Saturday 31 May 2014

My top five tips for authors sending review requests

As an author, you will be wanting to get as many bloggers as you can to review your book. I, like many other bloggers  get new review requests sent to me every day, and I have to reject a lot more requests than I accept so that I am not bogged down with requests that could potentially take me months to get to. So how do you make yourself stand out and be one of those that will be picked rather than discarded? I  can't speak for every blogger out there, but here are my top five things that I take into consideration while reading requests.

 Introduce yourself 

Tell the blogger a little bit about yourself. Be brief, but let the blogger know who you are. Don't send a request with no introduction. When an email contains nothing but a synopsis and a link to an amazon page, I am more likely to not reply to that request. Even if you have review request as the title of the email, I still want a sentence telling me who you are and a little bit about the book, e.g what the genre and intended reader age is. Try to personalise the email, such as mentioning the persons name or the blog name. Otherwise it will seem like you have just sent a mass email to multiple bloggers. Also, I prefer when a request is informal and friendly. Remember that bloggers are only human. Personally, an informal request makes me a lot more comfortable than a formal one. I am by no means a professional, so I feel slightly uncomfortable when I get addressed as one

Don't be presumptuous 

Don't just assume that the blogger is going to accept your request. By all means provide a summary and a link to your goodreads profile or website, but don't attach a copy of your book in the first email. Wait for the blogger to get back to you. They will let you know if they want to accept the request and what format they would prefer the ebook to be in.

Be Brief

Do not send more information than is necessary. I once received a request where the author had sent me the whole plot condensed down into one page. Why would I want to read a 300  page book if you just told me the entire plot? I enjoy plot twists and suprises. This can't happen if I already know exactly what is going to happen before I read the book.

Read the Review Policy

If a blogger has a review policy, make sure you read it before you send a request. If for example, a blogger specifically states that they don't review erotica, chances are they're not going to want to read your book about sexy times. Ignoring a review policy means that you're wasting both your own and the bloggers time. Doing this could also mean a blogger will not accept review requests from you in the future, even if future novels meet their policy.

Do not ask a blogger to buy your book

This does not happen to me often, but it has happened. A blogger is willing to take the time to read and review your book for free, so the least you can do is provide them with a free copy. You're not losing out on sales by doing this, as you are likely to gain them from readers liking the review and deciding to buy the book.

I hope these tips have been helpful and good luck with your requests!

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Fissure Blog Tour

So today is my day of participating in the blog tour for Fissure by Marilyn Almodóvar. As I had not read the previous book, 'Interred', I will be posting reviews for both books.

As Baxter Jacobs' sixteenth birthday approaches, a strange visitor arrives in the middle of a snow storm who brings news that will change Baxter's life forever. Under the safe foundations that Baxter's mother has built to protect her there lays a dark family secret. Baxter is a Timebender, a magical being who has the ability to control time. As Baxter tries to come to terms with her new abilities, she is thrown into the world of Timebenders, Warriors and Healers. Baxter learns more about this world with the help of Declan, a boy who has been trapped in a time loop for 122 years who only Baxter can free, and Jack, a boy who Baxter has been told is dangerous. With the realisation that the Council is out to try to take control of her powers, Baxter must use her new found powers to help her friends to escape, and finally free Declan from his prison.

I thought that this story was interesting and unique. Time travelling stories usually require an object, such as the cases in Back to the Future and Doctor Who, so I found it interesting that Baxter was able to manipulate time and create portals to different places and times without the need of such objects. I found Baxter to be a likeable, strong female protagonist, although there were a few cases where I thought that Almodóvar was trying too hard to make Baxter sound like a teenager, and I found a couple of the word choices to be a little off. I adored the character of Declan, and although he was slightly cocky he became my favourite character in the book. I thought that Jack was slightly too full of himself, and although he is sweet and unselfish at times, I felt myself being drawn more to Declan's personality than Jack's.

I was slightly disappointed that some of the characters that I thought had potential were so short lived. As they were given their own personalities and character descriptions, I thought that they would become characters that we would hear a lot of, but sadly that was not the case. I loved the characters of Sydney and Arthur, and was intrigued by their relationship and how it would progress, so I was disappointed when this relationship was cut short. There are a lot of events that cause great trauma for Baxter, and I felt that there were not enough raw emotions from her. Baxter is constantly on the run, but I felt that in the parts where the action slows down slightly, Baxter's emotions should have caught up to her a bit more. I loved the fandom references that Baxter makes, particularly to Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Supernatural, as I am a fan of these franchises and found it amusing how she was relating them to her own life.

If you love stories of time travel and magic, then you will definitely love this book.

After being thrown head first into the world if the Interred and losing almost everything that mattered to her, Baxter Jacobs is ready for things to calm down and allow her time to grieve and figure out her new Time Bending skills. However, things aren't going to be so simple, as Baxter's Uncle Bryan is determined to take her away from the English Council and back to New York. Baxter is reluctant to leave her Healer, Jack behind. Along with being able to heal Baxter, Jack also has a link directly into Baxter's mind, allowing them to communicate telepathically. There is also the problem that after falling from the cliff top, Baxter's memories seem to have been wiped as to how she got there in the first place. She also has the note left by her mother to consider, "Fred and B." Could this mean that Bryan has intentions other than keeping Baxter safe? Baxter, along with the help of Jack and her other interred friends must work to find the truth. Can they really trust all of the members of the English Council? Secrets are revealed and old enemies fought as Baxter unravels Time to find out the truth.

After reading Interred, I was eager to find out what would happen next in Baxter's story. I felt that the book started off a little slow, but once Jack was back in action and Baxter was once again using portals to travel through time I started to enjoy the fast paced action that I loved in the first book. There are some new characters introduced in this book, and I particularly loved Nicolas and Dare. I found it interesting that Baxter had seemingly had some of her earlier memories wiped, as although Dare was her childhood friend, Baxter does not remember her. I found Baxter's memory loss to be interesting, as it means that as the reader, we know what has happened whereas Baxter does not. At first I wasn't too keen on Nicolas, as he seemed to be protecting Baxter only because he was asked to, and just carrying out his Warrior duties. However, as the book goes on his personality is revealed, and I felt that he was a good ally for Baxter to have. I loved that there were different versions of certain characters from different points in time, and the way Baxter comes in contact with these different versions. It was all a bit “wibbly wobbly timey wimey.” Speaking of Doctor Who, I loved the references to the show in this book, as in Baxter's situation, I would probably be making the same references. I also found it funny how some of the characters were oblivious to these comments and had no clue what she was talking about. I thought certain aspects of the story were similar to Doctor Who. For example, I felt that the relationship between Aaron and Baxter was similar to that of The Doctor and River Song, as Aaron explains to her that he keeps meeting her at different points in time, but she has never seen him before, so that although he knows her, she does not know him.

The climax of the book was very fast paced, and I was excited over the return of Declan, as I thought he was a very interesting character in the first book, and was initially what made me so interested in this series from the start. I felt that the book could have been slightly better if Declan had been a more active character, as I felt that he could have used the fact that Baxter still trusted him to his advantage. The book is left on a cliffhanger, and it took me a couple of minutes to realise that the book was actually over and it wasn't the page on my e reader refusing to turn. Although I wanted to keep on reading to find out what happened next, I feel as if it is a very interesting place for the next book to pick up from, and I look forward to reading it when it is released.

Make sure to check out the book trailer for Fissure!

Also there is a competition running to win an ebook of Interred, plus other merchandise related to the series! Feel free to try your luck below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interred and Fissure are both ready to purchase now in both ebook and paperback formats.

Find out more about this series at

City of Heavenly Fire Book Launch

So yesterday I went to the City of Heavenly Fire book launch in London! As I only started reading series about two years ago, I have never had the opportunity to go to one of these events before, but as it is the last book in the series, when I got invited to go I just couldn't turn down this opportunity!

I invited my best friend and parabatai Katie to the event, (you can find her post about it here) The main stage was set up so that we could get runes drawn on us, or get our nails done.

 As there were around 500 people at the event and both the queues were quite long, we decided to opt for the runes. After all, what is a Shadowhunter without their runes? That's right, a mundane.

. We were then able to get our photos taken with two (very attractive) Shadowhunters.

Our host from Walker Books did a great job of keeping us entertained while we waited in the queues, by encouraging us to tweet about the event and reading out some tweets. We even managed to get #TMIParty trending Worldwide!  There were also different messages flashing up on the screen such as book quotes and questions to get everyone involved

It was then time for a video message from Cassandra Clare herself, who sadly was unable to attend the event, but who did read out an extract of the book for us.

 We then had a screening of the City of Bones movie. It was an amazing atmosphere to watch the movie with other fans. It is socially accepted to be quiet when you see a movie in the cinema, and people never react, even when something shocking happens. However, this was not a cinema, and we were allowed to fangirl as much as we wanted. We were allowed to scream over Luke (because let's face it Aidan Turner is gorgeous) and ship Malec till our hearts were content.

After the movie was over, tensions were again rising, as it was finally time to receive our copies of the book! Along with the book, we were also given a City of Heavenly Fire postcard and a City of Bones journal.

I decided to admire it on my bookshelf. I encountered the dreaded problem of the book being bigger than the rest of the series but I guess i'm just going to have to deal with that.

I am now going to go start the book! I'm slightly upset that this is the last book as I have loved reading this series, but I am also excited to find out how it all ends. Besides, we all have The Dark Artifices to look forward to right? A review will be posted once the emotional trauma I am going to go through has faded.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Review on 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'

When Arthur Dent wakes up one morning to find that his house is about to be knocked down by a giant bulldozer, he does not realize that this will soon be the least of his worries. An old friend who goes by the name Ford Prefect reveals that he is from another planet, and that the world is going to end in the next five minutes. Dragged onto a Vogon spaceship by Ford, Arthur escapes mere moments before the world as he knew it is blasted into dust. As Arthur tries to come to terms with the fact that his planet no longer exists, he is thrown into the world of two headed aliens, spaceships and talking white mice. With the aid of Ford, and his new friends Zaphod Beeblebrox, president of the Galaxy, a depressed robot named Marvin, and Ford's copy of the book 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy,' Arthur must traverse the universe in a search for the meaning to his very existence.

I had been meaning to read this book for a while, and finally was able to get round to it. I had heard a few references to this book, and as it has been produced as a radio show, t series and movie as well as a book, I was keen to find out what all the fuss was about. I love sci-fi, and was interested when I found out that Adam's had worked on one of my favourite TV shows, Doctor Who. I thought this was an original story, and although it was published in 1979, it still seemed very modern and futuristic. The copy of 'The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy' that Ford owns in an electronic book, which I found interesting, as although ebooks are popular now, at the time that the book was published, e-readers did not exist. Something that seemed so strange and futuristic becoming a reality in the space of forty years makes you wonder if technology will advance even further in our lifetimes to make other things possible that were once only a reality in sci-fi novels.

I loved the humour in this book, and although it is slightly random at times and other readers may find it silly, I thought certain parts of the story were hilarious. The book makes you laugh, but also makes you question your very existence, as a big part of the plot is trying to find the answer to the question of Life, The Universe and Everything, which gives an unexpected result. The reason why the Earth was created is an interesting part of the story, as this is an answer that we will probably never find the meaning to, but Slartibartfast explains to Arthur that it was created as an experiment. This book is a quick, simple read, perfect for both adults and children alike. If you enjoy both Sci-Fi and humour, then this book is for you. I will definitely be reading the sequels to find out what else Arthur and his friends get up to in their travels around the Galaxy.