this allowed me to open the giveaway further than just UK residents. Your information will not be passed to any other third parties or used for anything else.
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to contact me through the comment system on this blog or via my twitter @KyraWolf289.
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Books: The ‘Undead’ Media

“Printed books have been wrongly declared dead or dying so many times before that I think we can be completely confident of their survival, forever undead.” Lisa Gitelman, What are Books.

 

The book has, in the past few years, evolved beyond expectation and yet remains somewhat behind the idea of the digital age when compared with other forms of entertainment. Because on the surface that is what a book is for – the consumption of content, either fictional or factual, for the purpose of either providing information or for enjoyment. Since various scholars, authors and publishers have had a crack at what they thought about the future of the book, I thought I’d have my say too.
So there are 3 things you need to know before I begin:
    1. The printed book ain’t going nowhere.

 

  • All novels are books, but not all books are novels.
  • Books aren’t undead. They’re alive and kicking.


 

My main concern is not about what is better, the ebook or the physical book, (though if asked, I answer physical book) but the question behind this: Why does it matter? Not only this but what makes the digital vs physical antitheses rather than complementary? And where do audiobooks fit in on this scale?
 
Why should people prescribe to one side of the fence or another? The reason being is that large corporations have no iota of care for the integrity of the book industry. They only want to sell books as vastly, quickly and cheaply as possible. As a result, this means that those who prefer the feel of a hardback cover to slide through fingers as they remove the dust jacket to avoid creasing it will have to pay several pounds extra for the luxury, while those who prefer a digital copy will only have to worry about their screen cracking.
 
In my eyes it is only a matter of time before books do what the visual industry did and combine their sales. ‘Wanna buy a book for a friend? Pay slightly extra and we’ll give you a free ebook copy for yourself!’ Before we know it audio, physical and digital will become the combined sales package, and why not? But will people really want that?
 
If you’re like myself, then you make prefer the physical book. Being able to browse lazily through your shelves until you hear the faint pulse of a hidden gem that you bought several months ago but didn’t have time to read at that moment. But, equally, you may also find the value of having an ebook copy for textual analysis. I buy every single one of my course texts physically, though I can guarantee I’ll be looking for free editions on kindle within a few weeks when I start writing an essay so I can search for keywords.
 
I guess my point is that each medium has its own qualities that make it useful.  I know for a fact if I could buy a book and have the ebook copy included for a slightly higher price, than I would definitely choose that option, knowing I could buy gifts for friends and have to book myself to discuss later. Reading is an equally solitary and communal act, depending on how you choose to partake in the experience.
 
Scholarly retention of information suggests that to have a functioning archive everything must be written down and recorded, though the web through a kink in that. So if we can store all information online, what is the need to rip down trees and print the words again? There is every reason. Backups, upon backups upon backups. Printing is the archaic backup.  Though it would be a great loss to have all digital only books washed from existence at the touch of a button, it would be a far greater loss if we did not have physical backups for scientific innovations and historical events.
 
By no means are books the undead. They are living, functioning and better than ever. Because books don’t just exist on pages. They exist on our computers, in our libraries, and most importantly in our minds. As long as people are reading, why should it matter which medium they decide to do it through?
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Mortality and a Car Crash

Happy new year all. This will be my first post in 2015, sorry it’s not totally book related, I want to branch out this year!
Tonight I find myself blogging about something entirely un-book related.  On Friday 16th Jan night  at roughly 7:30pm, I was driving along and suddenly I felt my body float across the road. My car had skidded on black ice. I felt my car move as if it were my own body; wheels sliding like feet across the ice and the complete loss of physical stability. My fingers powerless at the steering wheel as it turned in one direction while the car glided the other. Everything from that moment instantaneously slows but despite the damage to the car, both I and my boyfriend walked away unscathed.
I keep replaying the moment. What I could have done differently. I could have let me boyfriend drive, but then what’s to say that it wouldn’t have happened anyway. I could have driven slower, but I was already driving way below the speed limit. I could have done a multitude of things but looking back in retrospect isn’t going to disappear the experience or the mounting bill for car repairs. Thankfully the car still worked and was minimally damaged so we spent three hours warmly watching BBC iPlayer while we waited for recovery.
The entire thing left me thinking about mortality and the reality of how anything can happen to anyone at any moment. I’m not trying to up play the incident. Yes – it was terrifying. Yes – I will be driving with a lot more apprehension but I still know there was little I could do with something that I had no control over. And it’s a far better outcome than many people could hope for.

 

But it does make me think about the verisimilitude that comes with the mantra Carpe Diem. Though I will always be a worrier, I’m hoping I’ll worry a little less because I know first-hand that even if you take all the precautions and try to live to the letter not everything is going to work out how you expect. You can be prepared for a wreckage and you may never see one coming, you may get a few dints along the way but ultimately all you can hope for is a smooth ride.
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Review: Hot Secrets By Lisa Renee Jones

Hot Secrets By Lisa Renee Jones

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

★★☆☆☆

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)

Royce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hand’s off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivaled by the passion burning between them. And that passion, might just be the death of them both.

Review

For me this book was a bit of a dud. I liked the premise but I’m tired of reading adult fiction that makes all women seem like the broken ones who need a strong alpha man to make them whole or bring out their spark. There needs to be more literature of this genre that shows independent women who take control and maybe take the man by surprise (if this exists and I haven’t found it let me know!) I liked the difference of the story though, that’s what pulled me through to the end. There wasn’t anything to do with a man who’s wealth gives him the right and ability to have any which woman, but instead a military, hard working and caring (despite his brutish attitude) man. Lauren’s character is very stereotypical of the person who’s brought up with wealth but wants to prove they are capable of doing things themselves, this gives her a naive sense of security which the novel shakes up.

This is what I call shitlit. If you’re tired or you want to take a break this is an ideal read, but don’t be ready to come away from it questioning your moral philosophy on life.

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Review: “Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

“Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

Video – http://vimeo.com/42372767

★★★★★

Find the book here! 

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)
In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman stood at a podium at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts to deliver the commencement address. For the next nineteen minutes he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength: he encouraged the students before him t

o break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to make good art.

Review
This book is an creative adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech for University of the Arts in 2012. I will say now to anyone who is interested in going in to a creative field that you should read/watch this little piece of inspiration, because Neil Gaiman is as articulate as ever in giving advice on the arts. He goes through his story in brief of how he went straight from school and started writing as much as he could, to where he is now. It’s a brilliant piece of verbal literature and it definitely got me thinking more about what I want to write and how I want to go about it.
Also I want to commend Chip Kidd who did the graphic design for the book that added an extra element of creative process and thinking that without so would have completely changed my perception of the book.
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Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

★★★★★

Find the book here! 

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads):

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more – he had the love of Merrin Williams, a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

Then beautiful, vivacious Merrin was gone – raped and murdered, under inexplicable circumstances – with Ig the only suspect. He was never tried for the crime, but in the court of public opinion, Ig was and always would be guilty.

Now Ig is possessed with a terrible new power – with just a touch he can see peoples’ darkest desires – to go with his terrible new look, and he means to use it to find the man who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge; it’s time the devil had his due.

Review

 

This book was one of the most intense books that I’ve read in a while. Having taken a break from the heavy reading scene, I found this to be a cleverly written piece of fiction. The character of Ig is by far one of the most complex and brilliantly written characters I’ve read in a while.Not to mention the constant undertones of religious referencing which gave the book an extra feel of sin. This book is all about the things it reveals looking mostly in retrospect at events that lead to the moments where Ig discovered exactly what happened to Merrin.

What I enjoyed about this book was that even though it is very heavy on the religious connotations you don’t have to be a priest yourself to understand it. This is down to the way Joe Hill illustratively interweaves this into the characters lifestyles and their thoughts.

This novel is a brutal retelling of a horrible event but ultimately shows that humans are secretive and sinful and it did so bloody marvellously!

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Review: How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

★★★★☆

Find the book here!

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first one that I read after an extensive reading slump. I found it easy to read but captivating enough to sit down and read in one go!

The plot of the novel starts off where our female protagonist Rose sets out to visit her family in Millwood, like she does every summer since her parents are always travelling. We’re introduced to her archetypal relatives who breathe an air of welcome and homeliness with their new baby and seemingly large estate. It’s not long before we’re then introduced to the other two main male protagonists Oscar and Caicus Valero. When I first read their characters they reminded very much of vampires in the way they charmed their way into the lives of Rose’s aunt and uncle but I was very aware that this was in fact not a vampire fiction.

The main part I love about this novel is Rose’s characterisation and her growth. She is of very sound mind and brings strong opinions forward from the beginning. Being the only one who’s not charmed by the Valero brothers initially, she appears stubborn and rightfully dubious of their intentions. When it becomes clear to her that she’s different to the rest of her family in that respect, she asserts her stance towards them immediately. She’s feisty and takes no bull, which I really respect in a character who’s only sixteen. One thing I couldn’t call her is a Mary Sue, she’s not a protagonist where things just happen to her, to an extent this is what occurs, but she combats this with her own agenda and doesn’t take anything sitting down.

In contrast to this Oscar is a more mild character, when he has dreams of Rose he aims to get closer to her. My favourite scene is their first scene alone in the woods (I shall say no more) because his resolve to hide from her quickly dissolves. Even knowing that she suspects him and doesn’t trust him, he still trusts her, which I found really interesting considering he knows exactly what his reason is for staying at her family’s house.

The plot had a fairly interesting twist but I enjoyed it as it reminded me of Fallen by Lauren Kate which is another brilliant novel in the field of paranormal fantasy. I would definitely suggest that you read this book if you’re looking for a new insight into the paranormal and fancy a bit of romance. What I’ve read of magic in contemporary literature has been very much a sisterly bond between witches and this definitely gave the theme a breath of fresh air!

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GIVEAWAY and Review of Rule by Jay Crownover

Howling Reviews Rule by Jay CrownoverClick here to see an extract of Rule by Jay Crownover

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Find the Book Here!

Rule by Jay Crownover is a New Adult Novel that focuses on the lives of Shaw Landon and Rule Archer. Shaw loves Rule but can he look past her past relationship with his twin brother? One night changes everything and after that they are forced to address their future.

Where do I possibly begin with this book except by stating that it is the sexiest book I’ve read this year so far. New Adult is a fairly new genre concept and so the definitions are still somewhat hazy. However, I feel this book fits that genre to a tee. It is filled with romance, angst, sex and real life issues while also having similar trials as, say, a classical novel; as it looks at the contrast between bourgeois and proletariat using humour and satire to address it.

Crownover’s writing style is both descriptive and honest and her use of dialogue is brilliant. The characterisation of Shaw and Rule create a unique dynamic that really sets this book aside from others. Shaw is a confident, sassy woman who studies and tends a bar. Whereas Rule is a deviant who works in a tattoo parlour. Two people who couldn’t be more different but somehow seem the best thing for each other. When we meet Shaw she isn’t in the best of situations, her relationship with her parents is crumbling and she desperately needs to concentrate on her degree, but she can’t stop herself when it comes to Rule.

I genuinely enjoyed reading this book and found it quite addictive, the characters evolve with the plot. It surprises you at multiple turns. I don’t want to say too much more about this other than that you should read it, because I don’t want to spoil it for you!!

Happy Friday everyone! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Extract of Rule by Jay Crownover

Click here for Harper Collins Giveaway!

We ran back to the house to get dolled up for dinner. I put on one of my new outfits, a super tight pencil skirt and a sheer blue top with a black cami underneath. I curled my new hair, put on more makeup than I normally wore, and decided, just for the hell of it, to wear my awesome black boots that looked like something a Harley-Davidson model would wear. They gave my look a certain edge that I was feeling after a day of letting the real Shaw off her perpetual leash.
At the restaurant, Ayden’s slinky red dress, which made her long legs look endless, had our waiter practically drooling into our water every time he stopped by to refill our glasses. She made me try out my new ID by ordering a drink, and it worked like a charm. Before I knew it we were both feeling no pain and having a great time bouncing from club to club in LoDo and hitting the hip dive bars in Capitol Hill. I was surprised that I didn’t even need to show the fake ID at most places—turns out a tight skirt and exposed cleavage work just as well.
I was laughing hysterically at Ayden doing an impression of some guy flailing around on the dance floor. We had drawn a fair amount of attention everywhere we’d gone and had had to pay for very few drinks. At the moment a guy from CU–Boulder was telling me all about his illustrious football career, or rather he was telling my boobs about it since I don’t think he had looked up from the girls once. Ayden was rolling her eyes and trying to avoid some guy in
a banker suit who was offering to do her taxes for free if she gave him her number. It was silly and fun and I didn’t have to work hard at the flirting or being charming. I was well on my way to being wasted, so conversation was out. All I had to do was smile and sit prettily on the bar stool, two things I was apparently getting really good at. Another cosmo, which I definitely didn’t need, had just appeared before me and Mr. Football was leaning even closer to me when some sixth sense, or maybe it was my fight-or-flight response, suddenly kicked into overdrive.
I lifted my head and swivelled around on the stool, practically kneeing the leering football player. I looked around, craning my neck to see what had my skin suddenly feeling too tight, but all I saw was the regular bar crowd mixing and mingling. The football player was trying to get my attention back by running a finger up and down my bare arm; I guess it was supposed to be sexy, but now I was drunk and unnerved and I wanted him to get lost. I was suddenly ready to go, and looked around for Ayden so we could get a cab and get out of there. Before I could find her a warm hand slid under the heavy fall of my hair and settled on the back of my neck. A deep voice growled in my ear, “How in the fuck did you get in here, Casper? And what did you do to your hair?”
The football player’s eyes went huge because, well, Rule was Rule. Gone was the purple hair spiked up in a crazy mess. Now he had it all shaved on the sides and bleached out into a startling white Mohawk that was several inches tall. He had on a tight black shirt with a flaming skull in a Viking helmet on it, showing off both sleeves of tattoos, a pair of black jeans with a hole in the knee, and his heavy black motorcycle boots. He should have looked sloppy and unkempt next to the V-neck-sweater-wearing footballer, but he didn’t. He looked hot and rumpled and clearly not someone to be messed with. The footballer pushed away from the bar in a hurry and vanished into the crowd.
I was drunk, admittedly probably not the best state to try to go toe-to-toe with Rule, but I liked my hair and he wasn’t going to rain on all my birthday vibes, especially since he clearly didn’t even remember what day it was. I shook his grip loose and sucked back the tart drink in one swallow.
“What are you doing here?”
He lifted an eyebrow at me and took up the same spot the football player had vacated, looking down my low-cut top.
“This bar is right around the corner from the shop—Nash and I stop by all the time after work. I just finished with a client. I know they ID at the door, how did you get in?”
I flipped my hair over my shoulder like I had seen endless annoying girls do, only I practically fell off my stool because that last drink was letting me know just how bad an idea it had been to chug it. I grabbed the edge of the bar and Rule reached out a hand to steady me. I felt like it burned where he gripped my upper arm. Definitely should have listened to my flight response a minute ago. I put a hand on my forehead because it was warm and I suddenly felt clammy. “I need to go.” It was too hot, too loud, and if I didn’t get out into some fresh air, like now, I was pretty sure I was going to puke everywhere.
I tried to climb to my feet but the room started to spin around like crazy and I had to grab on to Rule’s biceps just to stay upright. I was so glad I opted for my boots instead of heels—I would have ended up on my face otherwise.
“Who drove?” Rule’s voice was coming from far away and he smelled really good. With a sigh I leaned into him and buried my nose in his throat. He was so tall I had to use my leverage on his arms to reach. “Seriously, Shaw, how did you get here?”
“Ayden and I, we took a cab.”
“Where is she?”
“With a banker. I need to go home.” I felt my boozy legs start to wobble and he locked a heavy arm around my waist to keep me anchored to his chest. It was nice. Not bothering to think about it, I wrapped both my arms up around his neck. He felt as good as I always knew he would.
“Her roommate is running around somewhere; wanna see if you can grab her? I’m gonna walk her to our place.” I wasn’t sure who he was talking to but a familiar voice rumbled an affirmative. The next thing I knew I was being half marched, half carried out the front door of the bar. The cold January air made me snap my head back and Rule moved me from the front of his body to his side, securing me with an arm around my shoulders. I hooked an arm around his lean waist and cuddled into him. I knew logically it was the vodka making me act crazy, but I couldn’t stop it.
“We’re only three blocks from my place. I’ll pour a gallon of coffee down your throat and shove some chips or a frozen burrito in your face and get you a cab. You’re even paler than normal and if you try to get in a car right now you’re gonna puke everywhere. Why are you drunk and dressed all sexified tonight anyway?”
I shivered a little as the wind breezed across my bare legs. I turned my cold nose into his ribs and inhaled. He smelled like the antiseptic from the shop, like cigarettes from Nash, like the hair product in his Mohawk, and underneath it all the warm, earthy smell that was just Rule. In the six years I had known him, I’d never been this close to him for this long. It was enough to send my sex-deprived and alcohol-soaked system into overdrive.
“You think I look sexy?” That seemed like the important part of the conversation. We stopped at a stop sign and he looked down at me with exasperation clear in those pale eyes.
“Shaw, every guy in the bar was circling you like you were bait in the water during shark week. You know you look good, what I think shouldn’t matter. What should matter is why you’re suddenly dressing, looking, and acting like a different person. What’s going on with you?”
I wanted to scowl up at him but that seemed too hard, especially when his T-shirt rode up in the back and my arm was brushing against nice, warm skin. I stumbled off the curb as we made our way down another block and his familiar Victorian apartment building came into sight. He pulled me in tighter to his side and I didn’t even try to hide the soft sigh that fell out of me.
“Everyone thinks I need to act a certain way—you, my parents, your parents, the girls from work, Gabe. Everybody always wants me to be this, do that, walk this line, toe that line and I’m sick of it. Maybe for just once I just want to act how I want and feel how I want to feel without someone judging me and expecting something from me in return.”
He was quiet as we walked up the front steps to the apartment. Maybe he was trying to translate my drunken speech because even I could hear that I was slurring between my chattering teeth. He pushed the door open and twisted the lock. It was warm inside so I shook off my jacket and pushed my shaking hands through my hair. I turned my blurry eyes on him and almost swallowed my tongue. He was leaning back against the door watching me with hooded eyes. He wasn’t throwing sarcastic barbs at me or ignoring me, he was just watching me. I blew out a breath and tasted the tartness of the cranberry juice across my tongue.
I took a few unsteady steps toward him. He was so tall that I had to stand on the very tips of my toes to reach his ear. I put a hand on his shoulder and one on the door beside his head and whispered, “It’s my birthday, Rule.”
I expected him to move away, to gently shove me to the side, but he uncrossed his arms and placed his hands on either side of my waist. Those pale eyes flared for a second and his mouth twisted down, making the hoop on the side of his mouth glint at me. “I’m sorry, Shaw. I had no idea.”
I shrugged it off and moved a step closer to him. “It’s okay—my own family didn’t even remember it.” I pressed so close to him that my chest was flat against his. I could feel that the close proximity was having an effect on him. If I hadn’t had to concentrate on my balance since I was on my toes I might have grinned at that. All I had ever wanted in life was to affect him, to get him to feel something, anything, other than simple tolerance for me.
“I know what you can do for me to make this officially the best birthday ever.” I wanted to sound sure, to sound sexy and sultry, but I’m pretty sure I just sounded horny and drunk. I didn’t care. I was here—the real me—the one who wanted him so desperately and always had. There was no chance at putting her back in her cage now.

 

I didn’t think—didn’t reason—just used the grip I had on him to pull myself up even taller and plant my mouth solidly over his. The ring in his lip was shockingly cold against my own; the rest of him was undeniably hot and hard. It was everything I had ever wanted, and even though he didn’t kiss me back, I still ranked it up there as the best birthday gift ever. I went to settle back down on my booted feet when something shifted, something changed, and Rule went from a passive recipient to something else entirely.
 
Click here for my Review of Rule and a chance to win Wait For You by J Lynn or The Edge of Never by J A Redmerski.
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