Thursday, August 30, 2018

Book Shelf: Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy #2) by Annette Marie

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can't remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro's past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

More info on Goodreads.... 


Dark Tempest is the second novel in the Red Winter Trilogy by Annette Marie and is another fantasy rich and action packed story once again infused with Japanese mythology, excitement and swoon-worthy romance.

Emi has dedicated her life to being the perfect vessel to one day host the goddess Amaterasu but learning that in order to do so she must forfeit her own life changed everything. Now Emi finds herself struggling with accepting her future while also having been tasked by Amaterasu to help stop another goddess from destroying mankind. Setting out on a quest to find and release the imprisoned earth gods, Emi is joined by King of Crows Yumei and mysterious fox spirit Shiro who continues to struggle to remember his past. As their search leads them deep into the spirit realm, echoes of Shiro’s past begin to surface and with the truth more shocking than anyone anticipated will Emi be able to help the person she’s beginning to care deeply about? Or will she, Yumei and Shiro loose themselves in the dangers of their quest?

Once again drawing readers into a passionate and adventure filled novel, Annette Marie thrills with Dark Tempest. Continuing on where the first novel left off, Dark Tempest is full of all the luscious Japanese Mythology and exciting storyline developments that made me fall in love with its predecessor Red Winter. This series has been beautifully written so far and features the perfect balance of character development, action and building romance. I have genuinely come to care about the main character Emi and her quest so far and I’m besotted by her relationship with Shiro.

Annette Marie wonderfully tells this story. The storyline is forward moving and intriguing and has me eagerly reading along. Dark Tempest is highly addictive reading. There’s plenty of fight sequences, moments of humour and whispers of Japanese mythology woven into the novel. Emi is very personable and Shiro endlessly entertaining with his cheeky nature and sharp one liners littered throughout the story.  

Having now read two of the novels in the trilogy, I am thoroughly invested in Emi’s tale. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the highlight of the series is the romance between Emi and Shiro that has been enticing since they first met. I’m a romantic at heart, and their relationship is so very well written. Human and god, there are numerous reasons they shouldn’t care about one another, but the chemistry between them is off the charts and I devour any stolen kisses and moments between them. It’s very swoon-worthy romance!

Full of exhilarating adventure and sizzling romance, Dark Tempest reveals some developments that will change the course of the trilogy. Admittedly, I did kinda see Shiro’s past coming but that doesn’t mean I find it any less exciting. Annette Marie has everything primed for a thrilling final novel and I for one am ready to dive straight into the third and final novel, Immortal Fire.

Source: Purchased by me through Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: January 6th 2017
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Final Thoughts: I'm absolutely adoring this series--it's amazing!


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #238

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.....
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven 
Releases on: September 25th 2018

A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.

The cover of this novel is what initially caught my eye but after reading the description, I'm even more excited about reading Phoenix Unbound. Phoenix's are such interesting creatures that I can't wait to see what  Grace Draven has in store this this book!

What do you think of Phoenix Unbound? Do you wish to read it?
And what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book Shelf: The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark #2) by Veronica Roth

Fate brought them together. Now it will divide them.

The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.

Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: He will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek—a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead—reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.

As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may—or may not—be her father. For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.

With the addition of two powerful new voices, Veronica Roth's sequel to Carve the Mark is a chorus of hope, humor, faith, and resilience.

More info on Goodreads.....


The Fates Divide is the sequel to Veronica Roth’s novel Carve the Mark and is the conclusion to this stunning duology that sees two people defy space, family and their very fate.

The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at the moment of their births. These fates brought them together and now as Shoket and Thuvhe stand on the precipice of war, it will be the thing that tears them apart. In a galaxy locked in a decades old feud, love will not be enough to keep Cyra and Akos together, even as they fight to prevent Cyra’s recently returned father from retaking the Shoket throne and the Thuvhe Chancellor from launching an attack that will wipe out the Shotek population. Forced apart by forces outside of their control, Cyra and Akos soon learn their lives are intertwined in unexpected ways that will change who they thought they were forever.

Once more delving into her intergalactic world, Veronica Roth thrills with The Fates Divide. Shown through the perspective of four characters, The Fates Divide now follows Cisi and Elijeh alongside Cyra and Akos. These additional two perspectives help to offer readers a very well rounded story as the main characters are often at different corners of the galaxy. Allowing readers to see what is happening across the divide, The Fates Divide is another action packed story that has a lot going on within its pages.

Roth includes some developments and revelations that really change the course of the story and who the characters think themselves to be. Personally I have enjoyed following Cyra and Akos in this series. I feel like their developments have been natural and their progressions really testaments to all they have been through. Veronica Roth is not known for her characters coming out unscathed and that is the case with this duology, although thankfully not to the same extent as with her Divergent series.

Considering that this is a duology, I feel that Veronica Roth has done a great job to pack so much romance, action, excitement, loss and betrayal into only two books. A lot can be said for managing to convey so much emotion and development whilst tell a story over the course of two novels. I feel like Cyra and Akos's story was wonderfully told through Carve the Mark and The Fates Divide and will continue to read whatever Veronica Roth releases next.

Source: Purchased by me.
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 10th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Enjoyed this series and felt that this was a great ending.

Owl Post #215

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 lovelies and welcome to another Owl Post :)
I Bought:
- The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas 
I bought this book on a whim--it just sounded really good. Hope to read it in the future. 

- Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart 
Not only do I love Tracy Banghart; I've already devoured this in Netgalley format--I simply had to have my own copy to keep. Can't wait until the next novel comes out!

- Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger 
Scored this from my local book exchange. Only $4.40. Sounds really good. 
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne 
This has been on my TBR list for ages. Stoked to find a copy at the book exchange for $4.40 as well. Great condition. Can't wait to read it!

What did the owls bring you this week?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Book Shelf: The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

More info on Goodreads......


The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton is a unique and richly told story of magic, deception and unexpected betrayals set within a world where beauty is more important than love and loyalty.

Sixteen year old Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In a world of opulence and luxury, Belles are revered for their ability to control magic that is able to change the appearance of anyone they wish. In Orléans, everyone is born grey and only with the help of a Belle are they able to be transformed and made beautiful. Yet Camellia isn’t satisfied just being a Belle, she wants to be the Favourite, the Belle chosen by the ruling Queen to live at the palace and tend to the royal family and their court. Being the Favourite comes with spoils Camellia wants more than anything, but the position also comes with a lot of responsibility and secrets Camellia could never have imagined existed. The truth about the Belle’s have been kept from Camellia and her sisters their whole lives and when strange things begin happening Camellia will need to decide what is more important; beauty or her life?

There are some books that are harder to review than others and for me, The Belles is one of those books. There’s no denying that author Dhonielle Clayton has created was lush and unique but there was also moments where I struggled to really connect with the story. When The Belles picked up pace, the story became more appealing and addictive. Oddly enough it was the ovely detailed descriptions and settings that brought it down for me.

The concept within the novel is very different and I have to give the Clayton props for daring to create a world so vivid and rich, but I also found it difficult to stomach on occasion too. The Belles is full of luscious, candy-coated descriptions and depictions but sometimes this was just too sickly sweet. It went a long way in setting the scene, but made the novel seem convoluted and congested. I feel like some of this could have been removed and it would not have taken anything away from the overall storyline. In fact, it may have been beneficial.

I quite enjoyed the diversity of the characters within The Belles. Clayton introduces so many vibrant personalities and people’s from different walks of like that makes for some interesting reading. Protagonist Camellia grew on me. At the beginning of the novel I found her overly ambitious, fickle and difficult to like. I appreciated seeing her grow and come to care about the important things in life. I actually began to care about her and this made the story a more enjoyable reading experience.

The Belles cleverly addresses society’s obsession with looks and beauty. The extremes some characters go to in The Belle’s in pursuit of the ultimate look and in the name of becoming beautiful is mind boggling. The idea that this is the norm is both thought provoking and entertaining. Made for some intriguing reading seeing the things the Belles were capable of and what people’s ideas of beauty were.

Even though I had a few concerns with this novel, for the most part I did enjoy it and I am keen to see what happens in the next instalment. The final few chapters of The Belles were by far some of the best with developments and betrayals I wasn’t expecting coming to light. This especially makes me eager to see what will happen to Camellia next and leaves me hoping that Dhonielle Clayton continues to improve the series with the second book.

Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley
Release Date: February 6th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: The Belles definitely got better as it progressed and I'm interested enough to read the next novel when it comes out.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Blog Tour: Everything Under The Sun by Jessica Redmerski- Author Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Everything Under The Sun by Jessica Redmerski thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! I hope you all have a chance to check the novel out we well as my below interview with author Jessica Redmerski.

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them? 


What inspired you to write EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN?
Daryl and Beth on the television show The Walking Dead - If Beth had been just a little older, a relationship between them, forced by survival and the post-apocalyptic world they lived in, would have been sweet. But because that could never happen, I made it my duty to tell the love story inspired by them, that grew in my heart.

It took you a long time to write this book; were there any aspects of the story that changed as you wrote?
Yes, definitely. I started this novel long before the 2016 election, so, let’s just say that I had the perfect opportunity to address many things that have deeply affected me since then. This type of book is perfect to show what could—and likely would—happen if society ever broke down and a dystopian world emerged as a result. Aside from all that though, EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN, more than anything, is a story about love.

Do you personally relate to either of the main characters in the book?
I think so, yes. Thais and I want the same things in this world, so through her I’m expressing them the only way I know how. 

It seems EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN isn’t a standalone; tell us about WINDS OF THE IRON FEATHER. Is this going to be a series?
It was going to be a standalone when I started, but there is way too much to tell in only one book – but it will definitely not be a series. EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by itself is like two books in one. There was no possible way to split it up into two books, and there definitely wasn’t a way to wrap everything up by the end. So, halfway through I realized it was going to be at least two enormous books long. It will end up either as a duology or a trilogy, but there certainly shouldn’t be more than three. I’m hoping I can end it in the second book, WINDS OF THE IRON FEATHER. In that book, Thais will become a great figure, and a leader, who through everything she has learned and everything she stands for will begin to change the world. This story as a whole is ambitious, I admit, but it’s in my heart and I desperately need to tell it.


Tell us a little about why you write in so many different genres. Does it work for you?
I can’t stick to one genre. I love writing all types of stories. Does it work for me? Yes and no. Yes, because I’d start to feel claustrophobic if I had to write in the same genre all the time. No, because I think it confuses my readers that I write everything under the same author name. I regret that decision to this day. My advice to authors considering it: Don’t make this mistake! I’m in the process now of correcting that error. 

How do you plot your novels? Do you outline?
I never outline because I like to let the story and the characters take me where they want to go. Some authors can outline very well and it works for them, but I can’t do it. It has always felt more natural to me to just go along for the ride and see where it takes me, kind of like in real life, I guess. Some scenes in my books were figured out ahead of time, but not ‘planned out’ ahead of time, and there’s a big difference. The only exception to this method is that I do always know my ending before I begin. (Except with my book DIRTY EDEN)
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I’m impatient. Very impatient. It’s challenging for me to get through the first 2‐3 chapters of every book because I have a bad habit of looking at how much I have left to go. I just want to be done with it already so that my readers can enjoy! 

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The last sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love getting into the story, living out my character’s lives, but there’s nothing like a finished manuscript. It’s a huge accomplishment and I doubt I’ll ever tire of it.
What would you like for readers to take away from your novels?
I just want my readers to be able to connect on some level with the characters I create and take with them an experience rather than just a story. I want them to think about the characters long after they’ve finished the book. I want tears! And genuine laughter! And, I admit, I also want them so mad at me they *almost* want to physically hurt me, LOL! If I can accomplish any of those things, then I’ve done my job.

What would you say is your writing style regarding theme?
I tend to always write about deep issues, and even when I try to write a ‘fun’ and ‘flirty’ story with just a little average relationship drama, it never turns out that way. Somehow, I always end up dragging my characters through some really tough stuff before they even think of seeing any light on the other side. So, I guess my style tends to be ‘dark, emotional, intense, with a happy ending’.

When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I started my first novel at the age of thirteen and I’ve been writing ever since. Writing has been the one consistent thing throughout my life and I can’t imagine life without it.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I never stop writing for the day at the end of a scene or sentence, but instead right in the middle of them. This helps me prevent writer’s block and keeps my mind fresh.

Do you have a routine that you use to get into the writing frame-of-mind?
Cold brew coffee.  

Do you think children are more encouraged these days to read and/or write?
I think more than ever children are encouraged to read and write and I LOVE it. I know Harry Potter had A LOT to do with this and that’s just another reason why I have so much love and respect for J.K. Rowling.  

When it comes to writing, what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
 I love to write dialogue. It feels and flows more natural to me. I feel like I struggle a little more with description, because I’m impatient and sometimes it feels like the description is slowing me down. But I pace myself! If I didn’t, the entire novel would be one giant conversation. 


Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have a favorite – I have several! Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman I have admired for many years. I love Rice’s deep, descriptive style and Gaiman’s unique ideas. But I also love Paullina Simons and Cormac McCarthy – there are just so many! And, of course, there’s J.K. Rowling, but I don’t really have to name her, do I? Isn’t she everybody’s favorite by default? 😊  

Which do you prefer: ebook, hardback or paperback?
Definitely paperback, hands down. I have a Kindle and it’s just not the same. Hardbacks can’t be held comfortably (yes, I bend the spines! I’m totally guilty!). I can’t imagine a world without physical books. It’s depressing to imagine, actually.  

What is your favorite type of food?

Who is your favorite book boyfriend?
Shura. 😉

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Of course, I love to read. I also love the outdoors (hiking, swimming, biking, tennis, etc.), and binge-watching television series’.

Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?
That would be THE VAMPIRE ARMAND by Anne Rice. It’s a book that I’ve read four or five times and the one that really inspired me to try to become a published author.

If the Earth suddenly became uninhabitable, would you rather live under the sea or in space?
In space! I’m obsessed with the Universe. Besides, the thought of living in the ocean sort of terrifies me.

What was your favorite pastime as a kid?
Playing in the wooded creek at my grandparents’ house in Greer’s Ferry, Arkansas. 

On Self‐Publishing: 

Do you believe that many novelists choose to self‐publish out of frustration with trying to publish traditionally?
When self‐publishing on Amazon first became a thing, I do think most of those going it on their own were doing it out of frustration. I was one of them! Even though I self‐published my first book a short time after it was becoming the thing to do, I totally did it because I tried for almost three years to land an agent, but to no avail. But now, I think more and more authors are doing it because they feel it’s the better route for them, and are bypassing the query‐reject method altogether. Personally, I like both!

How important is it to understand the basics of publishing before delving into self‐publishing?
Writers need to understand that self‐publishing is not easy. Sure, you can write a book and upload it and start selling, but there is so much more to it than that. If a writer chooses to self‐publish they must commit to some hardcore self‐promoting and spending a lot of their own money (professional editing, giveaways, review copies, cover art, advertisements, etc.). Bypassing all of this stuff can leave your book buried beneath the avalanche of millions of other books competing for the same exposure.

Can you provide a few self‐publishing best practices you believe brought you literary success?
Some of what I’ve already mentioned are good practices, but also, I’d like to point out two things that I believe contributed to my success: kindness and professionalism. I’ve read a lot of horror stories from book reviewers who were verbally attacked by authors because they turned away a review request or gave a bad review, and similar stories about authors and agents. Know in advance that no matter how hard you worked to write your book that it’s not the next bestseller (until it is), that it isn’t better than J.K. Rowling or Stephen King and that you have absolutely no right to make these statements out loud to anyone. Period. And lastly, no matter how much it hurts your feelings or angers you, never reply to a bad review. Ever. Not even if something the reviewer said was 100% wrong. Just don’t do it.


Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and award winner who juggles several genres of fiction.
She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

Visit Jessica:

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Book Shelf: Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy #1) by Annette Marie

Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can't match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope... and hope is all she has left.

More info on Goodreads.....


Red Winter by Annette Marie is a beautifully woven and highly delightful story infused with Japanese mythology, adventure and hints of romance.

Eighteen year old Emi has devoted her life to the goddess Amaterasu. Blessed as a child, Emi knows that soon her mortal existence will end and she will become host to the goddess of the wind. All of Emi choices have been motivated by her desire to serve her goddess, making her body, mind and heart as pure as possible, but in the lead up to the solstice ceremony, Emi learns that not everything she thought she knew about her destiny and her future may be what is seems. Hidden away from those that would do her harm Emi finds herself meeting Shiro, a yokai and god of the earth who is also an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. The devilish kitsune is without a doubt harbouring his own agenda but after she saves his life, his debt to Emi may be the only opportunity to has to discover the truth about what awaits her. Setting out with Shiro, Emi will have to delve into yokai territory but as the solstice approaches there may be bigger dangers to Emi than the earth gods she believes want her dead…..

I have to say, I found Red Winter to be a really enchanting novel about Japanese mythology, especially towards the end where the novel really stepped up in the action and excitement category. The concepts and world introduced by Annette Marie is a blend of modern fantasy and Japanese myths. Including some beautifully depicted graphics and detailed descriptions, this world of various Japanese gods and goddesses was honestly enthralling. The characters including main character Emi and the yokai gods she meets are highly entertaining and bring a lot of life and personality to the story and the dialogue.

Emi is one of those protagonists that grows on you. From her devotion and blind faith at the beginning of Red Winter, we see Emi begin to question what really happens to those who become host to a kami, and as such we see her become bolder and more daring. Emi is quick thinking and fairly smart, and I appreciated seeing her use what she already knew in response to the dangers that she was facing. She came across as a normal teenage girl in some areas and her innocence was endearing. I genuinely want the best for her, so it makes her easy to follow as the story progresses.

Featuring a kitsune named Shiro as the possible love interest for Emi, Red Winter was reminiscent of Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series in the sense that Shiro reminded me of the trickster Puck with his sly and cheeky nature. I very much adore Shiro already with his mysterious history and cocky attitude. His inability to remember his past has me intrigued. I honestly believe he and Emi are going to become closer as the series progresses and with their chemistry already alluring and addictive, I can’t wait to see how strong they come to care about one another.

Building towards a strong and dangerous ending, Red Winter was very satisfying. The start of what seems to be a very underrated series, I’m surprised more readers haven’t heard about and been won over by the fast paced storyline, magical elements and promises of romance found within Red Winter. Annette Marie definitely has me keen to read more and I look forward to continuing on with Emi and Shiro’s journey when I have the chance.

Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley
Release Date: October 21st 2016
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Final Thoughts: I was very impressed by this novel and am looking forward to reading the next one!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #237

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 Deceiver's Heart by Jennifer A. Nielsen 
Releases on: February 26th 2019

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller The Traitor's Game, Kestra Dallisor has finally gained possession of the Olden Blade. With the dagger in her control, she attempts to destroy the tyrannical Lord Endrick. But when Kestra fails, the king strips her of her memory, and leaves her weak and uncertain, bound to obey him. Heartbroken, Simon is desperate to return Kestra to the rebel she was, but refuses to use magic to heal her. With untrusting Coracks and Halderians threatening to capture and kill her, and war looming on the horizon, Kestra and Simon will have to learn to trust each other again if they have any hope of surviving. But can a heart once broken ever be healed?

The Deceiver's Heart marks a stunning return to Jennifer A. Nielsen's gorgeously rendered world of Antora and all its treachery and magic.

 I absolutely LOVED The Traitor's Game and am dying to get my hands on book number 2! The Traitor's Game was such an exciting novel; I loved the characters and the romance and everything within in it. So keen to see what happens in the next novel!

Have you read The Traitor's Game?
And what are YOU waiting on this week?


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Shelf: Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

More info on Goodreads......


Carve the Mark by best selling author Veronica Roth is a thrilling YA sci-fi that brings to life world of deadly gifts, nations in the middle of war and a romance between two individuals from opposing sides who have the chance to change everything, forever….

Cyra is the sister of a brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people with fear and violence. In a world where everyone has a special gift known as a currentgift, Cyra’s gift is to feel brutal and incomprehensible pain; pain she can share by touching someone. Used as her brother’s greatest weapon, Cyra is an outcast amongst her own people, feared for what she can do. Akos is the son of a farmer and oracle from the frozen planet of Thuvhe. Generous of spirit, Akos is protected by his currentgift that makes him immune to the gifts of others. When the Shotet invade his planet, Akos and his brother are kidnapped by enemy soldiers and taken far across the galaxy. Akos is desperate to get his brother back home, but as time passes, escape becomes near impossible. Thrust into Cyra’s world, will Akos be able to see past the animosity between their two families and nations to see the person Cyra really is? Will they help each other survive in such a treacherous world? Or will they each be the other’s downfall?

Veronica Roth captured the hearts and imagination of readers with her debut novel Divergent and is back with a new exciting and thrilling novel in the form of Carve the Mark. Introducing readers to a dangerous world of magical gifts and otherworldly places, Carve the Mark was an exciting and forward moving story that wove elements of oppression, friendship, romance and discovery into its storyline. Admittedly, Carve the Mark took some getting used to as Veronica Roth dives straight into the story without explaining the world too much but Carve the Mark did pick up pace for me from the moment Cyra and Akos’s paths cross and doesn’t let up until the very end.

Roth has clearly thought very hard as she created this detailed world. Bringing to life another complex and layered world, Roth once more draws readers into a gritty and dynamical world. Personally I love the blend of advanced technology and civilizations that feature elements and characteristics of ancient times that we see within Carve the Mark. I'm very intrigued by the different nations and races Roth has created and interwoven together.

Told through the varying perspectives of main characters Cyra and Akos, Carve the Mark follows two very different, but well expressed protagonists. Cyra and Akos are literally from opposing nations and while their families have an interconnected future, they're enemies when broken down. Akos comes to Shotet a prisoner and it's as a prisoner that he is brought into Cyra's life. I genuinely loved both Cyra and Akos individually and as two people who begin to connect on an unexpected level throughout the story. Their friendship begins really effortlessly; they're both alone---Akos a captive of the Shotet people and Cyra an alienated member of her own race who is feared for her currentgift and the horrendous things her brother forces her to do.

 As Cyra and Akos begin to help end support each other, Veronica Roth writes a really endearing and sweet romance that blossoms between them. Though this is an undertone to the overall fast paced and action packed storyline, it is impossible not to enjoy the moments of support and assistance they offer each other. Cyra helps strengthen Akos and Akos in turn helps Cyra see she isn't the monster she believes herself to be.

With powerful moments of friendship, survival and unexpected losses, Carve the Mark comes to a stellar conclusion. Veronica Roth ends this first novel beautifully and leaves me ready to begin the sequel, The Fates Divide. Having come to this duology late, I plan to begin The Fates Divide straight away as I can't wait to once more immerse myself in this bewitching and enchanting intergalactic world!

Source: Purchased by me
Publisher: HaperCollins Australia
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 18th 2017
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: A very enjoyable read; I'm looking to begin the next one straight away.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Owl Post #214

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 book lovers and welcome to this weeks Owl Post. I hope you've had all a great week in books!
I Bought:
- Everless by Sara Holland
This has been on my list to buy for ages but when I say it in Kmart for $3.50 (yes, $3.50!) and finally got myself a copy. Looking forward to reading it!

- Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder 
Love this series, although I still need to catch yo with the most recent books but Maria V. Snyder NEVER disappoints.
And that's me this week :)
What did the owls bring YOU?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Book Shelf: A Bad Boy Stole My Bra by Lauren Price

Imagine waking up in the dead of night to find your hot new neighbour dangling out of your window. What’s more, he's clutching your tattiest bra in his hand.

What. The. Actual. Fudge.

When bad boy Alec Wilde moves in next door to Riley, sparks fly. After their 'unconventional' introduction, Riley is determined to get her own back. A nemesis is just the distraction she needs: inside, she's barely holding it together. It's game on.

But behind the banter, there's a side to Alec that Riley actually likes. How can she get through to the real him when she can't even take herself seriously?

More info on Goodreads.....


A Bad Boy Stole My Bra by Lauren Price is a sweet and endearing contemporary YA perfect for fans of Kelly Oram and those who love their YA romance with chemistry and sweetness.

Riley Greene is a quiet, normal sixteen year old girl who is haunted by her part in an accident that cost the life of someone she loved. Riley is used to keeping to herself until a new family moves in next door and she wakes in the middle of the night to find the teenage son stealing her bra. Alec Wilde is a bad boy who quickly earns himself a reputation at school and Riley is determined not only to recover her bra but to get Alec back for stealing it in the first place. What starts out at payback soon blossoms into an unexpected friendship and soon Riley is discovering a new side to Alec that makes her feel all gooey inside. Yet Riley’s past still haunts her and her secrets and fears may be what keep her and Alec apart for good…..

A Bad Boy Stole My Bra really was just a sweet and easy novel to read. Lauren Price has created an adorable YA romance perfect for those looking for a light but still engaging story to get lost in. Fun and endlessly adorable, A Bad Boy Stole My Bra was effortlessly written and very easy to devour. Told through the perspective of down to earth and very normal teenage girl Riley, A Bad Boy Stole My Bra is charming in its sweet and funny way that readers are sure to love.

Riley was a sweet and kind protagonist to follow. Just a normal teenage girl with friends and family and normal problems. Author Lauren Price makes it clear Riley is haunted by something regarding her cousin but doesn’t reveal the complete truth until the end of the story leaving you as the reader reading along desperately. Alec was a very charming love interest who was part bad boy, part sweetheart and won me over easily from the moment I met him and throughout the story.

The driving force behind A Bad Boy Stole My Bra is undoubtable the building romance between Riley and next door neighbour Alec, and boy was it perfect. The two of them had a great chemistry from the moment they met and Lauren Price manages to weave lots of fun, funny and even awkward moments into their relationship. There was a lot of fabulous dialogue and charming moments and I thought it was so cute seeing them fumble and grow together. Their friendship seemed so natural and effortless and I really enjoyed seeing it build to the obvious romance I knew it would.

Sweet but sassy and oh, so adorable from beginning to end, A Bad Boy Stole My Bra is just a fun YA contemporary romance to read. Lauren Price has written a very sweet story and I definitely recommend this for readers who are looking for something with a bit of sugar and teen drama—a great read!

Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Ink Road
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley
Release Date: July 12th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Fun and sweet, this is a lovely YA read.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #236

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 Exalted by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson
Releases on: April 16th 2019
Since the founding of the Empire, Alskad has been ruled by the singleborn…but the new heir to the throne carries a secret that will change everything.

When an assassin’s bullet takes the life of Queen Runa and allows an impostor to steal the throne, Bo Trousillion is forced to flee the empire that is his birthright. With few choices left and burdened with a secret that could disinherit him, Bo pursues an alliance with Noriava, the Queen of Denor, but the devious royal ensnares him in a trap and demands a huge price for her aid.

To the south, Vi Abernathy—Bo’s secret twin—joins a ragtag army of resistance fighters, determined to free Alskad and the colony of Ilor from the control of the corrupt temple and its leaders. But as Vi discovers a strength she never knew she had and prepares to rejoin her brother in Alskad, news of the coup and Bo’s narrow escape arrive in Ilor.

Determined to rescue Bo, Vi sails to Denor with the rebels at her side and a plan to outwit Queen Noriava, knowing there’s only one way she and Bo will be able to save the Alskad Empire—together.

It took me two attempts to read The Diminished, but I did eventually end up enjoying the novel and I'm keen to see what happens in the sequel and conclusion to the duology. Just love the the covers go together as well--so perfect!

What are YOU waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Shelf: I Had Such Friends by Meg Gatland-Veness

When Charlie Parker dies, it affects everyone who knew him. Everyone, that is, except for seventeen-year-old Hamish Day, the boy who lives on a cabbage farm and only has one friend. But Hamish soon finds himself pulled into the complicated lives of the people left behind. Among them is Annie Bower, the prettiest girl in school. As he uncovers startling truths about his peers, his perspectives on friendship, love, grief and the tragic power of silence are forever altered.

Meg’s own teaching experience has enabled her to delve deeper into the true nature of a universal high school experience. I Had Such Friends will speak to high school students/teenagers on a personal level, and foster important conversations among Australian youth, school and family culture on issues including abuse, failure and neglect.

With hard-hitting themes including unrequited love, abuse, neglect, sexuality, bullying, prejudice, death and suicide, I Had Such Friends is a poignant journey of self-discovery, grief and the tragic power of silence. A gripping look at adolescent pain with a narrative maturity that accurately reflects its YA milieu, I Had Such Friends resonates with young adult audiences and pushes them to reflect on their own ‘sliding doors’ moment.

More info on Goodreads.....


I Had Such Friends is a powerful and poignant debut from Australia author Meg Gatland-Veness that draws its readers into a beautifully written story about growth, pain and the power of self-discovery.

Set in a small rural Australian town, I Had Such Friends introduces readers to Hamish Day, a seventeen year old high schooler who lives on a cabbage farm with his mum and dad. Quiet and reserved, Hamish has one friend and lives a simple life. Nothing changes, until one day the most popular boy in school is killed in a car accident. Hamish only ever knew Charlie Parker from a distance but his death sparks the beginning of a turn in Hamish’s life. Soon he begins befriending the school rebel Peter Bridges and is drawn to Charlie’s heartbroken girlfriend Annie Bower. As Hamish begins to uncover the surprising truths about his peers, he begins to discover truths about himself and soon his perspective on life and who he is will never be the same.

Having quickly devoured this novel, I have to say I was quite impressed with Meg Gatland-Veness’s debut. There was something so very beautiful about I Had Such Friends and after the tiniest slow start, I found myself very captivated by the story. Meg Gatland Veness explores some very powerful themes through the story including bullying, first love, sexual orientation, suicide, abuse and death, weaving them together to create an emotional and thought provoking story that definitely tugs at the heart strings upon occasion.

Hamish’s voice is very likable. He’s just a normal, awkward teenage boy. He’s not cool. He’d not popular. He’s actually quite sad at times but he’s authentic. Gatland-Veness details Hamish’s tale at that pivotal age when you are just discovering who you are. There are true moments of growth throughout the story, but I also feel that this novel is just the pinnacle of Hamish’s life….and I really like this. I Had Such Friends really felt like it was just a chapter of Hamish’s life; the beginning of a new journey, however heartbreaking and impacting it may have been.

I Had Such Friends is the kind of story that really surprises you. I don’t think I fully anticipated the story Meg Gatland-Veness had in store for us when I first began the novel, but I found I really enjoyed what I discovered. Hamish’s story wasn’t cut and dry and was instead layered and complex. I enjoyed learning about him as he learnt about himself. The discoveries he made were both predictable and unexpected and made for some adorable and quite authentic reading on Gatland-Veness’s part.

Overall, I Had Such Friends was an emotional and powerful read. There’s moments of pain and true friendship written within its pages and I left the story both satisfied yet still nothing but hopeful for Hamish’s future and those around him. Meg Gatland-Veness's first foray into the literacy world is impressive and I'll be keeping an eye out to see what she does next!

Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you Anabel!)
Publisher: Pantera Press
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: August 1st 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | Amazon
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and will be looking to see what Meg Gatland-Veness releases next.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Owl Post #213

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 week's Owl Post. I must admit I scored from great second hand books at bargain prices in fabulous prices recently and I'm stoked to share them with you :)

For Review:
 From Bloomsbury Australia:
- The Brink of Darkness by Jeff Giles  
Jeff Giles's debut novel The Edge of Everything was an interesting read; quite unique and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in this sequel. 
- The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan
My only experience with Brian Conaghan has been  We Come Apart that he co-wrote with Sarah Crossan who I love. I'm interested to see what he does on his own and may try to work this into my reading schedule. 
- The Storm Keeper's Island by Catherine Doyle 
I'm not sure what to think about this novel--I think it sounds more like a Middle Grade book so I don't know if I'll read this. We'll see. 
.....Thank you so much Bloomsbury!

I Bought:
- Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh 
- Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis 
 - The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson 
These were my favourite finds this week at my local Mission Australia shop. All in perfect condition and they only cost me $8 for the three of them. Given to the Sea is a hardback, I loved Flame of the Mist and have heard such great things about The Kiss of Deception.

- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 
- Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare 
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- Dumplin' by Julie Murphy 
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
- The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
More send hand babies this time from my local Vinnies store. I was especially excited about finding copies of Dumpin' and The Accident Season as they both on my TBR list. I have a copy of the sequel to Lady Midnight that I received for review but I'm a bit behind with my Cassie Clare reading so I'll need to catch up before I begin this series. Oh and this copy of A Monster Calls has beautiful illustrations in it!

- Rapture by Lauren Kate 
- Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate 
- Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh 
- Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins 
- Working Stiff by Rachel Caine 
- Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
I just can't help the book hoarder in me. Even if I haven't read a series, if I see books at a cheap price in a great condition I HAVE to have them. I hope to read Wendy Higgins series one day and definitely plan to read Richelle Mead's adult novels in the future as I love her YA stuff so much.

And those are my book goodies this week!
What did the owls bring YOU?