Blog Tour: Not Enough – By Mia Hoddell

Today I have a blog post courtesy of the lovely Mia Hoddell. Mia writes some wonderful self published books. Her new novel, Not Enough, comes out this week and is extremely good. I asked Mia what some of her favourite self published novels were and she had this to say:

Because I’m an indie author, I love supporting other indies and self-published authors. Nowadays the majority of the books I read are by indies and I have found plenty of favourites this way. Here are some of my favourites (they’re not listed in any particular order).
1. L.P Dover – Her Second Chance, Gloves Off, and Armed & Dangerous series are brilliant.
2. Rachel Van Dyken – I love all of her books but have a soft spot for her Eagle Elite and mafia books. The Consequences of Loving Colton is also one of the funniest books I’ve read in 2015.
3. Samantha Towle – I loved Trouble and Revved.
4. Airicka Phoenix – I’m not usually a fan of romances with kids, but her Baby Saga is heart-warming. Transcending Darkness is also an interesting book.
5. M. Leighton – I took a chance on Pocket Full of Sand and it was amazing.
6. Kendall Ryan – I found her by reading The Gentleman Mentor.
7. R.J Prescott – The Hurricane is one of my favourite books of the year. I also can’t believe I’m going to be signing with her in Cardiff in 2016!
8. Kaylee Ryan – I’d recommend Just Say When.
9. Skyla Madi – I loved her Consumed series. She’s also published by the same publisher as me, eek!
10. Aly Martinez – I read The Fall Up recently as an ARC and love it.

A few others authors I love who started out as indies and are now traditionally published are:
1. Jennifer L Armentrout
2. Colleen Hoover
3. J.A Redmerski
4. Cassia Leo
5. Jessica Sorensen

Not Enough
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: Upper YA/NA Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 16th 2015

Pages: 324

Blurb
Neve Colvin isn’t good enough. As an introvert, her life is a never-ending list of labels and criticism. Pressures to change come from everyone—including the one person she thought would love her unconditionally … her mother. All Neve wants is acceptance, but surrounded by extroverts it’s a wish that’s nearly impossible to fulfil.

For Neve there’s only one solution: anyone disapproving must go. Even if it means only one person will remain.

That person is her lifelong friend Blake Reynolds. He’s seen the fights with her mum, the breakdowns caused by attacks on her personality, and the battles for acceptance. Each time she is left shattered and questioning who she is, he’s the one to collect the pieces of her broken heart. Shielding her from the cruelty is his only concern. But how can he protect her when Neve is concealing a secret so dark?

Blake thinks he knows everything about her, and with their relationship developing, he assumes Neve trusts him fully. However, there is one memory Neve is too ashamed of to share. Revealing it will test Blake’s loyalty beyond what she could ever ask, and Blake is the only friend she can’t afford to lose. He’s the one person capable of dragging her from the darkness plaguing her, but with pressures to conform increasing, even Blake may not be enough to pull her back this time.

ONLY 0.99 FOR THE RELEASE WEEK!

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What reviewers are saying:

“From the dedication at the beginning up to the end this was both a thought provoking and an emotional read for me and I loved it!” – Sandra @ JeanzBookReadNReview
“This story tugged at my heartstrings, played on my every emotion. It was a beautifully written story of how an introverted young girl blossoms into a beautiful young woman.” – Keren Hughes, Author of Nothing Like The First Time
“A heartbreaking read that sometimes had me close to tears.” – Susan @ Ladies Living in Bookland

“Heartbreaking. Powerful. Real … I literally lived the pages, not read them … It’s so well and beautifully written, it is more than just another YA novel.” – Cristina @ Crazy Beautiful 

Excerpt

 “What are
you doing?” I manage to get out around my laughs. She tenses at my words and
then tilts her head back to fix me with a glare, her eyes blazing with
irritation.
“I’m
sleeping in the bath like I said I would. Why, what did you think I was doing?
Teaching myself to swim?”
“I
know what you’re doing. I think that’s obvious. What I meant was why are you doing this?” I step into the
room and move in front of her so she doesn’t have to crane her neck to see me.
“You
know why.”
“You’re
not sleeping in here, Stripes.”
“Watch
me.”
I
cross my arms. There’s no way I’m going back to bed and allowing her to sleep
in a bath. The only problem is that it’s hard to maintain a frustrated
expression when everything about the situation is so damn funny. “Be back in a
second.”
She
mumbles something that sounds like “I’m not going anywhere” to my back as I
rush out of the bathroom. Rummaging in my drawer, I find what I’m looking for
then I’m back in the room with Neve in seconds.
Before
she can react, I have a camera in front of me.
“Smile,”
I tease, only it causes her glower to darken. Three lines appear on her
forehead as her face screws up.
“Delete
that now.”
“Nope.
Get out of the bath and I might let you.”
“I’m
not getting out. I told you I’m sleeping here.”
“Why
all the drama? We’ve slept in the same bed for ages now. It’s not a big deal.”
She rolls over, showing me her back, and ignores me. “Stripes, get out of the
bath.”
“Night,
Blake.”
If
she thinks I’m going to give up that easy, she’s got another surprise coming.
She should know by now that I don’t give up and people don’t say no to me. I
put the camera on the counter by the sink, needing both of my hands.
Carefully,
so as not to reveal my intentions, I lean over the bath and line up my hands.
With one swift motion, I grip her tightly, heaving her out of the tub and
throwing her over my shoulder as she screams, “Put me down, Blake!”
“I
told you, you’re not sleeping in a bath. Now shut up and stop hitting my back.”
My light and jovial words only serve to make her flail around even more. I
manage to pin her legs, but I’m powerless to do anything to stop her hands pounding
against my back. It’s not enough to hurt, that’s not her intention, but the
squirming is becoming increasingly frustrating.
When
I reach the bed, I drag her back over my shoulder and dump her on the mattress.
She bounces, not able to hide the laughter on her face while she stares at me
and hiccups. This is how I like to see her, carefree and happy. It’s rare
nowadays that I catch a glimpse of Neve when she’s truly happy, but in this
moment there isn’t a strained muscle in her body. It’s natural, and I can’t
stop myself from watching her. I’m still amazed that I’m the one who can bring
out her joy and it baffles me that she’s allowed herself to be mine.
We
remain gazing at each other with ridiculous grins for a minute. When I’m sure
she isn’t going to run, I move around to my of the bed side. Her head follows
me, and when I go to climb in beside her, she rolls over. She throws her arms
and legs out wide, taking up the entire mattress.
You’re in the bath then.” She points at
the door with the hand furthest away from me, a devilish twinkle in her eyes.
It takes me a while to respond. The sight of her body stretched out in her
skimpy pyjamas makes my throat dry, and I have to consciously remind myself to
swallow. My gaze focuses on her pale skin, which is exposed by her shirt riding
up and the top of her shorts lowering as a result of her actions.
“I
don’t think so.” My voice comes out more breathless than I expect as I watch
her spread out in front of me.
“Well,
you’re not sleeping in here with me.”
“My
bed, my rules.” I place one knee on the mattress and climb on. My arms support
most of my weight so my body is directly above hers. “So, I can either sleep on
the left … or on top of you.” My voice drops into a murmur and she gulps, her
lips parting as I hover over her. “Take your pick, Stripes.” 

Teasers

About the Author

#1 Amazon bestselling author Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.

Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder and Not Enough.

Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs.

You can follow Mia on:
Or sign up to her newsletter for the chance to receive ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content first.

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Daredevil Review in Gifs

So over the last week I have been revising hard for my up and coming exams, but in my downtime I have been watching the new Daredevil series, which is available on Netflix. It’s really fun and action packed. My favourite TV shows always involve crime and my favourite films involve superheroes, so it is perfect. I don’t have time to write a proper review so I thought I’d tell you my feelings through the medium of Gifs. So here are my reactions when:

When Matt kicks ass

When Claire patches Matt up

When Foggy and Karen are cute

When cute old ladies get passionate about their houses

When Fisk appears

When Matt is shirtless

When Foggy and Matt have a moment

So, if you can’t tell, I am thoroughly enjoying this show and can’t wait to see where it ends up. I’ve become a hardcore Clairedevil shipper so watch out. Have you seen Daredevil yet?

Erin xx

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Source: Bought out of own money.

Rating: ★★★★

 

I love Cassandra Clare and I love the Victorian era. So naturally I adore these novels. I went through a phase a couple of years ago (like I’m sure a majority of you lot did) where I was obsessed with vampire books. Somehow, I never found these. Cassandra Clare remained a mystery to me.  I (thankfully) got out of that stage pretty quickly and moved on to better and more important novels. So imagine my surprise when I picked up a Mortal Instruments novel and fell in love. I’ve finished that series now, so thought I ought to move on to The Infernal Devices.

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray, has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street, and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life.

Clockwork Prince is the second book in The Infernal Devices series. It is set in Victorian London, in a world where magic is real. Tessa, the protagonist, is trying to find out the truth about her parentage and how she can stop her brother from being evil. She is also stuck in the middle of a love triangle, which although it’s a ridiculously typical trope of YA fiction, is quite endearing and enjoyable in this story line. Tessa is so unbelievably awesome, she refuses to take no for an answer and is set on doing everything as well as the boys. She’s worth reading the novel for. What I loved most about the novel was Tessa struggling to find the balance between achieving her dreams and training as a shadow hunter and also trying to fit in with society’s boundaries for being a woman. The conflict was brilliantly written and really made me think about the reaction that somebody from a very strict upbringing might have when suddenly thrust into a new society.

I love the fast paced plot of Clare’s work. I am never bored when reading her stories which means I will come back time and time again. Her descriptions are beautiful and almost make me want to go and live in Victorian London. The detailed descriptions of the clothing made me weak with pleasure and I re read passages just to be able to experience the authors interpretation of the era once again.

Whilst I am normally annoyed at love triangles and really hate having to put up with them just to find out the ending to a story, the love that Will, Tessa and Jem show for each other is rather realistic. I love that fact that Will honours his friendship with Will above all else, and how Tessa may love them both but once she has made her decision wants to stick with it.

Of course the best part of any Cassandra Clare novel is Magnus Bane, he’s a wonderful comedic element with a darker side. I fell in love with him when he was first introduced in City of Bones and my love for him has not died. Also, LGBT representation is important; even in Fantasy novels.

What did you think of Clockwork Prince? I am currently reading Clockwork Princess so will most likely post my overall review of the series in the next couple of weeks. I am preparing myself for some full on emotions.

Erin xx

Learning Italian on Duolingo

I have always wanted to visit Italy. It seems like the most magical place and the history is so interesting. This year I embarked on a challenge to teach myself to speak basic Italian. I have often found myself sitting at home with nothing to do and thought that this might be something to keep me occupied.

I use the website Duolingo to do the majority of my learning. It’s a crowd sourced learning website with the aim to translate many texts in order to publish them on the internet. The interface is extremely easy to use and works sort of like a game. You have various sections to complete and subsections within those. Once you complete a section, as well as various other tasks, you get lingots. These are a sort of currency that you can use to buy extra sections or tests. The whole site is completely free.

 

You can set a daily goal, with reminders to complete it, with the incentive that once you get to a certain number of day you will earn lingots. I love this idea, it is so much like a game that I am finding it very addictive and am actually interested in coming back to it every day after school. Each of the sections are very organised, with some really interesting topics cropping up at later stages. There are also a wide variety of languages to learn, including swedish, which I think sets this apart from some other online learning resources.

I am also a very competitive person, so I enjoy the fact that you can follow your friends and watch their progress. This makes me want to beat them so badly. (Sorry Becca, but I am going to finish my course before you finish yours!)What I’m trying to say is that I am immensely glad that I found Duolingo and will hopefully carry on using it for a while. If you want to start a new language or pick up where you have left off, this website is wonderful!

Have any of you used Duolingo?

Erin xx

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Source: Bought from Book Depository

Rating: ★★★★

Set in a failing town in rural America, Gone Girl depicts the story of Nick Dunne and his quest to find his wife Amy after she mysteriously disappears on their 5th anniversary. Nick is a suspect, as most husbands are if their wives go missing, however he is adamant that he is innocent. Told from the perspective of both characters this story is both gripping and terrifying.

It has to be said that I didn’t enjoy the beginning of this book. Both of the characters are complete assholes and it was difficult to relate, especially since they are both married and nearing their forties. I persevered however and am glad that I did. The first half of the story tells the tale of how Nick discovers that his wife is missing and the immediate aftermath. This part is mediocre, I didn’t particularly feel like any of the characters showed realistic emotions and to be honest the whole situation was kind of obvious. However, this is interchanged with Amy’s old diary entries from when she first met her husband, up to the time of her disappearance. I liked the change of perspective. It was quite interesting and I felt that to understand the characters more, you needed to see them from how they perceived themselves as well as how their spouse saw them.

I was gripped entirely by the second half of the book but I can’t tell you why. (Sorry, I think it is way too good to spoil.)Even though I had already guessed the ending, It was still very enjoyable to read. I love the writing style and I do find a lot of adult books quite dry, but this was just right. It’s very gritty and definitely not for the faint hearted but still totally worth the read.

Have you read Gone Girl? I can imagine it being a love it or hate it kind of book and would be interested in your opinions.

Erin xx

Review: The Humans by Matt Haig

Title: The Humans

Author: Matt Haig

Source: Purchased with christmas money!

Rating: ★★★★

Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man–as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son–who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew–the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth.

It’s been quite a long time since I have written an actual review for this blog. (I’m sorry!) So I have returned with the very first book that I have read in 2015. It was definitely a good one to start the year with.

First of all lets talk about how wonderful it looks. Just let us appreciate this for a second. I am obsessed with books that have stars on the from, they look wonderful on shelves and are just generally aesthetically pleasing. Whoever designed this cover deserves a huge pat on that back.

Now that we’ve got that out of us, lets talk about the premise of the book. I’m not entirely sure the plot was that original. An alien comes to earth to destroy a mathematical formula that would advance the human race in a detrimental way. Whilst doing this, he tries to understand the motivation behind human life. However, you know that feeling when you know you’ve read something really profound and you just have to sit there and collect your thoughts… That’s how I felt after this. I can’t really describe how it is different, it just is.

I loved how the book looked at family dynamics from an outsiders perspective. It would definitely be interesting to just be dropped into someone else’s life and have to try and work out how they function, but this book is really realistic in how it explores relationships in all shapes and sizes. It offers a significantly unique perspective that is mostly funny but extremely heartbreaking at the same time.

If you love reading contemporary fiction then this is for you. It may be filled with aliens, but it is definitely not science fiction. Has anyone else read this? What where your thoughts?

Erin xx

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

across the universeTitle: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Source: Second hand book shop

Rating: ★★★

I like books about space. I think they are often the most imaginative stories, due to the fact that we don’t know much about it. This book was no different.

It is Set on board a space ship, some 300+ years in the future. Amy has been frozen in time, waiting to reach the new planet that will become her home. Unfortunately she has been woken early, the victim of an attempted murder. Her and the inhabitants of the craft have to find out who is murdering the other frozen people, before it is too late.

I enjoyed this book. The characters showed real emotions and were surprisingly easy to relate to. I enjoyed the way that there wasn’t an obvious love story and it was more focussed on Amy’s emotions as someone who has just woken up in a strange environment, rather than that of a love-sick girl.

I never guessed the ending, which means that the book is awesome. For some reason I have the stupid ability to be able to work out the ending to almost anything, so it was a lovely change.

The only criticism I have is that there were some unnecessarily graphic scenes. I won’t go into too much detail, I’ll let you discover it for yourself. However, there are some ways of wording sex scenes that make it seem less carnal than it is let on to be.

What are your favourite space themed books?

Erin xx