The Ceruleans Anniversary Celebrations

Over the years I have been lucky enough to be given copies of The Ceruleans series to read. I adore this series, and I included Death Wish into my Top 5 of 2015. This February marks two years since Charlotte Wilson – then writing under Megan Tayte – published the first book in the series and one year since the final book was published.

In honour of the occasion, she is having a celebration and offering a giveaway as well. Throughout the month she will be appearing on numerous book blogs where she will be sharing interviews, guest posts, and fun exciting things like extracts and even a new short story.

If you would like to follow Charlotte’s celebratory blog hopping journey, she will be sharing links to everything on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Charlotte is also giving fans a chance to celebrate by offering a giveaway and the chance to win ALL FIVE Ceruleans books, all paperback, and all with their brand new covers.

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To enter, visit Charlotte’s blog post and follow the Rafflecopter prompts.

You can read more about Charlotte, her series, and her blog hopping ventures on her blog.

 

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charlotte-wilsonAbout the Author

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The Ceruleans Print Party + Giveaway

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death.

Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

The Ceruleans is a fantastic YA series from Megan Tayte with a fantasy and paranormal element that captures your attention early on. There are now five books in the series, the last one released in February this year. The series follows Scarlett Blake, a teenager seemingly haunted by death, and is filled with serious questions about life and death, but is also filled with humour and fun and wonderful friendships.

In honour of the series being released in print, and with amazing revamped covers, Megan is offering a chance to win the entire series! It’s very hard to insist you must read The Ceruleans when I have only published one review for the series, but I’ve read more and they are addictive and amazing, and all kinds of wonderful. Plus, with a chance to win all five books, this is the best time to dive into the series (total pun intended).

The giveaway has been running since the start of June, but work, illness, and life has stopped me making this post sooner, but there are still ten days to get in your entries and make sure you’re in with a chance to win these incredible books. I have plans to post reviews of them all to complete my list, but for now, I can only ask you trust me when I say you should read these books.

To find out about the series check out Goodreads and discover these amazing books!

My review of book one, Death Wish

Ceruleans poster

Giveaway

To go in the draw head to the Rafflecopter page and complete the form.

 

Buy links

Amazon UK

Amazon Aust

Amazon

Megan Tayte bio

Megan TayteOnce upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did. Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award. Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in the village of Standish, Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

 

You can find Megan online at:

Website | Goodreads

Facebook | Twitter

Instagram

 

Top Five of 2015

Top 5 2014This year trying to determine a Top Five was a bit harder than in the past. There were a few standouts but there were also so many that could have made the list based on a five star rating but I felt lacked the right feeling. After a lot of thinking and contemplating I finally settled on my Top Five books of the year.

Many of these books were amazing from start to finish, they grab you from the beginning and don’t let go, others draw you in slowly and tighten the hold as you reach the climactic and emotional conclusions. I recommend you read each book on this list, some of these are sequels and funnily enough the first books in the series made my Top Five list last year. If that isn’t a sign I don’t know what is.

For the first time every one of these books was technically a review request book, or offered to reviewers who had reviewed previous books by the author. These authors are amazing writers and are people I would never have read if I hadn’t started this blog so for that alone I am so grateful I finally took the plunge and started doing this.

Broken by Heather McCollum

This is the second book in the Guardians series and is just as fantastic as Siren’s Song. It deals with the consequences and outcomes of the first book and offers a deeper insight into the strange and magical world of Guardians and the cursed. McCollum captures the transition and consequences of the previous book wonderfully, the writing is expressive and intriguing, and there is suspense and mystery that draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Saltwater Secrets Series by Jade Varden (Song of the Sea + Death and the Deep)

This series is an absolute joy to read. There’s mythology and suspense, and characters that are flawed and complicated and trying their best. I am being a bit sneaky and adding both books in here but when you read them you will understand. Song of the Sea drags you unexpectedly into this hidden underwater world with this ongoing war, complicating the lives of those above land and below. Death and the Deep deals with the consequences and the aftermath and the creation of bigger problems for all involved. Varden balances the mythology and the real beautifully and brings a touch of reality to the fantasy seamlessly. I almost put Death and the Deep on here alone but realised both books have great stories to tell.

The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey

This is a book people tend to love or are not too fussed about. Personally I loved it and I eagerly await the sequel. The story is creative and the world Grey has created is divine. Echo is a wonderful character that you can’t help but love and Grey leaves you wanting the next one as soon as you finish. There is magic and fantasy and drama and suspense that keep you turning the pages and gets your heart racing.

Death Wish by Megan Tayte

There is a touch of paranormal with this book, it simmers in the background nicely though and doesn’t take over completely. Tayte’s characters are complicated and whole, and the way she uses the words to bring them to life is stunning. The story is told very much through the characters and their actions and Tayte is a master at simple complexity where it seems simple on the surface but is actual filled with depth and intricacy the further you read.

Animal by Nikki Rae

Despite featuring characters from The Sunshine Series, this story isn’t really a prequel and isn’t presented one. While it does deal with events before those in the series, it’s more a completely new story about one of the minor characters. Rae’s writing is captivating and I could not stop once I started reading this. Her words pull you along, and with characters that come to life on the page it is an absolute joy to read.

Honourable Mentions

I had to have a few because these were also excellent books with fantastic stories that were beautifully and creatively told.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth

The Darkest Part Forest by Holly Black

Death Wish (The Ceruleans #1) by Megan Tayte

Published: 7th February 2015Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Heaven Afire
Pages: 305
Format: Ebook
Genre: Young adult paranormal fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense. 

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

I found it so easy to fall into this story; Tayte’s writing is smooth and has a natural feel to it that allows you to focus on the narrative and not the words themselves. The narrative itself is spectacular, not that it is explicitly grand exactly, but the way Tayte brings these characters to life and creates this story is wonderful and while seemingly simple, it’s surprisingly deep. From the first page the story grabs you with drama and a brilliant narrative voice and from there it becomes a curious but fascinating story where discovering the characters helps to understand the story and vice versa.

The characters are their own person and Tayte makes sure they have the right level of detail and personality behind them to feel in place within the story. Scarlett herself is rather fascinating, she is complicated and determined but she is also unsure of herself and she is looking for answers she doesn’t know she will find. Her voice is authentic and intelligent and Tayte expresses her moods and thoughts incredibly well, meaning you get caught up in her story quickly and have a great understanding of her desires. You can clearly see Scarlett’s uncertainty and confusion as she works through recent events and revelations and with excellent pacing and gradual development there is realism in the progression.

Other characters have the same level of realism. Luke and Cara are well developed characters and they each bring something to the story. Luke is a sweetheart but he isn’t cheesy in a way that makes him unbearable; he is cheeky and loyal, and he has a good heart. Cara on the other hand is clever and passionate and Tayte captures the teen voice perfectly, the one that shows youth, exuberance and stubbornness.

The descriptions and detail of Scarlett’s experiences and emotions was divine, and Tayte makes use of her characters to bring the story to life, rather than too much detail. Information is provided naturally within the story as well as through the characters leaving little need to explicitly state or describe things. The story flows smoothly and gently and Tayte includes multiple layers and side elements to keep the story rounded, while also connecting things and weaving them together with style and seamlessness. Her depiction of the small coastal town is credible, showing just enough detail required to keep the narrative going but it is not overdone, and with seemingly little effort she encapsulates the feeling and workings of a small town without making it feel too small or intrusive. One technically minor part of the story that stuck with me was how Tayte deals with issues characters may have, both mentally and physically. She restrains from focusing on them explicitly, but they are not ignored by any means, creating a balance that feels natural within the story and feels genuine and real.

There is a paranormal component to this story and I liked that it simmers in the background, only being brought to light when the story needed it to be. What Tayte has managed to do incredibly well is connect multiple things together without appearing to do so and nothing dominates the story, instead it is all linked together and of equal value. The paranormal aspect is almost hidden in the background, but at the same time it isn’t. It feels minute in the scheme of things, almost so you forget about it at times, but when it reappears it is a nice addition to story and provides it with extra depth and meaning, and moves the story along. Being introduced gradually and randomly adds to the mysteriousness and it is wonderful in that it often it explains nothing but offers great chances and speculations and theories.

This is undoubtedly Scarlett’s story more than anyone else’s, though Tayte is careful not to narrow the focus too much on her alone. It is certainly a story about discovery and looking for answers, and while Scarlett hunts for answers about her sister, she discovers things about herself as well. Tayte has absolutely enticed me with Scarlett’s story and I am eager to continue reading about these fantastic characters and this intriguing story.

You can purchase Death Wish via the following

Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon Aust