Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Blog Tour: Find You in the Dark - Character Interview

17 Dec 2012

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Find You in the Dark by A.Meredith Walters hosted by The Readiacs. While I had a few issues here and there with the book, it was undoutedly an edge and painfully heart-breaking read. Today, I have an interview with possibly my favourite character from the book, Daniel :) While Daniel isn't the love interest (ha! The love interest is *usually* my favourite character, but there're always exceptions!), he's one of the sweetest and most caring and protective without being-in-your-face-kind-of-protective male characters I've had the pleasure to meet :) Hope you enjoy the interview!

Hi Daniel. So glad to have you on the blog today! How are you?  
I'm pretty great!  I'm glad I could be here!

I really admire how you're always so fiercely protective of Rachel and Maggie. Could you tell us how you three became best friends?
 Well, our moms were best friends in high school so we grew up together.  They were the two girls who I knew I could count on no matter what.  Some people may think it's weird for a guy to call two girls his best friends, but they are.  We always have each others' backs.  It's awesome.

Awwwww, that's so sweet! What's the best memory you have of you three?
 Our families used to go on vacations together when we were young.  I remember going to the Outerbanks when we were probably around five or six.  Rachel and Maggie had spent all morning making this huge sand castle.  Then high tide came in and destroyed it.  Maggie wanted to build another one, Rachel was devastated.  So I helped them build this kick ass sand castle for the rest of the day.  I knew then, even as a young kid, that I would do just about anything to make those two girls smile.  And that when they were happy, I was happy.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be and why?  
Dating Kylie Good.  I wasted a lot of time chasing after a girl who really could have cared less about me.  I would have realized that the perfect girl had been staring me in the face for years.  I would have definitely acted on my feelings for Rachel a lot sooner.

Rachel must be the luckiest girl on earth :
Describe your perfect date!
Cooking her dinner and then going for hike in the woods.  I love to cook and I love the outdoors.  So my perfect date would encompass those two things.  

Fill in the blanks:
 I am flirty and outgoing
 Love is your best friend
 My ideal girl gets me without trying
 Highschool is a blip in the grand scheme of your life.  What seems so important in high school, won't seem so life or death a year from now.
 I regret being so insensitive toward Rachel.  Also I would be more proactive in trying to help Maggie with Clay.She was so secretive about him, I wish I had dug a bit deeper to see what was going on...maybe I could have helped earlier.
Brussel sprouts is the worst YUCK!
I cannot survive without my X-box. I'm a game junkie. It's horrible,I know, but I can't help it.
 In 10 years I want to be a sports journalist...and I hope starting a life with Rachel.
 Thank you so much for joining us today Daniel!

Find You in the Dark
by Meredith Walters
Published by Amazon
on October 10th 2012

Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades...normal life. Until him. Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness. Until her. Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life. That together, they could face the world.

A. Meredith Walters has been writing since childhood and is the author of Irresistible Fear, the first book in a paranormal romance trilogy and Find You in the Dark, a contemporary romance.  Having recently made the big move from America to the other side of the pond, to jolly ol' England, she has been afforded the opportunity to write full time.  Before that, Meredith spent a decade as a counselor for troubled and abused children and teens.  Working first at a Domestic Violence shelter and then later in a therapeutic program for at risk youth.  The experiences and interactions with her clients has been the creative drive behind most of her writing.
When not pecking away at the keyboard, Meredith loves spending time with her husband and daughter exploring the English country side and attempting to cook. While she may not be very good at it, that doesn't stop her from trying.

[Double] Mini-review: Slammed and Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

13 Dec 2012

by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Book Depository

Layken Cohen's eighteenth year is proving to be the ultimate test of her resolve. Following the death of her father, she is forced to move across the country after the start of her senior year. Just when she thinks all hope is lost, she meets her new neighbor, Will Cooper. An intriguing twenty-one year old with a passion for Poetry Slamming. Layken and Will form an immediate connection. A connection so intense, only fate could have brought them together. But sometimes fate isn't enough. Layken and Will are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery reveals their relationship won't work. It can't work. Now Layken and Will are forced to find a balance between that which keeps them apart, and the feelings that pull them together. And that's only the beginning... Slammed intertwines heartache with humor, desires with ethics, and ultimately proves that the harsh reality of death can sometimes be overcome by the beauty of life.

I've loved almost every single New Adult book thrust my way, and Slammed was no exception. Slammed had me completely enthralled from start to finish, and even after finishing it, I still couldn't get enough of Will and Lake and the awesome slam poetry that the characters composed.

Will and Lake are no doubt one of my favourite couples ever. They're a perfect match! Lake was a character I instantly liked, and Will? He's the best boyfriend material ever. These two are actually really similar, both carrying the weight and pain of a loved one's (and in Will's case more than one) death. I can't imagine the amount of pain and responsibility Will had to endure at such a young age; it's something most of us many of us may never have to experience. But I'm so glad Will and Lake have each other :) Like I said, they're a match made in heaven!

In Slammed, we're introduced to a unique type of poetry - Slam Poetry. Poetry, is, to be honest, my weakest point and I try to stay far, far away from poetry (verse novels included) BUT I think I *may* start to like poetry a little after reading some of the spectacular compositions in Slammed. You know, maybe I'll be able to write one of my own soon :)

Point of Retreat
by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Book Depository

Hardships and heartache brought them it will tear them apart. Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will's past emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop 'carving pumpkins.'

While Slammed remains my favourite of the two, Point of Retreat is an impressive sequel in this trilogy. Told from Will's point of view, drama after drama occurs in this sequel.

In Point of Retreat, you get to see just how much Will really loves Lake. And seriously, the guy REALLY loves her. There's this particular scene where he tries to win Lake back, and dear god, that's the BEST way of winning a girl back. If you plan on reading this sequel, look out for a particular bathroom scene; it's the sweetest, most heartwarming act by a guy. I've recently been a little indecisive over whether true love exists, but reading Point of Retreat gave me renewed hope that true love does exist<3 

The ending was so perfect,I couldnt have asked for anything moreI've no doubt the third book will just as brilliant as the first two! Make sure you have a box of tissues next to you while reading this, a tear-jerker this one is! :)

Guest Post: Sarah Alderson on YA boys

12 Dec 2012

Today, I have the pleasure of inviting Sarah Alderson, author of two of my favourite series ever - Hunting Lila and Losing Lila; and Fated and Severed! Severed was recently released and heck, it was SO amazing<3 But make sure you read Fated first before starting Severed :)

After meeting yet another sexy badass male character in Severed, I asked Sarah to write a post on YA men. How on earth does she write such swoon-worthy male characters? (Alex, Lucas, Cyrus and Jack are 4 of the HOTTEST YA men! No kidding. If you don't believe me, then GO READ THE BOOKS!!)
So, without futher ado, here is the secret behind writing these ridiculously hot guys...

YA Boys

A lot of my characters are inspired by people I know or by actors. When I start a book I have a vague outline of them and this then fleshes out as I type.

Alex from Hunting Lila was based on the actor Alex Skarsgard after I saw him in Generation Kill. I just loved the coolness of his character Ice Man, but then I added a few of my husband’s qualities, namely his eyes (with the amber flecks) and inscrutability, to make a character that had edges and quirks. Alex ended up being very much my dream man.

Jack was based in part on my own brother, especially the banter between him and Lila. All my other boy characters sprung from my imagination, but I have fed my imagination well over the years!  

In the book I just finished – Control – which is set in New York - I got the idea for the main character after watching Ryan Gosling in Drive. I just thought, Wow, how hot! A boy who can drive like that and who’s got a bad boy streak.  I then created this character Jaime (Jay) who is 19 and half-cuban and just the sexiest, sweetest guy ever (who can also drive a car like Ryan Gosling in Drive).

My favourite character after Alex is probably Cyrus, who appears in Severed. I never meant for him to become so key but he came to life on paper and was just so funny and so goddamn infuriating, but chivalrous too when it came to it, that I fell in love with him as I was writing. In my head I always had the guy who plays Silas in Weeds. Hunter Parrish.

In The Sound (out August 2013), the main character Ren is an English girl who goes to Nantucket, an island off the coast near Boston, to nanny for the summer, which is something I did when I was 17. I did have a very sweet summer romance when I was there, which inspired the romance between Ren and Jesse.

For me a hot boy isn’t one that’s controlling or obsessive, too over-protective or violent. They do what they have to do to protect the people they love but they also are in control of their actions and emotions.

I’m horrified by a lot of ‘heroes’ in stories today who are violent and abusive and display stalker like tendencies. For me a hot YA boy (actually any man) has to have these things:

  •          An awesome sense of humour
  •          Integrity
  •          Willingness to act and stand up for what they believe in (and that doesn’t mean punching the crap out a guy who looks sideways at the girl they like).
  •          Tenderness / kindness
  •          Intelligence
  •          Decisiveness
  •          A talent for kissing
  •          Did I mention the six pack?

My top 10 favourite fictional boyfriends (not including my own ;) )

1.       Augustus Waters  -The Fault in our Stars. (funny, sweet, tragic, beautiful. My heart still aches for Augustus).
2.       Alex Fuentes – Perfect Chemistry. (I don’t need to explain this one surely?)
3.       Jack – Blood Red Road. (He’s just got so many winning qualities (see my list above)
4.       George Emmerson – A Room with a View. (Be still my beating heart…that kiss in the sunflower field…)
5.       Rhett Butler – Gone with the Wind. (Rhett’s the definition of a full-blooded male who knows exactly what he wants)
6.       Rupert Campbell Black – Jilly Cooper’s Rutshire Chronicles. (I whiled away many an hour in Italy reading those books).
7.       Noah Calhoun – The Notebook. (OK, I’ve only seen the film but Ryan Gosling is just so pretty…see above).
8.       Richard Sharpe – The Sharpe Books. (I grew up on those and was completely obsessed by him.)
9.       Han Solo (OK, he’s not in a book but I have to include him because he was the first person I fell in love with when I was 5).
10.    James Bond (but only as Daniel Craig).
I had this MASSIVE grin on  my face when I read the post!! A talent for kissing? And a six pack? HELL YEAH! To be honest, I've never watched a Ryan Gosling movie (shameful, I know) but I promise I'll watch a few of his movies soon :) I seriously cannot wait to meet Jay in Control!
Oh, and have you guys realised most, if not all, characters named Noah are so freaking hot? Noah Hutchins, Noah Shaw, and Noah Calhoun...(and like I said above, I NEED to watch one of Ryan Gosling's movies!)

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.
She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel – Losing Lila – on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali.
A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, which was written during their stay in California, was published in January 2012 by Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster).
The sequels to Fated are slated for release in November 2012 and March 2013, while two standalone YA thrillers will be out in summer 2013 & summer 2014.
She is currently co-writing the Hunting Lila screenplay and working on several other books and screenplays.

Blog Tour: Owlet by Emma Michaels - Excerpt/ Guest Post + Giveaway

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Owlet (Society of Feathers #1) by Emma Michaels hosted by Tribute Books. For those who are following the read-along, I have for you the next excerpt, and there is also an awesome guest post by Emma on the Evolution of Falcon. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post as well :)

by Emma Michaels
Published by Tribute Books
on October 13, 2012

Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl. 

 Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

“I think that there is a reason they have thought she was dead all these years. I think you sacrificed your place in the fold to protect her.” 

“What makes you think I could have done something so extreme?”

“Roger told me there might be a boy here. He said that if there was I should give him a message. He told me to tell you, ‘Thank you.’ I thought he would mean a young child, someone Joseph might have with him. I know Roger. After hearing what you just told me I can put the pieces together.” She paused, staring into Falcon’s eyes as if looking for the proof she needed in order to trust him. Finally, she smiled. “She has that effect on people, doesn’t she?”


“I take it you know who I am? Fully, I mean.”

Falcon slowly nodded. “Your name is Diana; you were Elena’s sister by adoption when Nathaniel took you in because of details he decided to keep partially hidden, even from Elena. You were close to Elena, which was the only way you did not catch Caleb’s attention. You went into hiding when Elena did in support of her, but far enough away to create false leads, which was made easier because you are a hawk, like Roger. Though from what Elena told me you are a Red-Tailed Hawk. She joked about your love for shiny things.”

“So you knew that the water wasn’t the only reason I didn’t come here?”

*Guest Post*
The Evolution of Falcon

Darien was one of the first Owlet characters that came to me and the second I ever drew. He started
out as a young man she stumbles upon in the woods singing to a bird to keep it from flying away and
grew from there into so much more. I didn’t want him to be your average love interest that seemed too
perfect to be real. Instead, it is more complicated than that. Yes, he has a great heart but he isn’t perfect
for anyone but Iris and she just so happens to be the one person he almost made the ultimate betrayal

I knew from day one when I started writing that (in order to not give spoilers this will be a cue only
people who have read Owlet will understand) what Falcon confirms under the gazebo would be true
(end of vagueness :-p). Originally I had named his character Hunter and then Darien. He had the name
Darien for the longest, actually up until the final draft when I realized Caleb, as a cruel man, would
never give a boy such a beautiful name, he would never give him one at all. Falcon was a name Caleb
called him the same way you call an unnamed dog simply “dog” (unless you are like me and name things
almost instantly or give them strange nicknames).

Falcon’s character is explored to a point in book one but the real knowledge about him comes in book
two as we find out more about the past he shares with one of the characters and what lead up to it.
Hopefully you enjoy the glimpse you get into Falcon’s past and his life since meeting Iris in Owlet!

*About the Author*

Emma Michaels is the author of the ‘A Sense of Truth’ and ‘Society of Feathers’ series. Her goal with her latest YA novel 'Owlet' is to give others what she did not have growing up; a strong female protagonist with asthma.  While her previous aspiration was to be a lady knight she realized that not being able to run more than a few feet might become a hindrance so turned to writing instead. Her day jobs include being a cover artist, marketing consultant and silk screen designer. 

As the founder of The Writers Voice blog ( she loves to connect authors and readers. As a book blogger turned author, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, until she moved at eighteen to Washington State. Suddenly, the world was a new place filled with tall green trees that reached further for the sky with every moment, making her want to do the same. Ever since, she has tried to make her life something new and different from what it was before, pursuing her future career, setting high goals and reaching for them. With the support of her fiancé, Chihuahua, and her amazing blog followers and fellow bloggers, she wants to prove to the world that anything is possible and help inspire fellow literary lovers to reach for their dreams.

Find Tribute books: 
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Good Luck guys!!

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Book Review: Severed by Sarah Alderson

5 Dec 2012

by Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Amazon
Release Date: November 30th 2012
Format: Kindle
Purchase: Amazon

"Fate brought them together. Now it’s threatening to tear them apart.

As the last in a long line of demon slayers, Evie’s destiny is to end the war that has raged for centuries between humans and demons.

Lucas, the half-Shadow Warrior half-human who was sent to kill her, has betrayed his own Brotherhood and his family to fight alongside her.

With an army of unhumans on their tail, Evie and Lucas are forced into an uneasy alliance with a group of rogue Hunters who offer protection and the promise of answers.

As the past is untangled and the dark history of the Hunters revealed, Evie discovers that severing the realms is going to require a lot more than just fighting. It’s going to require a sacrifice – one that only she can make. …

More than realms will be severed.

Reaction immediately upon finishing:



I can rant all day and all night about how unfair that ending was but I'll spare you the torture and get on with the review...
Severed begins right where Fated left off; Lucas and Evie are on the run, with might I add, absolutely no where to go and no one to turn to for help while fearing that every single unhuman in the realm is searching for them. With no choice, they turn to Lucas's only living relative - his sister Flic-for help and after some huge turn of events....they eventually end up with the rogue Hunters. That's the simplist and most condensed summary I can think of right now, and to fill in the gaps...GO READ THE BOOK!!

In this installment, we meet a whole cast of new characters. My favourite is definitely CYRUS! I should mention that I have a problem with his name- unfortuntaetly every time I read CYRUS, I think of Blair's stepdad in Gossip Girl...and he's like this tiny bald I just can't picture this Cyrus in my head- BUT his personality totally makes up for his er....unattractive name. Cyrus is sarcastic, narcissistic and the pretty much the most egotistical guy on earth. He's also the most hilarious guy on earth - I guarantee you'll wet your pants laughing at some of his hilarious comebacks and comments. However, there's also this other side to him, one that is rarely revealed but we have the pleasure of seeing at least once in the book. Even though everything may seem like a joke to him, he's also extremely caring and if you can believe it-selfless! I absolutely did not expect him to make some of the decisions he made, and I have to say -I LOVE HIM EVEN MORE FOR MAKING THOSE DECISIONS!

The plot and pacing were both fantastic! There are so many twists and turns- so many revelations and there are countless parts where I just...NEVER expected whatever happened, to happen. It was...unreal. As cliched as it may sound, a 'rollarcoaster ride ' is the perfect way to describe this book...You're literally thrown around, a jumble of emotions cascading from you at the twists and the unexpected turn of events.

I seriously cannot praise this enough; I'm debating whether I like this more or Losing Lila. I don't know. Maybe a tie? There's humor, some Twilight references that I'm sure we'll all appreciate and the experience is just so thrilling. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED guys! You must read it :)

Mini-review: Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4 Dec 2012

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: November 27th 2012
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Book Depository

Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex. Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for. Even if it means making war against the gods.

Ms Armentrout really needs to write more novellas from Aiden's POV. I loved being inside his head; and if anyone has had any doubt of his love for Alex, well....all doubt will be obliterated when you read Elixir.

Aiden, Aiden, was so heartbreaking that he had to choose between two  horrible options related to severing the bond between Alex and Seth. Both options were both horrendously painful for Aiden to think about...let alone act, but if, just if it may help Alex, will he do it to save the one he loves?
Alex is so lucky to have Aiden by her side; he''ll forever put her needs first; his every decision will centre around her and he'll literally do anything to protect her, even if it means defying and starting a war with the gods.

I'm so grateful Elixir didn't end in a cliffhanger; I don't think I can wait 5 months for the release of 
Apollyon as it is! Overall, a wonderful addition to one of my all-time favourite series. Now, bring it on, April 2013 :)

Book Review: Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: November 6th 2012
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Book Depository

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. " Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden. If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed. Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...

Talk about another blockbuster from the one and only Jennifer L Armentrout! Ms Armentrout has written yet another addictuve addition to the wonderfully entertaining Convenant series - a series that has quickly become one of my all time favourites :D In this installment, there's lots more action, steamy and romantic scenes (HELL YEAH!), some mind-blowing revelations and even the gods make appearances. This is a book you simply cannot not love!

 The plot in Deity was complex and fascinating - I never expected Ms Armentrout to go down this route, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise for me. A lot happened in this book, especially in the last quarter. I guess some parts I did suspect but I was still caught off guard for the most part. And oh my gods, I absolutely LOVED the appearance of the gods. I'm so glad Greek mythology is starting to be explained in more depth now!

Our main character Alex is easily one of my favourite heroines of all time...but she is also the most frustrating character I've ever come across. There's so much about her that I admire - her courage, loyalty, snarkiness are some of the things I love. However, she's also stubborn and reckless; I was able to tolerate her in the first two books because...well...I guess everything worked out well, but after reading Deity? I seriously want to punch her. I was at the point where I wanted to throw the book against the wall in frustration...because if ONLY Alex had listened to the others, some of the horrible things might've been prevented. (Deity lost half a star because of Alex)

 As for the other characters? I LOVE AIDEN EVER MORE NOW (if that's even possible!\). Why, why, WHY does he not exist in reality? I WANT MY OWN AIDEN ST. DELPHI! Oh and Alex and Aiden are perfection <3 As for Seth....I've never trusted him. Sure, I found him hot, sexy and amusing, but I've never *liked* him that much. But now? I think it's safe to say I hate him. Urghhh some sense must be knocked into that dense and impenetrable head of his! Oh, and I still love Leon! I've always thought there was something more to Leon...something I couldn't quite pinpoint, but I'm glad I got my answer in Deity :)

 Oh My Gods, I absolutely loved Deity! I'm so glad so many questions were answered in this installment; I couldn't have asked for a better sequel. Minus Alex's annoying habit of being so frustratingly stubborn all the time, everything else about Deity was perfect. I'm really looking forward to Apollyon now :)