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

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Yellow by Megan Jacobson

Published: 1st February 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Penguin Teen Australia
Pages: 259
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her. He makes her popular, he gets her parents back together, and he doesn’t haunt her. Things aren’t so simple however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.

To quote a line from an incredibly wise author by the name of Megan Jacobson, “this is the kind of book that makes you stop and just rest the pages on your chest from the truth of it”. Yellow is a brilliant, emotionally charged book that reveals so much about the various struggles in people’s lives. There is an incredible amount of beauty and honesty and raw strength in this story; Jacobson captures so much from so many angles and connects them together into this life of a fourteen-year-old.

Kirra Barley is my hero. I love her so much, she speaks to me on so many levels and she is so much braver and stronger than she could ever give herself credit for. I am so fiercely proud of her and everything she does, even the bad stuff. She is shy but she has dreams of being popular. Despite continually being berated and bullied by her so called friends, she is always out to impress them, always wanting to fit in. She doesn’t revel in being the outsider, she wants friends, she needs someone to talk to and it crushes you when she doesn’t get it.

Kirra’s so desperate to have friends she jumps at the chance to help a ghost she isn’t entirely sure is real, and wants him to make her popular and fix her family. What’s fantastic about this is that Jacobson doesn’t let the paranormal aspect take over from this real story, yet in a way Boogie’s ghost still does. Kirra’s efforts to help him takes her down certain paths, some good some not, and it makes you realise how desperate she has become and how unable she is to cope with what’s happening around her.

As much as you hate some of these characters and how much they frustrate and anger you, there is no denying how fantastic they are. They’re all as complex and well developed as each other and even with the short attention given to a few of them, there are clever ways Jacobson reveals who they are deep down.

The emotions definitely begin early on and stay in varying degrees until the final page. Yellow grabs onto your heart and will take it on a tough and brutal journey filled with pain and surprises and twists that you will not believe. It’s down to earth despite the fact there’s a ghost in a phone box, and it’s filled with characters who have flaws and failings and while you can’t forgive everything, it’s evident some of them are doing the best they can.

The best way to describe this story is a lot of little heartbreaks joined together, but as Jacobson made me realise, it also has lots of bits of glue and band-aids. For every moment you mourn for Kirra (there’s no pity it’s straight up mourning), there is another part that lifts your spirits and makes things ok. This perfect balance is what makes this story work. It’s not a constant problem/solution type story, but when you see Kirra’s world crush her, there’s a moment that makes you glad she has some light.

It isn’t all heartache and pain I promise, there are light-hearted moments and a gripping plot that pulls you along and makes you become invested in this town and its people. But Jacobson doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities either, and together with these wonderful moments a story emerges that astounds and amazes. This is definitely a story that stays with you long after you’ve finished.

You can purchase Yellow via the following

Booktopia | Amazon Aust

Book Depository | QBD

AmazonDymocks

Readings | Publisher

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Almost Dead by Kaz Delaney

Published: 1st January 2014Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Allen & Unwin
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Romance
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

A glitzy whodunit set amongst the Gold Coast elite and a hilarious romance between Macey Pentecost, the privileged teenager with a social conscience who just happens to see ghosts, and the good-looking surf champion Finn.

Macey’s life has been turned upside down. Her mother has left, her father is absent and her two best friends (her brother Seth and his girlfriend Willow) are MIA. On top of that Macey is being visited by ghosts who need her help to ‘move on’. But as wild as all that sounds, it’s all under Macey’s control until a rakish, good-looking spirit called Nick turns up … in her bedroom!

Nick’s a spirit with spirit who insists he’s not dead, he’s astral travelling and has a message for Macey: someone is out to get her. Macey’s biting wit has got her in trouble before, so she’s not surprised but when the threatening notes start turning up, she’s seriously shaken. Does someone want her dead?

It’s all rather disturbing but she’s finding it hard to focus on who could mean her harm with the annoyingly handsome surf god Finn turning up at the most inopportune times and a father with a rather large surprise of his own.

Is it a case of bad timing? Or are these things somehow connected? And if they are, what on earth should she wear when she’s solving the mystery?

Even at 400 pages I flew through this book. I started at maybe 11pm and by 3:30 am I was done. I kept telling myself I should stop but then I convince myself to read some more and then all of a sudden I’d read another 40 pages and I was telling myself to stop again. And so the cycle continued until 3:30 when I finished the final page.

There is a perfect balance between the paranormal, the mystery, and the every day, and Kaz’s writing is so inviting that you want to keep turning the page. Her words draw you in and even closing the book for sleep is unthinkable because you don’t want to leave the story. Your curiosity overrules sleep, and who could sleep anyway when such an enthralling tale is being told!

A companion book to Dead, Actually, this time it’s Macey’s story that gets told. What I loved about this was that it was a completely new story but didn’t forget what had come before it. It is impossible to compare the two because they both have very different mysteries with different focuses, but the similarities and same surroundings is a comfortable familiarity. Willow and Seth are not forgotten, and there are throwbacks and references to the other book, but not so much that it tries to make you connect the two and see it as a sequel. Macey’s story is her own and Willow’s hers, and I loved that Kaz gave them both stories that suited them.

There are so many drawcards about this book, not only the creative paranormal aspect, but the mystery, the drama, and the realities of life that all mix together. It is easy to love the amazing events that play out around Nick as well as Macey’s newly discovered gift, not to mention the surprising home life she had found herself living in. Kaz’s portrayal of the stresses and confusion in Macey’s life is divine, as well as managing to express beautifully how overwhelmed and out of her depth she becomes. It’s wonderful.

Macey and Finn’s relationship is cheeky and adorable. He is a wonderful friend, loyal and protective, and seeing Macey fight her feelings for him reveals more of who she is and why. Everything connects and has consequences with this story and moments fit together and react off each other with style and creativity. This is just one of the many things that interact and connect, sometimes you don’t even realise just how connected things are until the last moment.

The mystery side definitely needs mentioning because the way Kaz plays it out you find yourself suspecting even the most innocent of people. There are hints and clues, and no clear motive which means anyone could be the culprit. With so much else happening in Macey’s life, having someone stalk her is another thing she has to worry about, and seeing it overlap with her other problems makes the story more intense and enthralling.

This multifaceted story has something for everyone’s tastes: There are great characters to fall in love with and great friendships to admire, there’s a great YA story, a thrilling mystery, some excellent paranormal, a budding romance, family drama, self discovery and acceptance, and an ending that’s beautiful – all wrapped up in a thrilling 400 pages.

You can purchase Almost Dead via the following

Dymocks | Kindle | Booktopia

iTunes | Publisher

Amazon Aust | QBD

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Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney

Published: 1st January 2014Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Allen & Unwin
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Romance
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

dead-actuallyWillow’s having a bad week. A dead body, a funeral and now she’s being haunted by the star of it all, the dead queen of Ruth Throsby High herself, JoJo Grayson.
Being dead hasn’t made JoJo any nicer. She’s still venomous and vacuous and, unfortunately, determined to stick around unless Willow finds out what happened.
But the mystery keeps multiplying. There’s a missing phone. An anonymous blackmailer. Dirty secrets that won’t stay buried. And the blame is being cleverly pointed right at Willow.
The only good thing? The gorgeous Seth Pentecost. He’s got his own agenda but it looks like he’s going to help Willow out. Could solving this death be what it takes to finally bring him into her life?

There is so much to love about this book: the characters, the mystery, the fabulous writing that sends your heart and mind crazy with anticipation and suspense. I loved everything about this book from start to finish, it’s enthralling, it’s messy and complicated, but that is what makes it exhilarating to read.

The way Kaz has played out this story and these events, and in such a short space of time, is marvellous. Her writing captures the chaos in Willow’s mind, the conflict and the passion, the fear and self-doubt. Everything comes across beautifully on the page and makes this story come alive.

There’s a hundred different things happening all at once, all linked together, crushing Willow’s brain and sending her in every which direction and the chaos and mystery of it all is wonderful. Kaz pulls you along with a mystery and a quest for answers but there’s also other things happening and Kaz links these seemingly unconnected things together so wonderfully that it works on so many levels, interconnected snippets and separate things woven together to create Willow’s life and story. It’s divine.

Having everything happening in a short period of time makes everything more intense, but Kaz never makes it feel rushed or too soon. The strange and compelling nature of the events and the multiple angles covered brings the intensity to a point where Willow’s stress and overwhelmed feeling leap off the page and brings you into the story so you understand her frustrations, fears, and victories.

The romance element is natural and not once feels cheesy or fake. Willow’s crush on Seth is adorable, Seth himself is wonderful so you also fall in love with him, and Kaz beautifully misses out on the making the “crush on best friend’s brother” feel clichéd. Her exploration of Willow’s feelings, mixing it into the paranormal events and life drama, brings out the realism, such as Willow’s romantic feelings cropping up unexpectedly, her desire to control her reactions and emotion’s play down her feelings for fear of ruining what she has. That is what makes it feel so real, so believable, Willow’s feelings don’t come from nowhere, nor do they take away from who she is as a person, everything about her is mixed together into this dramatic and captivating novel.

Despite the paranormal element, everything about this feels so genuine, so much like the every day, and it’s made even better by JoJo being both ghost like and as she was alive. There is so much drama going on without the paranormal but the paranormal is the heart of it, both the main essence and an almost background feature.

I loved this book so much I gave it five stars before I had even finished. The narrative Kaz has constructed is clever, creative, and so incredibly intriguing. From start to finish she brings you into Willow’s world with curiosity and captivating characters and she holds onto your attention until the very last page. As the final chapters play out your heart pounds, your excitement grows, and you still have no idea where the story is going and what is going to happen. Kaz keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat until the end, even after the whodunit has been solved.

You can purchase Dead, Actually via the following

Dymocks | Kindle

Booktopia | iTunes

Publisher

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Angels Dawn (#1) by Komali da Silva

Angels Dawn Review Blitz

Published: 25th January 2014Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Pages: 277
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
★   ★  – 2 Stars

Dawn Huntington wants what every girl wants, a sweet sixteen birthday party with her friends, family, and some hot boys, but fate has other plans. On the night of Dawn’s sixteenth birthday, she witnesses a crime she can’t turn her back on, and the decisions she makes that night will change her life forever. 

Never having been confronted with such violence, Dawn turns to a mysterious and beautiful boy named Angelo, only she can’t remember what happens that night. To make things more complicated, Dawn is in a relationship with Angelo’s complete opposite, Nate. Dawn doesn’t want to hurt Nate, yet she can’t shake her feelings for Angelo, even when she can’t help but feel he’s hiding something from her, and it could be something dark. Why is Angelo acting so weird around Bonita? Are they together? Are they really only friends?

Angelo may be trouble, but Dawn can’t ignore her feelings for him. Dawn is at a crossroads. Should she choose love? Or friendship? Once Dawn finally finds the courage to choose, she thinks the drama is over. But Dawn wasn’t expecting her choices to have such dire consequences. 

Do you believe in love at first sight? But can one trust someone blindly? Can love overcome all the obstacles?

Is friendship just the beginning of love?

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

Reviewing a book that a lot of people really like but you don’t is always hard. I didn’t dislike it, it just didn’t come across as amazing as everyone is saying it was, not for me anyway. The story was not the problem exactly, there is a story to follow but it felt choppy, something was definitely missing. At the risk of spoilers, I thought there really needed to be more information provided about Angelo; about his situation, what were the rules were, why he was there. It was a completely new part of the story that gets minimal attention. And other aspects get attention that makes it feel like they are going to become bigger parts of the story but they end up being minor.

For most of the book I felt the story seemed a bit flat, characters were one dimensional and even though da Silva has tried to give them some depth and back story it didn’t feel like enough. Dawn’s family come across as the most ideal and perfect family, and other characters were nice but I didn’t have any real connection to them. In addition, the romance and affection I think da Silva was trying to build between Angelo and Dawn didn’t come across as such. Angelo’s doting affections and romanticisms are cringe worthy and feel more obsessive and stalkerish than love, and Dawn’s insta-love and literal three day romance is a lot to deal with.

Even bearing in mind that Dawn’s sixteen and a lot can be excused in her actions, there are a few things you have to find unbelievable; the fact she is stalked and doesn’t tell her parents, harassed for weeks on the phone and doesn’t tell anyone, or even simple things like when her dog goes missing and she doesn’t tell anyone.

I could feel there was a story under the surface but it just wasn’t coming through as strongly as it could have. I had no interest in the love triangle and with no connection to the characters I wasn’t fussed who was chosen. It took the majority of the story before it felt interesting, and even then it was more mild curiosity than any real pull to see what was going to happen. We weren’t given enough detail to understand what was happening and without that it was hard to become too invested. I’m wary to say it was predictable because I’m not sure whether my own knowledge of paranormal tropes made it seem that way, though this didn’t take anything away from the story.

The blurb certainly makes the story seem darker than what it actually is, not that some events in the novel aren’t awful, but there are a few things that just leave it lacking, extra detail that could have built up the story to make it less flat and with less holes that need filling. Too much was left unanswered and never readdressed that I felt was a problem. I know a few things will be answered in the sequel, but there were other things that needed answering in the first book.

You can purchase Angels Dawn via the following

Amazon

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About Komali:

Komali da Silva was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She started writing as a teenager but never took it seriously because her love for basketball and track and field sports was much stronger. At the age of seventeen she moved to Switzerland. Komali has a degree in Insurance but is dreaming of one day owning her own book cafe.

She adores reading and some of her favorite authors include Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare, Becca Fitzpatrick, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Cecelia Ahern, J.K. Rowling and Richelle Mead. She started immortalizing her own words on paper in June 2012. Komali, her husband and their daughter Amalia now live in Switzerland, where they eat a lot of chocolate and freeze during the winter.

Komali could live on love and happiness if life lets her do so. She laughs a lot and has different smiles for all her moods.

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