Never Again: Paranormal Review

36543599Never Again by Lily Luchesi
Genre: blended fiction; paranormal-historical-horror (MA15+)
Publication: December 2nd 2017
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank You Lily
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My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In this standalone spin-off of the Paranormal Detectives Series, we discover the true horrors during Hitler’s reign.

In World War Two, not all monsters were human.

Male siren Sean Wireman was ostracized from his small village in Israel in the sixteenth century, forced to wander the world until he settled in America in the 1920’s. Since he doesn’t age like a normal person, he was fit to fight in World War Two, to defend the heritage he spent his whole life running from.

Seventy years later, after he has lived a whole other life since Hitler was defeated, from attending law school to becoming a bona fide rock star, the monsters the Nazis released upon the Jews in concentration camps have returned, and he is the only one who can destroy them.

But can he save his people once again, or will this fight take a deadly toll?


I finished reading Never Again and pondered the book producing powerhouse that is Lily Luchesi. I think Never Again is my favourite book of hers to date and i’ve read quite a few since coming across her looking for reviewers for Stake-Out (PDS#1) in a goodreads request group. It feels like forever but when I looked it up it was actually early 2015. Damn Girl, you have bled out a phenomenal amount of words in the last three years. I’ve enjoyed Lily’s writing from the beginning, but it feels as if she’s found her rhythm, her knack and she’s grown confident and is owning her style now.

Lily has really outdone herself this time with Never Again. The writing is strong and confident, the story compelling, a blend of paranormal and real world historical events.

There is swearing. There are some extremely deplorable and violent bad guys (obviously as a large chunk of the book features war). As well as post-traumatic stress disorder being explored in detail. But there is also love and hope to balance out the hate and despair.

The story’s sole protagonist is Sean, a 526-year-old male siren who originated in Israel. Thanks to his slowed siren aging process for the most part of the story he only looks like he’s aged between 20 to 40.

526 years – does he have a story to tell? You bet he does. His life story. 526 years, experiencing ancient Israel, the Ottoman Empire, the Tudors, the Nazis and modern rock and roll. Sean is, despite his species and the fact he regularly refers to himself as an asshole, a good guy and a war hero.

So yes this is a Paranormal Detectives Series Spin-off and if you’ve read any of the PSD books you’ll recognise a fair few characters and locations. But if you haven’t that’s okay, this this is a stand alone and a great way to get a feel for Lily’s writing style.

Lily’s Links: Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse: Children’s Picture Book Review

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The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Publication: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Thank You Walker

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

They may have been swallowed, but they have no intention of being eaten… A new comedy from the unparalleled team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

Early one morning a mouse met a wolf and was quickly gobbled up…When a woeful mouse is swallowed up by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice inside the belly of the beast – there’s delicious food, elegant table settings and, best of all, dancing. And there’s something more: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! Life’s not so bad, considering the alternatives. That is, until a hunter shows up… With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn and Triangle offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.


Early one morning, a mouse met a wolf, and he was quickly gobbled up.

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is a fantastical story of a Duck and a Mouse who refused to be eaten and a humorous lesson in why wolves howl.

“I may have been swallowed,” said the duck, “but I have no intention of being eaten.”

Quick plot rundown: A Mouse meets a Wolf. The Wolf eats the mouse. The Mouse meets a Duck inside the Wolf, they then proceeded to live happily partying it up. The Wolf gets sick from all the hubbub inside him. Now weak and sick the Wolf becomes the target of a hunter. The Duck and the Mouse knowing their new way of life is in danger jump out of the Wolf and scare off the Hunter. Then they all live happily ever after, sort of – The duck and the Mouse do, the Wolf, not so much – but you’ll have to read it to understand what I mean by that.

When I opened the box from walker I actually gasped out loud. The hardcover’s illustrated sleeve is a real treat for the eyes. The book is full of delightful and easily “readable” earthly toned illustrations – simply glorious!

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is an easy and well-paced read (text to picture ratio) and flows well off the tongue. I would recommend this book for ages four and up. I think children any younger wouldn’t be able to grasp the impossible and bizarreness of Duck and Mouse’s activities and the humour that makes this book a joy to read.

If you have any kiddlets in your life, The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse would make a captivating Christmas present.

Goodreads | Walker Books | Booktopia | Bookdepository 

Mac Barnett: Website | Twitter – Jon Klassen: Website | Twitter

Fence: Mini review, YA comic

36064768Fence (Fence #1)

by C.S. Pacat (Author) &
Johanna the Mad (Artist)

“Fence” follows the rise of 16-year-old Nicholas Cox in the world of competitive fencing at an elite boys school.
Nicholas is an outsider to the competitive fencing world.
Filled with raw talent but lacking proper training, he signs up for a competition that puts him head-to-head with fencing prodigy Seiji Katayama…and on the road to the elite all-boys school Kings Row. A chance at a real team and a place to belong awaits him—if he can make the cut!
“It’s all about the world of fencing,” said Pacat. “The elegance, the danger, the high stakes of what’s essentially a combat sport.”
Published November 15th 2017 by Boom! Box
I was keen to read Fence from the moment I first heard about it – A YA comic by aussie author C.S. Pacat set in the competitive world of Fencing with M/M romance – YES! a thousand times yes!
I was jumping for joy when The YA Chronicles announced it would be included in their November “Make it Gay” Box. Winning! 
 The first issue did not disappoint. I absolutely loved it and can see myself reading it over again until the december issue comes out.
Nicholas is a lovable underdog who is instantly likable. You can’t help but want him to succeed.
The first issue perfectly set up the tension between Nicholas and Seiji. I even enjoyed the fencing, a sport I previously hadn’t given much thought to.
The artwork is beautiful! Clear, detailed and flows wonderfully.
I am so excited for the next instalment! Hurray for this new comic book series.
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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Eight Days on Planet Earth: YA Review

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Eight Days on Planet Earth
by Cat Jordan
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release date: November 7th 2017
HarperTeen

How long does it take to travel 13 light-years to Earth?
How long does it take to fall in love?

To the universe, eight days is a mere blip—but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.

On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for her spaceship to return to pick her up.

Of course she is.

Matty has heard all the impossible UFO stories for all of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. As a kid, he searched the skies with his dad and studied the constellations. But all that is behind him now. Dad’s gone and Matty’s stuck.

But now there is Priya. The self-proclaimed alien girl. She must be crazy or high, right?

As Matty unravels the mystery of Priya, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined.
And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.

A heart-wrenching romance full of twists that are sure to bring tears to readers’ eyes, from Cat Jordan, author of The Leaving Season.


The story is set over the course of eight days, but you probably guessed that from the title. It focuses around 17-year-old Matty, with the back drop his small rural home town. At the start of the story Matty’s dad runs off, leaving Matty and his mum to pick up the pieces.

Matty feels lost and unsatisfied with his life. We see him drag his feet all through day one, perking up when he spots a strange girl in the field next to his house late that night. The same field that a space ship supposedly crashed in back in the 60’s.

The girl says she’s an alien. Matty thinks she’s nuts, but humours her, worried about her welfare. Matty feels an intense connection to her early on. And takes it upon himself to keep an eye on her, as she is determined to stay in the field all night by herself, waiting for a spaceship to pick her up.

It is summer holidays and with nothing much to do Matty keeps finding himself drawn back to the field and the strange girl. They spend the next five days together hanging out in the field and around town, the whole while Matty is trying to figure out what the strange girl’s deal really is, where she really comes from and why she was really camping out in the field next to his house – this takes up most of the book.

Matty notices that the girl’s health is deteriorating and presses her to tell him the truth about who she is, she of course does a runner. AND I can’t say much more without giving everything away. I will just say that “somehow” Matty manages to track her down and that the book’s ending is both heart-warming and heart-breaking.

At first, I was torn as to whether the girl (Priya) was an alien or not. I want to believe. I always want to believe. At one point I almost expected a spaceship to come and pick Priya up. I even went and checked if the book was actually listed as YA contemporary and not YA sci-fi. Either way, alien or not, I enjoyed the story. The writing was easy to read, and the story followed well. The chapter headings were split into days and times which helped propelled the story and add tension. All in all, it was a Quick and enjoyable read.

Thank you for the review copy, Cat and YA Bound Book Tours.


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Gary: Children’s Picture Book Review

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Gary by Leila Rudge
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publication: November 1st 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review Copy
Thank you Walker
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Gary, a grounded racing pigeon, dreams of exploring the world—until the day he falls into an adventure of his very own.

Most of the time, Gary is just like the other racing pigeons, eating and sleeping and dreaming of adventure. There’s just one thing that separates him from the ordinary pigeons: he can’t fly. When his friends set off in their travel basket, Gary expects to stay at home, organizing his scrapbook of travel mementos and imagining far-off places. But when he accidentally falls into the travel basket and ends up a very long way from home, he discovers that flying might not be the only way to have adventures. Leila Rudge, in her gentle, colorful style, is sure to charm anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out with this satisfying story of perseverance and being comfortable in your own skin.

Gary @ Walker BooksLeila’s Website & Instagram | Gary pre-order @ Booktopia 


Aimed at ages 3 & up, Gary is a beautiful story about a racing pigeon that cannot fly.

Gary longs to go on adventures like all the other racing pigeons.

One day after an accident leaves Gary far away from home and all alone, he must figure out how to make his way home without flight. Gary doesn’t give up and ends up overcoming his non-flight issues using his intellect. In the end Gary ends up having an epic adventure, the adventure of his dreams.

I found this book easy to read out loud, with the text flowing well. On the surface it is a seemly light and enjoyable story, but there are underlying messages of celebrating everyone’s differences, persevering to overcome obstacles and following your dreams.

The artwork is a delight to look at. The story (lettering) sits over the top of full colour images that take up the whole page.

Riley asked me questions about Gary then requested we ‘read it again’. Ethan tried to eat the book. Yep, ages 3 & up.

If you have any little kiddlets in your life, Gary is one to keep an eye out for.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi: YA Review

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Genre: YA Romance

Publication: May 30th 2017

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Source: Review Copy via NetGalley -Thank you-

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My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The arranged-marriage YA romcom you didn’t know you wanted or needed…

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is a frothy, funny contemporary romance set at a coding convention in San Francisco over one exciting summer. Told from the dual perspectives of two Indian American protagonists, Dimple is fighting her family traditions while Rishi couldn’t be happier to follow in the footsteps of his parents. Could sparks fly between this odd couple, or is this matchmaking attempt doomed to fail?


Oh, what awkward wonderfulness this story was. I’m still recovering from the warm and fuzzy overload.

Dimple is quite stubborn and has an intense desire to be free – free of other people’s expectations.

Rishi feels his purpose in life is to please his parents.

Dimple is super excited to be out on her own attending a six-week coding workshop and has no idea her parents have set her up.

Rishi is super excited that he may be potentially meeting his future wife and will be getting the chance to get to know her during the six-week coding workshop they will be attending.

Cue hilarious meet cute that involves Dimple assaulting Rishi with an iced coffee. Wait… I don’t think I can put the words meet cute and assault together in a sentence. Hmm… was it assault… Nar self-defence, she thought he was crazy at the time.

There are bits of humour sprinkled all through this love story about juggling parental expectations, standing up for yourself, following your dreams and arranged marriages. I actually loved the positive examples of arranged marriage, as on my side of the world they can tend to be portrayed in a negative light.

Dimple and Rishi click with each other early on, but Dimple tries and *spoiler* fails to fight it. Yeah so maybe your parents did know what they were doing, hey Dimple!

My inner teenager found Dimple fairly relatable and immediately fell for Rishi. Rishi he is kind, funny, brave, intelligent and talented – it’s impossible not to fall for him, duh.

All in all, it is a cute and quick read that I’d happily read again.


Menon’s Twitter | Website | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Bookdepository 

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

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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

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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: ♥ ♥ ♥

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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

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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
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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

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