Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AUSTRALIAN BLOG TOUR - REVIEW: Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3) by Amanda Hocking

Crystal Kingdom (Kanin #3)Released: 1 August 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: PanMacmillan Australia
Purchase: Amazon l Angus & Robertson l Booktopia l Bookworld l Fishpond

With help from the Trylle clan, Bryn tries to clear her name and discover who was really responsible for the Kanin King's murder.

Then, while she's still trying to make sense of it all, Ridley tracks her down while she's on the run for a crime she didn't commit. He refuses to abandon her, so she finally decides that she wants to be with him and that they do belong together. Together, they return to the Kanin capital and rally other trackers and the King's Guard to defend their kingdom from the villain within. But in the process, Bryn learns a startling truth about her former enemy. Brynn's loyalty is still to her kingdom, but will she be rewarded with a place in the royal guard -- and who will ultimately win her heart?

My Thoughts:

I'd always known that war wouldn't be so black and white, but I'd come to realize that there was a darker shade of grey, where right and wrong came second to simply surviving.

Let me start of by saying that when I first started The Kanin trilogy I was a bit concerned that because I hadn't read The Trylle trilogy I would be a little confused. But for those in the same boat as me, don't fear. I never at any point felt any confusion, so you can go ahead and jump right in. You'll be swept away and captivated by the story just as I was.

I read the three books in this series over a one week period. Sometimes when I binge read a series I end up needing a break and praying for the end. But there were certain events in the previous two books that I was desperate to see played out, so I was eager at every point.

My initial reaction after reading Frostfire was that I didn't like Bryn very much. I found her to be a bit immature and self centred. But boy oh boy, didn't that change over the course of the next two books. By the end of Crystal Kingdom she was such a strong character. Concerned for her friends, family and loved ones, to the point that she puts herself in danger to protect them. Her love for her kingdom was such a wonderful thing to see. 

He had this wonderful, dizzying way of making the whole world disappear for a few minutes, so it was only me and him, and all the rest of my fears and worries fell away. 

I loved Ridley right from the start. He's strong, determined, loyal, protective. He possessed all the qualities that you want your leading man to have. My only complaint is that we didn't get to spend a great deal of time with him. But in saying that, those moments that we did get were pretty darn perfect! I loved seeing his relationship with Bryn bloom and blossom, and he bought out some amazing qualities in Bryn and showed her that you can do a job you love as well as have strong, loving relationships. 

Konstantin was a character that had me intrigued throughout the whole trilogy. Even when he was committing acts that had me questioning if he was good or bad, there was just something about him that I liked. And he did have me guessing right until the very end. And what an ending it was! Complete with tears and all!

I can't not make mention of the supporting characters. There was such a wonderful cast and they really had a chance to shine in Crystal Kingdom. Bryn is surrounded by such a fantastic network of strong kick ass friends. Each played an integral role in the story, and I grew to love each and every one of them.

Crystal Kingdom saw Bryn traverse a whole array of kingdoms. And I loved it. Seeing the differences between how all the kingdoms lived was so wonderful. Amanda Hocking's beautifully vibrant storytelling had me perfectly able to picture all the situations that Bryn found herself in.

After finishing the Kanin trilogy, I'm positive that I'll now being going to check out Amanda Hocking's other work. Friends had raved to me about her writing, and now I'm able to agree!

"There is no such thing as a good war, Bryn." Konstantin said. "Good people will die. Innocent lives will be destroyed."

4/5 Awesome Stars!

About the Author:
Amanda Hocking lives in Minnesota and had never sold a single book before 15 April 2010. She will shortly sell her millionth. Her books have been a self-publishing phenomenon - according to the Observer, Amanda is the most spectacular example of an author striking gold through ebooks. In her own words, Amanda is an Obsessive Tweeter. John Hughes mourner. Unicorn enthusiast. Red Bull addict. Muppets activist. Fraggin Aardvarks guitarist. Author of the USA Today bestselling books the Trylle Trilogy.

Find Amanda:

Blog Tour – Crystal Kingdom
      Saturday, August 1 - Diva Booknerd - Review and Q&A
   Sunday, August 2 - Book Nerd Reviews - Review and Giveaway
  Monday, August 3 - Butterfly Elephant – Review
Tuesday, August 4 - Confessions from Romaholics – Review
 Wednesday, August 5 - SassyBookLovers - Review, Q&A & Giveaway
Thursday, August 6 – Fictional Thoughts - Review and Q&A
 Friday, August 7Behind the Pages - Review
 Saturday, August 8 Words Read and Written - Q&A
 Monday, August 10 - Aussie Bookworm - Review and Q&A
Tuesday, August 11 – Gobblefunked – Review and Q&A
Thursday, August 13 The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review
Friday, August 14 The Rest Is Still Unwritten - Q&A
 Saturday, August 15 – Fangirl World – Review
 Sunday, August 16 - The Cosy Dragon – Q&A
Tuesday, August 18 Mystical World of Books - Review and Q&A
Thursday, August 20 Novels on the Run – Review
 Saturday, August 22 - #LoveBooks - Review and Q&A
 Sunday, August 23 The Cosy Dragon - Review
 Monday, August 24 Behind the Pages - Q&A
Wednesday, August 26 YA Book Addict - Review
 Thursday, August 27 - Read Between the Lines - Review
Saturday, August 29 - Book Nerdigans - Review and Q&A
Monday, August 31 Oops I Read a Book Again - Review and Q&A 

Monday, August 10, 2015

REVIEW: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Never date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken 

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Purchase: Amazon l B&N l Book Depository


My Thoughts:

Love was people creating memories for each other...

I'd always meant to read Adi Alsaid's Let's Get Lost, but for some reason that never happened. When I read the synopsis for Never Always Sometimes I knew that this would be the book to introduce me to this authors writing. And the very first thing that jumped out at me was how beautiful that writing is. I connected with it so easily. It was descriptive and perfectly paced. It was so easy to read and get swept up in the story. I was hooked right from the first page!

Never Always Sometimes is split into three sections and told from the POV of our two main characters Dave and Julia. They've been best friends for years, and early on they compiled a list of things that they would never do in high school. A list of cliches that they would avoid at all costs. The list of Never's. But as high school is coming to an end they decide to make things interesting and actually do everything on the list. From partying at the Kapoor brothers house to dying your hair a colour of the rainbow. Everything is fair game.

I loved both Dave and Julia immediately. I loved their closeness and their banter and their ease. Dave is a romantic. He thinks beautiful, romantic things. He's so sweet and caring. And Julia has such a zest for life. She was infectious! But it wasn't until Julia's POV that I realised how much substance she had. She's not just out to have fun and do crazy things. She's so much deeper than that. She cares much more than she lets on.

He'd been a cliche all four years of high school, in love with his best friend, pining silently.

As Dave and Julia complete each of the never's they begin to question the way they viewed things previously. Not just the relationships and interactions they've had with their classmates, but also their feelings for each other. I absolutely loved this aspect of the story. I loved watching their opinions and presumptions evolve and change. I loved seeing the growth of new relationships and new friendships. 

One of the things on the Never list related to hooking up with a teacher. And it was here that the author lost me for a bit. I found the whole thing a little odd. I don't know about you, but hooking up with a teacher never entered my mind when I was in high school. I mean sure there's been teens who've had a crush on a teacher, but the lengths Julia went to were just a little bizarre for my liking. 

Outside of that I loved everything. Until the ending. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing really wrong with it besides it not being what I'd imagined. As readers we picture things in our minds. We have visions of how things will play out. And this ending never entered my head once. I'm sure lots of people will love that the author didn't take things down the predictable route though. I just wish I could be one of them. It did guarantee that I'd be thinking about it long after I'd finished reading it.

Rest assured that I will be reading more from this author in the future. Loved, loved, LOVED his writing!

People were always belittling teenage heartbreak. But heartbreak was heartbreak was heartbreak.

4/5 Wonderfully Written Stars

Thanks so much to Harlequin Teen for providing me with a review copy. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

EBOOK LAUNCH & GIVEAWAY: Sweet Madness ‏by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Today we’re celebrating the release of the Sweet Madness ebook by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie. Sweet Madness is a retelling of the infamous Borden Murders told from the POV of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.

Seventeen-year-old Bridget Sullivan is alone in Fall River, a city that sees Irish immigrants as nothing more than a drunken drain on society. To make matters worse, she's taken employment with the city’s most peculiar and gossip-laden family—the Bordens. But Bridget can’t afford to be picky—the pay surpasses any other job Bridget could ever secure and she desperately needs the money to buy her little sister, Cara, passage to the states. It doesn’t hurt that the job location is also close to her beau, Liam. As she enters the disturbing inner workings of the Borden household, Bridget clings to these advantages.

However, what seemed like a straightforward situation soon turns into one that is untenable. Of course Bridget has heard the gossip around town about the Bordens, but what she encounters is far more unsettling. The erratic, paranoid behavior of Mr. Borden, the fearful silence of his wife, and worse still...the nightly whisperings Bridget hears that seem to come from the walls themselves.

When Bridget makes a horrifying discovery in the home, all that she thought she knew about the Bordens is called into question...including if Lizzie is dangerous. And the choice she must make about Lizzie’s character could mean Bridget’s life or death.

What Readers Are Saying

“This thrilling novel will keep readers on their toes until the last page. Fans of historical fiction and horror will thoroughly enjoy this book.” —VOYA Magazine

“The portrait of the claustrophobic, creepy Borden household and its denizens, Lizzie especially, is grippingly vivid.” -Kirkus

“Engaging historical novel that gives readers another glimpse into the infamous Lizzie Borden.” -YA Book Central

“Dark, creepy and overall fantastically moody; SWEET MADNESS remains firmly entrenched in the Hitchcock side of horror.” -Fangirlish

About the Authors

Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather disobedient black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press.

Trisha is a member of the SCBWI, The Cape Cod Writers Center, and the YA Scream Queens—a group of nine female authors who are deathly serious about their horror.

Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and a 160 pound lap dog named Sam. She's fond of tea, chocolate and things that go bump in the night.

An author of young adult and middle grade fiction, Lindsay is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary.


To celebrate the ebook release, the authors are giving away a very special swag pack: A custom, exclusive bookmark, an exclusive image of the Borden house taken by photographer Frank C. Grace, and signed bookmarks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 20, 2015


●•●★●•● COVER REVEAL ●•●★●•●

"Sometimes holding on hurts more than letting go..."

a novel by Vanessa Garden

●•●★●•● SYNOPSIS ●•●★●•●
Since Ruby Milton’s mother committed suicide, she’s forgotten what it’s like to be seventeen.

Saddled with taking care of her toddler brother and alcoholic father, Ruby has no time for fun. She also can’t shake the growing resentment she feels for her mother’s selfish decision, which left her unable to grieve without anger and regret. 

Then she meets blue-eyed musician Byron Black, who challenges everything she believes.

Byron refuses to let anyone control his life—or his death. When he left the city behind, he was in search of somewhere where nobody knew his secret. What he didn’t expect was to meet a beautiful redhead whose views conflict so completely with his own. But as their romance deepens, he begins to doubt his choices and decides to return to the city…for one last chance. 

When Byron disappears, Ruby will stop at nothing to track him down.

Upon finding Byron, Ruby discovers his devastating secret, and a battle of wills begins. Byron doesn’t want her to know this part of him. He has to deal with it by himself, even though the idea of losing her tears him apart. 

Will they be able to see each other through the darkness? 
Or should they save their hearts and just let go?


●•●★●•● VANESSA GARDEN ●•●★●•●

A bookseller and Young Adult author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not gushing about her favourite reads with customers, or mentally casting actors to play the characters in her books, Vanessa enjoys hanging out with those she loves most.


Friday, June 26, 2015

REVIEW: Forever Lost by Laura Morgan

Cassie Taylor has issues… 

Much like any other young woman who turns to a life filled with escorts, hookers, drug-dealers, and gangsters. 

Enter Leonardo Solomon… 

The hottest guy Cassie has ever seen. 

The only problem is he’s a scary, intimidating, drug-lord who surrounds himself with whores, and personal minions. 

Leo is a man who does what he wants, and gets what he wants, and Cassie soon finds herself desperate for his affection. However, at the same time, his powerful prowess scares her too much to let him in. Cassie has a past that still haunts her, a life left behind, but not forgotten. 

So when Leo tries to lay claim over Cassie, and she refuses him, the game is on…

**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual content.

Purchase: Amazon l Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:
When Laura Morgan contacted me regarding a review of one of her books, I was intrigued by them being described as dark. Forever Lost jumped out at me immediately. Drug dealers and gangsters sounded to be perfectly right up my alley, and since I had taken a little detour from my regular YA reads, I decided to continue that and jump right in.

What first grabbed me about Forever Lost was the authors writing. It was easy to read and flowed really well. I liked that I was immediately able to immerse myself into the story and I liked the characters. And very quickly I was reminded that this book was a long way from YA and even the New Adult books that I'd been reading of late. Even as I found the sexual escapades that were occurring a bit out of the blue, I wasn't fazed. To the contrary, I was actually enjoying it.

Unfortunately, at about the halfway point the story took a turn into the realms of the unbelievable. I just found myself unable to picture the events in any way realistic. I have no doubt that bad things happen. That there are men who are as controlling as Victor was. That drug lords and gangsters are a part of our world. But I just couldn't grasp any threads of realism in the twists and turns of the story.

I found Cassie to be a little on the unstable side. The decisions and the choices that she made had me scratching my head in confusion. The events of her past should have made her shy away from the world of drug dealing that she was introduced to, but instead she almost embraced it. Then there were her feelings for the men in her life... She seemed to change her opinions as quickly as the wind. I couldn't really understand her.

To be completely honest, the character who I liked the most was Victor. I don't want to give away what his role is in the story but let's just say that I think he was the character that I was supposed to despise. And I did. But I just found him to be the most consistent out of an unstable bunch of characters. 

So, my star rating... Well the first half of this book was incredibly enjoyable, and I could have easily given it four stars, but unfortunately the second half let it down somewhat for me. I suppose I'm sitting somewhere around the two and a half to three star mark for the first half of the story and the authors writing style.

2.5-3/5 Stars.

Thank you so much to Laura Morgan for providing me with a copy of Forever Lost for review. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

RELEASE EVENT & GIVEAWAY: In An Instant by Janae Mitchell

Sixteen year old Emersyn Moore spends her summer days working part-time in a book store, enjoying her next read, and hanging out with her best friend, Brianna. She also spends a lot of time admiring Brianna’s older brother, Kaden, who has made it clear that he sees Emersyn as nothing more than a sister. Emersyn concedes to her sisterly role, keeping her feelings to herself, as well as the fantasies she knows will never become reality. However, when Kaden is involved in a disabling accident, everything changes, including their relationship.

Will it tear them apart, making her long for the sisterly role she’d always despised, or will this life altering experience bring them closer together, forcing Kaden to see her in a new light? Only time will tell.

Time. They say it will heal all wounds, but Emersyn knows that’s a lie. Some wounds never heal, which is evident every time she looks at Kaden. 

"In An Instant is the one story that has come from my heart more than any other book I've written. Kaden, one of the main characters, suffers injuries that most would think would make life unlivable, at least to the point where a normal life would never be accomplished. However, my nephew suffered the same fate in a similar accident, and even though his life's story is totally different than Kaden's, both lives give me hope. Every time I see my nephew smile, it's like a rainbow, letting me know that the storms of life, as severe as they may seem, are only temporary. The sun will always return, and it's up to us as to how we're going to enjoy it."

About the Author

“First & foremost, I'm a country girl. I'm no different than most, I just happen to write... a lot. If I’m not writing books, I’m reading them. I live for the HEA! I'm a huge fan of readers! They breathe life into the books we give birth to. Thank you, fellow readers, for making books come alive.” ☺
Janae was born and raised in East Tennessee, where she currently resides with her husband, two children, and their hairless dog, Dobby. In her spare time, she likes to read, play tennis, and spend time with her family on the lake.

Online Release Event 

To celebrate her most recent release, Janae is hosting an IN AN INSTANT Release Event! There will be several other authors there throughout the day celebrating with her and doing giveaways for all the loyal readers who attend, so make sure you join! (Click on event photo below to join!)


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Where Have I Been?

Hey there! So, it's been awhile. About four months I think. So you may be wondering where I've been. Or maybe not! But anyway life has taken top priority, as it should. I just had so much going on that I found that I'd lost the words to review. I found myself sitting down at my computer struggling to come up with anything to say. But things are starting to settle into a much more even pace in my home life, so I'm hoping to ease myself back into the world of blogging. Don't be expecting a post every day, but I will be helping out some of my most favourite authors when the need arises and posting reviews of some of the books that I thankfully still get sent to review.

As always I'm most active over on my Instagram account, so you can always pop over there and say hi. 

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