Monday, 24 September 2018

Blog Tour: A Blade So Black by L.L. Mckinney

Hi everyone, I am hoping everyone had a lovely weekend and you are all safe especially with the weather we have been having all over the world. Today on the blog tour I am chatting with the author and hearing what insights she has to say about her new book A Blade So Black.

Title: A Blade So Black
Author: L.L. Mckinney
Release Date: 28th September 2018

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

Writing in other people's worlds - what's it like to create your own take on Wonderland?

I really like the second part of that question because, for me, it’s not that different from writing in my own world. I mean, my story is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s tale, and locations and familiar characters are present, but I like to think I made Wonderland my own sort of personal playground. The quote on the jacket that says “this isn’t the wonderland you remember” is very true. It’s not, though there are touches of familiarity.

It was fun, though, to take this story, this place, and these characters and infuse them with a new energy of sorts. I did the same with the world as well. I also added in diverse characters, which was sorely needed. I used Wonderland as a sort of jumping off point, not even really a blueprint but more of a…a plan for the plan.

In truth, it was easier to decide what I wasn’t going to keep or do in regards to the original story. It wasn’t going to be set parallel to England. It wasn’t going to be from that same time period. It wasn’t going to be from the viewpoint of that same girl or a close iteration. It wasn’t going to be a dream or an acid trip or whatever people like to theorize, it was going to be very real. By deciding what I was going to leave out, it left holes that were a particular shape and size I needed to fill. Once I figured out how I wanted to fill them, I was set! I say that like it was easy…

It may have been difficult, but it was a lot of fun. Alice in Wonderalnd is one of my favorite stories, and I’ve enjoyed (almost) every iteration of it. Being able to put my twist, my stamp, my fingerprint—or whatever you want to call it—on that tale and that world has honestly been amazing. I’m not a fan of retellings or reimaginings really, not that I don’t like them I just don’t actively seek them out, so it was a surprise to me when this story initially took shape. It was even more of a surprise when everything turned out the way it did.

I’d say A BLADE SO BLACK is more a reimaging, an homage to an homage, rather than a genuine retelling. There are lots of elements that will be familiar to those who love the tale, or just know about it in passing, but a lot of those same elements will be flipped or twisted in some way that makes them different. That’s the most exciting part about it, seeing who’ll get what and if everything I did will be caught. Ads a bit of Wonder, don’t you think?

It was so nice to see what Elle has to say, I loved reading to how she wanted to approach the book and make it real life, she makes some very interesting points no? Make sure you guys check out the author and the book or you can check the links below.

Author Twitter page:


Don't forget to check out the other stops:

Happy reading!

Let's chat: Have you read this book yet? What are your thoughts on the authors perspective? Do you have a favourite Alice in the Wonderland retelling? Let me know in the comments below!

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Thursday, 6 September 2018

Love and Other Secrets

Title: Love and Other Secrets
Author: Christina Mandelski
Published: 3rd September 2018
My Rating: 4/5
Recommend: Yes

Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect...until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.

Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.

When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.

For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Crush contains a cocky lacrosse player in over his head with his secret best friend, unexpected midnight kisses, swoon-worthy slow dancing, and movie-night cuddling that’ll make you ache. You’re going to want an Alex of your own!

Received a copy in exchange for a fair review thank you to Entangled Teen 

OMG!!! I loved this book so much. I feel like I have been starved from this kind of genre for too long. I miss reading these type of books..ha! It reminds me of my own time at high school gosh I sound so old!

Set in a high school, everyone is just focused on one thing doing a proposal for prom. These proposals are a big deal since they can quickly go viral and die down just as quick. For Bailey, this is a perfect chance to win the short film contest and so begins the epic planning of the best proposal ever.

Where do I even begin with Alex and Bailey? Don't they just sound like the perfect duo? Alex is a very wealthy, lazy, confident but sweet athlete who dominates the Lacrosse field. He is known as the 'love guru' for matchmaking for his best friend Eli and Nora. We only get a short glimpse of Nora but she seems to be down to earth person. Alex is used to getting things on his plate, girls seem to ask him out every year, he is popular and yet we see a side of him where he can't say no to anything (I found this so adorable).

Bailey is a very determined and focused individual, she has her life planned for the next 15 years. She is an extremely busy person between working two jobs, school, homework and still manages to find time to meet Alex. Compared to her, I feel so lazy it makes me want to be more productive with my day.

Both Alex and Bailey are opposites in different ways, I like that they are relatable characters doesn't make it seem so they don't exist. I loved the banter and easy relationship both of these had with one another, I liked how humor played a part in the storyline makes it less intense. Overall I loved this book.

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Sunday, 6 May 2018

The Beast's Heart

Title: The Beast's Heart
Author: Leife Shallcross
Published: 3rd May 2018
My Rating: 5/5
Recommend: Hell yes!

A sumptuously magical, brand new take on a tale as old as time—read the Beast's side of the story at long last.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

The day I was cursed to this wretched existence was the day I was saved—although it did not feel so at the time.

My redemption sprung from contemptible roots; I am not proud of what I did the day her father happened upon my crumbling, isolated chateau. But if loneliness breeds desperation then I was desperate indeed, and I did what I felt I must. My shameful behaviour was unjustly rewarded.

My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart; she taught me how to be human again.

And now I might lose her forever.

Lose yourself in this gorgeously rich and magical retelling of The Beauty and the Beast that finally lays bare the beast's heart.

Received a copy in exchange for a fair review thank you to Hodder & Stoughton

O.M.G! Where do I begin with this book? I read this book instantly in one sitting and I fell in love with everything about it. I loved Beast and Isabeau (although in my head I kept referring to her as Isabelle but shhh...don't tell anyone).

How do I convey my love for this book? I am so incoherent right now, secretly whilst typing this review out I am dreaming of the lines Beasts says to Isabeau. How can someone so gentle be so frightening? It just goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover. 

Honestly speaking the book was only challenging because of having a newborn makes reading harder and I had a bit of trouble getting in to the book. From the synopsis I was hoping the book would be different to the versions we have seen on TV but there isn't much to assume based on what we are told so this made it interesting to see how the author would work this out. And it was the best decision in my life. I loved everything about the book; the plot, the sisters, Isabeau, Renè, Vicomte and most of all the Beast. Be still my sweet Beast. I loved the version of this tale so much I am so glad it had so much likeness with the original story but had few surprises up its sleeve as well.

The more I praise the writing style would be less. I really have something for the way royalty speak and how back in the day the men and women would converse with one another. I can imagine myself being in that era and speaking exactly the same even though I don't know anything about it. This may be the author's debut but she has already won my heart. I can't wait to see more of her work in the future.

My favourite characters would have to obviously the main protagonists; Isabeau and Beast. I love how they are both conflicted about one another although Beast makes his feelings very clear early on in the book. Their epic tale revolves around honesty, although Isabeau is very torn between making her new friend happy and wanting to be with her family again, she is often sad when she sees how much pain her answer has caused Beast.!!! I really wish though I didn't compare Isabeau to Emma Watson in the movie because they are nothing alike that kind of ruined it for me!

P.S. Can I please get part 2 now?

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Friday, 13 April 2018

Blogging Hiatus

Hi guys, as some of you may know I found out I was pregnant last August. Between now and then I have discovered the ups and downs of pregnancy and then came the waiting time of labor. I had many reservations about what is going to happen and whether I should just opt for a C- Section since my pain tolerance is so low but I decided to just try a natural birth anyways since being induced has its own kind of pain. It happened. I gave birth to a baby boy on 04/04/18. The labor was nothing like I have ever experienced I am still a little shaken even though it has been a week but it ended up being a traumatic one. I had a lot of stitches done since the tear was quite deep and along with other things (I am not ready to share them yet but maybe one day) it's going to take me a while to fully recover. I am going to take some time off blogging and social media and concentrate on my health first before anything else. Just in case any of you are wondering my family is helping me taking care of the baby.

I hope you guys understand and have a lovely weekend.

Until next time,

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: These Rebel Waves

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: These Rebel Waves
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Stream Raiders #1
Release Date: 7th August 2018

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

Have you seen the book cover? I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and I die just a little bit every day just staring at it. The artist did an amazing job with this cover and I love it sooooooo much! Did I mention how much I adore this cover??? πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

Let's chat: Have you ever wanted a book so bad just because you fell in love with the cover? Well I have several times and this is one of those moments. What are you lovely readers waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments below!

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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Neverwake

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Neverwake
Author: Amy Plum
Series: Dreamfall #2
Release Date: 7th August 2018

For most people, nightmares always come to an end. But for Cata, Ant, and the others, there may be no escape from theirs. After an experimental treatment meant to cure their insomnia went horribly wrong, the teens were dragged into a shared dreamworld where their most terrifying fears became reality.

The six of them have no way of waking up. And they’re beginning to realize that if they die here, they might actually die in the real world. One of the dreamers is already gone, and anyone could be next. The only thing they know for certain is that they have to work together to survive. But as they learn the truth about one another’s pasts, they soon discover they are trapped with something far worse than their nightmares….

Ahhh...just look at that book cover! Isn't it great? I have the first book in the series but I am yet to read it. Oh reading slump when will you stop coming between me and my books! πŸ˜“πŸ˜’πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­

Let's chat: Do you prefer sci-fi books or fantasy? What are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments below! 

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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Movie Review: My Little Pony

Movie Details:
Title: My Little Pony
Release Date: 24th September 2017
Cast: Uzo Aduba, Ashleigh Ball, Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Taye Diggs, Andrea Libman, Michael PeΓ±a, Zoe Saldana, Liev Schreiber, Sia, Tabitha St. Germain, Tara Strong, Cathy Weseluck
Rating: 3/5

Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity embark on an epic journey to save Ponyville from a dark force. Along the way, the Mane 6 meet new friends and face exciting challenges as they travel beyond Equestria to defeat the evil Storm King and his minion unicorn -- Tempest Shadow.

Okay so I know I am not a child but watching anime's and cartoons were a huge part in my life growing up so although I may have grown up on the outside my insides are still a child. I also can't wait for my baby to be born and grow up (if its not born by the time this post is scheduled) to the age where they understand what they see so I can introduce them to a world full of cartoons. I am aware that young children are fond of watching that anyways, I used to have sit and watch programmes like Mr Tumble and In the Night Garden with my niece which would put me to asleep but she loved to watch them 😴😴😴.

I am an avid watcher of My Little Pony ever since it first aired on tv and I am not ashamed to admit that I watched all 7 seasons and I am eagerly awaiting season 8 (come March already). So I know Twilight Sparkle and her friends, I also love the fact that Twilight Sparkle loves to read and is a bookworm by heart so the fact I get to mix my two favourite hobbies in one is absolute a dream come true. Twilight Sparkle resonates with me.

I thought this movie would be totally different to the seasons (you know how it is sometimes with cartoons) but it wasn't like that. I felt like I was watching an hour length episode which made it hard to like the movie. Just like in the series, Twilight and her friends are organising and preparing for a festival that will take place in Canterlot, since Twilight is a bit of a perfectionist she likes to make sure everything is perfect. However, the happy festivities are interrupted by the arrival of a ship which is where we meet Tempest Shadow (what a name, I really love some of the names in this series). The journey begins to save Equestria and Twilight from being captured.

One theme which I always admire about this series in particular is how they have friendship lessons so no matter how much you think you know you actually realise you still have a lot to learn. The creators really stuck with this theme and so there is a lesson to be learned for Twilight and her friends.

I am a fan of Sia's singing so to know they included her in this movie was a cherry on top of my ice cream sundae. I love how her vocals are very different and speaks to your soul, her song "Rainbow" is one of my favourites. 

The animation and the vast actors in the movie is probably the only thing that salvaged this movie, I wanted the movie to be on my top 10 for 2017 but sadly that didn't happen. A lot of critics agree that although the creators wanted to go big and epic on this film they sadly failed to do that even though the promotion for this movie promised big things. 

Let's chat: Have you ever watched My Little Pony? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Movie Details:
Title: Thor: Ragnarok
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins
Rating: 4/5

Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor's quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

I have watched the first two films in this franchise (finally I've watched something in order πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…), I loved the first film more than the second. This film is very different than the rest not just because Chris Hemsworth cut his hair 😍😍😍 but it features some unique elements that make it different from the first two. 

Great actors like Jeff Goldblum played a magnificent role, I remember him from Jurassic World and I absolutely loved him in that role so to see him in avatar like this was purely magical. His character is very manipulative and eccentric. He loves to watch two fighters against each other which is what he does with Thor.

Thor is so HOT in this movie. The beginning of the movie is actually quite comical with him being stuck in a cage with chains wrapped around him (he also has some strange but funny dialogues). Although, you would not quite associate a start like that especially with a Marvel superhero film. I did like the Fire Demon though (he reminds me of the character from Fantastic 4), he is so tall and fiery. He is the one who informs Thor of Ragnarok, Odin's death and how his role will be the end for Asgard, not one to believe him Thor ends up easily defeating the Fire Demon and escaping. This movie is ultimately more than what seems to be on the surface, its about how Home is not the planet you live on but how its made with the people you love.

I liked how different sub plots were combined in to this movie, it talked about the greatness of Valkyrie, Loki doing the right thing for once. I am not sure how I feel about the Grandmaster and his planet being fitted into the film, I was getting quite bored of it since I wanted to know what the film was about.

I loved, loved, loved Heimdall. His eyes are just so dreamy 😍😍😍😍😍 but somehow I failed to notice it was Idris Elba playing the character like what planet did I live on before this? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ˜†.

I have to commend the actors on their superb performance towards the intense battle sequence, I was holding my breath every time it didn't go in Thor's way. I was on the edge of my seat (no I wasn't watching a horror movie but it seemed like Thor would lose and I could not handle that). The way each character brings their own uniqueness to the battlefield and ends up saving the day is one of my favourite scenes throughout the whole movie and the music? Oh it was fabulous!!!!

Let's chat: Have you watched any of Thor's films? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

Movie Details:
Title: Wonder Woman
Release Date: 2nd June 2017
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya 
Rating: 5/5

Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny

AHHH!!! Possibly one of the best movies of 2017 I've seen. I saw this back in August and thankfully I quickly did too. How was I supposed to know once I become pregnant I would fall in to a phase where I would not to do anything for the whole 9 months, hence why this review is so late. I admire those women that manage to have their home life balanced, work life and maintain a blog. How do women have this extraordinary special power? Please pass some down to me. 

This movie really shook the whole box office not only with its phenomenal success but also because of a woman directing a superhero film. Yay!!!! Women never cease to amaze me, we are such a beautiful creation on this earth.

I loved this movie not only because of its Amazon background, I love how strong and fierce women are shown. Conflict ensues when Chris Pine (I know I remember him from somewhere but I can't put my finger on it. BUT HE IS SO FREAKINGLY HANDSOME) escaping for his life ends up in the Amazonian hidden island. Intrigued by the creature they call 'man', Diana starts a mission to save Earth since she feels it is her duty to help and protect.

Although it is superhero action film, like with anything there is a hint of romance between the main protagonists (I am secretly hoping Chris Pine asks me to marry him even a summer fling would be okay!). Diana and Steve would not be first choice of romance pairing and I personally would not include any romance in a movie like this as I feel like this would take the attraction from the main plot line but since I am not a Director (probably a good reason why) I did enjoy the little humour and romance that was added to break down some of the intensity of it. 

Eek! My heart broke in the end, I wish that didn't happen nor do I understand the meaning behind it. But it did happen. I cried when Diana did and her rage became my rage. I was one with Diana at this point, I was happy when she started fighting with her heart instead of strength. This is my first time seeing a Gal Gadot movie and I was surprised with her skills. I was even more fascinated to know that she had served in the army, what a woman! She was by far my favourite character. 

Wonder Woman is a portrayal for every woman out there that she has a Diana inside of her, she can also fight the injustice in the world against women and she can do anything she sets her mind to do. 

Let's chat: Did you also fall in love with Wonder Woman? Does the film hold any significance for you?

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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge

Movie Details:
Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge
Release Date: 11th May 2017
Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Geoffrey Rush
Rating: 2/5

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Capt. Jack Sparrow feels the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost sailors led by his old nemesis, the evil Capt. Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle. Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it, he must forge an uneasy alliance with a brilliant and beautiful astronomer and a headstrong young man in the British navy.

Jack Sparrow as always up to his no good tricks again, how he always manages to get out of sticky situations which always seem impossible is beyond my understanding. But he does every time and the way they show these scenes in the movies is actually quite sneaky.

I thought the acting was superb in this movie, but I seem to have tendency to watch movies not in the right order. Since I have only watched the first film I don't know what happens between Jack Sparrow and Salazar. I did find Javier's acting and appearance in the movie very deadly, I cannot praise enough how much I loved his character (I have to admit it kind of gave me goosebumps when his character is first introduced)

Although there are many sub plots in the movie, with Henry wanting to break the curse and an astronomer wanting to prove herself. The main plot line does deviate a bit, I found it a little confusing as how this would all come together.

My main problem with this movie was it didn't live up to the hype of the trailer, I had fantasised a thousand endless possibilities with this movie and it ended up in another direction. Even with its shortcomings I did truly enjoy watching Johnny Depp in his comedic, kind of drunk character who never fails to make me smile.

Let's chat: Have you watched the latest release to Pirates of the Caribbean yet? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Dating Disasters of Emma Nash

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Dating Disasters of Emma Nash
Author: Chloe Seager
Series: N/A
Release Date: 1st May 2018

Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud novel of the year!

Online, you can choose who you want to be. If only real life were so easy…

Emma Nash may be down, but after months of wallowing, stalking her ex online and avoiding showering—because, really, who’s going to care?—Emma’s ready to own her newly single status, get out with her friends and chronicle her dating adventures on her private blog.

But life online doesn’t always run smoothly. Stumbling upon her mother’s Tinder dating profile, getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why her ex-boyfriend Leon’s not worth any girl’s…um…time… Okay, those were disasters.

But surely nothing else can go wrong?

Filled with fun, flirty encounters and heartwarming friendships, Dating Disasters of Emma Nash will shock and delight scores of readers looking for something fresh.

I love romcom and this seems to perfectly fit within that contemporary and funny genre and I love books like that! I am so looking forward to reading this book!

Let's chat: What is your favourite genre? Let me know in the comments below!

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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: All the Wandering Light

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: All the Wandering Light
Author: Heather Fawcett
Series: Even the Darkest Stars #2
Release Date: 4th September 2018

After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

I am yet to read the first book, but I saw this cover reveal a couple of days and wow did it take my breath away. I can't decide which one is better the first or second?

Let's chat: What do you think of the cover? Did you fall in love with it like I did? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Belles #1 - Beauty can be deadly!

Title: The Belles
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Published: 6th February 2018
My Rating: 4/5
Recommend: YES!

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

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

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

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review thank you to Gollancz

First book of 2018 and what a powerful one to that. After debating with myself for the past week and half to coax myself in to reading a book, I end up finishing this just before and that too in one night sitting. I will be honest, when I first heard about this book on Twitter, everyone was raving about how good it is I wanted to read it there and then instantly. However, in my current state I wasn't sure if I was up to the task of reading it.

But this book surprised me as hell, I don't even mind the fact that as I am writing this review I am sleep deprived, a little short tempered thanks to the weather and being in the final trimester of pregnancy. I don't know where to begin with this book.

Set in OrlΓ©ans, the story begins with the 6 girls all being presented as Belles and showcasing their talents to the royal family. It mainly focuses on Camellia Beauregard who is a very passionate Belle and likes to experiment with the looks a lot. From what I understand, Belles are descendants from the Beauty of God who has blessed these girls with special Arcana's or magic and each of them is named after a flower. Each of them compete with one another to become the 'favourite' and become the one to beautify the kingdom and its people. I like how they are shown to be sisters born on the same day but have different mothers and are very close, it is a very cool concept.

Each of the sister has different personality and are very different to one another, where Amber is shown to be the good doer, Edel a little rebellious and often gets into trouble and Camellia having the tendency to not follow the rules. Amber and Camilla have a very strong bond and are bffs but all that is momentarily broken when Amber is chosen to be the favourite and not Camilla. I have to say things get very interesting after this, you meet new characters, the story starts to explore more themes between doing what is right and wrong and what it means to be a Belle.

I initially thought there may be a love triangle developing, one I was hoping I was wrong and I think I am. Both Remy and Auguste are cute but I have to say I had a bit more favouring for Auguste. However, with how things left off towards the end of the book I see myself deviating from that but I also can't believe he would do something like that???? WHY???? AND OH MY GOSH!! How cute is Remy with his sisters? #siblinggoals 

Although the book seemed a little tedious at times with how long it looks, I am pleased to say Clayton hooked me from the very first page. My fascination with what a Belle is and what extent you have to go through to please someone kept me flying through the book without even knowing how it ended so soon.

A very enticing, gripping story that hooks the reader from the very first page. Clayton makes you pause and think, in a society full of injustice how would you stand up and fight for freedom and justice?

Let's chat: Imagine you had a Belle presented to you, would there be anything you would change about yourself? Or stay as you are? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

2018 Reading Challenge

HELLO from the other side!

First of all can I say Happy 2018 to you all, yikes I know I am so late in wishing everyone (sorry), I truly hope you all have a wonderful 2018, may it be a better year than 2017. It seems to have flown by so quickly, I feel like it was just yesterday I was saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming 2017. So much has changed in a year. As some of you may know, I found out I was pregnant in mid August and my life has drastically changed since then. I personally did not plan on becoming a mother for another couple of years but life has a way of changing your mind. To be honest, as I enter the final trimester I am still somewhat scared of the aspect of giving birth/having a child, since I have never been pregnant before I really have no idea what to expect which is both a bad and good πŸ˜“πŸ˜Œ. Pregnancy has been difficult for me, not only is there a lot of changes to the body I had to get used to, I had to tolerate the mood changes, hormones, not being able to do certain things and just pregnancy symptoms in general. Although, I am a lot better than I was in the first trimester (Thank God for that), unfortunately the part of me that didn't want to do anything did not go away. I am still struggling with reading and blogging today which is why everything has suffered. I wish I could change that part of me but I have learned to deal with it and accept I can't force myself to do anything. However, I am still hopeful that I can change some things since I get maternity leave from work at the end of this month. Here is to a better 2018. 

Last year, I didn't do very well in the reading challenges I decided to participate. I am hoping I can do much better this year. Let's see how this goes! 😊

1. British Books Challenge 

The lovely Chelley is once again hosting this challenge, I am aiming to read at least 12 books this year. Be sure to go and check her blog out, in the mean while here is my list:

1. Wing Jones
2. How Hard Can Love Be
3. A Step Towards Falling
4. Ally Carter

2. 2018 Beat The Backlist 

This is a new one to me but I LOVE the sound of this. Thank you to Novel Knight for this reading challenge, I hope everyone surpasses their goal. My own reading goals are:

1. What Light
2. Martini Henry
3. Freeks
4. Callback 2
5. United As One
6. A Step Towards Falling
7. Ally Carter
8. Secrets of the Little Village 

** I know some of the books I have chosen are entered more than once, I have a lot of backlist to go through!

And the final one is...

3.  Netgalley and Edelweiss Challenge 

Once again, I am participating in this challenge, I just can't help myself on either of these websites once I see a book I am like 'ooooo I like the sound of that one' I just can't stop myself from clicking on that request button.

1. About Last Night
2. A Secret Garden
3. Mary Poser
4. The Bucket List
5. The Witch's Kiss
6. Starfish 

Let's Chat: Do you have any reading challenges you are participating this year? Leave me some links to your blog posts in the comments below, I would love to check them out!

Adios amigos!

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