Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sarah’s Review of Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult


Harvesting the Heart is one of Jodi Picoult’s earlier novels. It is about a woman named Paige. Paige grew up with only a few memories of her mother. When she was five years old, her mother abandoned Paige and her father. Paige decides after graduation that it is time for her to leave her father and the city she grew up in, Chicago, after dealing with a challenging decision. Paige leaves and dreams of attending art school. While gone she meets and marries Nicholas, an ambitious young doctor. Soon after Paige becomes a mother herself to a son. She quickly feels overwhelmed with the demands of having a family and she cannot get past the fact that her own mother left her and was absent most of her life. She also struggles with her own past and the reason behind why she left Chicago and her father in the first place. She is unsure of herself as a mother and as a wife and so in a moment of desperation leaves everything in search of answers.

This story was hard for me to get into. I usually love Picoult’s writing style, but in this particular story, I found she jumped around time frames too much, especially in the beginning of the book. I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on. Luckily after the first part it became a bit easier to follow and the flow was much better.

This story deals with such a fragile topic of ambivalent motherhood. I think all moms can relate to feeling overwhelmed in the beginning. It’s a completely new life and you need to adapt rather quickly. But I think that’s where most moms, at least in my case, stop relating. I could never in a million years ever consider leaving my children and it was hard for me to understand why Paige could do that to her own son. But Picoult does do a good job in putting you into Paige’s shoes and seeing it through her eyes. You really have to have empathy in order to understand the emotions that she is going through, especially, if like me, you find it unthinkable to just get up and leave.

Picoult does a good job of writing from the perspectives of both Paige, the mother, and Nicholas, her husband and the father of the child. You really get a sense of what both of them are feeling and the struggles they each have to deal with. But as I already said, I had a really hard time relating to the characters and what they were going through.

Overall I found this particular novel to be lacking what most of her other novels have. It took me a long time to really get into it and when I did, I couldn’t relate much to what I was reading. The story line was a bit predictable and there weren’t really any twists or surprises. It was an interesting read, but not one of my favourites.

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Title: Dark Deliverance
Series: Divine Hunter #2
Author: L.J. Sealey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release: September 30th 2014

Sometimes you just have to go to Hell and back. . .

Forced apart, Lacy and Michael are now living very different lives. Michael is in Kentucky fighting demons and searching for a way to save his friend but even with the help of new allies he is hitting nothing but dead ends. Faced with no other choice, Michael returns to Hell and is determined to save Evo and put an end to his enemy so he can be reunited with the woman who holds his heart.

Lacy is trying to piece her life back together in Oakland but is struggling to fill the void that is almost tearing her apart. Just as she’s about to hit rock bottom, a new friend could hold the key to reuniting her with Michael. But at what cost?

Both find themselves in less than perfect circumstances. The repercussions of which lead them to discover a new threat born of Varesh and his growing army of demons: a new weapon, and a new plan that will ultimately lead to the end of the world as they know it. Will Michael’s new power be enough to destroy Varesh and protect not only the people he cares about, but also the rest of humanity?

Links for AWAKEN: AmazonUS | AmazonUK | iBooksUS | iBooksUK | B&N | Kobo
My Interview with L.J. Sealey

When you began the Divine Hunter series, where did you find your inspiration? Even though it is a paranormal romance series, did you bring anything from your real life into the story?
I’ve always had this fascination with otherworldly creatures. Since being old enough to understand what they are, I’ve loved vampires in particular. My favourite programmes are always supernatural based. Starting with shows like Buffy, then Supernatural (who doesn’t love watching Same and Dean), and Vampire Diaries. I first had the idea for Michael Warden quite a few years ago when I was actually writing something else, but he was niggling away at me. So much so that I put my other story aside so that I could see what he wanted. I never went back to that other story, but I’m sure I will do eventually.
Paranormal Romance is my favourite genre to read, so mixing the demon/angel elements with romance was perfect for me.
For the readers who haven’t yet read Awaken, Book #1 in the Divine Hunter Series, do you recommend they read it first or could they dive right into Dark Deliverance Book #2?
I definitely recommend reading Awaken first. A lot of the storyline continues on from book one, so I really feel that you have to know what happened in Awaken to really be involved with what the characters go through in Dark Deliverance. Also, you really need to know what Michael and Lacy go through in terms of their relationship before understanding things fully in book two, particularly in the first half of the book.
Are there any sneak peeks you can give the readers about Dark Deliverance? In particular about Michael and Lacy’s relationship? I think we are all curious to know what happens with the two of them.
Without giving too much away, Michael and Lacy have to deal with a few issues in this instalment. Something big happened at the end of Awaken (I won’t say what just in case your readers haven’t read it yet), and even though Michael thinks that what he did was for the best, he begins to realise that he just might have made the wrong decision.
You will see other characters returning in Dark Deliverance – some welcome, some not so welcome – and you will also meet a few new ones.
If you could be any character in the Divine Hunter series, male or female, who would you choose to be and why?
That’s a hard one. But I think if I’m forced to choose it would have to be Alethia. She’s a powerful goddess who can easily protect herself. She’s pretty badass when she needs to be, but she’s also very caring.
How long is the Divine Hunter series going to be? Will we be seeing more of Michael and Lacy in the future?
We’ll definitely be seeing more of Michael and Lacy. Their journey isn’t over yet. I originally planned for the story to take place over four books and unless anything drastic happens that will still be the case. Michael and Lacy’s story arc will be wrapped up in book four. I’ve even written the final scene. The next book I’m currently working on will be a tie-in novel to the Divine Hunter series. It will take place in the Divine Hunter world but will stray from the main story arc. The book will be titled EV): A Divine Hunter World Novel. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you who it will be about. From the feedback I’ve had, Evo has made an impression on the Divine Hunter series readers. He’s a cheeky, loveable rogue. I’m really excited to write his story.
The cover for Dark Deliverance is full is intrigue, romance and suspense. I personally love the cover. What did you think when you first saw it?
Well, I actually design my own covers so I have to say I LOVE them. The first design I did for the Dark Deliverance cover was very different, but something wasn’t sitting right with me. So I bravely scrapped the whole design and started again. I have to say I love the model on the cover of Awaken. It took me a long time to find him but the minute I saw him, I knew he had to be my cover model for Michael.
Which part of the book did you write last?
With Awaken, I didn’t write the last chapter last. By the time I was halfway through writing it I knew exactly how it was going to end, so I wrote it earlier on. With Dark Deliverance, I wrote the epilogue earlier on, and apart from what I already had in my notes, I wrote the final chapter last.
You are a fairly new published writer, with this being your second book. Is there any advice you can give to aspiring writers?
Just go for it. If you have a story that’s itching to leave your head, write it down. Get it out of there whether you believe you can do it or not. When I started writing I didn’t have a clue if I would ever release anything. I simply wrote my story because it was in my head all of the time. I thought to myself, if I manage to do it then maybe I’ll just let my family and friends read it. I wasn’t at all confident to start with. But I did it, and I still have to pinch myself because I never thought I’d ever put it out there for other people to read. It turned out to be the best decision of my life.
What is your process for writing a book? Do you always start at the beginning or do you jump around to different chapters then fill in the pieces?
I start by making notes and writing out the rough draft of the storyline. Then I dive right in, starting at page one. I mostly write from start to finish, but if I get an idea for something that might happen later on in the story, I work on that for a time, then go back.
Who are some of your favourite authors and why?
My two absolute favourite authors are Jeaniene Frost and J.R. Ward. I can’t really decide between the two because I like them equally, but I will lean slightly towards Frost because her Night Huntress series novels were what got me hooked on the paranormal romance genre.
I also love Elizabeth Hunter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lara Adrian…I could be here all day!
And here is an excerpt from Dark Deliverance....

Michael leaned against the wall inside a disused building on West Clinton Street. It wasn’t long before he felt a shift in the air and a cold breeze blew across his neck, causing him to turn and face the gray mist that had begun to appear on the opposite side of the building.
“I know this isn’t a social visit. But it’s good to see you anyway.” He smiled at Alethia as she walked towards him. She was wearing a long, navy coat and tight jeans with her deep brown hair drawn back in a sleek ponytail which made it easy for Michael to notice the troubled expression on her face.
She walked to him with her hands in both pockets. “It’s good to see you too. Although, I know somebody else who would like to see you more.”
 His chest instantly tightened. He knew who she was referring to and for the first time in days Lacy’s face flashed into his mind. He took in a deep breath and let the air out slowly while trying desperately to quash the emotion that those simple words had instantly stirred up. “You know that can’t happen right now, Alethia. Not until I know she’ll be safe.”
The deity nodded her understanding and laid her hand on his shoulder. “I know. It’s just hard to hear what she’s thinking and not be able to tell her you’re safe, that’s all.”
He knew Lacy would be suffering, but he had no choice right now. It was much safer for her to believe he’d been taken than to know he was safe.
“Is she the reason you’re here?”
He watched Alethia lower her gaze and she removed her hand from him. She looked troubled. This couldn’t be good.
She huffed. “My father won’t listen to me, my mother refuses to speak to him about helping me find where Evo is, and I can’t reach out to anyone else, so. . . ”—she held her hand out to him—“I need you to give me the ring back.”
“What? Alethia! You can’t be serious. You know I—”
“Just listen to me for a second. You have to hand me the ring, Michael. It’s the only way you’re going to find Evo.”

L.J. Sealey was born and raised in a little Welsh town by the sea. It rains a lot, so she often has a great excuse to sit at her writing desk and while away the hours at her laptop.
She still lives in N.Wales and when she’s not travelling around the country working with her husband – who is a professional singer – or singing backup vocals herself, she likes to read and watch her favourite TV shows which normally includes plenty of CSI, The Vampire Diaries and endless amounts of sitcoms. Being addicted to reading about vampires, demons, shifters and angels, she has always had a thing for all things paranormal and is a big sucker for impossible love stories. So it was inevitable that when she started writing herself she would mix the two together.

Stalker Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | G+


(Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Tour - Mortal Heart by L.J. Sealey

Title: Mortal Heart Series: Divine Hunter Series Book #4 Release Date: 20th September 2019 Blurb: When two hearts ...