My Top 3 Books Of 2016

As today is the last day of 2016, I thought I would share with you my top three books I have read this year, and the reviews that I wrote. Please note these do not include books I have received in exchange for reviews. These are books that I have either bought myself or borrowed from the library.

Number 3 – The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey by Chris Colfer

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Bookworm1102’s Review: 

The Fairytale World is on the brink of a war. The Masked Man is spreading fear across the kingdoms. Alex and Conner’s only way to defeat him is to use the Portal Potion to travel into Conner’s short stories to assemble an army to fight the Masked Man.
Who will they meet along the way? Will they be able to defeat the Masked Man?

I am a huge fan of this series and of Chris Colfer. I loved this book. The new characters we met from Conner’s stories were just as interesting as the ones from the Fairytale World and had a rich backstory. My favourite of Conner’s stories was The Ziblings. Alex and Conner both learnt that his stories had deeper meanings than what they saw on the surface.

As always, the ending was a cliffhanger, leaving it wide open for a sixth book (hopefully!!)

I gave this book 5/5 stars!

 

Number 2 – Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Bookworm1102’s Review:

Before I read this book, I had heard nothing but good things about this series, so I thought I’d give it a try myself. I was not disappointed!

Cinder is a mechanic living in New Beijing. She lives with her stepmother and her two stepsisters. Cinder is also a cyborg. Her youngest stepsister becomes suddenly ill, and Cinder is blamed for this by her stepmother and oldest stepsister. Alongside this, Earth is being threatened by Queen Levana of Luna, who has the ability to wage war on Earth if she wants to. Cinder’s life becomes entwined with Prince Kai and with the Queen, and Cinder does not know that she is more important than she realises.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a futuristic take on ‘Cinderella’. I could see some of the similarities between this book and the classic fairytale, such as Cinder being forced to work for her stepmother, and Cinder meeting the Prince. There is also a lot of new characters in this series, like Queen Levana and Doctor Erland, who is one of my favourite characters.

The story was fast paced and there was always something new happening with every turn of the page. There were a few twists and turns that I did not expect, and the ending was a cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series to see what happens.

I gave this book 4/5 stars!

 

Number 1 – Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

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Bookworm1102’s Review:

I borrowed this book from my local library, after reading the blurb online and thinking that it sounded interesting.

It is set in a world where girls are created to serve men. It is classed as disgusting if they are overweight. They are encouraged to not eat and they spent their free time on ePads. They are not even worthy to have a capital letter at the start of their name. The aim of freida’s time in School is to become a companion, and anything else is not worth thinking about. All of a sudden, her best friend of many year, isabel, starts ignoring her and gaining weight, and self-destructing in the final year. Can freida figure out how to save her best friend? Or will she betray her in order to achieve her dream of companionship?

This book was really powerful and thought provoking. So many girls nowadays feel like they have to be self-conscious of their appearance, their weight, and many girls feel the need to bully others for not looking ‘perfect’. This book is a glimpse into the world nowadays, and what the world could be like in the future.

I gave this book 5/5 stars!

 

If you have not read any of these, I highly encourage you to read them. Finally, I would like to wish everybody a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

New Author Spotlight #1

If you are looking for something new and interesting to read, here are twelve new novels, all based on Inkitt. Feel free to check them out, you could find your next favourite read!

1. Weight of Fate by KasimmaOkani
2. Balance of the World by Jenna Cassie Herdz
3. A Girl and A Goblin by Emelie M and Sage O
4. Asha Swanwick: The Grimoire Maiden by
5. The Cord by Sre Dhanea
6. The Art of Living by flyinghorizons
7. Trapped Between by Emily Scotson
8. American Now Departed: Fight for the One You Love by historyman101
9. Ambloome Princess of Giants by agrader
10. Cindercole: A Yaoi Story by Andrina LeBlanc
11. Destined by UDubLinz
12. Rosaline: Hyperactive Summer by MrPapi

Guest Post: Removing Your Shame Label: Learning To Break From Shame And Feel God’s Love by Eddie Capparucci, LPC

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Tired of being trapped in unhealthy and destructive behaviors? Are you feeling unable to move on and get the most out of your life?

You may not realize it but you’re probably dealing with deep-rooted shame that is responsible for negatively impacting your relationship with others and God. In many cases, it is shame that prevents us from stopping emotionally-troubling behaviors.

In this new book, “Removing Your Shame Label: Learning to Break From Shame and Feel God’s Love” you will discover how to remove the shame label from your life by overcoming harmful behaviors such as:
– irrational thinking
– the inability to emotionally connect
– self-loathing
– excessive worry
– a hardened heart
– being stuck

Utilizing real case studies, the author provides insights and real-world solutions to help you manage behaviors that destroy relationships, limit personal growth, and cause shame. More importantly, this book opens a new pathway to help you establish a loving and meaningful relationship with God whether you are a new Christian or have been walking the path your entire life.

About The Author

Eddie Capparucci is certified as a licensed professional counselor by the State of Georgia. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, and the Georgia Licensed Professional Counselors Association.

Eddie has a private practice in Marietta, GA, where he and his wife, Teri, have committed themselves to helping others understand the truth of God’s love. They work primarily with individuals and couples who are dealing with the destructive aftermaths of sexual addiction. Among his many clients have been National Football League and Major League Baseball players.

He is certified in sexual addiction by the International Association of Certified Sexual Addiction Specialists and the American Association of Christian Counselors.

He graduated with High Distinction from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA with a master’s degree in counseling. He also serves as an elder at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA.

If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Barnes and Noble here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

Guest Post: Station At Diablo by Roger Raffee

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Take a wild ride, full of adventure, as Aaron Kovak finds out what it’s like to be a Texas Ranger in the old west. He grew up hanging out at the Texas Ranger office in San Antonio. His father was the doctor for the Rangers. He fulfills his dreams and becomes a Ranger.

Getting sent on assignment he meets beautiful girls, finds romance, and faces danger. He meets unsavory characters and struggles with questions of honesty and morality. He learns the difference between the lawman fantasies of his boyhood and the realities of life on the outlaw trail.

If you like the sound of Station At Diablo, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

Guest Post: 3 Days: A Passion by T M Fairman

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Within the aftermath of an epidemic that has been contained through sacrifice rather than cure, a young woman discovers she has contracted the Disease.

She has three days to live.

Society has deemed her irredeemable and requires her to pass her last three days in quarantine; a sacrifice for its own preservation.

Her only link to the life she once had is her husband.

Together they must try to battle with their demons.

Together they must try to discover how their love can be expressed during separation and in the face of death

Together they must wrestle with the issues of love and loss, grief, depression and hope before finally having to say goodbye to each other.

On this sad, but beautiful journey, they are faced with the questions;

Where does the light come from in their lives?

What happens when that light goes out?

What is there beyond life itself?

3 Days: A Passion is free on Amazon from 26 December to 30 December. If you would be interested in reading, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

New and Upcoming Fantasy Novels

Inkitt is a company that allows authors to post their stories online and get constructive criticism from readers. Their mission is to help new and talented writers get discovered.

Below are two collections, both with a number of new Fantasy novels. There are some hidden gems in both collections. If you would like to read these for free, you can check out the links below:

Collection 1

Collection 2

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Guest Post: Succubus by Brandon Varnell

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Succubus by Brandon Varnell
Genre: YA
Urban Fantasy/Romance (16+)
Release Date: December 1st 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Christian is the Catholic Church’s best executioner. Dedicated. Devout. Deadly. Ever since the Church saved him from the decimated ruins of his hometown, his commitment to their cause has been unshakable.

Then he’s sent to execute Lilith, who lives in Seal Beach, California. He’s baffled. Lilith is afraid of men. The Church believes she’s a succubus, but he just can’t see it. Yet the way men—both human and monster alike—act as if they’ve been possessed whenever she’s near is disturbing.

With lustful men attacking Lilith and monsters attacking him for being near Lilith, Christian must uncover what’s really going on, and soon, or innocent blood will run through the streets—as will his own.

Love. It can kill a man.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Christian peered through a large gap in the metal roof, the edges of which were frayed and torn, as if God’s hand had reached out from heaven and ripped it asunder. The interior, a warehouse, appeared to be spacious but almost empty. Almost. Although the large room was devoid of boxes, crates, and other equipment, there was something down below that he could easily make out. Something that didn’t belong in a warehouse.

His target: a vampire. To most people, the creature below would have been considered beautiful. Its form carried an elegance that few could match, and its eyes glowed with an otherworldly iridescence. Silvery-blond hair sat almost gently upon its head and pale, nearly translucent skin shone with a brilliant luster in the light of the full moon.

Christian saw no beauty in it. How could something that drank human blood ever be beautiful?

His target wasn’t alone. Arrayed in a semicircle stood half a dozen vampires. Their pale, nearly translucence skin shone in the darkness, and their eyes glowed with an otherworldly iridescence: some blue, some black, some red.

One of the vampires spoke. “Greetings, brother.” Its voice was rough and coarse, as if it hadn’t had anything to drink in days.

Maybe it’s fasting. Christian almost snorted at the thought.

“’Tis a grand night, brother,” his target replied.

“Were you spotted?”

“No.”

“Good. How has thy search gone? Hast thou discovered another delightful treat for us?”

Christian moved silently to better position himself for what was to come. The creatures hadn’t noticed him yet—not that he had expected them to. Few abominations ever looked up. He’d slain dozens of foes this way; the ease with which he had taken their lives had been almost laughable.

“I have indeed; a lovely girl who works the closing shift at a small thrift store. She has no family, no friends, and she longs to feel the affection of another. Easy prey. She’ll not be missed.”

As he mentally prepared himself for his coming task, Christian listened to the almost stereotypical vampire conversation. He really didn’t know what it was with this species, but almost all of them spoke like they lived in the sixteenth century. Couldn’t their manner of speech be a little more up to date? Even bishops and priests had

stopped speaking like bad actors in some Shakespearean play decades ago. The least these vampires could do was give the same courtesy.

I think Tristin is beginning to rub off on me.

“Good, good. What time doth this woman leave work?”

“Eleven in the evening.”

“Excellent. Now then, tomorrow we shall―”

Christian had heard enough. After a mental countdown and a quick prayer, he allowed himself to free-fall head first through the hole.

As he dropped, he twisted his body until his feet pointed toward the ground. At the same time, he reached behind him for the two objects on his back: Twin swords, each with a diamond-shaped pommel and a cross-guard shaped like a crucifix with a single ruby in the center. Steel hissed as he pulled his weapons from their sheaths.

He hit the ground with a harsh thud, bone-jarring and forceful enough to make him gasp. He shunted the pain aside and bent his knees to absorb most of the impact, while the rest was absorbed when he pushed himself into a forward roll. He felt his shoulders jolt as he rolled along the ground. Then he leapt to his feet, right in front of his first kill: The vampire that he’d been following.

He had just enough time to see the startled look in his target’s eyes before he brought his twin weapons to bear. A flash of light reflected off the surface of his blades as he swung them forward, too quick for human eyes to follow. They traveled in a blurred line, tracing an almost gentle arc horizontally through the air, the movements spellbinding in their grace.

Then he moved past the vampire, his feet sliding along the floor, kicking up dust as he twisted around to face the rest of his opposition. Blood dripped from the two blades in his hands. They were straight blades, double-edged. The surfaces not covered in thick, dark-red liquid reflected the moonlight spilling in through the hole overhead.

One second passed. Then two. Time seemed to stand still before, with surprising slowness, the vampire’s head slid off its shoulders and fell to the ground. As the head rolled toward the other vampires, the rest of the body fell as well, first to its knees, then toppling the rest of the way with two dull thuds.

Christian felt a moment of regret at having killed, but he shoved his emotions into the deepest recesses of his soul.

This is for the good of mankind.

There was a long moment of silence. The other vampires stared at him in shock, eyes wide and mouths gaping to reveal sharp fangs.

With a flick of his wrists, Christian forced the blood staining his blades to fly off and splatter against the ground. One of the vampires—the leader, Christian guessed—noticed the crucifix cross-guard.

“Shit! It’s an Executioner!”

That seemed to be the cue for the others, jolting them out of their trance-like states. They bared their fangs and unleashed sibilant hisses like a nest of angry vipers.

“Kill him!”

Christian remained where he was as four of the five remaining vampires surrounded him. He stood there, his swords held loosely at his sides, his defense intentionally full of gaps. Even an amateur could see the various weaknesses in his stance to exploit. He observed his enemies with keen eyes, taking in their positions, their stances, the expressions on their faces. Some distance away stood the fifth vampire, arms crossed, watching him.

Coward.

A slight shift in movement was the only signal Christian received before they attacked. All four charged

forward, converging on him, attempting to box him in. Their bloodlust rolled over him in waves.

Less than a second later, three of the four reached him. They attacked. Perhaps they believed that simultaneous attacks from all directions would leave him unable to fight back.

He didn’t know. He didn’t care. Because it didn’t matter. None of the attacks hit. Christian reacted long before the vampires reached him, long before they attacked, almost as if he had predicted their movements.

Christian tilted his head back, avoiding a swipe to his face by a pair of long claw-like nails. He removed the offending limb with a swing of his sword, severing the hand at the wrist.

The vampire screamed as blood poured from the stump. Christian then disemboweled the creature, swinging the sword in his left hand into its stomach, tearing through skin and muscle with ease.

As Christian’s sword finished slicing through the now dead vampire’s torso, he moved to the left. Sensing movement, he bent at the waist, avoiding a foot that shot out in a reverse heel-kick that would have shattered his spine had he not leaned back. As he avoided the attempted kick, one of the vampires moved past his previous position in an obviously failed attempt to tackle him.

That particular vampire ended up losing its head when Christian came back up and swung the sword in his right hand. Dark-crimson blood spurted from the severed neck as the head soared through the air, disappearing into the darkness of the warehouse. The aberration’s body continued running for several feet before it seemed to realize it no longer had a head and subsequently tumbled to the ground. It rolled along the dirty floor, bouncing several times, and then came to a stop.

Air currents flowed at his back. Christian turned. Sparks flew when he thrust out his sword, not blocking the claws that nearly gouged out his face, but redirecting them. Then he thrust out the sword in his right hand, stabbing the vampire through the chest. As the monster released a death gurgle, he kicked it off his sword. The vampire fell onto its back and remained still.

The fourth vampire to have charged in had held back. Maybe it had expected the other three to fail. It could have also been confident that its friends would be up to the task of slaying him, or perhaps it just wanted to wait for an opening. Its footsteps echoed from behind Christian.

Christian danced to the right. He lashed out with the sword in his left hand, severing the vampire’s right arm at the elbow. While his enemy screamed in anguish, he swung the blade in his left hand across the vampire’s throat, leaving a deep, gaping wound.

The abomination’s eyes widened. Its only remaining hand and the stump that used to have a hand moved to its throat. It gurgled and coughed, choking as carnelian liquid gushed from the open wound like a faucet, pouring down its neck and collarbone, staining its shirt. It stared at him with wide, shocked eyes. And then it fell backward, striking the hard ground with a thud, which rang out several decibels louder than it should have. The body twitched once, twice, and then became still.

Just one more and this will end.

“What are you fools doing?! Kill him! Kill him!!”

Christian’s eyes darted to his left. There was another vampire, one that must have been standing guard outside. It came in fast, so fast that Christian’s eyes were incapable of keeping track of the supernatural creature while it moved.

That was okay. He didn’t rely on his eyes to fight. They were useless against opponents whose speed surpassed anything a human could match.

A noise alerted him to movement on his right. Footsteps. The leader still stood several feet away. Was there another guard?

Ducking low, Christian avoided a claw swipe from the vampire coming in from his blind spot. The creature’s thrust flew over his head, its movement so swift it created a powerful gust of wind, causing his hood to soared off his head.

Christian rolled backward while still crouched low, ignoring the pain that flared up in his spine. He avoided the other vampire, which tried to smash his head in with a heel-drop. Instead, all his enemy hit was the ground, which cracked and dented from the power of its strike.

Kipping up to his feet and moving to the right, Christian avoided a thrust that would have impaled him through his left eye and then retaliated, swinging the blade in his right hand. The vampire tried to dodge, but Christian had foreseen this possibility and adjusted his sword’s movement accordingly. He impaled his victim through the chest, the tip of his blade emerging from the vampire’s back.

The vampire looked down at the wound in shock, as if unable to believe its own demise. It shuddered once, and then it died.

With movements that were just as quick as his piercing thrust, Christian yanked the blade from the dead vampire, allowing the creature’s corpse to fall to the floor.

“Damn you!” The voice came from behind him.

Tilting his head, Christian avoided a thrust claw that tried to impale him through the back of his skull. He reversed his grip on the blade in his left hand and thrust it behind him. A croaked gurgle echoed behind him. He yanked the blade out of soft, pliant flesh, spun around, and then swung the sword in his right hand, severing the creature’s head. It flew off as Christian sidestepped the now headless body and let it crumple to the ground.

Just one more. Where was the leader?

The sound of running feet caught his attention. Christian snapped his head toward the exit, where he could see the last vampire attempting to flee.

Not on my watch.

With a single fluid motion, Christian sheathed his blades and moved his hands into the cloak concealing his frame. He reached for the two objects holstered to his thighs, his fingers closing around grooved handles with a trigger. Pulling them out revealed a pair of handguns—one black and the other silver.

He pointed them both at the fleeing vampire and pulled the triggers. The sound of gunfire filled the air. A dozen bullets were unleashed in half as many seconds, a hailstorm of gunfire. The tiny projectiles, nothing more than streaks of incandescent blue light, crossed the killing field in less than a hundredth of a second.

The vampire didn’t stand a chance. The bullets tore through its body with ease. The force with which they were delivered made the creature stumble forward and fall to the ground, the bullets embedding themselves deep within its body.

Then they ignited. Like flares going off in the night, the bullets inside the vampire exploded with the power of a dozen miniature suns. Its mouth opened in a silent scream. It flopped along the ground like a fish, sucking in oxygen. Its body quaked and spasmed as flesh, muscle, bone, and even blood dissolved faster than the time it took to blink. A few seconds after being shot, the vampire was gone—not even ashes remained.

Christian stood amid the bodies of those he had slain. He took a deep breath, held it for one second, then two. Slowly, he released it, and all the tension that he’d built up during the intense fight disappeared.

The battle was over.

Mission accomplished.

Holstering his guns, Christian looked around at the blood on the floor, at the corpses, and for a moment, he felt nothing but pity. These creatures were once human. Humans who, through incredible misfortune, had encountered a vampire that turned them, gave them their lust for blood.

It was sad to think about, and sadder still that he’d been forced to kill them. All Christian could do for them now was pray. He knelt down on the floor, hands clasped, and prayed for God to forgive him for the lives he’d just taken, for it was not their fault they had ended up like this.

His praying done, Christian stood up and pulled a thin phone with a touch screen from the back pocket of his pants. Opening the main menu, he selected one of the only two applications that he used it for: Calling.

Pressing the phone to his ear, Christian waited for someone to answer. He didn’t have to wait long, thankfully.

“Hello,” a male voice answered. “Welcome to the Catholic Church Hotline, where we take care of all your godly needs. My name is Tristin, and I’ll be your priest for this evening. If you have any sins that you would like to confess, then please―”

“Cut that out, Tristin. You know it’s me.”

“Oh, Christian.” Tristin feigned surprise. “It’s so nice to hear from you. It’s been so long since our last clandestine phone call, and you hung up before I could ask if―”

“Look,” Christian said patiently, or as patiently as he could when dealing with Tristin. “I’m just calling in to let headquarters know that my mission is complete. The vampire coven infecting the abandoned sector of Los Angeles at Colyton has been eradicated.”

A low whistle sounded from the other end. “An entire vampire coven, huh? That’s impressive. I thought you only had one target.”

“I did, but it turned out the target was part of a coven. I felt it would be prudent to dispose of them all before they became aware that someone was onto them or they decided to move.”

“Going above and beyond the call of duty, as always,” Tristin joked. “How many were there this time?”

“…… There were only eight in this coven.”

“Only eight, he says. You do realize that when we take out covens, even small ones, we usually need at least three or four other Executioners to do it, don’t you?”

Christian detected a hint of sarcasm in the other man’s voice. He ignored it. “I fail to see your point.”

“I guess I don’t have one,” Tristin replied in a cheery voice, and Christian twitched. “I’m just saying that it’s impressive. That style of yours sure is scary—crazy, insane, and suicidal beyond belief—but also scary. Anyway, I’ve just sent word to the Cleaners. They’re on their way right now to dispose of the evidence, so you should head on back to HQ. You know that Samantha is going to want her report.”

“Understood.”

“So, about that thing I was talking about the other day. Would you care to—”

Christian hung up before he could hear the rest of Tristin’s words.

Taking one last look at the bodies, he left the warehouse. No one would discover the evidence of his fight. The Cleaners were most efficient when it came to disposing of corpses, and they always arrived on the scene quickly. He guessed they would show up in maybe five minutes, seven at the most.

Morning was coming. The sun peeked through the city, a towering jungle of glass and steel, its many skyscrapers standing tall like giant monoliths. Sunlight outlined the structures in a reddish-orange glow. In a few short hours, morning would truly be upon them.

Christian boarded a bus at the nearest stop, leaving behind an abandoned warehouse and over half a dozen corpses.

 

About the Author

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Brandon Varnell is a writer… the end.

Just kidding.

Brandon Varnell is the writer of the American Kitsune series. He has absolutely no skill at anything aside from writing and looking half-baked. He used to play guitar, but due to laziness, he never went anywhere with it. He also used to play a lot of video games, but after suffering this terrible affliction called book addiction, he only plays occasionally these days. Brandon lives mostly within his own imagination, but can occasionally be found in Phoenix, Arizona.

For several years now – at least three – Brandon has dreamed of becoming a full-time author. He would love it if the time came when he could wake up, write several thousand words, and then call it a day. To reach this goal, he tends to write. A lot. He writes fan fiction, he writes original fiction, he writes Erotic fiction… oh, wait. No, he doesn’t. He just writes stories with a lot of fan service.

Aside from being an avid writer, Brandon also likes to cosplay. You can generally find him at the local Comicon dressed as various characters from movies, video games and anime. It’s also not all that unusual to find him walking around town in a red trench coat, no shirt and carrying a large sword on his back. Kudos to those of you who get the reference. His current favorite people to cosplay are Han Solo (who doesn’t want to be a roguish smuggler?), Cloud Strife (he likes the big ass sword), Dante, and Squall Leonhart. He has also thought of trying to cosplay as Darth Vader or Zero (Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass), but has decided to stay away from all black cosplay since he lives in Arizona – it’s really hot in that state, you know.

He also loves anime, which makes a lot of sense, seeing how the entire American Kitsune series is basically just one big anime parody.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Blog Tour Organized by:

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My Dream Book Conference Panel

I thought this would be a fun post to write about. If you would like to check out Eventbrite, click the link below. They show you where all the local conferences are in relation to where you are. You can plan conferences as well as find them.

For my Dream Book Panel, I have 5 authors that I would love to hear talk about their series. I am going to talk about how I came across each author and why I would want them at my conference panel.

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The first author is Darren Shan. He wrote the Saga of Darren Shan and The Demonata series. He has also written other series, but these two are the ones I have read. I first came across him on a car trip. My parents gave me his first two books (Cirque du Freak and The Vampire’s Assistant) to read on the long journey, and from then on, I was hooked. I love the way he blurs the line between horror and Young Adult, making it gory enough to be scary, but not too gory that it is not suitable for a younger audience. He is the author who got me into reading Young Adult books, and that is why I would have him at my panel.

I was lucky enough to be able to meet Darren Shan at a book festival in September 2007. He was amazing and was more than willing to pose for pictures and sign books.

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My second and third authors are PC and Kristin Cast. They wrote The House of Night series between them, and Kristin has also branched out and is writing The Escaped series. I came across Marked, the first book in The House of Night series, whilst shopping in Waterstones. It came free as part of a sale, and I thought it sounded interesting and I would give it a try. As soon as I finished the first book, I knew I had to get my hands on the rest. The House of Night series gives a unique spin on the vampire genre (or Vampyre, as they are known in that world), and there are so many different characters that you love to hate, and hate to love. I have only read Amber Smoke, the first book in The Escaped series, but I will be reading Scarlet Rain very soon! I would have these two authors at my panel as they gave me my first real taste at losing my favourite character (aka killing him off!)

cinder    scarlet

The fourth author I would have at my panel is Marissa Meyer. She has written the hugely successful The Lunar Chronicles series. I have only read Cinder and Scarlet, but I have the rest of the series waiting! I already know, without reading the others, that this series and the world, will be one of my favourite. The Lunar Chronicles are a re-telling of popular fairy tales, for example, Cinder is loosely based on Cinderella. This is what first inspired me to read the series, and I am so glad I have started! Marissa Meyer is the first author I have read who has written a re-telling, and that is why she is on my panel.

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Completing my panel of authors is Chris Colfer. He has written the children’s series The Land of Stories. I first heard of him through Glee (I am a huge Glee fan!) and when I saw that he had written a book, I knew I had to try it. Despite the fact that the series is aimed at the younger generation, I adore it. It is another fairy tale world, but Chris focuses more on humans stumbling upon the fairy tale world, rather than it being a re-telling, like The Lunar Chronicles is. The Land of Stories always ends on a huge cliffhanger, and the characters and the story just keeps you coming back for more. If an author can get me to keep buying their books, and they can get me to fall in love with the characters like The Land of Stories does, then that author deserves the final place on my panel.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my Dream Book Conference Panel, and if you have not read any of the series mentioned, I would highly recommend you check them all out!

Guest Post: The Girl From Rostov by Shitij Sharma

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THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV is a crime thriller/love story, but more importantly it is also a story of loss and the range of human emotions that a person goes through following it. The orphaned niece of a Russian gangster/international spy and arms dealer must find out who killed her uncle and why. She teams up with the son of a millionaire who has his own set of demons from the past.
* A couple of chapters in the beginning of the book are situated in Russia while most of the other scenes take place in India.

Excerpt

He stood there watching him, smoking a cigarette, silently waiting.
“Where is my money?” he asked. He spoke softly, as if scolding a child for his misbehaviour, trying not to come across as too harsh.
“I swear to you, I didn’t take it. I would never betray you,” the man sitting across from him replied. He was tied to a chair, unable to move, the rope cutting into his wrists.
He took two steps forward, towering over the man in the chair, well within his personal space. He smacked him hard across the face. The man and the chair were both knocked to the floor. He caught hold of his collar and pulled the chair with him still in it back onto its feet. He took two steps back.
“Now, shall we do this again?”

About The Author

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Shitij Sharma is a nineteen year old budding author from India. He is the author of the book – THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV. He believes that he can successfully explain the world’s current situation in this one paragraph

‘This world was a strange place to live in. It was disorderly and chaotic. Therefore, we had to find our way through this labyrinth of human emotions and actions to arrive at a place where there was some resemblance to order, order in the form of disorderly governments and a moral compass that does not always point north.’

He currently resides in New Delhi, India. He spends most of his time writing his second novel which he hopes to complete before this year is out.

You can follow Shitij on Facebook here, Twitter here and you can check out his blog here. His Instagram name is @shitijs.

You can find a trailer for the book on YouTube here

If you like the sound of The Girl From Rostov, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here