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Wednesday 30 September 2015

The Witches of BlackBrook by Tish Thawer ~ Review

The Witches of BlackBrook

by Tish Thawer

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Amber Leaf Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: XPresso Book Tours

Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.

Three sisters escape the Salem witch trials when the eldest casts a spell that hurtles their souls forward through time. After centuries separated, fate has finally reunited them in the present day.

One the healer, one the teacher, and one the deceiver.

Will their reunion return their full powers, or end their souls journey forever?

~ Review ~  

Three sisters lived as witches at a time when the Salem witch prosecution was very much alive, Trin, the oldest of the three and the most powerful was sent to the pyre for helping a woman save her child, but as she burnt at the pyre, being such a powerful witch she cast a spell to send her and her sisters to the future, unfortunately it didn't go as well as she thought and they got separated and for decades after that they continue to look for each other in each of their different lives.

The Witches of Blackbrook reminded me somewhat of Charmed the TV series with 3 witch sisters who would do anything for each other with the strength of their magic somewhat linked together. This book was truly addictive to read, I read 70% in one sitting. It was short, fast-paced and quite exciting with  many twists and turns to keep you constantly guessing. I was loving the writing style as Thawer weaved the past and present together in the form of flashbacks to help the readers with the mystery element of the story.

Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed The Witches of Blackbrook for it's suspenseful and original plot line I found the characters lacking a bit of depth, I didn't feel like I really got to know many of the characters apart from the protagonist, Trin, and I also felt that the ending was slightly anti-climatic and left me with more questions than answers. However, I must keep in mind that this is the first book in the series so Tish may weave more of the story in consecutive books.

The Witches of Blackbrook is still worth picking up with its great and original story line, mysterious elements and Thawer's awesome writing technique it'll definitely keep you turning the pages.

Many Thanks to XPresso Book Tours for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review

Monday 28 September 2015

The Book of Days by K.A. Barker ~ Review

The Book of Days

by K.A. Barker

Website | Goodreads | Publisher | Twitter

Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Steam-punk
Released: September 1, 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Format: Softcover 392 pages
Source: Publisher
Buy It Now: Amazon | Publisher

Most people believe the best way to forget someone is to throw them down a well. Or lock them in a room with eight keys, or bury them at a crossroad in the thirteenth hour. But they’re wrong. The best way to forget someone is for them never to have existed in the first place.

Madame Marisol’s Unreality House was where you brought people to make that happen.”

When Tuesday wakes from sleep for the first time at sixteen, she opens her eyes to a world filled with wonder – and peril. Left with only a letter from the person she once was, Tuesday sets out to discover her past with the help of her charming and self-serving guide, Quintalion.

Along the way she runs into one-legged mercenaries, flying cities, airships, and a blind assistant librarian. But danger lurks amidst the steam. The leader of the merciless Daybreakers is hunting her, convinced that she killed the only woman he ever loved. Tuesday will need all her wits about her to survive long enough to find out who she is and her connection with the mysterious Book of Days: a book that holds untold power…

~ Review ~  

Turning the last page of this book was truly astounding and left me mind hasn't stopped reeling from how it all came together at the end. The Book of Days by Australian Author K.A. Barker is truly a treat to read. It is so engrossing, original and the concept and characters within the book cannot be compared to any other book I've read in the past, that is truly how original this book is!

The Book of Days by KA Barker begins with a girl being released from Madame Marisol's Unreality House where people go to be forgotten, she does not recall who she is and the only clue she had to her past identity is a letter from her past self begging her to forget who she was and to live a new life. This is where we are introduced to Tuesday, the name she decided to call herself as she couldn't recall her past name, and Quintallion, the strange man that showed up at Madame Marisol's Unreality House to pick up Tuesday despite him not knowing who she was or why he was picking her up. This is where their adventure begins as Tuesday seeks to find her true identity and Quintallion comes for the ride, almost immediately they are faced with disaster, a strange reunion and a new friend.

The Author truly created a magnificent story line that keeps the readers captivated and glued to its pages. The mystery was superbly written with enough clues unfolding in a timely manner, it kept me guessing and I loved it! It's like having something in the back of your mind but not quite being able to put your finger on it! I cannot wait to re-read this book in the future, now knowing the ending I want to see the clues I missed the first time.

The whole book was imaginative, from the concept of the Unreality House, to the Fortune City, the Book of Days and the Days themselves...WOW is all I can say, I'm yet to find a book apart from The Harry Potter series that blew me away this much with the imagination in the concept, plot and world creation as The Book of Days has.

The characters were well written and I found myself falling in love with them all, the camaraderie amongst the group was truly heartfelt and it was truly a pleasure to be part of their journey. I even had a love hate relationship with Sterling and empathised with his heartbreak.

The Book of Days by K.A. Barker is seriously a must read for all those that enjoy YA Fantasy with a dose of Steampunk. The originality and imagination within these pages are truly astounding and it's certainly something one must experience. As Author, John Marsden writes about The Book of Days:-

All Hail K.A. Barker, for giving us something so dazzlingly different! And funny too!

Many Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia 

Saturday 26 September 2015

Stacking the Shelves #18

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's main purpose is to showcase the books you've obtained (borrowed, won/gifted, given for review or purchased) for the week gone by. To participate, link to your own STS post here

Posting has been sparse for me lately I've got a 6 months old son and I've just been working part-time so it's been very busy, need to get back to the whole getting into schedule and routine, but I will be very soon! 

Books for the week!

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

OMG started this book and it's AHHH-MA-ZING so grab it TODAY!

Huge Thanks to Allen & Unwin!

The School for Good & Evil by Soman Chainani

Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green Collector's Edition Box Set

Huge Thanks to my #OTSPSecretSister! 

OTSP Secret Sister is a "secret santa" between book readers over a 6 month period! For more info, the next round commences in February 2016, but you need to get in there early so read up on it today! It's the best experience and I'm looking forward to getting to know my sister more :) 

Here's the complete Birthday Package from my lovely Secret Sister! 

That's it for me this week...till next time,

Have a Great weekend! 

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Thursday 17 September 2015

Em & Em by Linda Budzinski ~ Blog Tour Review

Tour Schedule

Welcome to my tour stop for 

Em & Em by Linda Budzinski 

About The Book

Em & Em

by Linda Budzinski

Release Date: September 15, 2015 
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Publisher/Author through Chapter by Chapter

The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.

Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper's editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.

When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends - well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her - and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.

But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is - Em or Em.


Em & Em by Linda Budzinski is not just a pretty cover, although I absolutely love the cover! Em & Em as the name suggests is somewhat of a coming of age story as a girl in a very serious and mysterious predicament tries to figure herself out.

Emily has witnessed a crime in her hometown of Jersey Shore, forced to move away and be in the Witness Protection Program she, along with her sister and Mother are relocated to a small town and Emily is renamed Ember, hence, Em & Em title. 

I really enjoyed Linda's writing style, she flipped back and forth between present and past and whilst the main story is the present life of "Ember" she flips back to give us little insights into "Emily's" old life, so we are slowly given glimpses on what could've happened to land her in the predicament that she is in. I loved reading this because I was so keen to find out the mystery behind what actually happened and what she actually witnessed, but I also enjoyed reading it because I got a glimpse on how Emily was and how much she's grown since she was Emily.

Linda was also very creative and informative in the Photography aspect, Emily is a Photographer so she goes in depth in describing this as this was Emily's creative release outlet and despite not being a photographer I'm an artist in other ways so I totally appreciated that part too. 

I also loved the secondary characters and the book certainly wouldn't have been the same without them, most especially Claire and Charles, definitely my two favourites. 

Em & Em by Linda Budzinski really grasped me from the beginning right till the end, the mysterious aspect certainly had me glued to its pages but as I was so concerned about what happened with the crime before I knew it I was heavily invested in the characters and the relationships they were forming. Will definitely be checking out Budzinski's other books in the future. 

About The Author

Linda Budzinski

I live in Northern Virginia with my amazing husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer).

I grew up in a tiny town called West Grove, in southeastern Pennsylvania. In the second grade, I announced to my parents that I wanted to be a “Paperback Writer,” just like in the Beatles song. I majored in journalism in college and now work in marketing and communications.

I’m a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone’s ringer when watching “The Bachelor.”

My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is “Amazing Grace.”

I am represented by the wonderful Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger Inc. My first novel, THE FUNERAL SINGER, was released in September 2013 by Swoon Romance, and my second, EM & EM, will be released on September 15, 2015.

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Chapter by Chapter

Saturday 12 September 2015

Like it Never Happed by Emily Adrian ~ Top Ten

Like It Never Happened

by Emily Adrian

Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, High School, Chick Lit, Theatre, Fiction


Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.

1. Blue Bic ballpoint pens Everything I write, I first write by hand, and these cheap, no-nonsense pens have served me well since high school. Occasionally someone will gift me with a fancier writing   utensil—which can be nice for letters and lists—but for frantically writing three thousand words of narrative in one sitting, I need these. 

2. This guy Hank and I first met on February 3rd, 2011. It was my first winter in Canada (I’m originally from Oregon) and I thought getting a puppy might ease my homesickness. (A strategy I totally recommend.) I fell in love with Hank at first sight. He was slower to warm to me, but once I proved my ability to open a package of hotdogs, he agreed to stick around.

3. A lot of coffee My husband is really horrified by my daily habit of downing two or three cups of coffee before breakfast. My parents do it too. I guess it’s a family tradition.

4. A lot of chocolate This is another addiction of mine. I can’t really remember the last time I went twenty- four hours without chocolate.

5. Enormous bookshelves These shelves are from IKEA and have some masculine Swedish name, like Sven. They get the job done.

6. A bathtub. I’ve lived in some pretty tiny apartments but have so far never had to go without a tub. I’m a fan of reading in the bath—yes, even when using an e-reader, and no, I’ve never dropped it in.

7. The maroon leather jacket pictured here. I bought this in Kensington Market in Toronto about four years ago. I feel best equipped to deal with the world when wearing this thing.

8. This hot sauce This is just a good investment. If your food doesn’t taste like anything, you can make it taste like habanero chiles!

9. Summertime Winter really upsets me. I don’t get any kind of cozy and/or sentimental feelings thinking about snow or scarves or pumpkin-flavored beverages. I’d like to live someplace where it’s always a minimum of seventy degrees.

10. Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye I mean, technically I lived the first twenty years of my life without this book, but since then I’ve read it every year. If you ever suspect you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be a kid, read this. 

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Emily Adrian was born in 1989 in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Portland State University, she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she worked as a receptionist while secretly writing books.
Emily currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their dog named Hank. Like It Never Happened is her debut novel.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins Release Day Blitz

I am so excited that SWEET TEMPTATION by Wendy Higgins releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful series by Wendy Higgins, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a a paperback of the book with a signed bookplate and bookmarks! US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About The Book:

Sweet Temptation

Author: Wendy Higgins
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 485
Format: Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Author Note:
Sweet Temptation will encompass the entire trilogy in a condensed version, beginning with Kai's life before he met Anna, and taking readers through the epilogue of Sweet Reckoning. Sweet Temptation is a companion novel, not meant to be a stand alone story. It will definitely be a richer experience for those who have read the original trilogy.

Go HERE to read an excerpt fro SWEET TEMPTATION!

Also check out Wendy's PINTEREST board for KAI!

About Wendy Higgins:

Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue. 
Wendy earned a bachelor's in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.

Connect with the author:

Giveaway Details:

1 Paperback of SWEET TEMPTATION and a signed bookplate and bookmarks. US Only.

Ends on September 18th at Midnight EST!
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Wednesday 2 September 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas ~ Release Day Blast + Giveaway + Excerpt

Welcome to the 

Release Day Blitz for

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

For the Throne of Glass Series or Sarah J. Maas fans, this is HUGE and a highly anticipated day! To whet your appetite we've got the first 5 chapters of Queen of Shadows, read on for the link. 

If you haven't started this wonderful series, this is the perfect time to start as there's a massive giveaway for the first three books in the series, and if your not fortunate enough to win, grab a copy of Throne of Glass, book 1 for 99c! 

About The Book

Queen of Shadows

by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass #4
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

 Read Chapter 1 - 5  

Start this series today for only 99c! 

About The Author 

Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series–Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade–as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies. 


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