Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve The Mark (Carve The Mark #1) by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Goodreads Summary: 
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

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 from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Set in a different universe, Carve the Mark tells the tale of Akos Kereseth, a fate favoured Thuvhesit farmer's son and Cyra Noavek, sister of the tyrant Ryzek Noavek of Shotet. Two opposite worlds on two faces of the same plant come crashing together when Ryzek kidnaps Akos and his brother.

I expected more from this book, and perhaps my assumptions were unfair. Carve the Mark took a lot of getting used to; the world is so different from ours, and at first all the references to items of their world are only confusing. The new information seemed to stop for a bit, then start again, a slower trickle which is how it should be. Facts were cleverly repeated many times to ensure readers would remember it.

Cyra's currentgift causes her pain and allows her to inflict in on others. Her brother uses her as a weapon and torture tool. I like how currentgifts can change, evolve as the person does and they have a direct connection to their owners' personality. Akos's gift's reasoning is yet to be revealed, but I'm curious nonetheless. The second half of the book fared a lot better than the first because it contained much more action, plan devising and conflicting matters.

The introduction is conducted poorly, but Carve the Mark is very enjoyable once you've figured out what's happening and what these terms mean. And if in doubt there is a glossary provided at the back of the book. These characters and their 'sealed fates' only make the story more interesting. I was able to predict part of one major event, due to clues hidden in the first chapters. Science fiction, advanced technology, different beliefs and environments... Carve the mark.
Purchase Location: ~I received a copy from HarperCollins NZ and willingly reviewed it~
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of sci-fi.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Review: Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter #9) by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Gollancz
Goodreads Summary: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Blitz: Grand Finale: Tangle of Strings by Ashley Farley (Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for

Tangle of Strings
By Ashley Farley

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - Note from the Author

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the Sweeney sisters as much I’ve enjoyed writing about them. They are real women faced with everyday challenges, struggling to balance the demands of career and home while remaining true to themselves.

Annie checked the clock on the dashboard. She had eight minutes to change into her work clothes, grab a snack, and still be on time for her after-school job at Captain Sweeney’s Seafood Market. She turned off the main road and zoomed down the wooded driveway toward the house. When she rounded the last bend, she saw Heidi leaning against the hood of her vintage turquoise Mustang.

Annie glared at her. “You gave up the right to call me honey, or any other term of endearment for that matter, when you abandoned me.” She tried to brush past Heidi, but she grabbed her by the arm.

Mel's Shelves - Excerpt

Annie yanked her arm away. “The decision was right for you at the time. A very selfish decision, I might add. You took off to Hollywood to chase your dreams of becoming a big movie star, and left me with a man who didn’t know how to scramble an egg or balance his checkbook, let alone raise a little girl.”

Annie stalked off toward her car, but Heidi teetered after her on spiked-heel booties. “You and I were getting along so well together back in December, before you found out who I was. We were becoming friends. We share so many things in common. I know we can build a life together based on that friendship. You can come live with me. I recently signed a lease on the second-floor apartment in a newly renovated old home down on Broad Street, on the Battery. I think you’ll like it. I even have an extra bedroom for you.”

Mythical Books - Excerpt

“I’m not your baby! You abandoned your baby sixteen years ago.” Shoving Heidi out of the way, Annie jumped into her car and struggled to fasten her seat belt. As she shot off down the driveway, she watched her mother slowly disappear in the rearview mirror. She careened onto Creekside Drive with barely a glance in either direction. Tears blurring her vision, she smacked her palms against the steering wheel. “Ugh! I hate her!”

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

He engaged his blue lights, preparing to pull her over, when the accident happened. Tires screeched and a horn blasted as the minivan swerved into Annie’s lane. The sounds of metal crunching and glass shattering filled the air as her Honda hit the front end of the minivan, bounced off the curb, flipped over, and landed on its roof.

“Come here, you.” He pulled Sam from her chair and held her at arm’s length, taking her in from the top of her cropped blonde head to her dark-washed jeans and the pointy toes of her cowboy boots, relieved to see she hadn’t changed since breakfast. Sensing the worry behind her deep blue eyes, he wrapped his arms around her slight frame and buried his face in the soft spot at the crook of her neck. “You never know when you wake up in the morning what the day will bring.”

"Tangle of Strings is another fine episode in Ms. Farley’s engaging series but I do suggest the series be read in order because each book builds on the one before and it’s the best way to fully understand the Sweeneys and other people in their lives. I’m sorry to say this appears to be the end of the Sweeney family saga but Ms. Farley has at least left us with the possibility of future installments and I’ll be very happy if that happens."

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

Tangle of Strings
(Sweeney Sisters #4)

by Ashley Farley
Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 240 pages

January 18th 2017

A nearly tragic accident leads to a discovery that rocks the Sweeney family’s world

Some families never resolve conflicts. Not so with the Sweeneys. Their sense of family, their love for one another, and their willingness to forgive have always triumphed and brought them back together. Until now. The latest crisis threatens to tear the family apart and crumble the foundation that has always proved itself rock solid.

At the heart of the matter are sixteen-year-old Annie Bethune and her boyfriend, Cooper. At stake are their dreams for the future. As to these dreams, no one in the family holds back when asserting an opinion.

Annie soon begins to feel like a puppet on strings with all those she loves telling her what to do. When those strings become tangled and a family feud develops, Annie, unable to bear the pressure, runs away. Straight into the arms of danger.

Other Books in the Series

Her Sister's Shoes (Sweeney Sisters #1)
Her Sister's Shoes
(Sweeney Sisters #1)

by Ashley Farley
Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 380 pages
June 24th 2015

Set in the South Carolina Lowcountry and packed with Southern charm and memorable characters, HER SISTER'S SHOES portrays three sisters—Samantha, Jackie, and Faith—who struggle to balance the demands of career and family while remaining true to themselves.

Samantha Sweeney has always been the glue that holds her family together, their go-to girl for love and support. When an ATV accident leaves her teenage son in a wheelchair, she loses her carefully constructed self-control.

In the after-gloom of her dreaded fiftieth birthday and the discovery of her husband’s infidelity, Jackie realizes she must reconnect with her former self to find the happiness she needs to move forward.

Faith lacks the courage to stand up to her abusive husband. She turns to her sisters for help, placing all their lives at risk.

In the midst of their individual challenges, the Sweeney sisters must cope with their mother’s mental decline. Is Lovie in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or is her odd behavior normal for a woman her age? No one, including Lovie, understands her obsession with a rusty key she wears around her neck.

For fans of Elin Hildebrand, HER SISTER'S SHOES is a contemporary women’s novel that explores and proves the healing power of family.

Lowcountry Stranger (Sweeney Sisters #2)
Lowcountry Stranger
(Sweeney Sisters #2)

by Ashley Farley
Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 284 pages
July 1st 2016

Family Drama, Southern Style.

There's a stranger in town. And it’s no coincidence when she shows up uninvited at a Sweeney family wedding. All eyes are drawn to this urchin who seems to have washed in with the tide. Before the night is over, the doe-eyed waif charms young and old with her street smarts and spunky personality. For better or worse, Annie Dawn is here to stay.

The memorable Sweeney sisters from Her Sister’s Shoes have returned with more suspense and family drama to hold you spellbound until the dramatic conclusion. As she approaches the next stage of her life as an empty nester, Jackie is torn between expanding her fledgling design business and spending these last precious months with her boys before they fly the coop. Her own worst enemy, Sam is terrified of making a commitment to Eli Marshall, handsome police officer, true love of her life. Her resolve is tested when a ghost from her past shows up after nearly two decades. Faith nurtures her seven-year-old daughter who is recovering from the trauma of her abusive father. Is the threat in the past, or is there more danger on the horizon? The sisters seek guidance from their mother, Lovie, a true Southern matriarch who shows them how to respond to adversity with grace and dignity.

Things are heating up in the Lowcountry. The Sweeney sisters remind us, once again, that being a part of a family is about more than sharing the same DNA.

Boots and Bedlam (Sweeney Sisters #3)
Boots and Bedlam
(Sweeney Sisters #3)

by Ashley Farley
Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 166 pages

October 18th 2016

‘Tis the season for chaos.

Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Lowcountry. All Sam Sweeney wants is to marry her man on Christmas Eve surrounded by family and friends. But emerging complications, some humorous and some not so humorous, threaten to converge and derail the best-laid plans during the busy stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amidst the chaos—dealing with real estate, planning a wedding, running a seafood market, honoring traditions, and contending with teenagers—even the weather rears its head when the weatherman forecasts a white Christmas. Never has family support been more needed, but will it be enough to restore order and save the day?

Escape to the Lowcountry this Christmas where romance, intrigue, and holiday merrymaking await you.

About the Author

Ashley Farley is the author of the bestselling series, the Sweeney Sisters Series. Ashley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you've read the last word, then she's done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshiped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

Ashley loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to visit her on Facebook at or

Tour Giveaway

1 winner to receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card & choice of a Sweeney Sisters ebook

2 winners to receive choice of a Sweeney Sisters ebook

Open internationally

Ends January 31st
Grab Our Button!

Guild Hunter Series (Mini Reviews Part 2) by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh (#7-8)
Publisher: Gollancz
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to post #4 in my five post Nalini Singh extravaganza! Click here for Mini Reviews Part 1, click here to read the full review of Guild Hunter #6, and click here to read my review of the short story collection Angel's Flight. As always the titles of the reviews link to their book depository pages/online read link, so check them out!

Stacking The Shelves (47)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews


Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh
Angel's Flight by Nalini SIngh
Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth


Pretty Little Liars S7 Ep2-10
Shadowhunters S2 Ep4
Gossip Girl S1 Ep11-12
Suits S6 Ep11

Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6)
Publisher: Gollancz
Goodreads Summary: 
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael's Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York...and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same...
Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Guild Hunter Series (Mini Reviews Part 1) by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh (#1-5)
Publisher: Gollancz
Rating: 5 Stars
Hey everyone! Since I haven't done any lengthy reviews of most of the earlier novels in the Guild Hunter series, I thought I'd share my thoughts here! I've also included some links to their book depository pages, and added a few additional reviews for free short stories which are also linked up.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Goodreads Summary: 
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Rating: 5+ Stars
Lady Catherine Pinkerton was not always the cruel Queen of Hearts. At first, she was but a lonely young girl with a head full of dreams. Dreams of running a bakery, living a happy life and falling in love. However, this fantasy was never meant to last.

I'm speechless. At every turn, a new happy resolution is introduced and every single time, I believed it. My wish for Cath's happiness seemed to come and go, but not once did Marissa Meyer leave readers in the dark, dangerous pit of despair; happiness although brief existed during the darkest moments.

Can we all stop for a second and appreciate Jest? From the moment he entered the book universe, I loved him. With each appearance that love  only got stronger which is the main reason why this book, although I loved it, most certainly broke my heart. He is mysterious, brave and loyal.

When Catherine's baking is introduced in the first chapter, I marvelled at the sheer amount of detail that lined the first page. Description did not go to waste in Heartless at all. Although I haven't read Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, this book has all the necessary information for those who may not know the story so well. No prior knowledge of Wonderland is assumed, similar to Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die series Heartless is a beautifully crafted complex adventure into Wonderland.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Movie Review: Allied

Title: Allied
Rating: 7/10 Stars
IMDB Summary: In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war
Review: Europe is at war. Intelligence commander Max Vatan teams up with a French resistance group to assassinate a German series. The days beforehand are dangerous, with Max posing as French resistance leader Marianne's husband. She gains them entry to the party held by Germans. However, the act falls apart soon afterward when Max falls in love with Marianne and asks her to come with him to London and be his wife.

Allied is set in the central times of World War Two, where British agencies attempt to oust Adolf Hitler from his rule of Nazi Germany. In London, Max has settled down and has a newborn child, Anna. I liked this movie because the symbolism showed that even white war is being waged, love can triumph and enemies can temporarily forget their differences in favour of a shared vision.

There is quite a bit of violence in this movie including bombings, gun assaults and more. In the later half of the story Max's investigation takes on a mystery side as they uncover a German spy working in their midst. Max's character is conflicted as his loyalty overrides doubt and logic.

French is the main language spoken in the first part of the movie, but English subtitles are kindly provided. The Nazis don't actually feature many times, just British officials. Allied has action/adventure, romance and mystery combine in an epic story. This is not just any spy movie, it's more.
Favourite Acts:
Marion Cotillard as Marianne Beauséjour

Favourite Quotes: 
Max Vatan: There's a thing called the soul. I've looked into her soul.
S.O.E. Official: No. You've looked into her eyes.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking The Shelves (46)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews


Knives and Sheaths
The Cannibal Princess
Weapons Training
Zoe's Workshop
A Sip of Eternity
The Shower
Angel's Pawn
by Nalini Singh

Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
Unrivaled by Alyson Noël
Donnel's Promise by Anna Mackenzie


Between S2 Ep4-6
Pretty Little Liars S6 Ep15-20 S7 Ep1
Shadowhunters S2 Ep3
Gossip Girl S1 Ep10-11
Teen Wolf S1 Ep1

Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica (Replica #1) by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Goodreads Summary: Lyra

From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.


Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.

But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Two girls, two stories, one novel.

While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.
Rating: 4 Stars
Lyra is a clone. Created by the Haven Institute, she is monitored and under watch at all times. Thousands of clones like her live in the same area on the private island. Gemma Ives is an outcast at school. Her various medical problems keep her from participating in many school activities which results in her being labelled a freak.

This dual story isn't like anything I've ever seen before. The two stories follow the same timeline but from two different perspectives. Details that add to the other story are revealed so the two stories complement each other perfectly. I suggest reading Lyra's story first, as you get additional insight about Haven which Gemma's story lacks, but as I haven't read it the other way around I wouldn't know.

Lauren Oliver's characters are all imperfect. Through these two perspectives she paints a picture of characters with flaws, people who fight to solve their various problems. So many topics are covered, especially relating to our world and the ups and downs of it. I liked Caelum's character the best, and I'd like to get another book with more about him.

I wasn't entirely convinced by the romance. The characters seemed to go from "he/she is ugly, *describes features/characteristics*" to liking them. I understand that after they've spend time together and gotten to know each other more this happens, but it was a little too instant romance for me to agree. The endings also paled in comparison to the rest of the book. Too many things were left unresolved and I think it was too happily ever after. The conclusions seemed more like chapter endings rather than the end of a book.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of dystopia.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Blitz: Lana's Ex Prom Date by Amy Sparling (Giveaway)

Lana's Ex Prom Date banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Lana's Ex Prom Date by Amy Sparling. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 16 till 22 January. You can view the tour schedule here.

Lana's Ex Prom DateLana's Ex Prom Date By Amy Sparling
Genre: Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 13 December, 2016
Blurb: Lana Clarke just got asked out by one of the hottest guys in school. Toby Fitzgerald is undeniably gorgeous, but his charismatic personality makes Lana the envy of every girl at Fawkes High. Senior prom is right around the corner, and although Lana had planned on a stag outing with her friends, Ashlyn and Bennet, Toby asks her to be his date in the most romantic way ever. Her friends are bummed, but support her anyway. After all, Toby Fitzgerald is the boyfriend everyone wants.
Lana’s life is now perfect—until Toby breaks up with her three days before prom.

But he’s a nice guy, and he still wants to take her to prom as a friend. After all, they’d already rented a limo and picked out Lana’s dress together. Her friends think she shouldn’t ditch them for a guy who ditched her, but when she discovers Toby’s secret, she’ll have to choose between lying to her friends, or lying to the whole school.
You can find Lana's Ex Prom Date on Goodreads
You can buy Lana's Ex Prom Date on Amazon.

New Release Graphic Lana's Ex Prom Date

Amy SparlingAbout the Author: Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She lives in Texas and has an addiction to sparkly nail polish, taking photos of her cute dog, and swooning over book boyfriends.

You can find and contact Amy here:


There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Lana’s Ex Prom Date. One winner will win a 10$ amazon gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Goodreads Summary: 
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…
Rating: 3.5 Stars
After a nuclear war decimates the United States, two groups of survivors band together, but only after a fight for power. The Westfalls lost, and the Lattimers won. Now the survivors are separated into two groups, Eastglen and Westside. There are two wedding days, the main one where the sons of Eastglen marry the daughters of Westside. Ivy Westfall is destined to marry Bishop Lattimer, the president's son. But she is also entrusted with the task of killing him. When it turns out he is not the heartless boy she was told he was, things get complicated.

This book deserves more stars, really it does. I'd love to give them, but there is something missing from The Book of Ivy. It's an addicting and enjoyable read, however the language isn't very emotive and I felt barely anything whilst reading it.

It was also too stereotypical for me to like it as anything more than a breezy, no expectations read. "Girl meets boy, she's supposed to kill him but her plans fall to pieces when they fall in love." I wish I could say otherwise, but this is exactly how the story line went as far as relationships. Outside of this stereotype the writing is great, just used to make the above come true rather than creating more plot twists.

I recommend The Book of Ivy if you're looking for a quick read with not much depth, but other than that I wouldn't expect more from it. I liked the characters, but not the story.
Purchase Location: Bought from The Warehouse South Dunedin
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of quick reads.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (28)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke And The Bookish

This week's topic: Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I've Read In The Past Year Or So

I decided to change up this topic a little, and went for Top Ten Underrated Authors.

1. Richelle Mead
2. Julie Kagawa
3. Melissa Marr
4. Siobhan Davis
5. Maria V. Snyder
6. Sara Raasch
7. Bekah Clark
8. William Nicholson
9. Christopher D'Lacey
10. Rainbow Rowell

Monday, January 16, 2017

Review: 8 Rivers of Shadow by Leo Hunt

8 Rivers of Shadow (13 Days of Midnight #2) by Leo Hunt
Publisher: Gollancz
Goodreads Summary: In a high-stakes sequel, reluctant necromancer Luke Manchett must call upon the most wicked and eerie ghosts of his dispelled Host to save two innocent souls.

It’s been a few months since Luke Manchett inherited a Host of eight hostile spirits from his dead father and made a deal with the devil to banish them. Luke’s doing his best to blend in to the background of high school, to ignore the haunting dreams spawned by his father’s Book of Eight, and to enjoy the one good thing to come from the whole mess: his girlfriend, Elza. And then it all begins again. Ash, a strange new girl with stark white hair, requests his help—and his Book of Eight—to save her twin sister, who was attacked by a demon. Ash knows a lot more about necromancy than Luke and seems to know what she’s doing, but can she be trusted? As Luke is drawn into a spiral of ever more dangerous favors, he finds himself not only summoning the deadliest members of his father’s Host, but returning to Deadside in a terrifying quest to save what he holds dearest—or die trying.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Luke Manchett is no longer popular. Shunned by most of the school, he sits with his girlfriend Elza Moss a lunchtimes as far away from his former friends as possible. When a new girl, Ashley Smith comes as an exchange student from California, Luke's suspicions are high as he knows immediately that something is up and that she isn't who she appears to be.

This book is definitely better than its prequel, but there are still many things I didn't like/believe about it, and it was the ending that made me lower my rating. For instance, tales of resurrection never end with a HEA... It's almost unheard of, and I believed it was an unspoken law that something bad would happen every time. From the information I gained in 8 Rivers of Shadow, it appears that no bad side effects had any chance of occurring in book 3.

Luke's enemies become his friends in no time, one such friendship even occurs wih no betrayal. At first I accepted this, but when it became clear no backstabbing was to occur I disliked it because it seems very unrealistic that former enemies can become instant friends by bonding over a situation with barely any hints of distrust or arguments.

With all that being said, I liked the plotline. Ash and Luke both want to save their loved ones, and desperation creeps into their minds like a vicious poisonous snake. Trust can be a walk into the unknown... Potentially dangerous, but just as likely to be rewarding.

The mystery part of this novel is also written well and became my favourite aspect of the book. The ending left little room for a third book's plot so I'm interested to see what Leo Hunt comes up with.
Purchase Location: ~I received a copy from Hachette NZ which I willingly reviewed~
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of the "I'll do anything" situation.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: 13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt

13 Days of Midnight (13 Days of Midnight #1) by Leo Hunt
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Goodreads Summary: 
When Luke Manchett’s estranged father dies unexpectedly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance: a Host of eight unique, powerful, and restless spirits. Unfortunately, Luke has no clue how to manage them, which the ghosts figure out pretty quickly. Armed with only his father’s indecipherable notes and a locked copy of The Book of Eight, Luke struggles to adapt to his new role as a necromancer. Meanwhile, the increasingly belligerent Host mutinies, possesses Luke’s mother, and forces him out of his own house.

Halloween, the night when ghosts reach the height of their power, is fast approaching, and Luke knows his Host is planning something far more trick than treat. With the help of school outcast Elza Moss, who knows a bit about ghosts herself, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic and send his unquiet spirits to their eternal rest.

And if you thought it was going to be easy, you’d be dead wrong.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Sixteen year old Luke Manchett is a popular kid at school. He plays rugby, hangs out with all the right people, and as a bonus the most popular girl in the school likes him. When his father, the well known Dr. Horatio Manchett dies and leaves Luke everything, Luke discovers that all is not as it seems. he gets dragged into a world of ghosts and necromancy and someone is always watching, waiting for his next move, counting on his mistakes.

I enjoyed reading this book, and the idea is great. However, I didn't find many things that made 13 Days of Midnight stand out from other wonderful books. I rarely read books written by male authors (although I'd love to, there just don't seem to be as many!) and this one was a refreshing read.

In the end I liked the ghosts more than the main characters. (I mean, what!) I understand that Luke is a typical teenager, obsessed with fitting in, but his trust in Elza seems sudden and poorly constructed on the writer's part. The ghosts get a much better development. The Vassal is seemingly trustworthy, but soon his betrayal is discovered. The Judge appears to only speak the truth, but his words carry more weight.

Elza is intriguing. I'd like to know more about her, motives, interests, etc. I think her original distrust of Luke also faded too quickly with very little explanation. I liked the plot a lot more than the characters, the storyline was complex and not always predictable. Perhaps the second book will act on the promise of this series.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of necromancy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Blitz: Grand Finale: The Cowboy's Twins by Tara Taylor Quinn (Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for

The Cowboy's Twins
By Tara Taylor Quinn

We hope you enjoyed this tour about a charming cowboy, his twins and a TV producer! Grab a copy for yourself while it's on sale and if you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - Note from the Author

Welcome to The Cowboy’s Twins tour!! This is the third and last book in the Family Secrets Cooking Show series. It’s fun. The twins entertained me from the beginning of the book until the end. And, in typical ttq fashion, it’s emotionally intense, too.

underneath the covers - A Letter from TTQ

Welcome to the Family Secrets cooking show, and the episode where you’re going to see everything that goes on behind the scenes, straight from the show’s creator, producer and director herself, heroine Natasha Stevens.

Nicole’s Book Musings - Review

"I really enjoyed this one. What's not to like about Spencer. He will do anything for his children even have a cooking show descend on his ranch. I liked Natasha as well, she has a big self discovery while working on this location for her show. It helps her work through some inner battles she didn't realize she had."

Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 1

The things you do for love...

Every single thing he did was for love. Love for his children. And love for his ranch.

He didn’t much love the idea of waking up the glamorous city woman at two in the morning. But a deal was a deal.

Angels with Attitude Book Reviews - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 2

A figure moved just outside the front door.

Tall. Slender. She was in shadow, but there was no doubt in Spencer’s mind, the second he saw movement down the steps, that the body belonged to Natasha Stevens.

“I’ve heard of cowboys sleeping in their clothes, to be ready to ride on a second’s notice, but not a famous television producer,” he said, meeting her a few yards from the cabin.

Thoughts of a Blonde - Review

"With Book 3 in the Family Secrets series, we finally get to hear Natasha’s story. We’ve seen her producing the show and wondered what made her tick, and now we find out! It was a bit slower moving than the previous books in the series, but still an enjoyable cast of characters."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 3 (Review here)

Natasha’s long legs made it easy for her to keep up with the handsome cowboy’s strides. She just wasn’t used to tromping across dusty ground in new cowboy boots in the middle of the night.

Though she’d lived on the West Coast for most of her adult life, she’d never succumbed to that particular footwear—having just purchased her new shiny red boots for the show. She’d figured boots were boots. Not so.

"Heartwarming and romance fans alike will find much to love here. . . . Sweet, charming, with a little heartbreak that ends in happily-ever-after was exactly what I was hoping for."

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 4

She didn’t need a man. Or his strength. Didn’t even want one. Her strength of character—okay, her innate need to run her own show, whether it be on television or in her home—was like a coffin in waiting for any relationship.

Becky on Books - Review

"Ultimately, The Cowboy’s Twins was a highly satisfying romance. Though it did end a bit abruptly, it was a good ending, and since the series is based on Natasha’s show, I’ve got high hopes of seeing more of Natasha, Spencer, Tabitha, and Justin in future books!"

Rockin' Book Reviews - Review

"I really liked this book. It caught my attention from the beginning and held it throughout the book.

I also really liked the characters. They were well developed and easily visualized. I felt like I could be right there with them living that life."

Falling Leaves - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 1

HE DIDN’T WANT the woman there. Spencer took a deep breath. And didn’t like what he smelled. A sixth sense told him something wasn’t right.

And he knew what that something was. The city woman sitting in the corner, staring, while Ellie labored.

Book Lover in Florida - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 2

Nodding, Natasha jumped into the fray. She grabbed when she was told to grab. Pulled. The calf didn’t budge. Her arms ached. Using her entire body weight, she leaned back. And managed to keep the hooves outside the cow’s body.

Everything happened in seconds after that. One minute Ellie was in obvious stress with Spencer on the ground by the struggling cow’s tail. The next, Spencer was pushing Natasha aside, grabbing hooves, and had pulled a calf out into the world.

Her new red boots were going in the trash.

Getting Your Read On - Review

"It was sweet though, and clean, which I really appreciate!"

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 3

“You’re supposed to be brushing your teeth.”

“We did.” Justin’s immediate response was followed by a drop in his gaze. And then his chin met his chest. “No, we didn’t,” he corrected himself before Spencer could take the breath necessary to challenge the boy. “ we gotta?” Justin’s eyes widened as he gave Spencer an imploring look. “They’ll just get dirty again, and I’ll brush it all away tonight.”

Spencer pressed his lips together, hoping he looked stern.
The hardest part about being a single parent was having no one with whom to share the laughter.

I Am A Reader - Excerpt/Chapter 1, Part 4

And he made no pretense to himself about the reason for that.

He wanted to spend as little time as possible with the city girl who’d invaded his space.

In more ways than one.

And enter the giveaway below if you haven't already...

The Cowboy's Twins
(Family Secrets #3)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
January 3rd 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

It looked so good on camera…

If it weren't for the money, Spencer Longfellow would happily drive Natasha Stevens and her TV crew right off his ranch. But his land, and his kids, mean the world to him—and he'll do anything to secure their future. Even cohost Natasha's cooking show, Family Secrets, in his barn. Even play the token hunky cowboy to her sophisticated city slicker and flirt with her on national television… It could never amount to anything real anyway. After all, he was fooled and left in the dust by a city girl once. And he will never let that happen to him—or his kids—again

Other Books in the Series

For Love or MoneyFor Love or Money
(Family Secrets #1)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She can't afford to lose this…or him

There's no way that struggling single mom Janie Young is going to lose Family Secrets. Not even to Dr. Burke Carter. The prize money and media exposure from the cooking-competition show will secure the future for her and her son, who has special needs. Sure, Burke is a talented chef with his own reasons to win, but he already has so much: wealth, a beautiful daughter, great looks…and definitely her attention. As their families become closer, Janie is beginning to care too much about him. But she can't afford to get involved. Not when everything is riding on beating him.

Her Soldier's BabyHer Soldier's Baby
(Family Secrets #2)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
November 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will the truth heal him--or tear them apart? 

The baby she gave up for adoption long ago is a secret Eliza Westin has concealed from her husband. With good reason. Wounded soldier turned police officer Pierce Westin was Eliza's high school sweetheart. He's also her son's father.

Seventeen years ago, Pierce went off to war unaware that he'd fathered a child. Eliza's shot as a contestant on the Family Secrets cooking competition show is her chance to reconnect with the past. But once she finds her long-lost son, she can only hope that Pierce will embrace their newfound family. Or will Eliza lose the love of her life all over again?

About the Author

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive ebooks of the first two books in the series, FOR LOVE OR MONEY and HER SOLDIER'S BABY
Open internationally
Ends January 17th

Stacking The Shelves (45)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews


Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan
Legend: The Graphic Novel adapted by Leigh Dragoon, illustrated by Kaari
Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh


The 100 S1 Ep1-3
Pretty Little Liars S6 Ep14
Between S1 Ep3-6 S2 Ep 1-3

Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Goodreads Summary: In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.
Rating: 5 Stars
A woman used to work for the US Government until she found out they planned to kill her. Now she lives on the run, going through names, fake IDs and towns at a high rate. When her former handler, Lowell Carston finds and contacts her through email, she takes the bait, heading to DC for their meeting. But she is still careful, more paranoid than they know...

What surprised me about The Chemist from the start is that each and every page of this novel are filled with details. It's not unnecessary information but everything you could possible need to know, written in an interesting way designed to catch your interest rather than pages and pages of boring lists. This nameless woman adapts to her name changes superbly, and I can't help but love her security system.

Kevin and Daniel Beach become the source of this woman's problems. When she kidnaps Daniel, she eventually realises that there's something wrong with the situation. A team effort sees her targeting her former employers and the CIA. There are many cleverly orchestrated situations leading to more conflict, a sign of great mystery thriller writing. These characters and their personalities fit perfectly into Stephenie Meyer's mould; the interrogator, the spy and the innocent.

Not once are they actually safe. The reasons behind this aren't repetitive or simple, instead they're complex, manufactured situations with plans that get put into action before you know what's happening. There is the right balance between real and fake alarm to set readers on edge every time there's a scene, never doubting for a second that a real incident may occur. Stephenie Meyer's intricately sculpted novel The Chemist is a must-read for all who love mystery thrillers.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of mystery thrillers.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Blitz: Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis (Teaser Images + Giveaway)

Finding Kyler banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 9 till 15 January. You can view the tour schedule here.

Special release week pricing!

Finding Kyler is only 0.99$ during the release week! Buy a copy from Amazon now before the price increases to $2.99. Finding Kyler is available to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Read an exclusive sample of Finding Kyler here.

Finding KylerFinding Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #1) by Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Upper Young Adult
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Blurb: Two fractured hearts and a forbidden love they can’t deny.
You shouldn’t want what you can’t have…

Faye Donovan has lost everything. After her parent’s tragic death, she’s whisked away from her home in Ireland when an unknown uncle surfaces as her new guardian.

Dropped smack-dab into the All-American dream, Faye should feel grateful. Except living with her wealthy uncle, his fashion-empire-owning wife, and their seven screwed-up sons is quickly turning into a nightmare—especially when certain inappropriate feelings arise.

Kyler Kennedy makes her head hurt and her heart race, but he’s her cousin.

He’s off limits.

And he’s not exactly welcoming—Kyler is ignorant, moody, and downright cruel—but Faye sees behind the mask he wears, recognizing a kindred spirit.

Kyler has sworn off girls, yet Faye gets under his skin. The more he pushes her away, the more he’s drawn to her, but acting on those feelings risks a crap-ton of prejudice, and any whiff of scandal could damage the precious Kennedy brand.

Concealing their feelings seems like the only choice.

But when everyone has something to hide, a secret is a very dangerous thing.

Finding Kyler Romantic Teaser 2

You can find Finding Kyler on Goodreads
You can buy Finding Kyler on Amazon

Finding Kyler Romantic Teaser 3

About the Author: Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling and Saven series.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

You can find and contact Siobhan here:

- Website
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Google +
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Kennedy Boys Newsletter


There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Finding Kyler. This giveaway is open international. These are the prizes you can win:

- One paperback of Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis
- One paperback of Fallen Crest High by Tijan
- One paperback of Paper Princess by Erin Watt
- a $5 Amazon gift card

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win:

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Blitz: Grand Finale: Now and Forever by Simi K. Rao (Giveaway)

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for

Now and Forever 
by Simi K Rao

We hope you enjoyed this romance tour with a mix of American and Indian culture! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - Note from the Author

This is the tale of a young Indian couple bound by an arranged marriage. Innocent Ruhi’s dreams are shattered when on her wedding night her husband Shaan announces that his heart lies elsewhere. Yet instead of bowing down and accepting it as her fate, Ruhi persuades Shaan to give her some time to break it to her parents thus save them from heartbreak and considerable social embarrassment. That is just the beginning. What follows is a roller coaster ride like you’ve never experienced. Read it for romance and culture, and delve into the quintessential connection between a man and a woman.

Then she saw a face in the river, but failed to recognize it.

Confused, she splashed in the water before realizing the face was none other than her own. She had changed. Ruhi Sharma had changed. She didn’t belong to herself anymore. Instead, she bore her husband’s indelible stamp and it frightened her. She urged herself to make a run for it, to take a breath that wasn’t enmeshed with his. But he influenced her every notion, manipulated every idea that occurred in her mind, thereby making her sway to his every tune.

Mythical Books - Excerpt

A few moments after the vehicle had disappeared from sight, she sank down to her haunches and waited patiently for the rumble of the Jeep, a signal of its return. She was pretty sure he would come back for her. He had to, didn’t he?

How long she stayed in the position, she couldn’t say as she was rapidly growing insensitive to the passage of time. Moisture was evaporating from her body even before it turned into sweat. Her delicate skin was starting to redden and char as the sun beat down mercilessly on her spine. There was nothing nearby for her to get shade from the sun under, and with the fire radiating from the asphalt, Ruhi felt as if she was being cooked alive.

Shaan saw his wife cast a suspicious glance at him before climbing in. For once I have her in the palm of my hand! he thought. Then he instructed her in a gruff manner while trying to keep from breaking into a smile, “Move over…”

“Shaan…” She looked terrified as she slid back on the seat. “I know I’ve annoyed you today, but I really don’t think I need to be chastised for it.”

But how will I go about it? she thought, absently popping a chocolate-covered strawberry into her mouth. It was delicious. She popped in another. Then a sudden anxiety gripped her. She rushed to her duffel bag where it lay on the floor, still packed. Unzipping it, she rummaged inside, then let out a tremendous sigh of relief on discovering her cell and all the plastic in her wallet intact.

An impish grin brightened her face. “So you’ve decided to trust me Mr. Ahuja, have you? Well, it’s gonna cost you dear.” A plan had begun to formulate in her brain.

Shaan was puzzled. He was very sure everything had been working perfectly on his initial submission. Then, what had come up in the interim? He ran the test again, and sure enough it got stuck, but without giving him any clue as to what had gone wrong. Almost as if a bug had sneaked its way into the system. 

It was a lovely dream. The loveliest Ruhi had ever had. It had to be a dream, because how could something so wonderful be true?

The occasion was the annual Quiz Show and she had been chosen to represent their high school as the most likely candidate to win back the coveted trophy they had so narrowly lost to Mt. Carmel last year. Everyone was sure she was the only one who could do it.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below if you haven't already...

Now and Forever (Inconvenient Relations Book 2)
Now and Forever

by Simi K Rao

Adult Romance

Paperback & ebook, 216 pages

October 10th 2016

Can Shaan and Ruhi face their biggest fears and unite together?

Shaan and Ruhi Ahuja, very much in love Indian newlyweds, discover each other in Simi K. Rao’s Now and Forever—the sassy and sexy sequel to Inconvenient Relations. After getting the scare of their lives while traveling in the Grand Canyon, Shaan and Ruhi go back home to one dilemma after another. Shaan’s job is in jeopardy, and one of Ruhi’s closest friends, Sunshine, needs her. How will Shaan and Ruhi handle life’s hurdles, while still trying to get to know each other as husband and wife? Will they be able to forsake all others and consolidate their relationship?

Simi K. Rao

Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years.

The inspiration for her books, and other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.

Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.

A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family.

Tour Giveaway

$10 Amazon eGift Card

Open internationally

Ends January 15th

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