Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Shelf: The Gala (Vampire Royals #2) by Leigh Walker

The Pageant is almost over, and Gwyneth West knows she can win—except the prince is a vampire, and some of the other contestants are turning out to be quite beastly.

What do you do when the person you love…might want to eat you alive?

Struggling to hold onto her position in the palace, Gwyn knows her vampire prince could slip through her fingers in an instant. And when human rebels threaten to storm the vampire royals once more, Gwyn finds herself caught between two worlds: her people, and the vampire she loves.

Leigh Walker writes action packed futuristic sci-fi, sweet romantic vampire novels, and stories that capture your heart and then make it race.

More info on Goodreads.....


The Gala is that second novel in Leigh Walker's Vampire Royals series and is another exciting and romantic vampiric adventure readers will once again fall in love with.

Gwyneth West never expected that participating in the Pageant would see her end up with very real feelings for the prince. He makes her feel like no one before....if only he wasn't a vampire and she didn't have to compete against twenty other young ladies for his affections. Falling in love was never the plan but as Gwyn and Dallas spend more time together it becomes clear that what they have is special. Gwyn's time at the palace has seen her eyes opened to a world she never expected but as the rebels remain a very real threat against the royal family will Gwyn find herself torn between her people and her heart?

Picking up where the first novel left off, The Gala is another exciting and romantic instalment. This series is simply such fun to read and if you're a hopeless romantic at all like me you'll be easily swept away and hooked by Gwyn's romance with the swoon worthy vampire Dallas and their relationship.

I haven't read The Selection so I don't have the ability to compare the two but I imagine the novels are somewhat alike even if only due to the fact there's a competition to find the princes bride. Personally I find I enjoy The Bachelor like feeling to the series and that Leigh Walker doesn't shy away from the feelings of jealousy expressed by not only main character Gwyn but all the contestants in the pageant. I imagine it's only natural to feel this way in that kind of situation and appreciate that Walker explores this.

What can I say other than that I love Gwyn and Dallas! They have such an adorable relationship and I'm honestly falling in love with them as they are falling in love with each other. They're both such wonderful characters and the chemistry between them is perfect. Leigh Walker writes them electric together while also been soft and under spoken at times too. The slow burn is magnificent.

As book two comes to a close I can't wait to begin the next one. I simply HAVE to have more of Gwyn and Dallas and an excited to see what Leigh Walker has planned next. I know it going to be as brilliant as the first two have been!

Source: Sent for review by the author (Thank you Leigh!)
Publisher: Independently published
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: May 4th 2018
Purchase: Amazon
Final Thoughts: I'm just addicted to the tension and connection between Gwyn and Dallas and I can't wait to read the next one!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Owl Post #210

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.
Hello lovelies and welcome to another Owl Post. I've got a couple of great books to share this week!
For Review:
From Allen & Unwin (Hot Key Books):
- Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell 
I'm soooooo excited to read the third Spellslinger book. I really adore this series and am eager to jump straight in!
....Thank you guys! 
From Scholastic Australia:
 -  The Happiness Quest by Richard Yaxley
I'm not really sure if this novel is for me but it sounds sound like it could be very thought provoking. We'll see if I read this.
.....Thank you team!  

I Bought:
- The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter
I've been loyaly reading this series for 9 years now and as a Gilliam fan I'm a bit disheartened by this novel. I'm still dying to read it but I'm very sad that Gena Showalter didn't give what most fans like myself wanted.....
And that's me this week! 
What did the owls bring YOU?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Book Shelf: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

More info on Goodreads.....


To Kill A Kingdom is Alexandra Christo’s debut novel and is a dark and exhilarating The Little Mermaid retelling full of adventure, danger and slow developing and understated romance.

Siren Princess Lira is revered across both land and sea as the Princes Bane, a vicious killer whose preference for the hearts of princes is well known. As the daughter of the Sea Queen, Lira knows her destiny is to one day take over the throne, until an act of rebellion against her mother sees her turned into the very thing she hates the most; a human. The only way for Lira to return home and to her true form is to bring her mother the heart of the sirens biggest enemy. Prince Elian is known as the golden prince but it’s his title of Siren Killer he treasures the most. More comfortable at sea on board his ship the Saad than he is at court, Elian and his crew are at home on the ocean, hunting sirens and ridding the world of the ruthless monsters. When Elian rescues a drowning woman from the middle of the ocean, he knows she’s more than she appears but he could never expect her true nature. Elian is Lira’s ticket home but as her time on two legs begins to change her, will she dare wish for more than the war that simmers between their two races? And will Elian learn to trust the very thing he hunts? Or will a shared enemy be the destruction of them both?

I have to admit I had some misgivings heading into To Kill A Kingdom. Seeing as the novel was set to unfold through the eyes of a self-proclaimed monster and murderer, I worried I would struggle with connecting and enjoying the novel…..but boy was I wrong! Alexandra Christo has created a very luscious and entertaining retelling with To Kill A Kingdom and manages to hit every nail on the head; action, adventure, character development, entertaining dialogue, romance. I felt the whole novel was very well rounded and well written on Christo’s part.

Unfolding through both Lira and Elian’s POV’s, To Kill A Kingdom is a very entertaining story. Based on the traditional Little Mermaid tale, Alexandra Christo gives it darker twist featuring sirens and pirates while also enjoying the elements that make so much fun to begin with. Allowing readers to witness the story unfold through both Lira and Elian’s eyes makes for a well-rounded tale—you are in on the secret of who Lira truly is while Elian is oblivious. You can’t help but desperately read waiting for everything to be revealed.

Female protagonist Lira is a stubborn and fiery soul who undertakes so much growth within the story to overcome her upbringing and nature. I genuinely liked Lira even when she was still a murderous siren; she was sharp tongued and quick witted, something she finds she shared with male counterpart and second protagonist Elian who is both prince and pirate. I loved the dialogue Christo shared from Elian who is very much the charming pirate and who is both hero and scoundrel. He was a fun male lead who often made me laugh or brought a smile to my face.

As you would expect, romance plays a role in the building storyline of To Kill A Kingdom, but it’s not as prominent as you would think. Ultimately Lira’s feelings for Elian play a big part in some choices she makes but the relationship between them is only a small part of the story, blending effortlessly with the adventure and excitement throughout the novel. It’s highlights include the sharp and smart quips and teasing comments shared between them and the understated connection that develops overtime. I actually felt their romance was perfectly written within the story and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Building to course changing altercation between our main characters and the Sea Queen, To Kill A Kingdom is a fast paced and solid standalone tale with a great cast of supporting characters. Alexandra Christo offers to YA audiences a well-rounded debut that doesn’t disappoint and guarantee’s she’ll be an author I’ll have my eye on moving forward!

Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: March 6th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Thoroughly adventurous and highly enjoyable, I very much enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom and am keen to see what Alexandra Christo releases next!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Blog Tour: The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas- Guest Post & Giveaway

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this adorable and fun novel and am thrilled to share it with you today.

As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well... super.
Never trust a guy in spandex.
In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.

Add on Goodreads or check out my 4 star review!


Story time with Danielle! 

This one is for all of you lovely folks who cower in fear at the mere thought of anyone reading anything that you have written. Here's a secret: I too was once one of you. Yes, I know. I wrote an entire book that (hopefully) you'll read. I also wrote this blog post that you're reading right now. That fear is gone. (Most of the time.) But it wasn't always that way. So let's travel back in time seven years to a place that I would rather not revisit: my senior year of high school. 

The setting was world literature class. Period one. Here’s how it went down: My teacher, who will remain nameless, gave my class a poetry assignment right before Christmas break. I forget exactly what qualities the poem had to possess, but I can tell you that I didn’t put a lot of work into it. Like basically no work at all. And can you blame me? I was just trying to get all my homework done before break started; I didn’t care if I did a good job or not, which in retrospect was probably my number one mistake. 

There is only one line from that stupid poem that I still remember to this day. I compared knowledge to a juicy steak. Why? I don’t remember, but I did. A juicy steak. And then, when I let two of my best friends read it, they laughed in my face and told me it was ridiculous. 

Yay me. 

I mean, it kind of was ridiculous, but I didn’t really care. Like I said, I just wanted to go on Christmas vacation. 

Fast forward about a week and a half, and I was back in hell (AKA period one world literature). The class was boring, as usual. And I most definitely was counting down the minutes until I got to leave, as usual.

And then my teacher did the unthinkable. 

She pulled out the stack of poems we had turned in before break, grinning at us like she just won the lottery, and announced that we were going to play a game. She was going to read our poems out loud, and we were going to guess which one of our classmates was the author. 

Now let me repeat that for the folks in the back. She was going to read my stupid juicy steak poem that my friends had made fun of out loud.

No. No, no, no. Because, you see, when I was in school I had an inherent fear of anyone reading anything that I wrote out loud. I was totally fine with my teacher reading my crappy poem in the privacy of her own home while she drank herbal tea and graded papers, but she was not, under any circumstances, going to read about my juicy steak for the entire class to hear. 

I still remember that moment so well. My face was on fire, blood pounding in my ears. My heart was skipping beats, and I somehow felt both hot and cold at the same time. She was going to do it. The first poem she picked up off the stack was going to be mine, and everyone was going to laugh at me and I was going to spend the rest of my senior year getting made fun of for comparing steak to knowledge and I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t breathe – 

And the first poem she picked up… miraculously wasn’t mine. 

But she reached for another… 

And then the bell rang. 

Yes! I was saved by the freaking bell. Literally. I had two days before I would have to sit in my world literature class again, and because my stupid steak poem had turned me into a sweating ball of anxiety, I knew that I had to fix this. 

So I wrote another poem. This one was about flowers and sunshine – exactly what everyone else in my class had written about (because I was the only weirdo who chose to write about steak). Then the next day, after school was over and the building emptied out, I snuck into my teacher’s classroom with the intention of digging through her desk and swapping my crappy poem for my brand new, good one. 

Now if you’re reading this and thinking that I sound crazy and desperate, you’re absolutely right. I was crazy. And desperate. But I couldn’t stomach the thought of any of my classmates reading this lousy thing that I wrote. It was like giving them access to a part of my brain that was way too intimate and vulnerable, something that I wasn’t prepared to share with the world quite yet at seventeen years old. In my mind, there was no other option. I would pull this off, or I would melt into a puddle of embarrassment and die. 

So I snuck into my world lit teacher’s classroom, creeping across the linoleum floor in the dark, a January blizzard raging outside the windows, listening to every hum and creak the building made, terrified that the night janitor or the vice principal or my teacher herself would walk in on me. (Now is probably a good time to point out that I went to a Catholic school, and if I got caught then the devil himself would smite me and drag me to the depths of hell. Well…maybe that’s dramatic. But I would have received a ton of detention.) 

I held my breath as I shuffled through the folders on my teacher’s desk, removing them gently, careful not to disturb the papers so that I could put everything back perfectly the way it was. Guys, I was like James-freaking-Bond. 

The first few folders didn’t have anything interesting, but the third one…eureka. I saw the names of my classmates, and I flipped through until I found mine, positive that someone was going to walk in front of the classroom door at any moment and spot me. 

I found my name, found my lame steak-knowledge poem staring up at me, mocking me. I gripped it in my hands, ready to switch it for something far better. But…then I realized that I couldn’t. Because she had already graded my poem. 

Right there, on top of my lame “knowledge is like a juicy steak” poem that my friends had laughed at, the poem that caused me almost 36 hours of sheer panic and anxiety…was a big…fat…A. 

She gave me an A. 

I looked back and forth from the steak poem to my brand new flower poem. Surely, I was in some kind of sit-com or alternate universe because there was no way this was happening. But it was. And I knew deep down inside that I couldn’t switch the poems. She would notice. And, I mean, I was pretty happy to take the A. 

So I returned the steak poem to the folder, put her desk back exactly the way I’d found it, and then I grabbed my flower poem and walked out the door. 

I went home. And no one ever found out what had transpired in my teacher’s classroom on that January afternoon. And you know what else? She never finished playing the poem game. Meaning that the horrible steak poem, the thing that made me physically sick, was never read out loud. All the stress had been for nothing. 

So moral of the story: Don’t be ashamed of your writing. If I wrote the same boring flower and sunshine poem as the rest of my classmates, then maybe I wouldn’t have gotten that A. And if I was afraid of people reading my novel about a bunch of quirky superheroes, then I never would have been published. It’s definitely easier said than done, but I’m trying to have more faith in my writing abilities. I hope that this story helps you to do the same.

I have to say; as someone petrified of anyone reading their writing, this is a great story to hear about. Thanks for sharing Danielle!

Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters instead of paying attention in class, Danielle joined the storytelling platform Wattpad, where her work has received millions of views online. When she isn’t writing, she can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Walt Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is her debut novel.

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @daniellebanas

Visit Danielle:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Book Shelf: The Supervillain and Me (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle Banas

As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well... super.
Never trust a guy in spandex.
In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.

More info on Goodreads......


The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas is a fun, romantic and downright adorable superhero story that will appeal to readers looking for a novel in the vein of Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series. 

Abby Hamilton is no stranger to superheroes. Not only does she live in a world where superheroes fight crime and save society…..she’s also the sister to her home town of Morriston’s most famous superhero, Red Comet. Only Abby knows him as her Math failing, dorky older brother Connor who still swigs milk from the carton and burps the national anthem. With no superpowers of her own, Abby is content to leave the saving up to Connor. Until the city’s latest super vigilante comes flying into her life. After saving her life, Iron Phantom manages to convince Abby he’s not the villain Morriston believes him to be and there’s a new threat facing the town. Delving into the city’s secrets alongside Iron Phantom, Abby soon discovers that not everyone is who they seem and heroes aren’t always the only ones who can make a difference.

If there’s ever a fitting word to describe The Supervillain and Me, it’s this; fun. This novel is lively and entertaining and just downright fun. Danielle Banas creates an imaginative and entertaining world of superheroes within The Supervillain and Me and packs it with humour, romance, action and adventure. Solid and relaxing reading; you will find it hard to put this novel down—I know I sure did.

Told through the eyes of everyday teenager Abby, The Supervillain and Me features some adorable characters who, while they may not be anything you haven’t seen before, are still perfect within the story. Off course, the best part of the story for me was the romance. The chemistry between Abby and Iron Phantom was just brilliant. The fun, witty banter and dialogue between them made for some highly entertaining moments throughout the novel and I thought they were sweet. Iron Phantom was sexy in a laid back, approachable kind of way and I liked that.

Danielle Banas gives Abby a sweet bunch of family and friends in this novel. Seeing how the story ended, I’m keen to see if she writes a sequel perhaps featuring someone else—possibly Hunter and Sarah. It would be fun to learn more about Fish Boy and of course maybe see Abby and Iron Phantom even just in passing.

Sweet and enjoyable, The Supervillain and Me was a quaint and entertaining YA read by Danielle Banas perfect for anyone who loves themselves some superheroes!

Source: Sent for review by Xpresso Book Tours and the author (Thank you ladies!)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: July 10th 2018
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
Final Thoughts: This was a super sweet and fun novel and I'll definitely read more in the series as they come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #330

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross
Releases on: May 5th 2019
Add on Goodreads!
At long last, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is beginning to settle into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces yet another challenge: proving herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life.

Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During the castle’s restoration, he discovers a young boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander — what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone?

As the Lannon trial swiftly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their love aside and stay focused on the most vital task at hand — forging alliances, executing justice and ensuring that no man, woman or child halts the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling in the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And what makes one more vulnerable than deep-seated love?

The Queen’s Rising was an unexpected favourite of mine so far in 2018 and I'm sooooooo excited about the sequel. Especially considering the cover is just to die for! I can't wait to join Brienna and Cartier once again and considering The Queen’s Resistance is told in both POV's I'm excited about the possibilities of being able to get into Carier's head as well!

Have you read The Queen’s Rising?
And what are YOU waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Shelf: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

More info on Goodreads.....


Hunted by Meagan Spooner is a lavish and elegant Beauty and the Beast retelling, offering to readers a story of yearning and magic set within a winter wonderland and woven together with Russian folklore and mythology.

The youngest of three daughters, Yeva is more at home in the forest than amongst the aristocrats of the city where she and her family live. Taught by her merchant father the art of hunting and tracking, Yeva is secretly relieved when her father loses his fortune and has no choice but to move Yeva and her sisters into the cabin in the woods. No longer having to suffer idle small talk with wealthy lords and ladies, Yeva happily throws herself into daily life at the cabin until her father goes missing in the woods and Yeva ventures out in search of him. Despite her sisters misgivings, Yeva is determined to hunt her fathers hunter and in her effort comes upon a Beast unlike anything she has ever seen. Attacked herself, Yeva soon finds herself prisoner in a strange castle and discovering creatures she thought only existed in fairytales. The Beast may be more monster than man, but as he urges Yeva to help him hunt creatures of legend, who will win? Beauty or the Beast?

Having read and adored Meagan Spooner's Skylark and Starbound series in the past, I was very excited to read Hunted. Beauty and the Beast re-tellings are always some of my favorites but although Hunted featured some absolutely beautiful prose and a stunning atmosphere, I didn't love it like I thought I would. I still thought it was an enjoyable novel, it just failed to blow me away as anticipated it would.

Though Hunted leaves me with somewhat mixed feelings, there's no doubt in my mind that the world within Hunted was very well depicted and thought out. Meagan Spooner fills this world of mystery and magic with beauty and elegance, detailed descriptions of a wild wilderness and a gothic castle in disrepair.

Yeva is a strong willed and capable heroine who knows who she is. She makes no apologies and knows she doesn't fit in with the normal society of her time. Yeva yearns for something she cannot name and it is this that sees her venture out, searching for something elusive. I did like her, and many of the minor characters including her sister, but I felt somewhat disconnected from her at times too.

The relationship between Yeva and the Beast felt lacking to me also. I did not feel any real romance or connection between them given that the relationship between Beauty and Beast is so pivotal in the original tale. This does not seem to be as explored in Hunted as I wished to would have been, nor does the Beast seem to encompass the character and personality he has in other re-tellings and versions I have read or watched.

Yet, even with it's faults in my eyes, Hunted is still a wonderfully depicted novel. I have no doubt that it will be a favourite amongst many readers and definitely do not regret reading it for there was something within it's pages I found haunting and compelling too.

Source: Purchased by me
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 14th 2017
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Nowhere near what I expected, but still beautiful in it's own right