5 STAR · BOOK REVIEWS: · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

MEET THE AUTHOR: ANNIE WOODS | NAJA

We were very luck and got Annie Wood’s first novel First Came Forever to read and review, so we dedicated a whole week last week to First Came Forever reviews.

In case you missed other reviews you can read them here:

  • Click here to read Githmi’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Alison’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Lauren’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Ana Paula’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read my review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Tanushka’s review of First Came Forever

So now, that we all know how awesome and amazing her novel is I think that it is time to find out who Annie even is. A while ago I started a new blog series on my Blissful Life Project blog and it is a series where authors introduce themselves to my readers. Here is what Annie shared with us. Enjoy! 🙂

“Hi there,

I’m Annie Woods, author of the YA novel First Came Forever (the first book in the Angelheart Saga trilogy).

Avatar Annie Woods White

I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, but I’ve spent a lot of time in USA, mostly in New York, and England. I feel like I have two home towns – Stockholm and New York, but most of all home is where my family is. My family, yes, I am married and have two gorgeous children. And a dog.

Reading has always been a big part of my life, I’m a true bookworm who sometimes (too often) prefer books to people… I just love to read and travel through books!
Besides books I also love music, theatre, dance, art and movies; anything that brings magic to your life, really.
I also love traveling with my family and experiencing the world together and doing outdoor activities, like hiking, surfing or skiing. I’ve been hiking a lot in the Swedish mountains as well as in Yosemite in US and skied a lot in the Alps. I’ve also done some other exciting traveling, which you probably can tell from reading First Came Forever, for example through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mocambique. In Zimbabwe we stayed at in tents in the middle of nowhere, doing amazing walking safaris at sunrise, and in Botswana we did hippo safaris on the river. I also love Cambodia and Vietnam, which is quite obvious from the book… On the top of my bucket list I have walking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, I hope to be able to do that very soon!
I’m a person who freezes very easily, so I love the sun and being in warm countries. (Funny, considering that I live in cold Sweden most of the time and in NY during winter, which is also as far from warm as you can get…) My favorite thing is when it’s warm enough to lie under a sunshade (preferably in a hammock under a large tree) reading books without being cold. I love the feeling of being outdoor and healthy, when in reality you’re just lying still and reading…
Other things I love are Italian food, champagne and, embarrassingly enough, Cosmopolitan drinks (yes very 1990s and Sex and The City-ish, I know…) But more than anything I love YA books. I have always been a huge YA fan. Teen love stories just have so much more to them, with all their intensity and all-consuming feelings; the first crush and the emotion of it all; the coming of age and accepting who you are. And the characters you get to know and love and who stay with you long after the story is over.

I started writing as a way of extending my love of reading YA stories, when new stories of my own kept popping up in my mind. First Came Forever is my first novel and very dear to me. It’s the first book in The Angelheart Saga trilogy following 18-year- old Erica Lindell as an unexpected meeting changes her life forever.

It’s a story I’ve been carrying with me for years. The image of Erica and how she moved to US for love came to me on a vacation in California over four years ago. Driving along Highway 1 the plot and the other characters crystalized; how she meets Sasha and falls heads over heels in love with him, but how difficult even such a strong love can be when reality hits with their different worlds and the mixed feelings for Tyler that intrudes Erica’s mind. On the plane back home I started writing this book. I am so nervous and excited about sharing the story with you all and to hear what you think about it. I really hope that you will get to love Erica, Sasha and Tyler just as much as I do!

I also have to admit that Erica is pretty much based off of myself… Erica is just a tiny bit… oh, alright, A LOT… smarter and better looking and with way more integrity. But, just like me, she’s clumsy (we both actually walk into walls, missing the door opening), a kind of bad driver, but a great runner finding peace and quiet and respite from all demands out in the woods with her running shoes on.

Tyler is a classic jock, at least that’s how he appears at first, but there is more to him than meets the eye. (Even though that isn’t so bad. Not bad at all actually.) And then there’s Sasha. The love of Erica’s life. Well, I can’t tell you so much more than that, as it would be a spoiler alert. But I can tell you this: if there would be a First Came Forever movie I would cast Kit Harington as Sasha. He would be so spot on! (Or, if he’d still be too busy with the GoT, I could settle for Douglas Booth or Dave Franco.)
As for the nearest future, I’m almost done with the first draft of the manuscript for the second book in the Angelheart Saga trilogy. All I can say is that here is a LOT going on. Some unexpected twist. Some truly heart-wrenching decisions. And Erica’s life will take yet another change of direction. But if you have any suggestions or ideas or persons you’d like to get more attention in the next book, or persons you don’t like and want me to get rid of, please reach out to me! I’d love feedback and to hear what you wish for! When re-reading the manuscript you always make a lot of changes and add or remove parts, so your feedback might still set the story on another direction!
Since I decided already from the start that it should be a trilogy, I then naturally have the third and final installment to write. I’m anticipating that it will be really hard to write, as I have to wrap everything up then, not leaving any loose ends and, potentially, have to break a heart or two. I’d love for every character in the book to get a happy ending, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to accomplish that. I already feel like I’m gonna eat a lot of ice cream and have lots of ugly cry moments writing that book.
The parts about writing a book that I like the most is when the characters takes over, when they kind of creates their own story. That happened several times for me when writing First Came Forever. It was especially Tyler and Francesca who worked their magic on me. They were never meant to play such important roles, but they just grew on me and made me so interested and intrigued by them that I just wrote more and more about them…

The hardest part to write was definitely the sex scenes. (I’m blushing just thinking about it…) I actually thought about not having any explicit sex scenes at first, but then I really felt that they were important for the story, so I just had to bite the bullet. I’ve worked really hard to get them to be sweet and overwhelming at the same time (definitely nowhere near any kind of Fifty Shades of Grey- sex!). It was especially awkward when my husband read the book. But he took it really well.

Besides my husband and the publisher, no one has read the book (as I am using a pen name I couldn’t really ask my friends to read it…) so the first person besides my husband to read it was Rose Tomes of Tea With Rose’s Tomes. Luckily she loved the book and wrote a wonderful review about it, I can’t tell you how much that meant to me!

So, about the pen name. I use it to keep my YA author life a bit separate from my other professional life. Kind of lame, I know. Sorry about that. The avatar is however made by a friend and really resembles me (so much that some of my friends might soon figure out that I’m behind Annie Woods…) so it really feels like it’s me anyway.

For the future I hope to be able to write more full-time than between driving my kids to soccer practice and during nights after working full-time in the day. The hope is to spend more time in New York and have full weeks where I can just focus on writing. (And drinking Cosmopolitans.) I have so many more stories I’d like to tell!

Favorite quotes from First Came Forever

“With you I feel and I trust my feelings and I trust you and I’m happy. With you, everything is different – like there are no normal rules.”

“Well, that would never happen, would it? I’m so not your type. I’m definitely not blonde enough, my boobs aren’t ridiculously big and my IQ is way too high.”

“You’ve changed,” she finally said. “Really changed. “Why? What happened?”
“You happened.”

“The more I got to know you, the more amazing you were. And the more I wanted you to like me, to see the real me and not the cold, selfish, shallow guy I let the others see. I thought I was broken till you came along. You bring out the best of me, you make me want to be the best me I can.”

Links:
Webpage: http://www.anniewoodsbooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Annie-Woods-184208605453303/

Facebook Angelheart Saga discussion group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1930777123856506/?source_id=184208605453303

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anniewoodsYA

Instagram: http://instagram.com/anniewoodsauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36001305-first-came-forever

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Came-Forever-Angelheart-Saga/dp/178465261X/

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/First-Came-Forever-Angelheart-Saga/dp/178465261X/

Barnes & Nobles: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-came-forever-annie-

woods/1127047643

_____________________________________________________________________________

Follow me on Instagram: @blissfullifeproject

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Check out my bookish blog: blissfullifeproject.wordpress.com

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Check out my Tumblr: blissfullifeproject.tumblr.com

N.

 

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5 STAR · BOOK REVIEWS: · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

FIRST CAME FOREVER REVIEW #6. | TANUSHKA

First Came Forever by Annie Woods Mini Review

Book I in the Angel Heart Saga by Annie Woods

Hello guys, after time off I am back. My other job is basically taking all of my time. If I’m not working, I’m sleeping. So Im here today with a mini review of First Came Forever by Annie Woods. A more detailed review will be up here and on my blog when I have more time.

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My thoughts about the book: I’ve loved it. Annie’s writing style makes the story even more interesting, the cover is simple yet so gorgeous and the scenery is spectacular. I want to travel everywhere now after reading this book. The characters, you will love them, or as in my case you will like some things and some things you will not.

Well, this is all for now. Like I said before, a more detailed review will be up soon. Thank you for taking some of your time to read this. Have an amazing day everyone!!

Purchase your own copy of First Came Forever by Annie Woods with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping here!

Instagram: @tamyasreading

5 STAR · BOOK REVIEWS: · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

FIST CAME FOREVER REVIEW #5. | NAJA

Hello and welcome back to Nocturnal Book Club blog!

As you have probably already noticed we are dedicating this week on Nocturnal Book Club blog to Annie Woods first novel First Came Forever. I would like to thank Annie for sending us all her book and making it possible for us to have this book as our first monthly read! 🙂

In case you missed other reviews you can read them here:

  • Click here to read Githmi’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Alison’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Lauren’s review of First Came Forever
  • Click here to read Ana Paula’s review of First Came Forever

 

I usually never read romance books, unless if it is Colleen Hoover’s romance books because I haven’t found anything as lovely and pleasant to read as her books, until now!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I was thrilled that part of the story is set in December, it made the book even more alluring to me! First Came Forever is a lovely novel about love, romance, and friendship. The story is set around Erica and Sasha, who are the main characters in the book.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

I really liked the book but I couldn’t completely immerse into it, let me explain. Going on a trip with friends, falling in love and realizing that the one you love is from a royal family didn’t seem realistic to me but on the other hand, it made a perfect story to read!

At moments the book was a bit slow and I had to force myself to keep reading, but that happens to me with almost every book I read. The end of the book was, however, a very very tragic one and I can’t wait to read the second book! For an hour or so after reading this book I actually hated Annie a bit for leaving her lovely readers like this! Don’t worry Annie, we’re all good now! 🙂

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am giving it 5/5 stars for sure! I would definitely recommend reading it.

Purchase your own copy of First Came Forever by Annie Woods with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping here!

Follow me on Instagram: @blissfullifeproject

Take a look at my bookish Etsy shop Fictional Boutique

Check out my bookish blog: blissfullifeproject.wordpress.com

Follow me on Twitter: @blissfullifep

Follow me on Litsy: @blissfullifeproject

Check out my Tumblr: blissfullifeproject.tumblr.com

Until next Sunday,
N.

 

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5 STAR · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

FIRST CAME FOREVER REVIEW #4. | ANA PAULA

First of all, I’d like to thank author Annie Woods for taking her time to contact our
Nocturnal Book Club, it’s always an honour to receive passionate people’s works for
us to discover and let the world know about. She recently published her first novel
titled “First Came Forever”, a YA romance novel that is surprisingly based on real-life
events.

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Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Backpacking with her high school friends, Erica Lindell’s life takes a thrilling new
turn. Meeting the fascinating Sasha Ailes, she can’t help but fall completely and
irrevocably in love with him. When he feels the same way about her, Erica finds
herself drawn into a fairytale love story that will set her life on a new direction. But
Sasha has kept his true identity a secret. Finding out who he really is, Erica must
overcome the betrayal and make the hardest choice of her life. Can she give up her own dreams to live in his world, or leave and lose him forever?
I usually don’t read romance novels, however, this book brought me a very
nice experience to start reading this genre. I read it in a very short period of time, so I
think that led me to have the beginning and ending very clear.
It started off as being a cute romance novel with an adventurous twist, and I
thought it would be that way throughout the whole plot, however, it had lots of twists
and turns that occurred suddenly and that gave it a very interesting scope, one that I
had never read in other romance novels. Some of the parts sounded a bit cliché at
first, but those gave me a feeling of hope and tenderness for each of the characters.
Besides, throughout all the novel, Annie keeps a very smooth and joyful tone
that made the reading easy-to- read, and that I believe gives her potential for
reaching out to a very wide audience. With her characters, she gives us the chance
to relate to them in very different ways and, even when I have never been in such
situation, I could empathise with them and feel their joys and losses.
Personally, in some parts, I could empathise with Erica. This connection with
her character helped me understand her feelings. We were very similar in some
aspects, so when some things happened to her, especially at the abrupt end, I even
wondered what would happen if I stood in her own shoes.
The ending was unusual and shocking, leading us readers to wonder where
she could take us with the following book. I didn’t expect it, but I believe she can use
it to her advantage in the following tomes of the saga, which I’ll definitely be reading.
I recommend it to both young and grown-up readers who enjoy romance, and
I can assure you even if you don’t read that genre, you will enjoy this book. I, as a
17-year- old, enjoyed it, it helped me get distracted from all the high school stress
and brought me a story of both joy and loss, but more importantly, made me wonder
how far I could go for love.

Purchase your own copy of First Came Forever by Annie Woods with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping here!

5 STAR · BOOK REVIEWS: · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

FIRST CAME FOREVER REVEW #2. | ALISON

A fun adventurous read with young love kept hidden

Erica never thought while backpacking with her friends one summer would lead to finding love, but what happens when the boy she falls in love with turns out to be royalty?

This story had it all, love, adventure, angst, and heartache. Erica and Sasha had to keep their love a secret from the world because of him being a prince, but I felt like they did a good job of not letting that deter them.

When Erica goes to America for her senior year in high school we are introduced to characters who I really like, Especially Tyler. There is a bit of a love tangle going on, which I love in romance books.

AND that ending had me saying, “WHAT???!!!!”

I can’t wait to find out what happens in book two.

Purchase your own copy of First Came Forever by Annie Woods with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping here!

5 STAR · BOOK REVIEWS: · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

FIRST CAME FOREVER REVIEW #1. | GITHMI

First Came Forever (The Angelheart Saga book 1) Annie Woods

‘What price is too high to pay, even for love?’

This is by all means the best romance I read this year. First to start with the synopsis, Backpacking with her high school friends, Erica Lindell’s life takes a thrilling new turn. Meeting fascinating Sasha Ailes, she can’t help but fall completely and irrevocably in love with him. When he feels the same way about her, Erica finds herself drawn into a fairytale love story that will set her life on a new direction. But Sasha has kept his true identity a secret. Finding out who he really is, Erica must overcome the betrayal and make the hardest choice of her life. Can she give up her own dreams to live in his world, or leave and lose him forever?

This is definitely not one of those cliché romantic novels. It has a unique flow and the cutest fictional couple. Also the fact that it is based on an adventurous-travel setting makes it more interesting and alive. Unlike many other romances this has it’s own mystery to solve.

The characters are authentic and relatable. The main character Erica is my favorite romance heroin. I can absolutely relate to her thirst for adventure and sight-seeing. She is unique and adorable. Sasha’s character is interestingly mysterious at the beginning. Even though he doesn’t give out that bad-boy aura something about him makes you want to keep him at a distance. It’s this gut feeling that makes you finish the book in one sitting. This is one of those books you cannot put down until you know what it holds.

The story not only gives that mirth in reading but also gives an insight to unknown and
forgotten tourist attractions in the world. It makes you want to travel the world again: to see these places that you saw from the eyes of the characters. Sounds fun? This is the book for you.

Annie Wood’s writing makes the read a joyful one. It’s simple yet powerful in conveying the depths of true love. The scope of the book thus is not limited to the readers of 18 years but to every young and old who have experienced that excitement, pang and enthusiasm in love.

First Came Forever is one of those books that magically inspires a broken heart to refresh, encourages a finder of true love and strengthens the lovers to face the difficulties in union. This is definitely an amazing read, the book was published on 31st of August 2017!

Book lovers, this is definitely your book. Read it and you won’t ever regret it!

Happy reading!!

Purchase your own copy of First Came Forever by Annie Woods with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping here!

5 STAR · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

BOOK PROGRESS: INSIGNIA BY S. J. KINKAID | ANA PAULA

It’s been ages since I’ve written a book review, not because I’ve been lazy, but because
most of the books I’ve recently read have been for school. The one I’m reading right now
(and that I’ll probably finish today) is called Insignia by S.J. Kinkaid.
If you don’t know the book, don’t worry, I hadn’t heard about it myself until a few months ago. One of my best friends is also a reader, he’s a Potterhead by heart and has a very good taste in books. During summer, he read the Insignia trilogy and lent the first book to me.

INSIGNIA.jpg
So, what is it about? It tells the story of 14-year- old Tom, a highly talented RV player and
gambler who lives during the Third World War. The thing is that this war isn’t a conflict
between countries, the ones who are fighting are companies and multinationals, each
with their own interests. The US military forces see Tom’s potential and, one day, recruit
him, install a neuroprocessor in his brain, and that’s where the adventure begins.
So far, it’s been a very intriguing read: it doesn’t only present us a very action-packed
futuristic story, but it also leaves us with a reflection about how, in the future, society
could end up living the same reality as the main characters.

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5 STAR · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

PAPER PRINCESS BY ERIN WATT REVIEW | ALISON


Ella Harper has had a rough life and she’s only 17. She thought her life got flipped upside down when her mother past away, but boy was she wrong.

This book was everything!!!!! The whole story was truly flawless. From start to finish I was captivated.

I can picture what is was like to be Ella looking up and seeing every Royal boy looking down on her when she first comes to live with them.

REED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t get enough of him. I wish he was in every scene. Yes I know that wouldn’t make for a good story if he was in every one but oh well I frickin loved him.

Poor broken Easton. I wanted to cuddle with him, comfort him, and party with him. His brokenness tugged at my heart and his humor made me laugh.

I didn’t feel as deep as a connection with the twins and Gideon but I still liked them just the same. these Royal boys are the epitome of bad boys and I loved that.

The story line was brilliant, the characters where all intriguing.

I will warn, that there is a cliffhanger and it does not disappoint!! This is a MUST read.

5 star read!
 
Purchase PAPER PRINCESS today!
Synopsis:
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 

5 STAR · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

THE DYING GAME BY ASA AVDIC REVIEW | GUEST BOOK BLOGGER @ samantha_gibb

Review: The Dying Game by Asa Avdic

Anna Francis has been propositioned with an unusual request. Back in her office job after spending time on n aid mission in a war-torn country, the celebrity that once followed her has died down. After months of no sleep, heightened stress, and constant bombing, Anna is struggling to slip back into her old habits and life. Enter the Chairman, with an offer.

The highly trained, and highly secret, RAN group is recruiting, and given Anna’s history of observing people in high-stress situations, the Chairman requests that she oversee the recruitment process, to give a full report on each candidate. The observations will only take a few days, on an island equipped for the purpose. However, it’s not as straight-forward as watching others; Anna is going to be killed.

The Chairman has decided that a faked death, removing Anna from the presence of others, will heighten tensions and allow her to observe unnoticed, gathering valuable information. The only problem is that Anna is not the only one to disappear, and things on the island begin to go awry from the moment Anna sets foot on it.

The Dying Game is nothing short of brilliant. Asa Avdic is a master at creating tension, and sending the reader’s heart rate through the roof. The Dying Game is completely gripping, with a horde of unexpected twists, red herrings, and a host of protagonists with hidden agendas, it is entertaining and unpredictable. As Anna tries to distinguish between reality and pretense, the reader has no choice but to follow her through a maze of lies. This is a brilliant book, and I doubt that anyone will disagree.

The Dying Game by Asa Avdic is published by Windmill Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. 

5 STAR · BOOK REVIEWS: · NOCTURNAL BOOK CLUB

THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END BY ADAM SILVERA | LAUREN

“You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk” – Adam Silvera

SPOILERS

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I am going to start off by saying how much I hate Peck; he is the kind of character that only thinks with his d*ck and does really idiotic things. I also could not get attached to Aimee, if I knew someone that was like family to me and then found out my boyfriend called the cops on them on their death day, the would be dumped in a heartbeat. For not automatically breaking up with Peck, I can not forgive Aimee. At least not completely. The character development for both Mateo and Rufus was tremendous! I relate so much to Mateo, and hope that one day I’ll be brave enough to break out of this comfort zone I’ve created.  I kind of wanted to see the dad wake up for Rufus so that they could have a heart-to-heart moment, but I loved that Rufus left a note on a napkin. Adam Silvera HAD to leave the conclusion open-ended! I want to know what happened to Rufus and Delilah! Did they die in the same diner, or was it a coincidence they were both near Althea Park? I rated this book a 4/5 stars, and loved it so much. Last thing: there were so many song references when they were in the club, and I was looking all of them up and jamming to music while reading, and I thought it was cool how Adam Silvera incorporated song options in the book.