WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor Book 2)

Weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

 

 

Published by: Hachette Australia

Expected Publication: 30th October 2018

Wunder is gathering in Nevermoor …

Morrigan Crow may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And she is fast learning that not all magic is used for good.

Return to the magical world of Nevermoor! Morrigan Crow’s perilous adventures continue in the most anticipated sequel of the year, a treat for all fans of magic and Wunder.

Morrigan Crow has been invited to join the prestigious Wundrous Society, a place that promised her friendship, protection and belonging for life. She’s hoping for an education full of wunder, imagination and discovery – but all the Society want to teach her is how evil Wundersmiths are. And someone is blackmailing Morrigan’s unit, turning her last few loyal friends against her. Has Morrigan escaped from being the cursed child of Wintersea only to become the most hated figure in Nevermoor?

Worst of all, people have started to go missing. The fantastical city of Nevermoor, once a place of magic and safety, is now riddled with fear and suspicion…

Praise for Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow:

Winner
Book of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards 2018

Winner Book of the Year for Younger Children, Australian Book Industry
Awards 2018
Winner The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, Australian
Book Industry Awards 2018
Winner Book of the Year, Indie Book Awards 2018
Winner Children’s Category, Indie Book Awards 2018
Winner Best Children’s Fiction, Aurealis Awards 2017
Winner Younger Fiction, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (UK) 2018
Shortlisted The Readings Children’s Book Prize 2018
A CBCA Notable book

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Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading

This past week, I attend the Kell’s Bookmark Clique long lunch in Sydney, were I won a copy of Kim Congram’s upcoming new book “All The King’s Horses’ which is due for release November 15th.

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

 

 

 

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

 

 

 

Purchased (Print)

Comprising four titles – Dangerous Echoes by Leisl Leighton; Embers and Echoes by Daniel de Lorne; Echoes of the Past by TJ Hamilton; Hope Echoes by Shannon Curtis – about the town of Echo Springs.

Wholesome country living isn’t what it used to be… This town has a dark side, but what will these cops sacrifice to save it? A compelling suspense, set in the outback.

Blue lights in the red dust…

Echo Springs on the edge of the outback – a town where everyone knows your name, and your business. But the wholesome country living and welcoming community aren’t what they used to be. Echo Springs has a dark underbelly, and it is seeping ever outward.

Four cops…

The small police station is overrun, and officers are working overtime to stem the tide of illegal activity from graffiti through to murder. From prickly Leila to heartsore Ben, Cooper with something to prove to Mac who’s driven to succeed, the Echo Springs force is determined to keep the town safe.

Putting everything at risk…

But the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, and it’s not just the town these officers have to keep safe. It’s their hearts as well. With bullets flying and bodies piling up, they will have to decide how much they’re willing to risk and what they’re willing to lose.

 

Purchased (Ebook)

**Protecting Caroline is a stand-alone love story. It’s Book 1 in the SEAL of Protection Series.**

Matthew “Wolf” Steel hated flying commercial. Luckily his job as a Navy SEAL meant he didn’t have to do it very often. He’d been unlucky enough to be assigned a middle seat on the cramped jet, but fortunately for him, the woman next to him was willing to switch seats with him. Hoping for a relaxing flight, Wolf was pleasantly surprised at the good conversation and sense of humor the woman had as they flew 36,000 feet over the countryside.

When Caroline boarded the plane to Virginia to move across the country for her new job she never expected to be seated next to the hottest guy she’d ever seen. She also never expected he’d be so easy to talk to. She knew he’d never be interested in talking to her if he hadn’t been trapped in the seat next to her, but it was a nice way to spend a long plane ride.

Neither Wolf nor Caroline were prepared for a terrorist hijacking of their plane, but if Caroline thought that would be the last time she’d see, or need, Wolf, she’d be sorely mistaken.

Start the SEAL of Protection Series with Caroline and Wolf’s story.

As a flight attendant, Rayne Jackson is used to cancellations, but she never dreamed her latest would lead to a whirlwind tour of London with a handsome stranger…or a life-altering night in his bed. One evening is all the enigmatic man can give her, and Rayne greedily takes it, despite suspecting it will never be enough.

Heading home after another extreme mission, Keane “Ghost” Bryson hadn’t planned to seduce someone during his layover, but Rayne is too sweet to resist. Being a Delta Force member means lying to protect his identity, which is unfortunate, considering Rayne seems made for Ghost, right down to the tattoo on her back. For the first time in his life, regret fills him as he slips away the following morning.

Both are shocked when, months later, they meet again—under the worst possible circumstances. Seems fate has given them a second chance…if they can survive the terrorist situation they’re in. If Rayne can forgive Ghost his lies. And if Ghost can trust Rayne to be strong enough to endure the secrets and uncertainty that come with loving a Delta Force soldier.

** Rescuing Rayne is the 1st book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

A member of the famed Texas Rangers, Daxton Chambers has dealt with more than his share of depravity. But the Lone Star Reaper takes evil to a whole new level, kidnapping and burying women alive. It’s Dax’s job to help keep San Antonio safe, but even with help from friends in various law enforcement agencies, the killer remains two steps ahead. It’s hardly the ideal time for a relationship, but Mackenzie Morgan is too luscious to resist. Dax wants her–which makes her an instant target for his newfound enemy.

When the Reaper gets personal, it will take every ounce of Daxton’s considerable skill and training to keep Mack alive.

**Justice for Mackenzie is the 1st book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

 

 

purchased (Audiobooks)

Listening time 16 hours 5 minutes

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: A Spark Of Light by Jodi Picoult

Weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Published by: Allen & Unwin

Expected Publication: 3rd October 2018

When Vonita opened the doors of the Center that morning, she had no idea that it would be for the last time.

Wren has missed school to come to the Center, the sole surviving women’s reproductive health clinic in the state, chaperoned by her aunt, Bex. Olive told Peg she was just coming for a check-up. Janine is undercover, a pro-life protester disguised as a patient. Joy needs to terminate her pregnancy. Louie is there to perform a service for these women, not in spite of his faith, but because of it.

When a desperate and distraught gunman bursts into the Center, opening fire and taking everyone hostage, Hugh McElroy is the police negotiator called to the scene. He has no idea that his fifteen-year-old daughter is inside.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

Jodi Picoult-one of the most fearless writers of our time-tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation…and, hopefully, understanding.

REVIEW: The Lucky Ones by Ashley Chegwyn

Published: 7th September 2018

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 208

Format: Ebook courtesy of the author

RRP: $

3/5 Stars

Too much is an overdose.

After a mandatory six month hiatus, Hollywood’s favourite It-Girl, Emery Grey, finds herself back in the spotlight she’s trying to avoid.

The cameras are still flashing, her mother is bribing her and she’s in a PR relationship with the devil. Combine that with the therapy sessions and medication, she’s drowning under the pressure.

Lucky for her, her behind-closed-doors boyfriend, Colton, is happy to dive in and help. However, Emery doesn’t want him to hang on if it means pulling him under too. But how do you let go of the life raft that’s keeping you afloat?

The Lucky Ones is Ashley Chegwyn’s debut novel,an ambitious narrative dealing with mental illness, rape, domestic abuse, and family abuse. Because of this, I’m leaving a trigger warning here that this book does go quite deeply into the above issues and it might conjure up some unwanted memories and feelings for some readers.

The Lucky Ones is a book that I’m struggling to make my mind up about. On some fronts, I adored this book and really got what Chegwyn was going for…. but other points left me feeling a bit confused, and left me wanting more. I’m going to preface this review by stating, I devoured this book cover to cover in one sitting. So while this review, will be a more critical in some aspects, I want to be upfront and say that I did enjoy it as a whole. Chegwyn has the makings of a natural story teller, there are just a few issues with the crafting of the story that brought it down for me and stopped me from rating this book higher.

Emery and Colton’s story is one I believe whole heatedly needs to be told. Mental illness is often misrepresented and misunderstood in present society, in fact it’s treated as almost a non-event, that the ‘victim’ could almost ‘get-over-it’ if they just tried. We, as a more educated society in 2018 are hopefully a bit more aware now that the reality of mental illness is not at all like that.

Emery Grey is the daughter of a well known actress in LA, and if everything had gone to plan, she would have been graduating high school and moving on with her life when the book opens. However, the best laid plans are often derailed, and Grey has spent the last six months in hospital after trying to take her own life at a pretty important party some six months prior. Leaving the confides and safety of the hospital, Grey is unleashed on the world of high profile, big money and manipulative society, where looks and your  perceived reputation is more important than the truth and how you are doing.

Colton, a fellow schoolmate of Grey’s is left reeling after her admission to hospital. On the eve of graduating, with the whole world before him, Colton takes the big leap and becomes every damsel-in-distress’ prince charming and hero by sacrificing everything he has and is to look after Emery Grey, a girl he has found himself irresistibly drawn to.  The instinct to protect is strong within Colton, but is he strong enough and will be enough to get Emery Grey through the aftermath of the most horrendous and darkest time of her life?

One of the first things I noticed about this narrative, was the entitlement of the characters. Emery Grey and Colton live in a very different world from the one I interact with each day. Rich kids living it up in LA, never wanting for money, but lacking everything that really matters in life – love, respect, peace and more importantly family – the pair become their own family and try to do the best with what they have. In theory, that’s fine, but it comes across in parts as a bit whiny at times, a point that may hinder many readers in less fortunate circumstances. I know at the beginning of the novel I struggled to find empathy for the pair – there was a long wait before Emery’s past was explained and the books subject came to life.

All of that said, I didn’t buy the media’s interest in Emery and Colton. The blurb has her listed as an ‘it-girl’, but Emery goes to great lengths to distance herself from her fame loving and manipulative mother. While I can believe that her mother orchestrated a number of the events, including the fake relationship melded into the narrative, I could never see the media’s attention post her release from hospital. Why is her relationship morning news interview-worthy for example?  I didn’t really get that aspect of the story except for a thinly vailed plot point.

Likewise as a HUGE fan of slow burn romances, Colton and Emery’s relationship wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. The pair has a shaky start that isn’t very well developed. In fact, the beginning of the novel has Emery trying to work out what they are, and not long after there are allusions to the pair having slept together. It’s all sort of brushed past, as though the author was rushing to get to the more important parts. There were still some moments of gold between the pair, especially the ending, but … I wanted more.

Chegwyn has gone to great lengths in her pre-book launch PR to explain that the heart of this book is based on, and inspired by, real events. While the characters and their environment are fictional, the ideas, feelings and heart of the novel is a very real thing for Chegwyn who has lived parts of this book in a prior relationship. Because of this, I understand the need for Emery and Colton’s world to be so far removed for the author, and for the the distance in setting etc. But I can’t help but wonder, if it wouldn’t have been a stronger story to have Emery and Colton being every day people dealing with the upheaval in their lives? Alas, I fear that might be my own personal bias from the LA stereotype coming to play here.

The strength of The Lucky Ones lies in Chegwyn’s ability to create an honest dialogue between two teenagers on the cusp of everything the world has to offer, and their hesitation to take it. Emery Grey is balking at the world. She wants nothing to do with, and given throw away lines of backstory we can a piece a somewhat brief glimpse at why that is. What’s more, Emery and Colton have pure souls in a world tarnished by the beckoning call of bright lights and crowd given acclaim. The pair want to stand on their own feet. They want to be left alone. To heal, and piece themselves back together again. It’s an admirable quality.

These two characters have a quality that entices and engages the reader, a certain ‘it’ quality that hooked me, a glimmer of something that I can’t put my finger on, that kept me both at distance and somewhat invested right up to the very last page, where my heart exploded from ALL. THE. FEELS. Seriously, these two creep up on you, plant themselves firmly within your heart without your knowledge and they pack on hell of an emotional pack right when you least expect it. So much so, that now a week after finishing the book, I’m still reeling from their unexpected impact. Question what happened, and what happens next.

Which brings me to the pacing and revelations of the novel. While The Lucky Ones is a quick read full of heart and soul, there are issues with the pacing of the novel and the timing of the big reveal. In some regards I feel like we needed more development in Emery’s backstory and the event’s that she faced alone. There are many fleeting references throughout the story – some particularly poignant and well done, such as the bracelet reveal on the beach, but a lot are throw away lines lost in the drama of LA. While it didn’t necessarily affect my reading of the novel – remember I read it in one sitting – I still wanted, no, needed, more from the novel at times.

That said, while I felt the secondary characters introduction to the story were too easy, I really enjoyed the layers of plot Finn and Mia added. They helped to round out Emery a bit more, and suggested that there was more there than was written on the page to all of the characters.

Despite my indecision on this novel as a whole, I am curious to see where the author will take this series from here. There was a moment of pure gold, where I was hit right in the chest by her narrative that shows that with time, I think Chegwyn will be a force to be reckoned with in the New Adult scene. The story is there on the page, her story telling ability strong, with a bit more craft development , there won’t be much that will hold her back.

The Lucky ones is a narrative that sounds similar on the surface to countless other YA novels. There are cliche moments, a couple of pacing issues, and a truck load of teenage angst, but its a book that speaks to a higher purpose. A book that seeks out lost souls, offers a hug and seeks to remind them that they aren’t alone. It’s a book that will hit home for way too many people, that doesn’t shy away from the uglier and hard truths of the world, and mental health issues. While I constantly sought out more from the novel, I have to remind myself that this is a debut novel, from a voice that deserves to be heard. It’s a story with the world of promise and hope, and one that I think Chegwyn will continually improve upon.

To learn more about Ashely Chegwyn, visit the following social media pages:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

 

 

 

Waiting On Wednesday: Muse of Nightmares (Strange The Dreamer Book 2) by Lani Taylor

Weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

 

Published by: Hodder & Stoughton (hachette)

Expected Publication: 2nd October 2018

*****The mesmerising sequel to Sunday Times bestselling STRANGE THE DREAMER*********

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old. She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise. She was wrong. In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice – save the woman he loves, or everyone else? – while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with the thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date

 

 

Currently Reading:

One of us is in the dark.
One of us is a bully.
One of us wants to be understood.
One of us loves a girl who loves another.
One of us remembers the past as if it just happened.
One of us believes they’ve drawn the future.
But we’re all on the same map, looking for the same thing.

Year Ten begins with a jolt for best friends and neighbours Wren and Milo. Along with Hari, Juliet, Ben and Adie, they tell a story of friendship, family, wild crushes, bitter feuds, and the power of a portrait.

As their lives interwine, images could bring them together, and tear them apart.

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE OTHER SIDE OF SUMMER

A poignant novel of heartbreak, adoption and a father’s love by beloved bestselling Australian author, Fiona Palmer.

Bill, 72, feels left behind after the death of his adored wife. He relies heavily on his only daughter, Sarah.

Sarah, career woman and perfectionist homemaker, struggles to keep up with the Joneses. As her husband grows distant, she has no support network.

Emma, a down-to-earth nurse and busy mother of three, always dreamed of having a sister . . . But nothing prepares her for the shock results of a routine blood test.

Adam, a successful florist, was raised by his mother. As his dreams start to fall into place, he can’t stop thinking about the father he never had.

Finally, Michelle is trying to build cake-making into a career. But at 46, has she left her run too late to fall in love, have children and find her birth parents?

These five very different people – all connected but separated by secrets from the past – could be facing their futures together. After all, friends will come and go but sisters and brothers are forever . . . The new novel of heartbreak, adoption, family and a father’s love by the Top Ten bestselling author of Secrets Between Friends, Fiona Palmer.

 

 

 

 

Listening to:

 

hoping TO read:

When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.

Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty – a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she’ll soon discover that reality doesn’t always have the happily ever after you’d expect…

A thrilling world of parties, politics and bad ass princesses, this is the first book in the brand new series THE ROSEWOOD CHRONICLES.

Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty. Her London colleagues find her distant and mysterious; her cool beauty the topic of conversations around its quiet halls. No one could imagine that she is a desperately damaged woman, hiding her trauma behind her chic, French image.

It is only when some dramatic Byzantine pearls are loaned to the Museum that Severine’s poise is dashed and the tightly controlled life she’s built around herself is shattered. Her shocking revelation of their provenance sets off a frenzied hunt for Nazi Ruda Mayek.

Mossad’s interest is triggered and one of its most skilled agents comes out of retirement to join the hunt, while the one person who can help her – the solicitor handling the Pearls – is bound by client confidentiality. As Severine follows Mayek’s trail, there is still one lifelong secret for her to reveal – and one for her to discover.

From the snowy woodlands outside Prague to the Tuilieries of Paris and the heather-covered moors of Yorkshire comes a confronting and heart-stopping novel that explores whether love and hope can ever overpower atrocity in a time of war and hate.

 

 

 

Just Finished:

   

 

 

 

Last week on the blog:

 

Sunday Shelve It!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Waiting On Wednesday: Here To Stay

REVIEW: Why I Love Summer by Michael Wagner and Illustrated by Tom Jellet 3.5/5 Stars

 

 

 

 

Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading

 

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

 

 

 

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

What does the F word mean to you? The must-read book for 2018. Follow @feminists on Instagram for updates.

A collection of writing from extraordinary women, from Hollywood actresses to teenage activists, each telling the story of their personal relationship with feminism, this book explores what it means to be a woman from every point of view.

Often funny, sometimes surprising, and always inspiring, this book aims to bridge the gap between the feminist hashtag and the scholarly text by giving women the space to explain how they actually feel about feminism.

Published in partnership with Girl Up, the UN’s women’s foundation, royalties will benefit the charity.

Curated by STYLE columnist and Pink Protest founder Scarlett Curtis, with some names still to be announced, contributors include:

Bridget Jones (by Helen Fielding) – Saoirse Ronan – Dolly Alderton – Karen Gillan – Alicia Garza – Jameela Jamil – Kat Dennings – Nimco Ali – Beanie Feldstein – Olivia Perez – Amika George – Evanna Lynch – Akilah Hughes – Tanya Burr – Grace Campbell – Alison Sudol – Kiernan Shipka – Elyse Fox – Charlie Craggs – Rhyannon Styles – Skai Jackson – Tasha Bishop – Lolly Adefope – Bronwen Brenner – Dr Alaa Murabit – Trisha Shetty – Jordan Hewson – Amy Trigg – Em Odesser – Emi Mahmoud – Lydia Wilson – Swati Sharma

Ludo helps other people. It’s how he was brought up.

When Dad is elected to Federal Parliament, Ludo grabs the chance to make Australia an even better place.

But he soon discovers it’s not the homeless of the national capital who most need his help – it’s the rich and powerful.

Purchased (Print)

 

Purchased (Ebook)

 

 

 

 

purchased (Audiobooks)