Monday, October 24, 2016

Owl Post #103

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.
Hi guys and welcome to another Owl Post :) Here's what I got last week.....
For Review:
 From Scholastic Australia:
- The Fever Code by James Dashner
This is the 5th book in The Maze Runner series, although it's technically a prequel if I understand the timeline correctly. I've read and really enjoyed the first book, but haven't read the rest of the series yet. Think I'll have to try do that before I begin this one.
.....Thank you Scholastic!
I Bought:
- Leveled by Jay Crownover
This is the first novella in Jay Crownover's Marked Men spin-off, Saints of Denver. I LOVED the Marked Men series and I can't wait to finally begin the Saints of Denver books. Just need to find the time to work them into my reading schedule alongside my review books!
And that's me this week!
What did the owls bring YOU?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book Blitz: The Harvesting Series by Melanie Karsak- Giveaway

Welcome to the Book Blitz for The Harvesting Series by Melanie Karsak presented by Xpresso Book Tours! I think this series looks cool with it's rocking covers--hope you feel the same!

It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead.
Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town’s medium, and dubbed the “weird” girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home.
But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla’s instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.

Layla, however, isn’t entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right?
Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.

Because the truth is, we were never alone in this world.
Begin The Harvesting Series with The Harvesting, Book 1.


Check out the series:
Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College. Connect with me online: For free short stories, VIP sneak peeks, giveaways, release information, and more, join my newsletter:

Visit Melanie:
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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Book Shelf: Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family #1) by Tiffany Schmidt

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

More info on Goodreads....


Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt is the first novel in her Once Upon A Crime Family series is a well written and original contemporary read that introduces readers to an alluring and intriguing world of crime, betrayal and mystery woven together with romance, sweetness and friendship. 

Seventeen year old Penelope Landlow is a member of one the most prominent and successful crime families responsible for black market organ transplants. Suffering from an autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise and bleed easily, Penny has spent her life behind the iron bars of her family’s estate, protected and watched over. Multiple blood infusions and treatments haven’t dulled Penny’s desire for freedom and to be treated normal, but Penny could never have expected her chance at independence would come through tragedy. Caught between rival families keen to take power over the organ industry, Penny will discover that not everything is as it seems, no one can be trusted and betrayal is closer than she thought…. 

Having previously read and loved Tiffany Schmidt’s Bright Before Sunrise, I was super excited to read her latest release Hold Me Like a Breath and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was actually I bit surprised to discover after finishing the story how many negative reviews it garnered because I found a lot to like within its pages. 

Introducing readers to a unique and tangible world, Hold Me Like a Breath was a steadily progressing tale that weaves an intriguing story. Tiffany Schmidt is a beautiful writer. Her prose it effortless, but lyrical and I loved the Mafia-esq world she created within Hold Me Like a Breath. There's a lot I want to discover about it.

The main character in Hold Me Like a Breath Penny was someone I actually liked. Penny suffers from a rare disease known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a condition that sees its sufferers bruise and bleed easily as their bodies destroy their own Platelets. In a time where a lot of authors strive to write heroines that are seen as oddly vulnerable despite their obvious strengths, I have to commend Tiffany Schmidt for giving Penny a fragility that actually had a medical reason behind it. Despite coming from a powerful, wealthy and successful family, Penny’s frustration at being overly protected bleeds through the pages and her desire for independence evident with each word Schmidt wrote. I was very much behind her fight for freedom, even if it came of the wings of a loss and enjoyed seeing her survive on her own

Hold Me Like a Breath sees Penny grow amidst a loss. At first I was thrown by the fact there were two guys in Penelope’s life—one she had always had feelings for and a second she fell for. Personally I feel like the first guy—or at least his budding romance with Penny, was unnecessary, while the second guy in her life was all kinds of sweetness. Penny and Char have all the hallmarks of that perfect, sweet first love and I thought they were so adorable and endearing. 

There were some revelations with characters I had kind of put together myself and others I just wasn’t expecting. Hold Me Like a Breath introduces three different crime families to readers and I’m hopeful of getting the opportunity to explore them more as the series progresses, especially seeing as the sequel Break Me Like a Promise is set to feature Magnolia Vickers--someone we met in Hold Me Like a Breath and a member of the Texas crime family. 

Overall, I found Hold Me Like a Breath to be an engaging and unique read with a sweet romance. Looking forward to seeing what Tiffany Schmidt has in store in the next novel of the series!

Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
Release Date: July 2016
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this and can't wait to read the next book as soon as I can!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Release Day Celebration: The Boxer and the Butterfly by Sasha Hibbs- Excerpt

I want to say a big HAPPY RELEASE to Sasha Hibbs and her latest release The Boxer and the Butterfly! I can't wait to read and review this fabulous looking novel and urge you all to check it out!

Autumn Chamberlain has everything: a rich family, connections and a perfect GPA. Autumn’s satisfied being the perfect daughter until she engages in a game of dare and loses.

Her punishment for destroying school property? Tell her parents and face the consequences or tutor bad boy, Mickey Costello. The problem? He’s the principal’s nephew and has more demons than Autumn could’ve ever imagined.

Living life on the edge, Mickey’s everything she isn’t. Once tutoring begins, he shows her a world where everything that glitters isn’t gold. As their attraction grows, long buried secrets resurface. Inside the ring Mickey’s never lost a fight, but when tragedies come back to haunt him, he’ll have to conquer past sins, guilt and a hate crime that pushes them both to the edge. Can Mickey fight his way through his troubled past to have a future with Autumn or will the truth shatter them both forever?

From The Boxer and the Butterfly.....

Again they danced. I thought of Mickey’s training, his rhythmic sliding in and out of the maze of ropes as though the lines where projected onto the ring from my mind’s eye. As I watched Devin and Leo, I tried to assess where their skill stacked up against Mickey’s. 

Devin was large, but he was predictable. Leo, on the other hand, was unassuming. He watched Devin as a predator would its prey, waiting patiently for the right opportunity to present itself. What worried me about the facts I was gathering, was Leo’s techniques reminded me of Mickey’s. His stealth, his patience, making every hit count, those were Mickey’s trademarks. The problem—Leo was five years older than Mickey. He had age and experience on his side. All Mickey had was the weight of his family’s financial burdens. 

The fight lasted five rounds. In the end I realized that Leo was only entertaining the audience and toying with Devin. He knocked him out in one hard uppercut that split Devin’s left temple above his eye. The blood spattered across the beige mat reminded me of a Pollock painting.  

The sight made me sick. Watching Leo, I could swear for a brief moment that he caught my gaze. There was something cold and unfeeling in his eyes that unnerved me. All I could think of was Mickey laying where Devin did. I felt hot, like I couldn’t breathe, as though the room was closing in on me. 

“I want to leave,” I said to Mickey. 

He looked down at me, and I could see him, but he was blurry. The room was fading, the noise diminishing even though I knew it was going on around me. I had to get out of there. 

I didn’t wait for Daniel or Mickey. I jetted from there and waited until I felt the gravel of the parking lot underneath my feet, before I started dry heaving. I had nothing in my stomach but cramps and nausea. I wiped my mouth off, trying to let the frigid winter air cool me down. I walked to Daniel’s truck, but before I got there, Mickey caught up to me. 

“Hey. Are you okay?” Mickey asked as he gently grabbed my elbow.

“No, Mickey. I am definitely not okay. Did you see what happened in there?” 

“Of course I did.” 

I gave him an incredulous look. 

“Please tell me, after that, you are not seriously contemplating fighting that guy,” I said, knots reforming in my stomach. 

“Autumn, I’ve been doing this for a couple of years. I came tonight to see what I was up against. I have to fight him,” Mickey said. “And now I know how to.” 

“Maybe you’re punch drunk, Mickey. Did you not see the same fight I just did? Devin is twice Leo’s size. By all logic, he should’ve won and Leo knocked him out. Do you understand what that means? Knockouts lead to—”

“Loss of brain tissue, can potentially lead to traumatic brain injuries, mood changes. Yes, Autumn, I am aware of the consequences,” Mickey said, pulling me into his arms. 

I was trying not to hyperventilate. I was only beginning to digest how serious boxing was, especially shady underground illegal ones where the same rules didn’t apply. And I didn’t want Mickey to be part of it.
“You’re so smart, Mickey. Too smart to be doing this. You have no formal training, no coach, nothing. You have nobody to protect you from someone like Leo. Don’t fight him. Please don’t let fighting take away what makes you you,” I said. I could feel hot tears pooling in my eyes. 

He stroked my hair as he listened to all my fears as if holding me would somehow erase all the awful images I’d just been subjected to. I vented about how smart he was. That he could use his head in college, not the ring. He listened patiently but ultimately said, “I have to do this.” 

I knew his secret, his desire to take care of his family regardless of the suffering he’d have to go through in order to obtain it. But it didn’t change the future I wanted more for him than he did himself. I knew his resolve was still set when he took his thumb and wiped away the last of my tears. I was tired, my eyes swollen from crying. That fear gnawing at me for Mickey gave way to the dawning realization that what I felt for Mickey was more than a passing feeling. I was falling in love with him. 

I wasn’t going to get anywhere with him. I sighed. Exhausted, I asked, “Why fight? Why boxing?” 

He tucked his finger under my jawline. Tilting my chin up, he softly kissed me and said against my lips, “Because it’s the only fight in this life that’s fair.” 

By age 5, Sasha Hibbs' favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.

With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.

When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.

Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Visit Sasha:

As someone who has always loved Sasha's books, I have no doubt that The Boxer and the Butterfly will be a brilliant read!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Shelf: Quanta (The Shadow Ravens #2) by Lola Dodge

Just because Quanta can see the future doesn’t mean she can change it. She’s spent most of her life imprisoned, feeding her captors information to keep herself alive, but she’s finally reached the endgame and her death creeps closer by the moment.

The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.

Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They’ll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she’s seen how their love plays out?

More info on Goodreads.....


Quanta by Lola Dodge is the second novel in The Shadow Ravens series and introduces readers to a brand new heroine and a new branch of this dynamite series that is guaranteed to have you eagerly turning the pages and desperately wanting more. 

Having spent most of her life imprisoned thanks to her ability to see the future, Quanta knows her time is running out—it’ll only be so long before her captors realise the information she feeds them is rubbish and she’ll run out her usefulness. Escape seems impossible…..until Quanta meets Tair. Altair Orpheus is the son of two senators and someone who has used his highborn position to infiltrate the Seligo government and their various science divisions, working undercover for the Shadow Ravens to bring down those in power. Used to maintaining his icy façade, Tair isn’t prepared to meet Quanta and have her affect him so---his mission is reliant on his staying in the Seligo’s good graces, but after spending time with Quanta, Tair is suddenly willing to risk it all to help her break free. Tormented by visions of a future with her and Tair kissing, cuddling and deeply in love, Quanta is torn between wanting Tair’s help to escape and protecting him from the grisly end she knows he’ll meet if he stays with her. Her options are limited, and with the Seligo closing in, will Quanta be able to find a future she can live with? Or are she and Tair destined to be a tragedy. 

Having enjoyed the first book Cipher so much, I was delighted to find that though it was so different, I did love Quanta just as much. Featuring the benefit of being able to be read without reading the first book first, Quanta introduces readers to a new branch of the Shadow Raven world, a kick-ass new heroine and promising romance. Told by Lola Dodge, Quanta weaves an interesting story that explores an intriguing take on future prediction and visions. 

There’s plenty of action to be found within Quanta as well as the developing relationship between Quanta and Tair that accompanies the storyline. I found the concept of the timeghosts really interesting—the possibilities of different futures, all visible by Quanta and alterable by the tiniest of actions or smallest of changes. Lola Dodge keeps things progressing nicely, but there’s a lot of time shifts and changes that is reminiscent of all the best Sci-Fi movies. 

With the book unfolding through the perspectives of both Quanta and Altair, it was easy to get to know the two of them and I have to say I liked what I saw. Quanta had fire for someone who had been held in captivity and experimented on and I enjoyed seeing her fight back when she had the chance. She was smart having managed to survive for as long as she had, and although she has been effected by all she’s been through, I think she’s a really strong character. 

As for Tair, well, Tair I just loved; plain and simple. Tair is an intelligent, capable individual who was born to wealth and status, but who has instead chosen to use his luck in life to help fight alongside the Shadow Ravens. Tair was just a really lovely guy—he was sharp and very caring where Quanta was concerned and I appreciated that he just wanted to do the right thing, even if it seemed like doing so would be a suicide mission. 

Unlike the romance between Cipher and Knight in the first book, Quanta and Tair are taking their time to get to know each other. They also don’t have the benefit of sharing a history, but they very much have chemistry. I really liked seeing them begin to care for the other and even thought Quanta’s visions mean that she knows what is possible between
them, Lola Dodge slowly develops their romance in a way that isn’t intsta-love (yay!) and allows them to bond over time. 

Quanta begins what I believe will be a Quanta-Trilogy in the middle of the series and with Quanta ending the way it does, I’m ready to just straight into Quanta Reset to discover what Lola Dodge has planned for Quanta and Tair next!

Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Kindle ebook via Netgalley
Release Date: October 13th 2015
BookworldThe Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts:
Excellent read with a stunning cover--will be diving straight into sequel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #153

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 Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
Releases on: June 13th 2017

“It’s dark magic brings him back.”

Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family—it’s their generations-old land the Burns have “stolen.” But none of that seems to matter after Tori witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.

Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it’s clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events—including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter’s cousin—that seem to point back to Nathaniel.

As Tori digs for the truth—and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel—she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the centuries-old curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family’s oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried… at any cost.

From award-winning author Elle Cosimano comes a haunting, atmospheric thriller perfect to hand to readers of the Mara Dyer trilogy and Bone Gap.

Ohmygoodness does this book sound incredible!! Everything about the description screams brilliance...and just up my alley! The Suffering Tree has jumped straight to the top of my must-have list of 2017!

What do you think of The Suffering Tree? Is it something you want to read?
And what are YOU waiting on this week?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Book Shelf: The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

3 minutes and 4 seconds. The length of time every teenager is 'Called', from the moment they vanish to the moment they reappear. 9 out of 10 children return dead. Even the survivors are changed. The nation must survive.

Nessa, Megan and Anto are at a training school - to give them some chance to fight back. Their enemy is brutal and unforgiving. But Nessa is determined to come back alive. Determined to prove that her polio-twisted legs won't get her killed. But her enemies don't just live in the Grey Land. There are people closer to home who will go to any length to see her, and the nation, fail....

More info on Goodreads.....


Peadar Ó Guilín’s latest release The Call is a compelling and at times gruesome tale that mixes Irish folklore and mythology into a fast paced and dangerous dystopian style read perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent!

Ireland is a nation cut off from the rest of the world after a war against the Sidhe (also known as faeries) saw the Irish banish the Sidhe into the dark and colourless Grey Land. In retribution, the Sidhe now Call every Irish child at some point during their adolescence to last three minutes in the Grey Land where they are hunted down and slaughtered by the Sidhe. Few return alive and those that do are fractured shadows of themselves, often deformed and twisted. Having learnt the truth about the future that awaits her at ten years of age, Vanessa "Nessa" Dohtery has spent the last four years of her life, training, preparing and anticipating the moment when she will be Called. Affected by polio as a child, Nessa knows her chances of surviving the Call are slim, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to give up without a fight…..

I was actually really impressed with The Call and found it to be a truly engaging read. Peadar Ó Guilín's storytelling is really impressivehis writing is lyrical and descriptive as he paints an often dangerous scene with lives lost and deaths aplenty. Reminiscent of The Hunger Games as Ireland’s teens spend three minutes fighting for their lives, where in the Grey Land three human minutes can be realistically days or weeks, The Call is very exciting and riveting at times.

The Call is told in third person and predominately follows main character Nessa, although Ó Guilín often tells chapters through the eyes of other characters within the story, normally Nessa’s fellow students and victims of the Call. Witnessing the last moments of individuals as they fight for their lives is heart breaking and gruelling with Peadar Ó Guilín depicting various fight scenes that end bloody and painful.

If I correctly kept with the timeline of The Call, Nessa and her fellow students are supposed to be around fourteen years of age during the story, but really do read as older. Whether this is unintentional on the author’s part or a result of their growing up faster due to what awaits them in life, I couldn't help but picture the characters as older as I read the story.

Despite the often fast paced scenes within the story, The Call is a sombre book at times as Ó Guilín depicts a world where loss of life is an everyday occurrence that really can’t be helped. There’s some unexpected twists towards the end that see certain characters betray their people for the sake of themselves and a big battle occurs between the teachers and students of Nessa’s collage and the Sidhe.

For all that happens within this story, don’t expect an ending where the baddies are completely defeated and our characters living happily ever after….because you won’t find it within The Call. And you know what? I actually preferred to see Peadar Ó Guilín conclude the story the way he did. Sometimes there’s no fixable solution to problems; sure there’s a way to make them better for a time, but in the end all you can really do is continue on the best you can.

A great standalone tale, The Call is a thrilling read that takes you on one hell of a dark and dangerous journey. I wouldn’t mind venturing into Peadar Ó Guilín’s vivid world again down the track if the chance ever arose but right now I’m pretty satisfied with how the novel concluded. An enjoyable and vivid read well worth reading!

Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)

Publisher: David Fickling Books via Scholastic Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
Release Date: September 2016
Bookworld | Booktopia | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
The more I think about it, the more I seem to have enjoyed this book--definitely recommend!