My Catchphrases

Monday, 31 October 2011

Spooktacular Give-Away Hop Winner



Chosen by


The winner has been emailed and the gift certificate forwarded.

Thank you all for taking part and don't forget to keep checking for more fabulous give-aways

Sunday, 30 October 2011

In My Mailbox 23/10/11 & 30/10/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in order to share the book love.


(not really my thing but I know it will go down well in the school library & one of the boys can guest review for me *a cunning plan*)

(going on tour with UK Book Tours 4th November)

(what can I say but SQUEEEE)

(love Nigel Review HERE and HERE so looking forward to this spin-off)

Going on tour with UK Book Tours along with Mistress of Storm

(so curious about this book - prefer the US cover though)


From the fabulous Viv at Serendipity Reviews

Review here
Signed copy so I can show-off to the pupils in school how will be forced to read it [ : D ]

(being a Spiritualist I am so looking forward to reading about the historical portrayal of spiritualism)

(music in books <3 <3 <3)


(I saw this on a blog a few months ago and pre-ordered it there and then - sounds so good)

(just got to find out what happens next)

(this has been on my wish-list for ages so when I saw it in the library I had to get it)

(adored Prophecy of Days Review HERE - so just had to read the sequel)

(love the Prophecy of the Sisters series Review HERE and HERE - I have already read it. Wonderful end to the series - full review to come) 


Huge thanks to Bungle at Midnight Reads for donating these books to the school library

Without donations and the commission from Puffin Book Clubs we wouldn't get any new books into the library this year. So huge huge huge thanks for them. It appears that all my finished copies are making here way into the library, mainly due to the fact that I keep recommending them to the pupils  [ ; D ] 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Saturday Spotlight: Library Lessons: Help Appreciated

As you may have noticed I have been doing presentations for the Library Lessons at school about specific subjects in YA Greek Mythology and Witches so far [ : D ] Over the next month I plan on doing War Stories to co-inside with Remembrance Day concentrating on World War II.

What I would like is to be able to show the pupils some quotes from fellow bloggers, teachers, librarians, authors,  publishers and all the awesome people I know about the importance of books dealing with WWII.
If you could leave me a quote in the comments OR email me HERE I would be really grateful.

Thank you <3

Saturday Spotlight: National Non Fiction Day


After last years successful bloggers event with the reviews of non-fiction books across the blogosphere The Federation of Children's Book Groups in partnership with Scholastic Children's Books are running another blogger event to co-inside with National Non-Fiction Day.

To find out more about National Non-Fiction Day go HERE

If you would like to take part on the blogger event please contact Melanie of Library Mice HERE

I am really looking forward to seeing the reviews especially the cooking ones [ ; D ]

Saturday Spotlight: Library Lessons: Witches in YA

Inspired by Viv at Serendipity Reviews we have been looking at Witches in YA Literature in preparation for Halloween.

Whenever I think about witches Macbeth immediately comes to mind. So at the end of the presentation I have included the witches spell that enables Macbeth to see the future. Also at the end of the presentation the pupils have to write their own potions/spells and share them with the rest of the class.


Witches 2

I had to share these fabulous pieces of work with the permission of the pupils of course.

Saturday Spotlight: Follower Lucky Numbers: Winners


Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Publication Date: 29 Sep 2011

Synopsis: From Goodreads

Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.


 Jo @ Wear The Old Coat

Title: Abandon
Series: Abandon #1
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication  Date: 2 Sep 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

Last year, Pierce died - just for a moment. And when she was in the space between life and death, she met John: tall dark and terrifying, it’s his job to usher souls from one realm to the next.
There’s a fierce attraction between them, but Pierce knows that if she allows herself to fall for John she will be doomed to a life of shadows and loneliness in the underworld. But now things are getting dangerous for her, and her only hope is to do exactly what John says . . .



Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 4 July 2011

Synopsis from Amazon 

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts, especially since her mother has worked as a fraudulent medium for a decade. Violet has taken part in enough of her mother's tricks to feel more than a little jaded about anyhting supernatural. The ghosts, however, believe in Violet and she's been seeing them everywhere. One ghost in particular needs Violet to use her emerging gift to solve her murder ...and prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate.


Heather - You Were Almost Right

All the winners have been contacted and the items posted. I hope you all enjoy [ : D ]

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Musical Moments: Book Theme Song: Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling

Title: Stealing Phoenix
Series: Benedict #2

Author: Joss Stirling

Publisher: OUP

Publication Date: 1 Sep 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

Yves' story.
This is about getting you out...I'm stealing you.Phoenix belongs to the Community - a gang of thieves with paranormal powers. Yves Benedict - an American student visiting London - is her mark. But Yves turns out to be more than just a target. He is her destiny. Her soul-mate. But the Community owns Phoenix's past and it wants her future too.


Musical Moments: Book Theme Song: Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

Title: Finding Sky
Series: Benedict #1
Author: Joss Stirling
Publisher: OUP
Publication Date: 7 Oct 2010

Synopsis from Goodreads

When Sky catches a glimpse of Zed for the first time, lounging against his motorbike at school, she is drawn to him just like every other girl in Wickenridge. But Zed sees something special in her that the other girls don't have. Zed tells her they are both Savants - people with special powers like telepathy and the ability to see into the future. Not only that, she is a Savant too, and his soulfinder - meant to be together.

When a soulfinder speaks telepathically to her partner, it's like all the lights coming on in a building. You lit me up like Vegas. But for Sky it's just not that easy - she's a mystery to herself, haunted by nightmares from her past before she was adopted, and riddled with doubt and insecurity. Just when Sky is slowly coming round to the idea of being with Zed she is kidnapped by a family of criminal Savants. In a chilling twist, Sky and Zed's relationship is put to the ultimate test and the fate of those she loves lie in Sky's hands. Will Sky have the strength to embrace her power and be brave enough to control her own destiny, or will the dark demons of her past prevent her from realising her true potential?


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Guest Review: Book Break-Ups: The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Title: The Prince of Mist
Series: Niebla #1
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Phoenix
Publication Date: 28 Mar 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

From the bestselling author of The Shadow of The Wind, the haunting story of a ghostly ship and an age-old curse.

In 1943, Max Carver's father - a watchmaker and inventor - decides to move his family to a small town on the coast, to an abandoned house that holds many secrets and stories of its own. Behind the house Max discovers an overgrown garden surrounded by a metal fence topped with a six-pointed star. In the centre is a large statue of a clown set in another six-pointed star.

As the family settles in they grow increasingly uneasy: Max’s sister Alicia has disturbing dreams while his other sister, Irina, hears voices whispering to her from an old wardrobe. With his new friend Roland, Max also discovers the wreck of a boat that sank many years ago in a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man - an engineer who built the lighthouse at the end of the beach.

As they learn more about the wreck, the chilling story of a legendary figure called the Prince of Mist begins to emerge..


The Prince of Mist is about a young boy called Max.  Max and his family move to a remote seaside town due to the war. Max soon realises the house and town have haunting stories to be discovered and told.  Including a sunken ship and a walled garden with scary statues! !

I found this quite a hard book to get into.  I kept picking it up, putting it down again unsure whether I wanted to go back to it.  I didn’t really get into it easy but I carried on and it did get better but then it ended. Its hard to explain how I felt but it wasn’t keeping me engrossed and turning the pages quickly. Quite a slow book, not really exciting enough for me.  I will give another book by this author a go as it may of just been this one that wasn’t right for me.

I feel as though although this is classed as a “young adult” book its more tailored towards the younger “young adults”.  Its worth a read as its not really too taxing but it just wasn’t for me.

Thanks to Carla at The Crooked Shelf for the use of Book Break-Ups

Now on tour with UK BOOK TOURS

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Blogger Break

So things have been a bit hectic on the personal front the past few weeks. So instead of stressing myself out further this week by worrying about the blog posts I am giving myself a break in order to catch up a bit around the house and on the blog.

Never fear that there will be blank space. I have some amazing guest reviews from the wonderful people that have agreed to review for me. They are awesome sauce.

I hope you enjoy.

Wish me luck with the cleaning and decorating lol. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Spooktacular Give-Away Hop

This give-away hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm

There are a huge number of blogs taking part - there was 136 when I signed up. View the full list here

To keep things simple I am giving away a £10 Amazon Gift Voucher

To keep things simple all you have to do for this give-away is fill out the form, this time I am going to make it a FOLLOWER ONLY and leave a COMMENT.

Open Internationally
One entry per person - duplicate entries will be deleted
Closing date Midday 31st October
Winner Announced 6pm 31st October

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Guest Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Title: Pure
Series: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 2 Feb 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.


I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of Pure when I attended the Youth Librarians Group annual conference as a speaker. I had no idea that the publishers would be there giving away so many copies of so many books. In amongst the excesses my eye was immediately drawn to the column of pure white books; no name, no author, nothing which I could see from a distance. Next to them was an equally anonymous pile of black books. A white one fell into my hands and I could finally see the title in shiny white on the matt background. Of all the books I picked up, it was this one which drew me back first. Full marks to the marketing department!

The story is set in a future America, a few years after a hideous nuclear holocaust and where there are two types of people: the ‘Pures’, the ones who made it into the protection of the Dome before the event, and the rest, the ones who are hideously deformed by the frightening new horrors of nano-technology nuclear bombs. Pressia is one of these, fused to an old toy for the rest of her life, however long that might be. And with the life she leads, it doesn’t seem as if that is likely to be very long as all. Destined to be collected by the murderous local militia on her imminent sixteenth birthday, as is the rule, she is making her plans to run from the only comfort and family she has left, to find a way to continue surviving.

Running alongside Pressia’s story is that of Partridge, a boy in the Dome, a Pure with everything to be thankful for. But Partridge knows that something is wrong, and his questions to himself and those around him soon set him on a path from which there is no going back. Woven through their stories are the intertwined lives of others and the narrative continues from a growing selection of viewpoints.

Pressia and Partridge are well-drawn: the author quickly gets you involved in their lives and you become invested in them, wanting them to be OK, to win their fights, to figure it all out. As a result I was keen to read on with this book, eagerly picking it back up when I had the time to continue, and thinking about it at odd moments during my day. But as much as I liked the characters, I found the world in which they were living hard to fathom. In Pressia’s world there are mutations so awful that it is next to impossible to escape from them, but escape she did, time and time again, and in the end I stopped believing in it. There were a couple of clever little twists which made me applaud the author, but overall the plot and the descriptions of the horrors became unnecessarily complex, and I had to keep thinking hard about why people were doing what they were doing. The ending clearly points the way to a sequel (saying it is the end of Book One being the most obvious clue!) so maybe the complexity is necessary for the ongoing story, but I’m not sure I’ll be searching for it on the shelves.

Huge thank you to Sue for reviewing this one and letting me put it on my blog <3

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Musical Moments: Official Book Theme Song: Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

Inspired by Viv at Serendipity Reviews this week and the week after half term are dedicated to Witches in the school library. The lesson presentation and resources will be going up on the blog on Saturday along with some very talented potions from the pupils. (I don't know whether to be scared). I just had to include this song used on the book trailer for Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey. I have been showing the trailer up to 4 times a day in the library and this song is haunting me. The song is free to download here.
It isn't often I use the actual book trailer for Musical Moments but the song just fits the book so well. Now I have have have to read this book. Look out for a review on Serendipity Reviews shortly.

Title: Witch Eyes 
Series: Witch Eyes
Author: Scott Tracey
Publisher: Flux

Publication Date: 8 Sep 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.
After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Title: Midwinterblood
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: 6 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Love Reading 4 Kids

In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumor has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.


This is my first foray into the YA world of Marcus Sedgwick the only other book I have read of his is Flood and Fang – review here. I must say this will not be my last; I have heard amazing things about Marcus Sedgwick’s writing and was not in the least bit disappointed.

I will admit that I started the book without reading the synopsis; I only saw the word soul mates mentioned and knew I had to read it. So there I was reading away thinking myself so clever for working out that the story featured reincarnated souls of Eric and Merle when I decided to read the synopsis and there it was in black and white that yes indeed they were the souls of Eric and Merle reincarnated *headesk*. I always pray for a happy ending – the words They All Lived Happily Ever After – would be a dream come true for me. So I was rooting for Eric and Merle to have their happy ending right from the start.

The way in which the book is divided into 7 sections alongside Eric’s name being Eric Seven is very clever and implants the idea of the seven lives immediately. The timeline for each story works its way back to the first incarnation of Eric and Merle before returning to the present day. The ingenious use of details from within each story woven into the next showing their origins were an utterly magnificent piece of storytelling.
Amazing use of what can be imagined as Norse Mythology woven into the plot re-enforced by the remote island scenery. The name of the island itself is significant within the plot. The way in which the name of the island is significant at each point in time. The meanings of the name at the different time periods in history added to the plot and helped the imagination of the dialects. Although the pronunciation remained the same the meanings and spelling were so very different. Amazing.

The different forms of love are cleverly portrayed – parent and child, siblings and lovers. The different types of love we are capable of isn’t something that I often think about but this aspect of the book really had me analyzing relationships.

I am probably going to show my lack of intellect now by telling you that I didn’t really understand the ending. Don’t get me wrong I appreciated it and the completeness it provided to the story. But I didn’t really understand why it had to be that way and it was completely bittersweet. Not an ending you will forget in a hurry. A chilling tale.

If you are looking for masterful storytelling then this is the book for you.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Trailer Tuesday : A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Title: A Tale Dark and Grimm
Author: Adam Gidwitz
Publisher: Andersen
Publication Date: 4 Aug 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

Reader: beware. Warlocks with dark spells, hunters with deadly aim, and bakers with ovens retrofitted for cooking children lurk within these pages.
But if you dare, turn the page and learn the true story of Hansel and Gretel - the story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses and outwitted witches.
Come on in. It may be frightening, it's certainly bloody, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart, but unlike those other fairy tales you know, this one is true.

I have had this one on my wish-list for quite some time, I cannot resist retelling of fairy-tales. When I came across the trailer thanks to Abby the Librarian I knew I had to add it to Trailer Tuesday. Check out Abby's review here

How awesome does that look.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

In My Mailbox 9/10/11 & 16/10/11

In My Mailbox is hosted weekly by The Story Siren in order to share the book love or in my case slightly demented obsession [ ; D ]

Because I just can't help myself

( I love Vlad)

( One of my favourite series I love the sarcasm)

(I have had this one on my wish-list for ages so when I saw it in Asda I had to have it)


(I am looking forward to it but scared at the same time - it may make me want to lock up the girls)

(another that has been on my wish-list for ages - squeee)

(on mine and the library wish-list so double squeeee) 

(how flippin fantastic) 


(the next book after Dark Angel - totally loved that one can't wait to find out what happens next)

(total squee)

(how brilliant does this sound)

(loved Forgive My Fins cannot wait to read this)

(a female destined to lead Camelot - WOW)

(music and books - I am so there) 

So total swoonage was to be had at this weeks mail. I am moving next weekend so I won't be doing an IMM but I have a very special guest review for you to enjoy.

Have a fab weekend

Saturday, 15 October 2011

On My Library Wish-List

Title: The Journal of Curious Letters
Series: The 13th Reality
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publication Date: 8 Mar 2008

Synopsis: From Goodreads

What if every time you made a choice that had a significant consequence, a new, alternate reality was created — the life that would've been? What if those new Realities were in danger? What if it fell to you to save all the realities?
Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is a regular thirteen-year-old boy living a regular life until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials "M.G.," the letter informs Tick that dangerous — perhaps even deadly — events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. M.G. promises to send Tick twelve riddles that will reveal that on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain place, something extraordinary will happen.
Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues M.G. sends to him? Will he be able to solve the riddles in time? As M.G. warns Tick, very frightening things are coming your way. Will you join Tick and his friends on an amazing journey through the Realities? What will your choice be?

Title: The Hunchback Assignments
Series: The Hunchback Assignments
Author: Arthur Slade
Publisher: Ember
Publication Date: 24 Aug 2010

Synopsis from Goodreads

A gripping new series combines Steampunk, spying, and a fantastic Victorian London.The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It’s up to them to save their country.

I have been thinking about doing a Steampunk presentation for the library lessons and thought these would be great additions as Middle Grade introduction to Steampunk.

What do you think??? 
Oh and by the way, The Hunchback Assignments are free to download on Kindle HERE

Friday, 14 October 2011

Review: Stealing Pheonix by Joss Stirling

Title: Stealing Phoenix
Series: Benedict #2

Author: Joss Stirling

Publisher: OUP

Publication Date: 1 Sep 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

Yves' story.
This is about getting you out...I'm stealing you.Phoenix belongs to the Community - a gang of thieves with paranormal powers. Yves Benedict - an American student visiting London - is her mark. But Yves turns out to be more than just a target. He is her destiny. Her soul-mate. But the Community owns Phoenix's past and it wants her future too.


Please bear in mind this is book 2 of the series and may therefore contain spoilers for the first book.

I can't say that this is a direct sequel to Finding Sky because it isn't more like a companion novel with the focus on a different brother. I know that this has probably been said and I just hate to compare books but it really is along the lines of The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey in respect that it follows the different stories of 7 brothers but this time they aren't vampires, lol. If you know me you know how much I love love love The Drakes. The soul-mate theme is a winner for me, serious swoon time.

Told in first person narrative but this time with alternating perspectives of Phoenix and Yves, the next brother down from Zed features in Finding Sky. Yves is nothing like Zed, he has his geek on and is totally happy with it, a tech whizz he really is quite an astounding character. So smart, clever and nice. I heart him. 

I really liked Phoenix as a character, she accepted who she was and got on with things when they needed to be done. Not knowing any other kind of life and 'cult brain washed' to a degree I felt protective of her and was rooting for her from the outset. Although she is very self-aware she realises her abilities and limitations. I don't know many people my age who are that self aware let alone a teen. The way in which she used libraries as a haven immediately endeared her to me. 

Images of Oliver Twist  abound at the the start, re-enforced later in the narrative with references to Fagin and the band of pick-pockets he commands. 

I could have totally slapped Phoenix for resisting her destiny. Seriously I would completely love a soul-mate, and with such a hot guy I don't think I would be running away. 

I am not going to go into details of the plot as I will be forcing this into the hands of passing strangers to read and want them to have the full experience of just how clever the way in which the plot unravels really is. Topical references within the narrative aid the realism of the story. Again the way in which the title is involved within the plot itself is just genius. 

I loved the way in which Sky and Zed's relationship was developed alongside this companion novel, a brilliant piece of plot/character control on behalf of Joss  Stirling. The way in which Sky as depicted as a role model for Phoenix even though she is younger was inspirational. Sky has a wonderful maturity about her that really shines through the storyline, probably due to her experiences in Finding Sky

The way in which 'family' is depicted within this series pulls at my heart strings and emphasises that we can make our own families and they should be cherished. 

Finding Sky was a really hard act to follow because it was just so amazing. Stealing Phoenix lives up to it yet provides a fresh new take on the characters, setting and addition to the plot. I am seriously hooked on this series and I wish I could get my next fix as soon as possible. 

Seriously go read it you won't regret it. 
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