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

 

Happy Monday!

A heatwave swept through Australia last week and it sucked all my energy, so not a lot of reading was done last week except for the beta reading I’m currently doing for a friend.

To celebrate Australia Day on Saturday 26th, I’m once again holding a small Australia Day Giveaway ( I still miss Shelleyrae’s Book’d Out Australia Day Blog Tours!) AND this week I will ONLY be featuring books by Aussie authors on the blog (outside of The Wicked King mentioned on this post of course). So happy Australia Day everyone!

 

 

Currently Reading:

Jane Rhynehart has a cosy shack in the pumpkin-obsessed town of Willow Creek, and a new job—if only she was able to write like the other women in the local writers’ group. But how can Jane write the perfect romance when she’s never experienced love?

After a lengthy stay in hospital, budding singer and songwriter Sam Marshall ends up as a resident in Willow Creek Nursing Home. Jane soon becomes his guiding light. But how can he be a man for her when he relies on so many others day-to-day?

Will Sam turn out to be the perfect muse to help Jane write her epic romance? Will Jane be the one to teach Sam how to truly live? Does love truly know no barriers?

A fast-paced and poignant novel of survival for young readers by Justin D’Ath that draws on his own experience of escaping the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires.

Zeelie wonders if they’re in danger.
When temperatures soar to 47 degrees one hot summer day, 12-year-old Zeelie hopes the neraby bushfires everyone’s talking about aren’t heading towards her family’s new home. What will they do if the wind changes direction? What about their belongings and their beloved pets? And why hasn’t her mum and brother returned from Melbourne?
Nothing can prepare Zeelie for what’s to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to:

 

 

hoping TO read:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

 

Just Finished:

     

 

 

 

Last week on the blog:

Sunday Shelve It!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza Winners FULL LIST

Waiting On Wednesday: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

REVIEW: Books Ever After Book Box – December 2018

REVIEW: First Day At School by Rosie Smith and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley 4/5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Shelve It!

 

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

 

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

 

 

 

 

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

The third thrilling book in Jodi McAlister’s page-turning Valentine series.

Things that happen sometimes when your boyfriend is a magical fairy prince: he gets kidnapped by his older brother and whisked away to fulfil his destiny in their magical fairy kingdom.

But Pearl Linford is not having that. It’s time for a rescue mission. Pearl told Finn she was coming to get him and she’s not going to let anyone in her way.

But will Finn want to be saved? And should she have listened to all those people who told her he wasn’t worth saving?

A lively and accessible book for teens on the history, pioneers, theories, questions, arguments, and daily reality of feminism today.

What is feminism? Combining insightful text with graphic illustrations, this engaging book introduces young adult readers to a subject that should matter to everyone. Feminism is… tackles the most intriguing and relevant topics, such as “Are all people equal?”, “Do boys and girls learn the same things?” and “Can men be feminists?” Find out what equality for women really means, get a short history of feminism, and take a look at the issues that affect women at work, in the home, and around sex and identity.

Meet, too, some great women, such as Gloria Steinem, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai, “rebel girls” who refused to accept the status quo of their day and blazed a trail for others to follow.

With more than 50 topics that address key feminist concerns, Feminism is… takes on the issues, is informative, and always thought-provoking.

Poor little Platypup is frightened of the dark. What is that shadow? Who made that noise?

But there’s nothing to fear. With his mother by his side, the little platypus ventures out of his burrow to explore. The moonlight dances on the water. Leaves whisper and gumnuts knock in the wind. Platypup discovers that his home by the river is just as lovely in the dark of night as it is during the day! And that’s not scary at all.

One single mother. Three escaped pensioners. A road trip across the United States.

The new emotionally compelling page-turner by Australia’s Charlotte Nash.

In their tiny pale green cottage under the trees, Mallory Cook and her five-year-old son, Harry, are a little family unit who weather the storms of life together. Money is tight after Harry’s father, Duncan, abandoned them to expand his business in New York. So when Duncan fails to return Harry after a visit, Mallory boards a plane to bring her son home any way she can.

During the journey, a chance encounter with three retirees on the run from their care home leads Mallory on an unlikely group road trip across the United States. Zadie, Ernie, and Jock each have their own reasons for making the journey and along the way the four of them will learn the lengths they will travel to save each other – and themselves.

Saving You is the beautiful, emotionally compelling page-turner by Charlotte Nash, bestselling Australian author of The Horseman and The Paris Wedding. If you love the stories of Jojo Moyes and Fiona McCallum you will devour this book.

Crush (n.): a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach . . .

Darcy Barrett found her dream man at age eight – ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough. Having conducted a global survey of men, she can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that he’s her twin brother’s best friend – oh, and that 99 percent of the time, he hasn’t seemed interested in her.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around – just to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts. But sparks start to fly – and not just because of the faulty wiring. Soon, a one percent chance with Tom is no longer enough. This time around, Darcy’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

 

Purchased (Print)

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species – understanding its abuse will define our future.

A powerful real-life thriller written with Hooper’s trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.

 

EVERYTHING WE’VE BEEN TOLD ABOUT HOW TO IMPROVE OUR LIVES IS WRONG. NOW SUPERSTAR BLOGGER MARK MANSON TELLS US WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO GET IT RIGHT.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. Drawing on academic research and the life experience that comes form breaking the rules, Mark Manson is ready to explode that myth. The key to a good life, according to Manson, is the understanding that ‘sometimes life is messed up and we have to live with it’.

Manson says that instead of trying to turn lemons into lemonade, we should learn to stomach lemons better, and stop distracting ourselves from life’s inevitable disappointments chasing money, success and possessions. It’s time to re-calibrate our values and what it means to be happy: there are only so many things we can worry about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter.

From the writer whose blog draws two million readers a month and filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humour, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ___ is a welcome antidote to the ‘let’s-all-feel-good’ mindset that has infected modern society.

 

Purchased (Ebook)

 

Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . .

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

 

 

REVIEW: First Day At School by Rosie Smith and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Published: 1st January 2018 (this edition), Originally published in 2016

Publisher: Scholastic Australia Press

Pages: 32

Format: Soft Cover Picture Book

RRP: $14.99

4/5 Stars

Whether big or small, feathered or furry, the first day of school can be a lot of fun!

On my first day, I will meet new friends and learn new things … What about you?

The iconic husband and wife duo are back again with their 2016 hit My First Day At School.

With Christmas done and dusted and January in full swing, the 2019 Australian school year is fast approaching and there are likely to be many anxious kids full of wonder, hope and a dash of trepidation of what their first school day may hold for them. If this happens to be one of your children, or a friend or family member’s, then My First Day At School is the perfect book to ease their fear and lead them gently into the school year.

Featuring a cast of colourful animals My First Day At School breaks down the school day in simple, easy to understand and relate to steps. Starting with simple things like:

On my first day … I dress myself … and eat my breakfast…

Meaning that children of all ages are able to identify and relate to the characters and the story straight from the get-go.

Using simple one sentence text, that is typed in clear, bold font, Smith and Whatley are allowing the children to break down the big day in to simple bite sized notions of what they can expect the day to hold in store for them. This in turn can help to ease any anxiety and fear they may hold for the future.

Choosing a wide variety of animals as the class of students, Whatley has deliberately created an inclusive and open environment for children from all backgrounds, ages, races and abilities to relate and enter the text, making it universal for all.

While Smith’s text is straight to the point, Whatley uses hints of humour and colour to entertain and enthral his readers.

Likewise, Smith and Whatley have cleverly constructed their book to feature double page spreads featuring one block colour background. Across each spread, there is one page with one line of text printed in the centre of the page and one page of illustration where one animal is usually undertaking the task presented in the accompanying text. By giving the text itself a full page, this allows the words to take centre stage and helps in turn to teach children to read and identify words and letters in a manner they are used too.

All in all, My First Day At School is a sweet and simple picture book perfect for anxious children and parents  alike who are about to start  school for the very first time.

To learn more about Rosie Smith and  Bruce Whatley, visit the following social media sites:

Bruce Whatley’s Website

To purchase a copy of My First Day At School, visit the following online retailers:

Booktopia | Target Australia | Dymocks | QBD | Boomerang Books | Angus & Robertson

 

REVIEW: Books Ever After Book Box – December 2018

The perfect indulgence for romance readers

What Is the Books Ever After Book Box?
Books Ever After Book Box is the perfect indulgence for any romance reader.
The Books Ever After Book Box is an Australian produced,pay-as-you-go, romance book box designed for romance readers across a wide variety of genres. Unlike most book boxes, Books Ever After is not a rolling subscription,  each purchase is a one-off deal with boxes offered every 2-3 months.
Cost:   Cost varies by country. See table below.
Payable by: Paypal or direct deposit upon receipt of invoice. Each box is put up for pre-sale before invoices are sent out.
Shipping: Books Ever After ships Australia wide and internationally to New Zealand, UK, and America.
What’s include:
Included in each box is two romance paperbacks. One signed by an Australian author, and one paperback by an international author with a signed bookplate. Both books feature limited edition, never before covers. There is also a variety of swag included in each book ranging, but not limited to bookmarks, lip gloss, ebooks, and special edition, one-of-a-kind items.

My Thoughts:

I was fortunate enough to attend a lunch with a bunch of romance readers late last year where Kat, the organiser of this box attended and spoke a little about the box. What was clear right from the get-go was that the passion and enthusiasm Kat had for the Books Ever After Book Boxes and she came up with the concept because as Aussies, we often miss out on book boxes due to  astronomical shipping costs and exchange rates. What’s more, Romance is largely under represented by the few boxes available in Australia. I was really intrigued by the promise of the boxes, so much so that I ordered the first box, the December box, that very same day.

As a whole, I was really impressed with both the presentation of the Books Ever After box and the content inside.

Shipped in a white padded postage bag, with the big black sturdy box tucked inside, I was relieved to find that the box for this book was rather large. Too many subscription boxes in the past have either tried to jam the book and swag contents into too-small boxes, satchels and once even an envelope; all of which have resulted in destroyed books and items. For this particular box, the protection off the box, and the inside contents, no corners have been cut in order to preserve the items themselves.

I must admit here, that the picture above is not how the box actually arrived. I was so excited after a long day at work to come home and find the box waiting for me that I eagerly ripped into it to see what was inside. I didn’t wait to take photos immediately – I know, rookie mistake – but I can promise you that the contents were packed much neater and well-presented then my half-arsed attempt above.

The books were laid down flat, with the black shredded material over the top and the swag items loosely nestled in and around the shredded protection. The breakable object, and stand out swag item for its uniqueness and creativity was wrapped in a plastic bag as added protection.

 

The two books included in my box were a signed copy of Ashton Scott by Nina Levine (Australian Author) and a paperback of Drive by Kate Stewart (International author)  with a signed bookplate stuck inside the front cover.

I was worried that I might have already purchased one or both of the books that would be included in this box, but was super ecstatic to discover that I had neither read the two books included, or previously brought them. In fact, both books were ones I had been eyeing off and were on my TBR list on goodreads!

In terms of exclusive covers, the covers themselves are foil printed (or rather the titles are foil printed) with a limited print run to the Books Ever After Book Box run.  While I know that is part of the marketing angle of the book box itself, it’s an aspect I can take or leave really; I’m more excited to have two new books that I haven’t read before. The fact that they are both signed (either the book itself or the bookplate inside) is the selling point for me!

I was also surprised to discover a voucher inside the box for an e-copy of Never Never by Lilliana Anderson, bringing the book tally for this book box up to three!

Other swag pieces making up the box included : a Beth Prentice bookmark and lip gloss

an Eden Summers bracelet. The other side of this bracelet reads ‘Romance with a side of sizzle & sarcasm.’

A JA Low door hanger and key ring

Nina Levine included a postcard of her Sydney MC bikers and T. L Swan a postcard advertising her book Green.

Lastly, because it was Christmas and a December gifted box, a Christmas Decoration was included in the box. I’m not sure if all of these items were the same, but I received a purple, glittery, butterfly.

Perhaps though, the most impressive and most unexpected surprise swag was the adorable mini Books Ever After Mug. While somewhat impractical, this is seriously the cutest thing I’ve seen!

I know this particular box costs a lot. Removing the cost of shipping, while lets face it, there is nothing anyone can do about in Australia, the box itself is $50 AUD.  $50 for a one-off book box isn’t cheap, but when you look at the box as a special gift every couple of months and attempt to run some of the numbers, I think the box comes out being a good investment for avid romance readers.

With Indie books ranging anywhere from $15 AUD to $30 AUD at books signings it’s a bit hard to estimate the costs of the paperbacks included in this book themselves. Let’s say they are $15 each though, the included ebook is $6.60 on Amazon Australia, and let’s estimate that adorable little mug to be around $15 printed. Our total already is $51.60, that’s not including the Christmas decoration included in the box, the special edition cover, or the lip gloss and various bookmarks, fridge magnets and marketing material. I think it’s safe to say, us readers come out ahead here.

I think this book box is the perfect way for romance readers who haven’t had the chance to get to one of the bigger indie signings  a brilliant way to get their hands on signed paperbacks that are otherwise a lot trickier to come by.

Besides, I’m using this box, and the Valentine’s Day one that I’ve recently pre-ordered as a gift for myself and a way to introduce me to some new-to-me amazing authors that I may never had heard of or tried before.

The next book box releases in February and is Valentines Day themed. If you, or someone you know would love one of these boxes, be sure to get your pre-order in quick as a recent post on facebook stated that there were only a few boxes left to pre-order for Valentines Day.

If you happen to be going to Books By The Bridge in February, there is an option to pick your box up on the day to save on shipping costs as well.

To learn more about the Books Ever After Book Box, visit the following social media pages:

Books Ever After Website | Facebook

 

 

 

 

Waiting On Wednesday: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

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:  Thomas Nelson Publishers

Expected Publication: 18th March 2019

 

Rachel Hollis, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Girl, Wash Your Face and host of the top-rated Rise podcast, urges women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes, and dreams and instead to go after them with passion and confidence.

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women being afraid of their own goals. They’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough. But the biggest fear of all is of being judged for having ambition at all.

Having been taught to define themselves in light of other people-whether as wife, mother, daughter, friend, or team member-many women have forgotten who they are and what they were meant to be. In Girl, Stop Apologizing, entrepreneur and online personality (TheChicSite.com) Rachel Hollis encourages women to own their hopes, desires, and goals and reminds them they don’t need permission to want more. With a call to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and the biggest possible version of their lives.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza Winners FULL LIST

Congratulations to all the winners of the 12 Days Of Christmas Giveaway Extravanganza and thank you to everyone who entered during the month of December 2018 and January 2019.

Below is the full list of winners from the giveaways. All winners have been notified by email already (so make sure to check your in boxes) and if the winner’s have not contacted me back by  January 26, the books will be redrawn.

Please note all winners were assigned a number and entered into random.org’s random number generate which chose the winner.

So without further ado,  the winners are ….

AlisBooks won the copy of Die Hard Christmas

Nicole W won the signed copy of the Woman In The Green Dress

Angie Kawash won the signed copy of Johnathan Thurston’s biography

Leanne won the signed copy of Matthew Reilly’s The Great Zoo Of China.

Ally won the copy of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Kylie won the copy of Dr. Karl’s House of Karls.

 

Sara won the copy of The Wonkey Donkey

Tara won the copy of The Hate U Give

Amy won the copy of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine 

Sara, Kristel and Kell won the three copies of  Kurt Fearnley’s SIGNED biography PUSHING THE LIMits

Angie K won Kim Congram’s BOOK PACK

 

Rl Sharpe won the copy of Wundersmith (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend

 

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

 

Happy Monday everyone.

Thank you to everyone who entered the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza. All giveaways closed last night at 12pm and I’m off to draw the winners now through random.org. Winners will be notified today by email, and published on the blog tomorrow. So best of luck everyone.

 

 

Currently Reading:

Jane Rhynehart has a cosy shack in the pumpkin-obsessed town of Willow Creek, and a new job—if only she was able to write like the other women in the local writers’ group. But how can Jane write the perfect romance when she’s never experienced love?

After a lengthy stay in hospital, budding singer and songwriter Sam Marshall ends up as a resident in Willow Creek Nursing Home. Jane soon becomes his guiding light. But how can he be a man for her when he relies on so many others day-to-day?

Will Sam turn out to be the perfect muse to help Jane write her epic romance? Will Jane be the one to teach Sam how to truly live? Does love truly know no barriers?

A fast-paced and poignant novel of survival for young readers by Justin D’Ath that draws on his own experience of escaping the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires.

Zeelie wonders if they’re in danger.
When temperatures soar to 47 degrees one hot summer day, 12-year-old Zeelie hopes the neraby bushfires everyone’s talking about aren’t heading towards her family’s new home. What will they do if the wind changes direction? What about their belongings and their beloved pets? And why hasn’t her mum and brother returned from Melbourne?
Nothing can prepare Zeelie for what’s to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to:

 

 

hoping TO read:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

 

Just Finished:

        

 

 

 

Last week on the blog:

Top Ten of 2018!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

REVIEW: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis 5/5 Stars

Waiting On Wednesday: The Secret Runners of New York

REVIEW: Why I Love Australia: Celebrating Australian In Children’s Very Own Words illustrated by Daniel Howarth  3.5/5 Stars

Last Chance reminder that there is still time to enter ….