Sunday Shelve It!

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

I’ve had the most wonderful book week this week. I came home from a month’s holiday to a couple of packages from Bloomsbury and Penguin Books Australia. Then I discovered a bunch of Beauty and The Beast themed books – which I simply had to have, and went on a book buying spree! Given that I’ve been away from civilisation mostly – well away from bookstores anyway – I’m taking the binge as a month overdue. Also there are some amazing titles being published right now and I simply had to have them!

 

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

    

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

 

 

Purchased (Print)

   

Purchased (Ebook)

 

 

Let’s Talk Books With Jill Mackenzie, Avid Romance Reader and Lover of Dark Reads

letstalkbooks

Today’s super star guest for Let’s Talk Books is a super avid reader of romance and dark reads, Jill Mackenzie. I first met Jill on one of Kell’s Bookmark Clique’s Readers Retreats and was blown away by her vast recommendations in books. To date, she has never led me stray and I love the wide variety of books she recommends off the top of her head when asked.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING ?

Ebook: Forever Hearts (Shattered Hearts #1) by Cassia Leo

Audiobook : The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

Paperback : After We Collided by Anna Todd

 

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT?

This morning I bought Wolfsong by TJ Klune after reading a review

DO YOU PREFER TO READ BOOKS IN PRINT OR ELECTRONICALLY?

It took me a little while to come round to ebooks. I love the feel and smell of books. Now I mostly read ebooks due to the convenience of them. I have the Kindle App on my phone, Ipad, Ipod and I own two Kindles so I always have at least one of those items on me all the time. I still love reading paperbacks though, and will always have one that I am reading at the same time as an ebook.

IF I WAS TO WALK INTO YOUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD YOUR BOOKSHELVES LOOK LIKE? DO YOU HAVE AN ORGANIZATION SYSTEM (GENRE,COLOUR, AUTHOR…) OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO GO WITH THE FLOW?

I think most people would be horrified to see that I have no system or no bookshelves. Just books piled where ever they can fit. I have a main “collection” of books that are stacked in about 4 columns which are my unread paperbacks that are unsigned. These are probably about 40 books in each column stacked on top of each other.

My signed books are in much smaller piles. I was in the process of building a library, but my circumstances changed and I’m now having to move. Once I am in my new house, I will have shelves built and more organized.  How it will be done, I have no idea! I do love the idea of colour coding the shelves though.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU READ?

Every chance I get!! When I’m sitting down watching tv, I always read through the ads. While I’m brushing my teeth, while i’m cooking….If I have a few minutes to spare I will have a book in my hands.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT TO FIND IN YOUR DREAM BOOK?

A tortured, anti-hero who is a complete and utter arsehole until the heroine comes along and finds a way into his “non-existent heart” . She needs to be strong, non-victim, fights hard for what she believes in, can hold her own against men. There needs to be great witty banter, lots of heart in the throat type of angst. Slow burn with those close call, flirty moments that have you questioning if they will ever finally get together. Side characters that are funny and just as likeable as the main leads. I like my characters to be challenged, basically I love it when authors torture them! I don’t even necessarily have to have a happy ending….as long as the ride has been amazing and the characters are left with a little bit of hope.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO READ NEXT?

With having close to 3000 items in my Amazon cloud and probably 500 + unread paperbacks, I need a clear list t to pick what’s next or else I get too overwhelmed. I have a methodology that I try and stick to. This helps me get through my TBR too. What I do is:

1. Book from the bottom of my TBR – this generally is the book that I have owned for the longest.

2. Random selection – I like the “close my eyes and point” method !

3. Book from a series I haven’t finished – I can’t read books in a series back to back or I get bored

4. Book from an author attending the next signing event I am going to / or a recommendation

5. Book of my selection usually a new release or something that I am craving.

Amongst all of this I will also always have a audiobook and paperback going too.

SO YOU’VE STARTED A BOOK AND DISCOVER ITS NOT FOR YOU. ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO DISCARD IT OR FINISH IT?

I tend not to DNF books. Some of my favourite books I really didn’t enjoy the first half but the next have more that made up for it. If i’m not enjoying something, I will start to skim read.

IF YOU COULD READ ANY BOOK AGAIN, FOR THE FIRST TIME, WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Bright side by Kim Holden

Slammed and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle

How to Kill a Rockstar by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Wrong by Stevie J Cole and LP Lovell

WHAT IS IT ABOUT BOOKS THAT APPEALS TO YOU SO MUCH? WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT READING ?

I love getting lost in someone else’s world. I love the challenges, and struggles that build their characters. I love that someone has created words that have the power to give me a physical reaction, whether it is laughter, tears, horror….These characters become almost friends and I love spending time in their lives.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO READING NEXT?

Stevie J Cole and LP Lovell are releasing book 3 in their Wrong Series hopefully in March. This book was most unexpected as the second book wrapped everything up so nicely. I am so excited to see what evil Stevie and LP are going to put my beloved characters through !

REVIEW: I Don’t Want Curly Hair by Laura Ellen Anderson

Published: 1st March 2017

Published: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Pages: 32

Format: Paperback courtesy of the publisher for review

RRP: $24.99 (Hardback)/$14.99 (Paperback)/$9.99 (ebook)

5/5 Stars

NO! I do not want this BIG CURLY HAIR!
It’s messy and silly and just plain unfair.

All Curly Haired Girl has ever wanted is straight and luscious locks, but when she meets a little girl with the smoothest, silkiest hair, who says all she’s ever wanted is spirally, squiggly hair, they are BOTH confused!

A hilarious tale about loving what we have. And hair, lots and lots of hair.

I Don’t Want Curly Hair by Laura Ellen Anderson is a super cute, humorous and some what relate able picture books for kids and adults of all ages.

Told through rhyme, I Don’t Want Curly Hair is the story of one girls struggle with hair that won’t be tamed. Rather creative – and somewhat ingenious at times – the little girl protagonist tries everything she can think of to solve the unruly mass of her curls. After a number of failed, but somewhat hilarious attempts, she encounters another little girl with hair so straight it won’t hold on to anything. The pair quickly become best friends and as they say, the rest is history.

As someone with a lot of curly hair myself this picture book really spoke to me. I remember being that kid who did all sorts of crazy things to try and tame (and later straighten) my frizz ball of curls that simply wouldn’t sit down. While I personally may never have gone to the extremes of this book – using books to squash it, tying balloons to it and getting friends to tug on it – I do distinctly remember gluing my hair down on more than one occasion, on cutting random bits off to try and limit it to the rather nightmarish ordeal that is curly hair hair that one has not learnt to deal with.

This is my first Laura Ellen Anderson experience and I was blown away by how beautiful each illustration was. Right from the creative end pages – with masses of all different types of curls – each single page of this book demands attention. Attention that is rightly given and deserved, for each image is bright, bold and oh-so-adorable that as a reader you can’t help but get caught up in this girls plight. I was awed by the way each illustration captured the emotion of the character so clearly and the way Anderson has tied the images and the text together via placement and the relationship between text and illustration.

The text itself is simple and easy to read, while the pictures take centre stage really giving the story a life of it’s own. Interwoven throughout the images, the text takes the reader on a story of self-discovery, while subtly teaching children to love themselves for who they are, as the grass isn’t quite as green as we might imagine it to be on the other side.

I admire the way Laura Ellen Anderson was able to avoid naming the protagonist as well, leaving the book open for the reader to place themselves seamlessly in the story. And the ending was beautifully portrayed and a nice twist.

I Don’t Want Curly Hair is the perfect book for anyone who hates their messy mop of curls, and those who wished they had one! It’s equally playful and imaginative, with a message readers of all age need reminding from time to time. All in all it is a wonderful,. colourful, imaginative picture book that oozes life, love and compassion.

 

To learn more about Laura Ellen Anderson, visit the following social media pages:

Author Website | About Laura Ellen Anderson | Facebook | Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram | Bloosmbury |

 

To purchase a copy of I Don’t Want Curly Hair, visit the following online retailers:

Bloomsbury | Book Depository | Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | QBD | The Nile | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AUS | Ibooks

 

 

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 (#AWW2017) Update 3: March

*Click on the book’s title to be taken to its Goodreads entry or on reviewed to see my review

aww2017-badge

 

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017 (AWW2017):

Read 60. Review: 50.

Read: 20/60

Review: 11 /50

Additional specific goal to read at least one of each of the following: Non-Fiction, a Classic, and a Poetry book.

I was away on a houseboat for the month of March and didn’t have access to the net and thus didn’t write any reviews during this time. Because of this I’ve fallen behind on my review count for this challenge, but  thankfully not my reading count for the challenge and I am determined to make the review count up in April!

  1. A Place To Stay by Jennie Jones (REVIEWED)
  2. She’s The One by Bronwyn Stuart (REVIEWED)
  3. Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein (REVIEWED)
  4. This Love by Lea Darragh (REVIEWED)
  5. The Long Paddock by Alissa Callen (REVIEWED)
  6. In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu (REVIEWED)
  7. Florette by Anna Walker (REVIEWED)
  8. Family Forests by Kim Kane and Illustrated by  Lucia Masciullo (REVIEWED)
  9. The Golden Child by Wendy James (REVIEWED)
  10. Me And You by Deborah Kelly and Illustrated by Karen Blair (REVIEWED)
  11. Valentine by Jodi McAlister (REVIEWED)
  12. A Letter From Italy – Pamela Hart (REVIEWED)
  13. Playing By Her Rules by Amy Andrews
  14. Playing The Player by Amy Andrews
  15. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  16. The Impossible Story of Olive In Love by Tonya Alexandra
  17. The Currency Lass by Tea Cooper
  18. Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson
  19. Situational Critical by Amanda Knight
  20. When Mina Meet Michael by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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

On the weekend I returned home from a month aboard a houseboat on the Murray River in South Australia. It was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about this country, myself and how the world operates. As one might imagine, when you are cruising down the Murray River, reception and the net are sketchy, and not a priority so the only things posted since early March on the blog were the few things I happened to find time to pre-schedule. As such my reading lists and Monday’s TBR’s are severely out of wack. But I’m back now and plan to spend the day writing a bunch of reviews.

This week on the blog, you can expect to see a mini holiday wrap up on what I read, saw and did. I’ve also got a bunch of reviews that will hopefully be up this week and I’ll be attending the Newcastle Writers Festival on the weekend. So it will be fairly busy around here this week and next I imagine 🙂

Currently Reading:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

The Beast of Hushing Wood- an illustrated novel for 10 – 13 year olds.

By the award-winning author of The Wishbird. A powerful magic realism story about Ziggy Truegood, a young girl who has a premonition that she will drown on her 12th birthday.

Ziggy Truegood lives in a tiny town deep in Hushing Wood, where strange things are happening. The townspeople are fighting, Ziggy feels like something is hunting her, and her beloved woods have become dark and hostile. When exotic Raffi and his grandfather arrive in town, Ziggy finds herself strangely drawn to them. But are they there to save Ziggy, or are they the hunters?

Thought-provoking and engaging, The Beast of Hushing Wood is a lovely blend of action, fable and magic realism.

LISTENING TO:

 

hoping TO read:

Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her.

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions …

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sunkissed and Star Struck, and Stargazing for Beginners has all that and galaxies more. This is the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and irresistible characters, it goes straight to your heart.

 

 

Just Finished:

  


Last week on the blog:

 

 

Let’s Talk Books With Sara Garrett, Avid Romance Reader

letstalkbooks

This week’s superstar is none other than Sara Garrett, an avid romance reader who I met last year at Kell’s Bookmark Clique Readers Retreat in the beautiful Hunter Valley. If you ever want to know something about a book, or are looking for your next read, Sara is your go to girl.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Fearless by Nicole Edwards

What’s the last book you bought?

Don’t Speak by Katy Regnery

Do you prefer to read books in print or electronically?

I prefer reading electronically, just for the sake of convenience.

If I was to walk into your house right now, what would you bookshelves look like? Do you have an organisation system (genre, colour, author…) or are you just happy to go with the flow?

A mess! Haha. I have one small bookshelf that is overflowing with books. I’m in desperate need of another one. I started with the best of intentions of keeping it organised. The top shelf was meant to be for my unsigned books, the middle shelf was going to be for my signed pretties and the bottom shelf was going to be for miscellaneous books. Well that failed. My signed pretties have taken over and are all over the place. Haha.

Like I said it’s all a mess!

How often do you read?

Every day and as often as I can.

Describe what you would expect to find in your dream book?

I love to have a balance of sweet and sexy. I love alphas who are romantic but still tough. My alpha would need to be in some type of uniform (police, firefighter, camo, etc.) and the heroine would need to be someone who has some back bone to her. I don’t like weak heroines. I like them to be tough but still have some softness to them.

How do you choose what to read next?

It depends. If I don’t have an ARC to read, then I typically go in the order I bought them. If I have an ARC due to arrive and it’s part of a series, I’ll go through and either read the books leading up to it or re-read the last one.

So you’ve started a book and discover it’s not for you. Are you more likely to discard it or finish it?

I’ll typically finish it and give it a shot. Very rarely have I given up on a book and didn’t finish it.

If you could read any book again, for the first time, what book would you choose?

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey. I absolutely adored this book and found myself laughing out loud in parts.

What is about books that appeals to you so much? What is your favourite part about reading?

I love reading because I can block out the rest of the world and escape into the world with the characters. I get to escape my problems and any drama and just get sucked into reading what the authors have created. I also find it extremely relaxing.

What book are you most looking forward to reading next?

I can’t wait to read a new book I discovered at the recent Books by the Bridge author event in Sydney – Inarticulate by Eden Summers.

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:

Can an unlikely alliance between a maidservant and a powerful lord save a city from destruction?

Forced to flee the English court after the lecherous King John attacks her, Adela, the queen’s hairbraider, finds employment in the entourage of Lady Alys. Alys is on her way to marry the Lord of Mirascon, a fiefdom in southern France. However, the south is under threat from Pope Innocent III’s military crusade against the heretics.

After trying in vain to rally his fellow lords against invasion, Richart, Vicomte de Mirascon, makes an alliance with King John. A political marriage to the Lady Alys – the king’s discarded mistress – will allow Richart to safeguard his people from a merciless land grab and cruel slaughter.

When the bridal party is ambushed, Adela is mistaken for her dead mistress by the people of Mirascon. Adela knows she must tell Richart that she is not his betrothed, but as she is dragged deeper into the deception, she is also powerfully drawn to the beleaguered man trying to protect his people and his culture. Adela is recognised by the dwarf Derwent, Richart’s English jester, who seems willing to keep her secret for the time being. Yet as suspicion builds up against her, paying with her life seems inevitable.

As the savage army marches south, can Richart and Adela overcome a web of deceit and treachery and evade the bonfires of the crusaders, or will their land of troubadours and tolerance be destroyed forever?

Set in the time of the Crusades, Isolde Martyn’s newest historical adventure has all the battle, action and romance of the Outlander series, plus the political intrigue and danger of a Philippa Gregory novel.

Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her.

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions …

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sunkissed and Star Struck, and Stargazing for Beginners has all that and galaxies more. This is the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and irresistible characters, it goes straight to your heart.

uliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.

LISTENING TO:

 

 

Just Finished:

 


Last week on the blog: