Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Debut Author Challenge Sign Up

That Artsy Reader Girl

My last reading challenge - for now, anyways - is the 2016 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This one also looks like a lot of fun!

For the guidelines and to sign up, please visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

The goal is to read at least 12 debuts during the year. I'd like to aim for 2 a month again, for a total of 24. We'll see how I go!

Again, once I figure out what I'll be reading, I'll post the list of titles here.

2016 Diverse Reads Book Challenge Sign Up

The ladies of Read.Sleep.Repeat and Chasing Fairytales are hosting the 2016 Diverse Reads Book Challenge and I'm joining in as I absolutely believe We Need Diverse Books. I certainly need to read more.

For all of the guidelines and to sign up, please visit Read.Sleep.Repeat!

There are no set goals as part of the challenge, but I'd like to aim to read at least 2 diverse books a month, for a total of 24. Once I have an idea which books I'll be reading, I'll be back to post the list here.

My favourite thing about this challenge is that the month's will be themed! I think that will be a lot of fun and helpful in reading a variety of diverse books. So here's to this challenge!

2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge Sign Up

I've decided to tackle a few reading challenges this year and the TBR Pile Reading Challenge is one I absolutely must do! I don't even want to begin counting the number of books sitting unread on my shelves. It's definitely time to try and cull that pile, even a little, so 2016 is the year!

If you're interested in also joining in the fun, be sure to visit Bookish Lifestyle, our awesome hosts. The challenge guidelines and sign up are all HERE.

I'll be aiming for a Sweet Summer Fling and reading 31-40 books. I'd love to read more, but I'll start there and see how I go.

I haven't considered which of the many books in my TBR pile I'll read, but once I do, I'll come back and list them here. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on A Tyranny of Petticoats - Edited by Jessica Spotswood

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

A Tyranny of Petticoats - Edited by Jessica Spotswood

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 8 March 2016
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats
Andrea Cremer
Y. S. Lee
Katherine Longshore
Marie Lu
Kekla Magoon
Marissa Meyer
Saundra Mitchell
Beth Revis
Caroline Richmond
Lindsay Smith
Jessica Spotswood
Robin Talley
Leslye Walton
Elizabeth Wein
(summary from Goodreads)

"15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers and Other Badass Girls" - definitely one I want to read! I haven't read a lot of anthologies, to be honest, but now and then I hear of one I just can't resist, and this one absolutely makes the list. For that title alone! 

What upcoming release has made it onto your TBR list?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

Kings Rising Shade Me A Court of Mist and Fury The Unexpected Everything Truthwitch
Revenge and the Wild A Study in Charlotte Into the Dim This Savage Song Riders

I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on these books! 2016 is looking to be a great reading year! But hey, isn't every year?

What books are you most looking forward to next year?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Title: Daughters Unto Devils
Author: Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 8 October 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

Sometimes I believe the baby will never stop crying.

Sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner fears she is losing her mind. When her family move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, Amanda hopes she can leave her haunting memories behind: of her sickly Ma giving birth to a terribly afflicted baby; of the cabin fever that claimed Amanda's sanity; of the boy who she has been meeting in secret...

But the Verners arrive on the prairie to find their new home soaked in blood. So much blood. And Amanda has heard stories - about men becoming unhinged and killing their families, about the land being tainted by wickedness. With guilty secrets weighing down on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or within her soul...
(summary from Goodreads)

Lukavics has certainly created an atmospheric read but ultimately the scares and narrative fall flat.

I'd been wanting to read Daughters Unto Devils since I first heard about it. I like horror movies and I've been slowly getting into horror books too, here and there. With Daughters Unto Devils having been release in October, it seemed only right to read it for Halloween. I was ready to be freaked out! Unfortunately the book didn't provide the thrill I was looking for. Lukavics's writing is darkly intense, don't get me wrong. For a fair amount of the book she builds the tension perfectly. The mountain, the prairie, the bloody cabin, it's history, the previous winter, Amanda's pregnancy, the isolation - there's so much to Lukavics's world building that was goosebump raising. These little terrifying details that ratchet up the expectations of horror. The problem is that the final act when it came, that horror, was seriously anti-climactic. For me, everything Lukavics was building towards completely fizzled. The story speeds through the final moments, the big reveals, so that it was over and done with before I realised. I was really disappointed as I was ready for so much more. Some moments were creepy - the pigs! Ew! - but they zoomed by and just weren't as effective as they could have been. They felt much too little, too late. If Lukavics had have elaborated on the final part of her story, Daughters Unto Devils would have been brilliant. There was just so little explanation offered. The demons, for instance, alluded to so often and then never becoming much of anything! The narrative became senseless, to be honest, just aiming for cheap thrills - and failing. Lukavics's ending really let down Daughters Unto Devils.

Likewise, the rushed ending made for some disappointing character resolution too. In that there wasn't any. This annoyed me even more than not getting the scares I was hoping for. I'm just not sure what the point was after everything. Daughters Unto Devils is told from Amanda's point of view and the first three quarters of the novels is all about her dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and the haunted feeling she's had since something happened the previous winter. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of Amanda. She was at once selfish and naive, but so terrified you can't help but feel for her. I'm just not sure Amanda learned anything, that there was any greater purpose to her going through everything she did other than trying to create a psychological horror. Amanda's family were the only other real main characters, but Lukavics didn't really delved too deeply into their individual stories. Emily, Amanda's sister and best friend, might have been an interesting alternate point of view, but she was simply a contrast to Amanda here, someone Amanda judged herself against. Personally, I was more invested in Hannah, Amanda's baby sister born the previous winter under mysterious circumstances, who was blind and deaf. The reveals of that winter were not quite as dramatic as I was expecting though, and what happened with Hannah was probably my biggest disappointment with Daughters Unto Devils. Again, I just didn't see the point; why all that build up for such a minor end. The same can be said for Zeke and his father. Lukavics seemed to make quite the big deal about them and where they live, hinting at something more sinister, but again, it really turned out to be nothing spectacular - and again, that's because the narrative came to such an abrupt end. And then there's Henry, Amanda's boyfriend - seriously, what the hell? Talk about a bombshell with no follow through! Daughters Unto Devils had potential to be something fantastic, but it just didn't get there.

Daughters Unto Devils is sure to creep out those not hugely into horror. Lukavics knows how to set the tone, but needs to work on providing that final impact. 


Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Sign Up

Bout of Books

It's that time again! Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! Seeing as the end of January is going to be a busy time for me, I've decided to take advantage of how fairly quiet it'll be early on and join in the fun of this Read-a-Thon again.

Here's what you need to know:

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long Read-a-Thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Easy peasy!

I'll be posting about my reading goals closer to the Read-a-Thon start date...I have to decide what I'll read now! So many choices!

If you're interested in joining the Read-a-Thon, be sure to visit Bout of Books and sign up!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (77)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!


The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I'm a huge fan of The Princess Bride movie but have never read the book. A couple of my friends found out and so for Christmas they gave me the book! They also gifted my family a diabetic friendly hot chocolate mix and I was so, so happy because what a coincidence! I'd just recently read about a Christmas Eve tradition in Iceland where people gift each other books and spend the night reading with chocolate. Because of this tradition, more books are published at Christmastime in Iceland and the whole tradition is called Jolabokafloo, which apparently translates to Christmas Book Flood! Isn't that the best tradition ever? I love the sound of it and would really like to make it one I celebrate every year. My friends and I celebrated Christmas together on the 23rd, so their awesome gift ensured I had a Happy Jolabokafloo!

Did Santa bring you any great books for Christmas?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Feature & Follow Friday: Best Christmas Present Ever

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers and have them meet you. Be sure to pop over and meet this week's featured bloggers!

What was the best Christmas present (or other holiday gift) you ever received?

Aw, man, I'm not sure I can pick! I always love every gift I receive. Some people tell me I'm easy to buy for because of that reason, but I also get told I'm the hardest to buy for - mostly because I own a lot of stuff already...or I see something I like and buy it for myself! I'm a bit of a hoarder, I admit. Everything has sentimental value though!

Let me think, let me think. There's the big pressies, like my iPad and smart camera - I adore those. Or my special boxed BluRay edition of the Harry Potter collection! I will forever love my Lego Ewok Village - because it's awesome, but mostly because it's the last gift my younger brother gave me. I also treasure my Pandora bracelet. My parents bought it for me a few years ago and they and others have gifted me charms for it ever since. Every single one has meaning to me for that reason. Plus, I gifted myself my adorable Westie, Finn, for Christmas in 2008 and that totally counts, right?

Can you pick a favourite holiday gift? If so, tell me about it!

Thanks so much for stopping by and following my blog. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays! 
Here's to Christmas being full of love and laughter!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Thicker Than Water
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: 29 December 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

I received this book through NetGalley from Kensington for review.

On his own.

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers….Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden.
Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…
(summary from Goodreads)

With some great characters, intense mystery and a surprising twist, Thicker Than Water is a mile a minute read.

Thicker Than Water is immediately captivating. I loved Thomas, the emotion of his story is visceral. From the very beginning I was invested in the mystery of his mother's murder and the pain Thomas felt, at not only having lost her, but being alone and surrounded by people who don't even know him and yet are so sure he committed the atrocious act. It's these two things that resonated with me the most. The anger Thomas felt, and that I in turn felt, at how quick the townspeople are to judge! I swear, I was fuming so often reading this book, wanting to jump through the pages and slap some sense into people! Instead I got hooked on wanting to know what really happened to Thomas's mother and to the young girl murdered a couple of years earlier; to having Thomas vindicated. I expected a little more in terms of Lilly, to be honest, as the blurb says she was Charlotte's best friend, but that wasn't actually the case. The truth of who committed the murders was both shocking and slightly off-putting. The thing is, I wasn't expecting the paranormal element. I figured this book was a contemporary murder mystery, and as that it was brilliant, so the paranormal aspect threw me, I admit. I'm still unsure how I feel about it. It completely changed the story in my opinion, and while it definitely wasn't bad, being unprepared for it meant I was knocked out of the story, as it were, and I found it hard to rally for the last part of the novel. I simply wasn't as invested as I had been. What Kemmerer does well is keep the pace fast so that the story just moves and moves though, and keeps the intensity high. The emotion, the mystery, the tension, that all still packs a punch. I was still not entirely satisfied with the ending though. With the paranormal shock coming in pretty much as the last act, a world of questions was opened and no answers truly given. I got the sense - and I hope it's so - that Thicker Than Water is the first in a series. If that is the case, I'll definitely be looking forward to reading more.

I'd like to read more about Thomas. Kemmerer offers hints of what's waiting now that Thomas knows the truth and there's no doubt the emotional roller coaster of Thomas's  story could continue in some interesting ways. Thicker Than Water alternates between Thomas and Charlotte's point of views, and Charlotte's story definitely has a lot more to it too. There's some truths there that have barely even been touched on so I'd be intrigued to learn more about Charlotte. Plus I'd really, really like to see her assert herself with her family! I like that Charlotte and her brothers are quite close, but the way her entire family treats her, like they're stuck way back when and the only place for a female is the kitchen and as a wife and mother really got on my nerves. Charlotte showed some fantastic attitude and ability here and there, so I get the feeling if she truly came into her own, I'd cheer. I think I'd just enjoy reading about her brothers being knocked down a peg or two...or three, period. Their actions in relation to Thomas seriously pissed me off. It doesn't matter that technically Kemmerer provided a reason, I am not a fan of the Rooker brothers! Thicker Than Water is not good for brothers, really. It is pretty good with other secondary characters, like Stan and Nicole. I felt for Stan and loved that he was just such a good guy. I have high hopes for him and Thomas to form a sincere and close relationship. As for Nicole, she's sassy and I always love the sassy ones! She made me grin and I liked the contrast between her and Charlotte. Kemmerer has created some genuine and memorable characters - and some douches. I'm not letting it go!

Thicker Than Water is a fast paced and gripping paranormal read. I wish I'd have realised it was paranormal early on, but anyone interested in contemporary murder mysteries or a touch of the supernatural will be thrilled with this one. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

I'm interested to read...

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill
Series: The Glittering Court, Book One
Publication Date: 5 April 2016
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . .
(summary from Goodreads)

"A mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that's dripping with romance", oh, yes please. They know how to get my attention, right? I'm sure this one has been a popular choice lately. It's definitely being added to my TBR list. 

What upcoming release has you intrigued? Will you read The Glittering Court?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Vengeance Road A Madness So Discreet I'll Meet You There The Distance Between Lost and Found Cut Both Ways
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things Joyride Shutter Daughter of Deep Silence Walk on Earth a Stranger

Unfortunately Santa doesn't usually bring me books because he's never sure whether I already have it. But if he sees this list, who knows? I keep my fingers crossed for a bookish gift card at least!

What books would you include in your letter to Santa?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Title: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Author: Becky Chambers
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published Date: 16 March 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.
(summary from Goodreads)

This book is EVERYTHING!

I feel a little like one of Chambers's characters, Chef, when it comes to trying to describe my love for this book. It's all incomprehensible groans, squeals and flails. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is brilliantly mind blowing. Chambers's world building, her narrative, her characters, their relationships - everything is just so good. This book is fun, action packed, emotional, interesting and utterly enthralling from beginning to end. I love how Chambers has set her narrative out. It reads like a season of a television series. There's overarching storylines, but each chapter is like it's own episode. As her characters are on a journey across space, so too does it feel like we're on a journey of our own, getting to know this world and it's inhabitants, enjoying multiple adventures into their cultures and relationships, and the epicness of space travel in general. There's so much to this book, really, but it never felt overwhelming or tedious. In fact, I want more. It's the kind of book that when you finish, you sigh and just sit to reminisce right away. Or turn back to page one and start over again. I haven't had the chance yet, but The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is definitely a reread and I can't wait to immerse myself in Chambers's story again.

What I loved so very much about this novel is its diversity. My God, I'm not even sure where to begin in highlighting the nature of the diversity Chambers has incorporated into her story. The universe has been opened to us and Chambers doesn't hold back. Multiple alien species with their own culture and way of life - we have lizard like aliens, blob like aliens, human like aliens, telepathic aliens, aliens with sensitive hearing. You name it and I'm pretty sure Chambers has covered it. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, disability - so many issues of diversity are at the forefront throughout this novel. The good and bad, the acceptance and judgement, it's all here. Even as fantastical as it is, it amazes me how so very different and yet so very familiar it all can be. It's astounding how relevant these characters and their stories are. Through the adventures of Chambers's nine crew members and their travels through space we see the way life can be, how it is, how it should be and shouldn't be. I realise I haven't given a lot of detail but that's because I don't want to spoil anything, even the littlest thing. You should experience The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet for yourself and everything you feel and learn should be new to you and yours alone. That's the best way I can sum up my recommendation for this book - experience it! Now, please.

I don't want to give away much about Chambers's characters either, but they are so awesome they need to be mentioned at least. They're a crew of a spaceship but they're also a family and my love for them - as a whole and as individuals - is boundless. Rosemary, Ashby, Dr Chef, Kizzy, Jenks, Sissix, Corbin, Ohan and Lovey - they each have a history and a story that is so rich. I adored their relationships. There's romance, friendship and antagonism, and each learn and grow from them, are affected and changed. I feel like I was too. The interactions between characters, their backstories, their loves and losses, their rules, their betrayals, their joys - I was captivated by all of it. These characters became my friends and family. Their losses and their joys were mine. I was right there with them on the Wayfarer, traveling across space, visiting different planets, creating wormholes. It was the best. I'm also just going to say I loved Jenks and Lovey's relationship the most, for everything amazing and accepting it represented. There's so much more to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet than just that and all of it is perfection, but that one YES I can't leave out. Intrigued? Again, READ IT.

There's no doubt that The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet will forever be one of my all time favourites. I loved it that much. Fans of science fiction and Firefly will definitely appreciate this one, but I firmly believe everyone should read this book at least once.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (76)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I read an excerpt from this book recently and when I got to the end I wanted more, so I'm very excited to have received this!

It's been a very quiet couple of weeks on the bookish front. I've bought a few books for others as Christmas presents but nothing new for I've spent all of my money on Christmas presents! Tis the season, right?

Did you add anything exciting to your bookshelf?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Feature & Follow Friday: I'd Write a Book About...

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers and have them meet you. Be sure to pop over and meet this week's featured bloggers!

If you could write a book what would it be about?

Likely it'd be a contemporary YA and full of romance. I'm a sucker for a cutesy romance. The leading lady would be in a wheelchair because that's what I've always wanted to read. I'd be interested to write fantasy too...if I could actually write a book, that is. I had this dream once that has stuck with me and I've daydreamed it into a mostly full story. It's an M/M fantasy about an alternate world, soul mates, bonding, a villain that wants to destroy it all. As they do. It'd be terrible, honestly. Hence my not being a writer! But daydreaming stories is what I do when my brain won't settle and over the years there's been a few.

What would you write about? Thanks for following!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Excerpt Tour: Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)  
Release date: 5 January 2016 
Author: Brenda Drake 

About the book: 

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound. 

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed. (Goodreads) 

Author Bio

Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Find Brenda: Website | Twitter | Facebook


I pressed the screen, and it went dark. “How do we know he’s not being forced to say this?”

                “The password, May Agnes guide you,” Lei replied. “She’s the patron saint of Asile.”

                Agnes? That was the silver woman’s name that formed from my globe. Did the saints have something to do with the Chiavi?

                I faced Ricardo. “How did you know I was here?”

                “The werehounds tracked your scent from a shirt Katy…excuse me, your nana…gave us.”

                “Can your pack help us save Couve?” Arik asked him.

                “They will, but Gia must go with me.” He noticed the protest forming on my lips. “Merlin said no exceptions. I’m to get you to the shelter.”

                From the corridor came yells, scuffles, and the continual wail of the warning siren.

                “I can’t go with you,” I said. “I have to fight with them.”

                “She can’t fight with us,” Lei said, glancing at the door. “She almost killed Kale.”

                I turned to Sinead. “You know what I can do.”

                Sinead gave me a pity smile. “Yes, but you have no control over it. Let Ricardo take you to your father and friends.”

                I thought of Kale lying motionless, near death, and I hated that she was right. As much as I wanted to stay, I might be more hindrance than help. I caved. “Okay,” I said, defeated. Lei flew out of the room with the Laniars on her heels.

                Sinead hugged me, then rushed after them. Arik moved over to me and cupped my face gently in his hands. His eyes held the intensity that always drew me to him.

                I swallowed my breath in anticipation. All the sounds around us went silent.

                He bent and lightly brushed my lips with a kiss. His lips were soft and oh, so tender. Butterflies swooped and curled inside me, and it felt like the ground disappeared from beneath my feet. He pulled back a little and said, “Regardless of the fact that you’re a royal pain in the arse, I fancy you. Listen to Ricardo and don’t do anything rash.”

                He gave me another kiss and rushed out the door. My heart twisted in my chest as he disappeared. I touched my mouth and exhaled. He liked me. It was against the laws, but he told me he fancied me. Maybe we had no future, but we had now.

                “What a sweet display,” Ricardo said, dragging me out of my haze. “I’m not one for rules or laws, but I’d be careful there. The punishment would be much worse for him than you.”

                “Why?” I stared at the door as if I’d see Arik there.

                “He’s a leader. He knows better.” Ricardo headed to the window. “Are you ready to fly?”

                “Did you say fly?”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Waiting on P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

I'm in the mood for...

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Publisher: Point
Publication Date: 26 July 2016

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.
(summary from Goodreads)

I've been craving cute contemporary romances lately, so when I saw this, I added it to my TBR list. I just can't resist these books!

What book hooked you this week?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten Best Books I've Read in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

Top Ten Best Books I've Read in 2015

Made You Up

I feel a little out of sorts completing a list like this before the year is actually over. What if I read an awesome, beats all of these, book between now and January 1?! Not sure it'll actually happen, but never say never, right? Eh. Turns out I've written 16 5 star reviews in total so far this year. Out of those I picked my top 8, above. I haven't actually written a review for The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet or Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda yet - I'm so behind! - but my love for them means they have to be included in this list. Definitely 5 stars! Pictures above link to my reviews of the books or Goodreads.

What books made your list? Do we share any? Leave a comment with a link to your Top Ten and I'll check it out!