Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Beautiful Creatures - Movie Cover & Giveaway! (UK ONLY)

On 21st November 2012, following publication of Beautiful Redemption, the final highly anticipated instalment in Garcia and Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures series, Puffin Books announces new acquisitions to the best-selling series. Anthea Townsend, Editor at Puffin Fiction has acquired UK and British Commonwealth rights from Little Brown US for Beautiful Creatures: The Manga (A Graphic Novel) and Beautiful Creatures: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion. The Movie Companion is due to publish alongside the film tie-in paperback edition of Beautiful Creatures on 3rd January 2013 and The Manga will follow on 5th February 2013.
You can also check out the Movie Trailer for Beautiful Creatures below, which will hit cinemas on Febuary 13th 2013! Directed by Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) the film features an all star cast including Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Viola Daviesand hot young Hollywood talent Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich and Emmy Rossum.

 I really really love this series and can't wait to see the film! And thanks to the lovely people at Penguin, I have one complete set of the Beautiful Creatures Series to giveaway to one lucky winner! Sadly, you need a UK postal address to enter. But all you have to do is fill in the raffle copter below by midnight on the 28th November, and you could be in with a chance of winning these amazing books.
Good luck and also feel free to share the trailer!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Love of Reading - Why do you Read?

For the love of Reading… Why do people read?
On holiday in Scotland, I spent last Friday exploring Wig Town, a delightful little place on the western coast of Scotland that is completely devoted to books.  It was here, while I was quite literally lost among the shelves of one of the (very deceivingly) large book shops, my other half lurked, bored and heavy sighing behind me, and posed the question:
“Why do people read? It’s so boring!”
Naturally, my response was to call him a douche then ignore him for the rest of day.  Yet it did get me wondering – why do I read so much? And better yet, how could I explain my love of books to someone who doesn’t read and just doesn’t understand the magic behind it. So anyway – one week later – here is my response to his question.
“For me, reading is an adventure.”
Stories have let me walk through the jungles of India, explore long lost cities and live among a dozen different cultures. Through books I have travelled to many countries and discovered worlds vastly different to this one.
 I have fallen in love countless times and experienced a hundred first kisses. I’ve had my heartbroken and shared a character’s tears. Books make me laugh; some make me cry, but all books share an experience, if only through another’s eyes.
I’ve suffered from deafness and blindness, been both disfigured and whole.  I’ve been a queen and a merchant, a courtesan and a beggar. I’ve had myths and legends come alive, walked through history and journeyed through futures both near and far.
Books have taught me manners and opened my eyes to the world. They have made me the person I am and continue to teach me about the kind of person that I want to be. They let me escape the mundane and leave my troubles behind.
 That is the magic of reading, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s story will bring…
So I put it to you all, why do you read? Feel free to share in the comments below !

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Witchstruck - Book Review

Witchstruck – Book Review
Victoria Lamb
YA Historical

Meg Lytton has always known of her dark and powerful gift. Raised a student of the old magick by her Aunt Jane, casting the circle to see visions of the future and concocting spells from herbs and bones has always been as natural to Meg as breathing. But there has never been a more dangerous time to practise the craft, for it is 1554, and the sentence for any woman branded a witch is hanging, or burning at the stake.

Sent to the ruined, isolated palace of Woodstock to serve the disgraced Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of Queen Mary, Meg discovers her skills are of interest to the outcast princess, who is desperate to know if she will ever claim the throne. But Meg's existence becomes more dangerous every day, with the constant threat of exposure by the ruthless witchfinder Marcus Dent, and the arrival of a young Spanish priest, Alejandro de Castillo, to whom Meg is irresistibly drawn - despite their very different attitudes to her secret...
I’m a big fan of historical novels, particularly anything set during the Tudor period. Therefore, when I first heard about Witchstruck – a historical YA about a young witch working as a maid to Princess Elizabeth – I just knew I had to get my hands on this book! And I’m pleased to say, it turned out to be a very good read.
Written in the first person, the story follows Meg Lytton, a witch in training who is sent to the Palace of Woodstock to serve the Princess Elizabeth – who at this time, remains imprisoned under house arrest due to the treasonous charges brought against her by her sister Mary, Queen of England.
Therefore when two priests from the Spanish inquisition are sent to Woodstock to report on the Princesses faith, Meg knows that if she is caught doing magic, it will guarantee that both she and her royal mistress are sent to the noose. However, the temptation to call upon her power is too great and Meg soon finds herself in a great deal of trouble.
With a notorious witch hunter determined to see her hang, and Elizabeth on the verge of losing both her life and claim to the throne, Meg knows she must find help fast. However, abandoned by her family and shunned by her fellow servants, Meg is soon to learn that help can come from the most unlikely of people… even from those who fate has dubbed her enemy. Yet what hope of love could the future possibly hold for an accused witch, and a Spanish catholic priest…?
I really enjoyed Witchstruck as not only was it full of danger and intrigue, but it was thick with political plots, betrayals, and of course – forbidden romance. Also while purely fictional, the story contains elements of history and I particularly liked that characters such as John Dee got to make an appearance in the story.
All the characters were very engaging, yet my favourite character had to be the young Spanish Priest, Alejandro. Struggling between following his faith and his heart, his mixed signals towards Meg created a romance full of anticipation and heart-thumping goodness.
Yet on the flip side to Alejandro, the antagonist, Marcus Dent was a truly horrid character and I hated him from the get go. A man of the church, he abused his power for his own purposes and all in all, he made a fantastic villain who portrayed the corruption of the church magnificently.
However it was the atmosphere of this book that really held my attention. I thought Victoria Lamb did a brilliant job in capturing the fear and mistrust of an era when danger lurked everywhere, where no one was certain of which religion to up hold, nor which royal princess would lead their country. It was a time when rebels, non-Catholics and witches alike were all sentenced to death, yet I admire how the author showed how people – so desperate for someone to blame for their misfortunes – encouraged and supported these witch hunts where so many innocent women were sentenced to such horrific deaths.
Also I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Meg. Inheriting the gift of magick from her mother, witchcraft is very much a part of who she is, and she feels compelled to use her gifts to help where she can. Although she is nearly always in trouble, Meg is a strong and brave heroin and I’m looking forward to seeing how she will develop as a character.
So overall I thought Witchstruck was a great read. It is a book I would recommend to fan’s of authors such as Mary Hooper and Ceila Rees, along with anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a bit of fantasy thrown in. 3 stars!

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