REVIEW: Little Puggle’s Song by Vikki Conley & illustrated by Helene Magisson

Published: 15th August 2019

Publisher: New Frontier Publishing

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $35 AUD

5/5 Stars

A lonely echidna searches for his voice. Every time Puggle tires to make sound nothing comes out. Can Puggle find his voice and join the bush choir?

 

 

 

 

Little Puggle’s Song is one of the beautiful and inspiring picture books I’ve read. There is just something about this adorable books that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you notice it.
Puggle might be small, and not able to sing, but she is mighty and resilient in the face of failure.

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REVIEW: Dear Grandpa by Kate Simpson & Illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh

Published: 5th August 2019

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP:$24.99

5/5 Stars

A picture book about the special relationship between a boy and his grandfather, who stay close even when they are separated by distance.

Grandpa, did you know that if you rub a needle with a magnet, one end will point to the north and the other end to the south? In the south there’s an apartment building 160 metres tall. From the balcony, you can see the entire city. There are cinemas and ice cream shops … and me!

As Henry measures the distance between his new apartment and Grandpa’s wooden house under the mango tree, Grandpa works out how close they really are. A moving story that celebrates the bond between a boy and his grandfather.

 Dear Grandpa by Kate Simpson and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh is a love letter to the relationships kids share with their Grandparents. It is heartwarming; packed full of so much emotion, love and care that this is bound to be a family feel-good favourite. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Bossy Bastard’ by J.L. Perry (Cocky Hero Club)

Published: 14th June 2020

Publisher: Cocky Hero Club

Pages: 424

Format: ebook (ARC courtesy of the author)

RRP:  $43.99 and (ebook)

5/5 Stars

ASHTON BARCLAY, or as I like to call him, Mr. B. for Bossy, is fast becoming the bane of my existence.

After running into him, literally, he’s now popping up everywhere, and somehow managing to weave his way into my life.

He’s egotistical, smug, and so ridiculously good-looking it should be illegal—he’s way too hot to handle. I don’t do hot, those type of guys are more trouble than they’re worth.

Although, I’d secretly love to do him.

We’ve kissed once—it was smokin’, and led to me dry humping his leg in front of the entire club like a shameless hussy. Oh, and did I mention I deep throated his thumb within seconds of meeting him? I didn’t even know his name yet.

I have issues, big ones.

He makes me do things I never imagined myself doing.

He makes me feel things I’m not comfortable feeling.

It just wouldn’t work, even if I wanted it to. Between us we have more baggage than a carousel at LAX airport.

He’s everything I want, but can never have.

Or so I thought.

Bossy Bastard is one hell of addictive, page-turning, feel-good, alpha-loving, romance by best selling author J.L. Perry. If that didn’t give it away, I loved this book, and highly recommend it to everyone looking for a feel-good romance. Continue reading

Top Ten Books of 2019!

So this list is SUPER late, but 2020 hasn’t been kind to anyone, so here we are …

In 2019, I read roughly 187 books in total! That’s crazy in general, as I set a yearly reading goal of 100 books each year, so to surpass it by so many is kind of astounding. What’s even more crazy is looking at the list below and realising that six of the titles in my top ten were read within the first six months of the year. In fact books, number Seven and Nine were read as early as the end of January 2019!

For the majority of the year, I had five stand out books that I couldn’t choose between as my favourite book of the year. So this list was kind of interesting to put together because while I knew the ten books I wanted on here off the top of my head, ranking them was a whole other story!

I’m a mood reader, and thus a very emotional reader. Every single book on this list made me FEEL something so incredibly strong that each and every single one of these books still haunt me (in a good way) to this day. Continue reading

BLOGMAS DAY 29 REVIEW: Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy

Published: 1st April 2016

Publisher: Black Dog (Walker Books)

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture Book

RRP: $26.99

5/5 Stars 

Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People. We are part of this land and the land is part of us. This is where we come from. Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik. Welcome to Country.

Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy is an exceptionally well written and presented picture book celebrating the indigenous culture. It’s a book that I adored, but am ashamed to admit that I had not heard of until recently.

Welcome to Country is a non-fiction picture book detailing the Wurundjeri People and their welcome to country address.  It’s written in both Woiwurrung Ngulu (the language of the Wurundjeri people) and English. Continue reading

BLOGMAS Day 21 REVIEW: Tea & Sugar by Jane Jolly and Robert Ingpen

Published: 1st November 2014

Publisher: National Library of Australia

Pages: 36

Format: Hardback Picture Book (Borrowed from the library)

RRP: $24.99

5/5 Stars

Age range 5+

The Tea and Sugar train only came once a week on a Thursday. But the special Christmas train only came once a year.
Today was Sunday.
Four more days without sugar.
Four more days until the Christmas train. Please, please be on time. Please don’t be late.

Join Kathleen in the outback as she eagerly awaits the Christmas Tea and Sugar train. Will she meet Father Christmas? Will she receive a Christmas gift from him? A delightful, heart-warming story from the National Library of Australia that will intrigue, captivate and introduce readers to a slice of the past. Wonderful sensitive illustrations, including a beautiful double fold-out image showing the shops inside all the carriages.

For 81 years, from 1915 to 1996, the Tea and Sugar Train travelled from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie once a week. It serviced the settlements along the Nullarbor Plain, a 1050-long rail link. It was a lifeline. There were no shops or services in these settlements. The train carried everything they needed—household goods, groceries, fruit and vegetables, a butcher’s van, banking facilities and at one time even a theatrette car for showing films. The biggest excitement for the children was the first Thursday of December every year, when Father Christmas travelled the line. He distributed gifts to all the children on the way, including those of railway workers, those in isolated communities, and station kids.

WINNER ABIA Small Publisher Children’s Book of the Year
WINNER MAPDA Children’s Book Design Award
SHORTLISTED CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books
NOTABLE BOOK CBCA Picture Book
NOTABLE BOOK CBCA Younger Readers

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly and Robert Ingpen is perhaps one of my favourite Christmas book discoveries this year, and indeed of all time.

Tea and Sugar Christmas is a unique festive book. Unlike most books on the market, this narrative doesn’t focus on Santa Claus, but rather a specifical aspect of Australian history, the old Tea and Sugar train. This makes this book both historical and creative non-fiction. Continue reading

BLOGMAS Day 17: REVIEW – The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

Published: 1st November 2018

Publisher: Pan Macmillian

Pages: 400 or 13 hours

Format: Audiobook (hired from the library)

RRP: $26.99 for the paperback/ $49.95 for the Audio Cds (12 discs).

5/5 Stars 

Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, The Christmas Lights by bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving Christmas tale of love and heartbreak.

December 2018, and free-spirited Influencers Bo Loxley and her partner Zac are living a life of wanderlust, travelling the globe and sharing their adventures with their millions of fans. Booked to spend Christmas in the Norwegian fjords, they set up home in a remote farm owned by enigmatic mountain guide Anders and his fierce grandmother Signy. Surrounded by snowy peaks and frozen falls, everything should be perfect. But the camera can lie and with every new post, the ‘perfect’ life Zac and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth. Something Bo can’t explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and Anders is the only person who’ll listen.

June 1936, and fourteen-year old Signy is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures to work as milkmaids, protecting the herd that will sustain the farm through the long, winter months. But miles from home and away from the safety of their families, threat begins to lurk in friendly faces . . .

The mountains keep secrets – Signy knows this better than anyone – and as Bo’s life begins to spiral she is forced, like the old woman before her, to question who is friend and who is foe.

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan is one of those books you kick yourself for not reading earlier. Thankfully for me, this book has only been released for a year, but still … It was the first book by Karen Swan that I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. Continue reading

Slapshot Readathon Wrap Up 2019

Slapshot Readathon was a hockey-related readathon created by @puckspaperbacks @beccawithabook that ran from the 2nd October – 8th October.  October 2019 was the first #slapshotreadathon but hopefully not the last, as I thoroughly enjoyed this readathon and actually surprised myself with my results.

The readathon itself centred around three specific levels of participation achievements (based on the number of books you were aiming/achieved to read in the seven day period) and up to six additional reading challenges. All of the achievements and challenges were optional, as long as you read books based around Ice Hockey.

In my original TBR post, I challenged myself to complete THREE books throughout the course of this readathon and thus earning myself a HAT TRICK. At the time I thought that was being ambitious, but I was determined to make it. However, I managed to complete FIVE books in the space of SEVEN days and just missed out on finishing my SIXTH book. I was so close too!!!

Still, I’m pretty damn pleased with what I achieved with this readathon challenge, and completing FIVE books still earned me a FIVE HOLE, which is freaking cool!

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Long Lost Review: Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein

Long lost Reviews (LLR) is a  monthly featured hosted by Ally @ Ally’s Appraisals where bloggers are encouraged to tackle their review backlog with book reviews that have been sitting there for a long time. Reviews can range from in-depth analyses to one sentence statements with no pressure applied. To learn more and see participating blogs visit Ally’s blog here.

Published: 23rd April 2014

Publisher: Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin Books Australia)

Format: Ebook & paperback

RRP: $29.99

5/5 Stars

Ever since she was a little girl, Emily Wallace-Jones has loved Rocking Horse Hill. The beautiful family property is steeped in history. Everything important in Em’s life has happened there. And even though Em’s brother Digby has inherited the property, he has promised Em it will be her home for as long as she wishes.

When Digby falls in love with sweet Felicity Townsend, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Em worries about the future. But she is determined not to treat Felicity with the same teenage snobbery that tore apart her relationship with her first love, Josh Sinclair. A man who has now sauntered sexily back into Em’s life and given her a chance for redemption.

But as Felicity settles in, the once tightly knitted Wallace-Jones family begins to fray. Suspicions are raised, Josh voices his distrust, and even Em’s closest friends question where Felicity’s motives lie. Conflicted but determined to make up for the damage caused by her past prejudices, Em sides with her brother and his fiancée until a near tragedy sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.

Rocking Horse Hill is a moving family drama and passionate love story from the author of Heartland.

I was ashamed to discover that despite reading this brilliant book before it released thanks to netgalley and Penguin Australia, I’d somehow not posted my review for this.

Cathryn Hein is an author I greedily re-read time and time again. Her books are full of personality, passion and enthusiasm for all things horses and life. For years now, she has been a must-buy author, whose books decorate my bookshelves proudly and whose words I can’t get enough of. Rocking Horse Hill is no different.

I adored this book back when I read it pre-release and the two subsequent times since. The characters feel like old friends and the setting like a holiday home that I get to hang out at every now and then. Despite knowing what’s coming, every single time this book makes me giddy and brings me crashing down into the most ungraceful of ugly tears. But it’s also uplifting and offers hope and … it’s magical.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the actual plot, because it’s a book that takes you on a rollercoaster of a ride that is best experienced first hand.  I do want to commend Hein for her expertly crafted a story of the land, heart and soul, with a hint of mystery, intrigue and suspense that will leave you wanting more long after the final page has been turned.

I highly recommend this book and feel a re-read coming on ASAP.

Note: I own the original purple cover of this book. The novel has seen been re-published by Cathryn Hein and has the cover below.

To purchase a copy of Rocking Horse Hill, visit the following online retailers:

Cathryn Hein’s Website | Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Book Depository

To learn more about Cathryn Hein, visit the following social media sites:

Cathryn’s website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

REVIEW: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Published: 7th January 2019

Publisher: Self-published, sold via Audible

Pages: 6 hours and 47 mins listening time

Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible (releasing in paperback in April)

RRP: $37 for paperback/ $41.73 for audible without subscription

5/5 Stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance – available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she’s forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did – which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can’t seem to let her go again.

Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

Listening Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes

It’s no secret that I’ve been a long time fan of Kylie Scott; I’ve binge read her books more than once, and pre-order her new releases without a second thought. So naturally, I thought I was prepared for Repeat when it launched as an audible first exclusive, but I wasn’t even close. I don’t know how she did it, but Clementine and Ed’s story in Repeat is somehow next level. I devoured the entire thing in one day and was desperate to know what happened. I still think of the characters and how they made me feel today and am considering a re-read soon despite only finishing the book towards the end of January. (EDIT: I have since re-listened to this book since January and I’ve brought the paperback and read it once as well.)

This is all new to me. Every single part of this life is new.

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