Review/Interview/Giveaway ~ Captivate by Vanessa Garden

Click on the banner above to view the tour schedule
CaptivateTitle: Captivate
Author: Vanessa Garden
Genre: YA Fantasy
Expected publication: January 1st 2014

In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...
Captivate was an exciting tale that totally took me by surprise. I was expecting a mermaid tale, but it had a different twist to it. Imagine a city, deep in the ocean, where humans first moved to at their own free will. It was amazing, beautiful and sweet.

Miranda was swimming with her sister when she was taken to this city, Marin. She was basically kidnapped and held against her will. The longer she stayed there though, the more she became to like it, but it came at a price. Her feelings were thrown into jeopardy and in the end she was torn between the family that she left at home and the new friends and family she was forming in Marin.

Miranda, being only 16 has been through a lot of heart ache and when she was bought to Marin and she couldn't believe her luck. She managed to get through each day though and I thought that she became stronger every day. She comes across as quite a strong character and doesn't shy away from telling people what she really thinks. When she breaks down it is usually behind closed doors.

There are two guys that become close to her and have the potential to steal her heart and I found it hard to choose which one I liked the most. Marko, the king of Marin or his best friend and guard, Robbie who was also her kidnapper. I liked both boys and they both harbour feelings for Miranda in their own ways. I enjoyed watching these relationships develop as Miranda was finally able to feel more comfortable and form relationships/friendships with people.

The plot is quite exciting as there is a lot of danger threatening Marko and Miranda; Marko's fugitive brother Damir. He wants to take over Marin and is willing to do anything to get it. It was a very exciting part of the story and Miranda constantly needs to watch her back. I enjoyed Vanessa’s writing style and how descriptive she was of the underwater city and I was mesmerised by the details she put into it. I am looking forward to see what happens next, after that thrilling ending.

I received a copy of this book from Harlequin Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Captivate book and buy links

Hi Vanessa!! Welcome to Nomi’s Paranormal Palace and congrat’s on the upcoming release of your debut novel Captivate!!

Thanks for having me, Naomi!

Alright, so let’s jump straight into the questions…

Where do you get the inspiration for your writing?

I become inspired by so many things - people (and their conversations), places, movies, songs and especially from reading other books. I love finishing a great read by another author and thinking, oh my god I must write right now!

Do you base some of your characters traits off people that you know?

In some cases, for sure. Weirdly enough though, the character may start off a certain way, but after a little while they seem to shrug off any traits I’ve given them and develop their own during the course of the story. I love it when this happens because the character often comes across more authentic as opposed to something forced.

The city of Marin sounds amazing; did you base it off a place in particular?

Not really, but I will say that I’ve always adored classic fairy-tales, which perhaps influences the setting. Marin is a glittering, underwater city, and I wanted to convey a sense of breathtaking beauty, a seductive world that is very good at hiding its dark side beneath all that glitter.

The weatherboard shack in Bob’s Bay (the reason Miranda is at the beach), is it a real place?

Bob’s Bay is named after a real place called Bob’s Hollow, on the South-West coast of Western Australia. It’s very isolated and the perfect location for the opening scene of Captivate. However, there are no weatherboard shacks there, just pristine beach, lots of rocks and even a large, open cave. It’s a beautiful place.

Did you have a fascination for mermaids before writing this book?

They have always fascinated me. My great-grandfather believed that he once saw a merman in the Adriatic Sea. I always loved to hear that story as a child and I couldn’t help hope that it was true. I still like to believe that it happened.

I'm seeing a bit of a love triangle… Will it continue into the next book?

Erm…. what if I told you there was a love-hexagon on the way? Just kidding (a bit)! I guess you’ll have to read book two to find out ;)

Ok, time for some more personal and fun questions!!

What is your favourite place in Australia?

Anywhere by the beach. But if I had to pick one, it would be Woodman’s Point, where I grew up collecting mussels, catching fish and swimming with my brothers, sister and friends. It holds so many amazing childhood memories for me. 

Do you have any favourite authors that you read today?

I love Cassandra Clare, Julie Kagawa, Brigid Kemmerer, John Green and many others

If you could travel in a time machine into a book, what book would it be and why?

I’d travel into ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck and buy George and Lenny a big farm so that they could finally live out their dream. There’d be hutches full of fluffy rabbits especially for Lenny and an unlimited supply of food and drinks so they’d never have to work again. 

Do you have a favourite book boyfriend?

Will Herondale. I can’t get enough of that cheeky guy!

When will we expect the 2nd book in the series?

Book two is complete and being read by the lovely people at Harlequin Teen Australia.

Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to see what happens next with Miranda, Marko and Robbie!!

Thanks for the lovely chat, Naomi. It was fun. 

Vanessa Garden
Vanessa Garden lives on the coast of Western Australia with her husband, their three chatty children, and three calming goldfish. When she's not writing Vanessa can be found at the local bookstore where she works part-time. Being a bookseller as well as an author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not gushing about her favourite reads to customers, or dreaming up her next novel, she enjoys spending time with the people she loves most.

Find Vanessa on 

One lucky winner has the chance to win a copy of Captivate (Paperback - Australian residents only or eBook - International). Just enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Your review got me! I'm adding Captivate to my wishlist right now!

  2. I've seen this book around the blogosphere a little! It looks fabulous. I really love the cover. :)

  3. I have to admit, I haven't really heard too much about this book, but it sounds great! I love that the author's book boyfriend is Will Herondale haha

  4. Thank you for the giveaway , the book sounds interesting.

  5. The cover is beautiful!!!

  6. The cover is certainly captivating! This looks and sounds like a great read :)

  7. I like the look and sound of this book- will this be a multiple book series?

  8. I love the cover and mermaids. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  9. I love the sounds of this, and the interview is really good too. Wonderful review.

  10. I just read another underwater story (although a lot of the story took place above water...) and I didn't really enjoy it that much:( If I feel like reading one again, I will try this one though, since it isn't about mermaids.

    Thanks for the review, the interview and the great giveaway :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  11. This sounds like a super interesting and unique book!! It's definitely caught my attention. I definitely want to read this soon, and find out what life is like underwater.

    And how cool that your great grandfather think he saw a mermaid! Maybe he did! I'm ready for a trip to the Adriatic Sea to look! :)

  12. Sounds pretty fun! I've read a couple underwater ones and even though the ocean and any non-chlorinated water totally freaks me out I really enjoyed them. Kinda fun to be put in such a different setting :)

  13. All of the above! Things that can eat you, bodies where bodies shouldn't be, ship wrecks. Nope don't want anything to do with any of it.

  14. Wow Anna!! Stick to the land babe!!

  15. lol oh I so do. I stick to just reading about them. That I can usually handle. lol

  16. This book sounds really great - I really want to read a mermaid book, but haven't gotten around to it yet (although it sounds like this isn't exactly a mermaid tale?). :-)

  17. No it's not, just an underwater city! Loads of fun!!

  18. The cover is beautiful and I like the original concept and blurb of the book :) Competition entered = Check! I loved the interview too. Vanessa can have Will and I'll take Jem ;) *tee hee* I loved that Vanessa also gets her inspiration from really great books!

    Great Post Naomi :)

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

  19. I haven't read an underwater story yet. This one sounds intriguing. Nice review Naomi.

  20. I hope you have a chance to read it, I really enjoyed it and am keen for more!

  21. I do too, but I love blue covers!

  22. It is a new book and author and she has done a fantastic job on her debut novel!!

  23. You are welcome! Best of luck!

  24. Hey Chanzie!! I think the cover is just gorgeous too!! I had fun with the interview and loved Vanessa's answers! She can come back anytime!!

  25. It definitely is! And it was a great read *wink*

  26. *Fingers crossed* Lets hope Harlequin like the sequel!! I definitely want more!

  27. Thanks Jenea! It was a sweet read, I'm conflicted about the fellas, I tell you!!

  28. It was cool Lexxie, we spend most of this book underwater and definitely no mermaids, but who knows what may come.

  29. It is unique Liz, I think I was expecting mermaids, not actual people living on the ocean floor.

    Bwahaha!! I can see you heading to the beach now!

  30. Thanks Marilyn! It is unique, written by a fellow Aussie!! I really enjoyed it!

  31. There are some fine guys in this one Anna, but not as much action in the bedroom I know you like!
    Really?? You don't like salt water?? Or is it the sharks and jelly fish!! lol


If you can't leave a comment please EMAIL ME a quick message!! Disqus may have some tweeks :)