Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Valentine's Blog Event: Publisher's Favourites & Giveaway!

Throughout my time of being a blogger, I've spoken with some of the most amazing people on the planet: Other bloggers, readers and, most importantly, the publicists who feed our addiction every week with shiny new things!

Brodie and I coaxed a few of them to talk about their favourite 2011 reads and the titles they're most looking forward to this year. Maybe something will catch your eye ;) Of course, they were all very busy during Christmas when we grabbed these from them, so a huge thanks to them for doing this! Not all publishers had the time to put something together but we're super grateful for the other ways they did contribute to this event!

You'll have noticed the same Aussie prizes popping up everywhere thanks to the bulk amounts we received from our publishers (you can thank the amazing authors for all of the INTL/US prizes!). Enter the giveaway at the bottom and tell me what you think of the books mentioned in the comments too!

Gabby from Harlequin Australia

2011 was a great year for me because I read so many INCREDIBLE YA books. Seriously. There were so many I barely know where to start. So I’m going to try to collect my thoughts and stop flailing so I can give you a proper overview.

In 2011, I read some amazing debut novels and the standout was definitely Saving June by Hannah Harrington. It’s been so long since I’ve read a contemporary teen novel (like honestly, SO LONG. I think the last one I read was FOREVER by Judy Blume when I was in Year 2. Great book but I would NOT recommend it for 8 year olds! Sadly, it was next to the Babysitters Club so I thought it was the same kinda thing…ANYWAY back to the point). I loved the road trip and the music that they played and the journey that Harper went on (physical AND emotional – hello HSC English). Jake Tolan was beautiful and honestly one of the best YA heroes I’ve read. Their relationship was difficult and complicated but oh-so-worth it. It was just so refreshing to read after a lot of paranormal releases.
 

But there were a couple of paranormal books that I adored. The main one would be The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa.
“My name is Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn, third son of the Unseelie Court.”
SWOON. Just his name gives me shivers. Ashallyn’darkmyr *sigh*.
I loved this book. There was so much anticipation and it just exceeded everything I could have ever dreamed of. Ash was so brave and determined and romantic and hot and courageous and good-looking… But seriously, it’s also the perfect love-story because he is going through hell to be with the girl he loves. The world building in this series is mind-blowing – and I’m so so SO excited for Ethan’s story (coming late 2012).

 
Another book that I adored (it’s so hard keeping this list down but I’m forcing myself to keep it short and sweet) was The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. Oh. My. God. This book. STEAM PUNK! I didn’t even know I loved steam punk till I read this. I loved Finley’s kick-ass style and the love-triangle between her, Griffin and Jack Dandy. Jack was my favourite with his cockney gentleman ways. And every time he said “Treasure” I actually melted.
 

As for a non-Harlequin book, I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver and ADORED it. It’s probably a little weird that I’m talking about it on Valentine’s Day (since love is actually considered a disease) but it’s also really sweet and romantic (and terribly dangerous) that love creeps up regardless in a world where the government tries to thoroughly eradicate it. On that note, I need to find the sequel…

As for 2012 there are A LOT of books I am excited for. Hannah Harrington has another book coming out called Speechless and if possible, I loved it more than Saving June. It was really topical and issuey (not a word but don’t care) and BRILLIANTLY written. I don’t want to give too much away so all I’ll say is keep an eye out for it.
 
A few others are:

  • The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – because Julie is queen and can do no wrong! Post-apocalyptic zombie vampire novel with a surprise romance? Yes please!
  • New Girl by Paige Harbison – surprisingly dark, gritty retelling of Rebecca by Daphe De Maurier (but a little creepier). Brilliant
  • Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross – Finley Jane and Griffin go to New York. Need I say more?
Okay, I’m stopping now or we’ll be here forever! There are some truly fantastic books coming out and I honestly love them all so please, READ THEM!! Thanks for having me, guys.

Claire Craig, Children’s Publisher, Pan Macmillan Australia

Favourite Romances of 2011

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Ah, Lucy and Ed – circling art, and each other, in the long, mean, night. Backdropped by poetry and graffiti, darkness and light, Cath Crowley weaves us into one of the most poetic romances of 2011.

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
Estelle, the girl next door, may have taken a few pages to fall for fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill, but we certainly didn’t. Smart, funny, vulnerable Dan stumbled feet-first into our hearts as soon as we read his list of Six Impossible Things. And for one of the most tender reading moments of 2011, see pg 260.

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Waverly loves Kieran; Kieran loves Waverly. Until their futures are blown apart.
I think I want these star-crossed lovers to be together. But then there’s brooding, unpredictable Seth... Find out what happens next in Spark, being published in August 2012.


Leah Channells, Publishing Assistant, Pan Macmillan Australia

Romances To Stay At Home For In 2012

Winter’s Light by M.J. Hearle
I've fallen in love with Winter and Blake all over again in Winter's Light. The raw emotion that M.J. writes with kept me wrapped in this book from beginning to end. The bond between Winter and Blake is so strong, their love so pure. I found myself on the verge of tears and gasping with each new twist. Clear your schedule for 2012: this is one novel that will embrace you to the very last line.


Sonia from Bloomsbury Australia

The best upcoming romance that I’ve read so far for 2012 is Fracture by Megan Miranda - though the book is technically more of a thriller than a romance, there is a really romantic side to it, which had me pretty much swooning by the end - you will see exactly what I mean when you read it. 

Now, I have to confess (and I’m rather embarrassed to admit this) my favourite romance of 2011 was Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance – it’s a total guilty-pleasure read!

Brodie has more publisher thoughts so check that out!

Are we all still alive? Gabby never fails to send me into hysterics with her adorable love of books. She really is one of my favourite people on the planet! <3 She's going to Germany next week for a year so everyone, send her virtual hugs and kisses. *sniffles*


 But moving on, Brodie and I would like to give a HUGE thanks to all of the publishers who donated prizes to this event. They were all so generous! A special shout out must be given to Hachette Australia, however, who donated 100 books. No, that wasn't a typo. Two zeros. We and the Australian reading community thank you so much for your delicious Date A Book prize packs! <3

As I mentioned before, these publishers were all very generous so we have a few "left-over" books to give away. Nothing too hard ;) Fill out the form and you could win the remaining:

2 UK Winners
2x Immortal City ARCs by Scott Speer

2 AU/NZ Winners
2x Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr
2x Forgotten by Cat Patrick & heart shaped post-it notes

2x Hachette Date A Book Packs containing:
The Gallagher Girls series - Ally Carter (all 5 books)
The Violet Eden Chapters - Jessica Shirvington (first 3 books)
A Witch in Winter - Ruth Warburton
Heaven - Christoph Marzi



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