Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones: Review

Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones: Being a Whimsical “Take” on a (Pre)Historical Event
by Ted Enik (Author) & G F Newland (Illustrator)

Publication: September 28th 2017
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing

Source: Review copy
Thank you Schiffer & Edelweiss

Add to Goodreads

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The first book in the Unhinged History series is a ripping yarn–full of adventure and deceit–that brings to life the best-known public spat in all of paleontology: the bitter rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.

This frenzy of discovery and one-upmanship–known today as the Bone Wars–was a gold rush-like scramble to find the most and “best” dinosaur fossils, thus bringing to glory to their respective home-base universities.

Lively and witty rhymes plus wonderfully demented illustrations reveal how the paleontologists’ infamous rivalry began, and how–despite making genuine and lasting contributions to the field–their mutual obsession with outdoing one another spun out of control.


The target audience for this Seuss inspired Palaeontology book is Five to Eight year old’s. When I was that age I wanted to be a palaeontologist when I grew up. Ok I really wanted to be a magical princess who could bring dinosaurs back to life and control them, but same-same. I would have eaten this book up a trillion times over. The rhyming is brilliant, it is informative and humorous and the 48 pages are all full of colourful and fun illustrations.

I absolutely adore these type books. The kids will just think they are having fun reading, but they are secretly learning about the early days of Palaeontology.

I will have to pick up a hard copy of this book for my son. I know as he gets older he’ll be a dinosaur lover too. I really do hope that these two go onto to do more books like this together on multiple topics – I’ll be keeping my eye out!

A Thousand Deaths: Graphic Novel Review

34510261

Charmed, A Thousand Deaths by Erica Schultz
Genre: Graphic Novel
Expected Publication: October 24th 2017
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Source: Review copy from Edelweiss
Thank you Edelweiss & Dynamite
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Add to Goodreads

Dynamite Entertainment is proud to continue the story of Phoebe, Piper, and Paige, television’s fan-favorite witches, in all-new adventures set within the official continuity of Charmed!

A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco, utilizing a gallery exhibit to feed souls to the underworld and unleash demons into our reality. Only the Power of Three, harnessed by the Halliwell sisters, can stop the madness!


I was so excited when I discovered Dynamite had bought the rights to Charmed. I love Dynamite. But I was a little disappointed when I realised it was a reimaging and that it wasn’t a carry-on from the Zenescope comics that where season 9 and 10, carrying on from the TV show (8 seasons aired between 1998-2006).Season 9, 2010–2012, Issues: 24 & Season 10, 2014–2016, Issues:20.

Nevertheless I call myself a Charmed fan so I was determined to love Dynamite’s take on my favourite sister witches. I pre-ordered and read the first two issues and while I enjoyed them, It all felt a little lacking. My favourite thing about the Zenescope comics was seeing the girl’s children come into their powers and there whole larger family dynamic. I didn’t go on to buy issue three, but when I saw this combined edition on Edelweiss I knew I had to give the whole story arc a go. *spoiler* Possessor demon!

A Thousand Deaths combines one story arc spaced over five issues and I assume that the story was set around the third/fourth season. Leo is always around the manor, but Cole is not. Cole is mentioned in passing as being Phoebe’s lawyer, but that is all. I LOVED COLE, oops sorry.

The Bad: I really did find it hard at times to visually tell the sister’s apart and some of the photo covers were a rather odd.

The Good: It still had the TV show feel to it, be it the earlier episodes. I could hear the actresses’ voices as I was reading the dialogue.

I think this new version of the charmed ones is for all the hardcore fans. So, if you want to step back in time and are dying to hang with the sisters again, race out and buy a copy. I’m planning to buy Charmed #6, as I’m keen to see where Dynamite takes the sisters next.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe: YA Review

32601841

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication: 7th September 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from Walker
Thank you, you wonderful people
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .


Wow, what a page turner. The dates across the tops of the pages really push the story along and create a heavy tension. You’ll want to read this in one sitting.

Romy was born on The Infinity, a star ship despatched with the mission to create a human colony on a new planet. Romy has never ever known any other life then that onboard The Infinity and after an incident takes both her parents away from her, she is alone. Romy is further away from earth than any human has ever been, hurtling towards the unknown. The weight of a new human colony, by default, resting on her teenage shoulders. Romy has to grow up fast! to have any hope of completing her parents mission.

Poor mental health due to the toll that guilt and grief cause is a big part of three integral characters storylines and there were some beautiful scenes, like the one where Romy makes peace with her Mother (I cried). But the highlights for me were the sections of the book where Romy is fast thinking and fighting for her life. I was ripping through the pages desperate to see what happened next.

There is so much more I could talk about; Romy’s parents, ‘pen-pals’ and psychological torture, Romy’s cute-as bits of fan-fiction (kind of Rainbow Rowell Fangirl-ish – but it enhanced rather than detracted from the main story). But it’s so much more fun If you find these things out for yourself. Off you go.


Lauren’s Twitter | Website | Goodreads

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe @
Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Bookdepository

Vampires Don’t Drink Blue Blood: Review

35994748

Vampires Don’t Drink Blue Blood by Lily Luchesi
Genre: Paranormal/Crime
Publication: August 15th 2017
Source: FREE copy via Author’s newsletter
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In 1988, Angelica Cross worked with a mortal detective to take down a werewolf pack who were feeding on children at a local school playground.
In 2008, the killings begin again, and Angelica is called in to work the case alongside her old partner’s nephew, who likes Angelica as much as she likes garlic.
They need to put their animosity behind them, before more people are murdered.


Vampires Don’t Drink Blue Blood is a tasty bite sized prequel to Lily’s Paranormal Detective Series. In this short story Angelica must deal with a revenge seeking Werewolf while trying to keep a civilian Detective safe and in the dark about the paranormal perp. I really enjoyed the story and getting to live more of Angelica’s life before the events in Stake-Out.

I read this prequel after already reading the first five books, so some of the now deceased characters were a blast from the past. Hell, Angelica is still a Vamplet (half-human/half-vampire) and able to be out during the day.

Even though I am really excited to see how/where the last two books of the series go after the world altering ending of Last Rites, I actually loved being with pre-Danny Angelica in all her sassy, snarky Vamplet glory.

After the story Lily has included some Poetry based in/on the P.D.S world. There are characters files and an excerpt from the first book Stake-Out. Vampires Don’t Drink Blue Blood is a fantastic intro into the series, a great way to meet Angelica for P.D.S. novices and a must read for fans of the series.


 To get your FREE copy of this novella, subscribe to Lily’s newsletter: eepurl.com/cRh9Wn

Doctor Who: Anthology Review

17973716Doctor Who: Eleven Doctors, Eleven Stories by Eoin ColferMichael ScottMarcus SedgwickPhilip ReevePatrick NessRichelle MeadMalorie BlackmanAlex ScarrowCharlie HigsonDerek Landy Neil Gaiman.

Genre: Sci-Fi Anthology
Publication: January 1st 2013
Publisher: Puffin
Source: Purchased Paperback
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Anthology is the perfect collection of adventures for Doctor Who fans.This print edition is the culmination of a year-long series of ebooks to celebrate fifty years of Doctor Who. Eleven Doctors, eleven stories, eleven unique interpretations of the Doctor, his terrifying alien enemies and his time-travelling adventures.68f7401d778bc1c6927303e0df0c0b7d

It’s taken me nine months to read this book. It is a wonderful book, but I’ve just been reading one story here and there between my other reads. As I finished reading each one I wrote down a few thoughts > > >

The First Doctor: A Big Hand for the Doctor by Eoin Colfer
A brilliant J.M. Barrie inspired adventure. Original old man Doctor and his granddaughter Susan, Children stealing Space Pirates, a fight scene on a London Rooftop and a big explosion to finish the bad guys off. 5/5 I Love, love, loved it Stars.

The Second Doctor: The Nameless City by Michael Scott
The recorder playing doctor and his Kilt wearing Scottish companion captured by an army of glass apes with their makers, the Archon, trying to steal the TARDIS. A set of bagpipes the weapon that saves the day = awesomeness! 4/5 I really liked it Stars.

The Third Doctor: The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgewick
Following the third Doctor and his companion Jo as they witness the origin’s of Norse mythology and foil The Master’s plans. The Norse myths were woven into this Doctor vs Master story wonderfully. 4/5 I really liked it Stars.

The Fourth Doctor: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve
The Scarf wearing Doctor’s future comes forward to haunt him in a story featuring a tree that’s waited nine hundred years for revenge and the humans that have adapted to living within its branches. 4/5 I really liked it.

The Fifth Doctor: Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness
Pure Patrick Ness. The celery wearing Doctor and a boy named Jonny. Two separate yet interconnected stories. An enslaved alien race set free. It is amazing how much depth Ness crammed into a short story. 4/5 I really liked it.

The Sixth Doctor: Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead
This story follows the Doctor and his companion Peri as they go to a world where everything resembles Las Vegas. They ruin a wedding and The Doctor and The Rani (a female time lord) face off. 2.5/5 I sort of liked it. It just didn’t hook me or wow me, but I think that was more the mood I was in reading it, rather than the story itself.

The Seventh Doctor: The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman
Following the Doctor and his companion Ace while they rush to explore a collapsing alternate universe where the Daleks are a nurturing, peaceful race and Skaro is the universal hub of premium education. 4/5 I really liked it.

img_9293

The Eighth Doctor: Spore by Alex Scarrow
The one-hit-wonder-movie-time Doctor comes across a spore that threatens to wipe out all life on earth. He bamboozles the US military into letting him take over, then saves everybody and everything. 4/5 I really liked it.

The Ninth Doctor: The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson
This story is set between the spot at the end of the first Ninth Doctor episode when Rose turns the Doctor down and the TARDIS wheezes out then comes seemly right back. During what was a mere second or two for Rose, this story is what the Doctor go up to. The doctor’s companion for this trip is Ali, a young female who also happens to be a super warrior and a rather large crustacean. Together they set out to defeat two out of control stars’. Up until this point in the anthology all the Doctor’s companions had been human (ignoring Susan because no one can decide if she was gallifreyan or an adopted human). I really enjoyed the freshness of Ali’s differences. 5/5 I loved it.

The Tenth Doctor: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy
My Doctor and Martha collide with a being that creates illusions to trick you based on the fictional stories in your head, while feeding off the energy you create while your belief is suspended. 4/5 I really liked it Stars.

The Eleventh Doctor: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman
The Doctor and Amy Pond, obviously quite early in their time together as Rory hasn’t joined them yet, come across a long-forgotten foe of the time lords who causes the extinction of humans. 4/5 I really liked it Stars.

No Limits: YA Review

35298151No Limits by Ellie Marney
Genre: Contemporary
Publication: August 14th 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Review copy from Author
Thanks Ellie, you wonderful woman
Add to Goodreads

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Boozer, brawler, ladies’ man – nineteen-year-old Harris Derwent is not a good guy.

His one attempt to play the hero – helping out his old flame, Rachel Watts – has landed him in hospital. Now injured, broke, and unemployed, he’s stuck back in the country, at his father’s mercy. Harris needs to pay off his dad’s debts, and fast. But working as a runner for a drug cartel is a dangerous path – especially if Harris agrees to narc…

Eighteen-year-old Amita Blunt is the perfect police sergeant’s daughter – practical, trustworthy, and oh-so responsible. Getting involved in Harris’s case was never part of the plan. But working at the hospital, she’s invisible – which makes her the ideal contact for a boy feeding information back to the police…

Harris and Amie’s connection is sizzling hot – but if the cartel finds out about them, things could get downright explosive. Backed into a corner, with everything at stake, it’s time for Harris and Amie to find out if love really has no limits…


Woah! What an action-packed adventure ride this book was. I loved it. It was fan-frigging-tastic!

Right from the start I was enjoying reading this book; Ellie’s writing, the characters and the prospect of romance and drama. The story reeled me in, fast, and I was happy to be hooked.

Harris’s dad is an evil arsehole. Had to be said! He has subjected Harris to emotional and physical abuse his whole life, making Harris an emotionally closed off hard arse. We meet Harris at an extreme low point. He has no self-worth and a bit of a death wish. Enter Amie.

Amie’s dad is a good man, a man of the law. And Amie has a loving extended family. After the death of her mother Amie can’t bear being separated from her remaining family. So, she plans on giving up her dreams of studying photography and visiting far off places to stay and be near them. Little help here please Harris (and Nani).

Harris and Amie are two extremely different people, but the chemistry between them is undeniable right from the start. Each helping the other heal, let go and move on to bigger and better things – oh and there is a whole lot of criminal activity, dangerous dudes and wrongs righted in between.

Meth, not even once mate! Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth, Crank, Speed, Ice, Poor Man’s Cocaine etc. whatever the hell you want to call it, it’s poisonous s**t. I really liked how Ellie went into detail with her characters drug use without glorifying it. The message of the damage it can do shines through the story, but she’s not preachy.  She shows the painful truths, the negative side effects and deadly consequences. She also bothers to show how it feels, and why they do it.

The last eight chapters were a full-on adrenalin rush. I was physically anxious, my stomach was churning as I flew through the words, racing to find out how it all ends. Totally worth it! The ending made my heart sing.

I can see myself reading this book again. I really enjoyed getting to know Harris and Amie intimately, and the rush of experiencing their world.

Harris does feature in the last book of Ellie’s Every series, but you in no way need to read it first. Do yourself a favour, go and buy No Limits and fall in love with Ellie’s story telling awesomeness .

Find Ellie and her books here: Amazon AU | Amazon US | BooktopiaAngus & Robertson Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Love Across the Universe: Review

35384385

Love Across the Universe: Twelve Stories of Science Fiction Romance Set on Intergalactic Shores

Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Short Story Anthology

Publication: August 1st 2017

Publisher: Stars and Stone Books

Source: Review copy from Bewitching Book Tours – this has in no way influenced my review- THANK YOU.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Summer love is summer love, no matter the planet. Climb aboard your spacecraft or time machine and travel across the universe with these twelve tales of love on beaches in the future and among the stars. Includes stories by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, A.E. Hayes, Sheri Queen, M.T. DeSantis, L.J. Longo, K.W. Taylor, Mary Rogers, Elsa M. Carruthers, Emmerite Sundberg, Serena Jayne, and Oriana Maret.

Amazon Goodreads Stars and Stone Books


I really do like short story anthologies. I think they are a great way to get a taste of an author’s writing and I’ve gone onto read (and love) full length works I’ve read from authors I’ve found in short story anthologies like this one.

Love Across the Universe is a science fiction romance anthology consisting of twelve short stories of varying lengths and with leading characters of varying human status and sexual orientation. A few of the stories fell victim to the instantaneous trap, but the majority managed to build up quite enjoyable story lines.

Sexy time warning: Not all, but most of the stories contained sex scenes. None were super graphic. Just thought I’d give you a heads up 😛

My favourites were:

The Princess of sands by M.T.Desantis. This story was a super cute and adorable, as were the characters. It featured a stowaway and an arranged royal marriage. The writing and story flowed well and I would happily read a longer version where the drama and romance are teased out more. Romance: female/male.

Reprogramming by K.W. Taylor. I wanted this story to keep going! Essentially this was the story of someone trying to kill their partner to get their families money. I really enjoyed it and want a revenge sequel ASAP. Romance: female/android.

Breathless by L.J. Longo. This was a well rounded out story involving the unlikely duo of an Ex-soldier and a resort manager. The story was action packed with alien bug slaying and blooming new romance. I know that sounds like it wouldn’t work – but it totally did. Romance: male/male.

Fluid by Emmerite Sundberg. The writing and story flowed well. It featured a human shipwrecked on an uncharted planet who finds unexpected romance with a native humanoid water being. Romance: female/female.

A Dream to Build a Kiss On by Traci Douglass. The longest of all the stories in the anthology. An island paradise of extremely rare tropical plants brings together a lonely nature loving android who has the capability of thinking and feeling for itself, with a lonely and broken-hearted botanist. Both find something to desire on the island other than the plants. Romance: female/android.

As a whole I give the anthology 4/5. Overall is was a fast and fun read.

Frankie Fish: MG Review

34039199Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase by Peter Helliar
Genre: Children 10+
Publication: 1st May 2017
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: Purchased Paperback
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In his bestselling children’s novel, Australian writer & comedian Peter Helliar takes young readers on a hilarious time-travel adventure about mega mischief, missing limbs, and a grandad with a wicked secret.

Twelve-year-old Frankie Fish hates visiting his grandparents. Grandad Fish is cranky, and yells a lot, and has a creepy hook for a hand – plus he NEVER lets Frankie go inside his shed. But after a teensy tiny prank goes wrong at school, Frankie is packed off to Old-People Jail for the whole holidays.

What Frankie doesn’t know is that Grandad has been building a home-made TIME MACHINE in the Forbidden Shed, and the old man has big plans to get his missing hand back. But when Grandad goes back in time, he changes history and accidentally wipes out Frankie’s entire family – Nanna, Mum, Dad, even his annoying sister Saint Lou. Somehow, everyone is gone but Frankie and Grandad! And it’s only a matter of time until Frankie disappears too…


I’m a fan of Peter Helliar and a lover of time travel tales so I just had to buy this little baby.

Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase is a humorous action packed tale of a Granddad and Grandson tackling the perils of time travel together. Both the young and old learn valuable lessons along the way and the two different generations of the Fish family bond while on their accidental adventure together.

There are wonderful lessons for the younger reader threaded through Helliar’s humour. Lessons about knowing when pranks go too far, the importance of love and family, and of knowing when to leave mistakes in the past and move forward.

I am looking forward to sharing this book with my son when he is a little older.

I don’t think you could read this book and not enjoy it!

Bring on Frankie’s next adventure!

The Hate You Give: YA Review

34530151

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Genre: Contemporary
Publication: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher – Thank You Walker
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Hate U Give is one of the must read books of 2017. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this incredibly powerful debut YA novel from Angie Thomas holds a mirror to what prejudice looks like in the 21st Century. The Hate U Give is a gripping look into one girl’s struggle for justice.

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.


I’m not going to lie, I was apprehensive in reading “T.H.U.G.” and kept putting it off. When the wonderful people at Walker supplied me with a copy to read and review, my second son was only three months old and my new baby emotions were all over the place. I had heard of the book and knew it was a confronting and emotional read. I was expecting my heart to be shattered into a million pieces and was not ready to go there while trying to keep my physically and emotionally exhausted self sane. Hindsight is a marvellous thing and I’m pissed that I waited so long to read it. There was so much love between the pages that I actually came away from the novel more hopeful for the future.

The Hate U Give is a truly captivating and moving tale. My heart reached out to Star. I hated that she had to hide parts of herself to be accepted into white society. I hated that she had to witness the senseless death of loved ones. I hated that she was treated differently because the colour of her skin.

Knowing something happens and experiencing it are two different things. I think this book takes the open minded reader one step closer to understanding what it is really like to be on the receiving end of such hate.

There were some truly moving and powerful scenes between Star and her daddy. Both of Star’s parents were standout characters for me. Both were doing their bit to hold the world around them together, while attempting to make it better. It was a breath of fresh air to see such positive role models. Strong, supportive and loving parental characters tend to be lacking in YA.

The story is faced paced, confronting and beautiful. I cannot fault this book, not only does it highlight important social issues, the writing is immaculate.
Buy this book! I urge you to go buy two copies, one for yourself and one for a teen you know.

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Bookdepository | Booktopia | Goodreads

“Pac said Thug Life stood for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody’.” The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody – It sure does mate, it sure does.

Last Rites: Release Blitz & Review

 
FREE if you use Kindle Unlimited!
Last Rites (Paranormal Detective Book Five) by Lily Luchesi
Power is the deadliest desire.
With Leander put to rest and the Paranormal Investigative Division taken care of by the Coven Mistress, Danny and Angelica are finally ready to take some time for themselves while Angelica gets used to her new role as the Empress and they make their relationship official.
When people close to Angelica are murdered by what seems to be a rogue vampire, their sabbatical is cut short in order for her to find the perp and execute him or her.
But this is no ordinary vampire. When the truth is revealed and secrets come to light, it will prove to be Danny’s biggest test of faith yet, and Angelica’s reckoning of her past, present, and future. Most of all it will raise a single question: just what makes a monster?

Check out the trailer, featuring the song “I Don’t Drink, I Don’t Smoke, But I Lie” by Peter Blast.
 


Join the event on Facebook, featuring multiple authors, games, and giveaways.


Read books 1-4 of the series for just 99cents each, June 14th-18th!
Stake-Out * Miranda’s Rights * Life Sentence * Right To Silence


My Reviews of Books 1 to 4: Stake Out, Miranda’s Rights, Life Sentence and Right To Silence.
MY THOUGHTS
In book five we get to delve deeper into Harriet’s past, see Danny and Angelica get married, meet the first ever Vampire and experience the epic end of an era. We meet new friends and in true Paranormal Detective Series form, lose old friends as well.

At about the 50% mark Danny was really pissing me off, just turning his back on Angelica. But once the drama queen comes to his senses it is an emotional sprint to the end.

There are twists and turns throughout this book, some I saw coming, some I did not. Not that I can mention any of these without giving away the major events of the story. I really want to tell you all about who betrays Harriet, who Augustus’s heir turns out to be and who gets turned into a vampire – but these are things you’ll have to find out for yourself.

The end of book five (and that killer Epilogue) lines up an exciting new direction for the last two books in The Paranormal Detective Series (Skin Deep 2018 & Day of Execution 2019). But between now and then is a spin off, Never Again (December 5th 2017), set just after Last Rites following Sean Wireman’s character.

I think Lily has out done herself this time and dare I say it this might even be my favourite so far.