Feisty Heroines: Promo & Giveaway

Feisty Heroines: Romance Collection of Shorts
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Publication: June 16th, 2020

With stories by: D.F. Jones, Tia Didmon, Margo Bond Collins, Dariel Raye, Miranda Lynn, Ruth A. Casie, Savannah Kade, Stephany Tullis, Suzanne Cass, Teri Riggs, Donya Lynne, Ashlee Price,  Brenda Trim, Claire Angel, Lauren Wood, Angela Sanders, Sheri-Lynn Marean, Maggie Adams, P. T. Macias, I. D. Johnson, Felicity Brandon, Kayla Wolf, Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell, Ellen Mint, Lane McFarland, D. B. Sieders,Rachel Tsoumbakos, Maria Vickers, Theresa Hissong, Allie Marie, Amy Hale, Renee Regent, Barabara Bettis, Karen Muir, Ana Morgan, Tess St. John.

Over 30+ pulse-racing shorts to capture your heart with USA Today, The
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Award-winning authors in the mix.

Paranormal, Contemporary, Fantasy, and Historical Romance that will whet your
appetite with titillating, heart-pounding tales you’ll want to read
again then beg for more.

Fall in love with your next book crush!

**Only .99 cents (US)**

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Net profits from sales of the book will be donated to the International Red Cross and the Association for Critical Care Nurses!

**Pre-order the set for only .99 cents (US) and go HERE to get over 30 FREE books!! **
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Grace’s Ghosts: MG Review

49849141Grace’s Ghosts by Stephenie Wilson Peterson
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publication: April 28th 2020
Publisher: Immortal Works
Source: Review copy from Silver Dagger – Thank You
Rating: ✵✵✵✵
Twelve-year-old Grace and her feline best friend, Midnight, have a secret: Midnight is a ghost. But then again, so are the rest of Graces’ friends.

Since she’s the only person in hundreds of years with the ability to see them, the many ghosts of Tansy have flocked to Grace since birth. She doesn’t mind. She prefers the company of the dead to that of the cliquey kids at school.

Grace is happy with her strange life, until one day, the ghosts tell her about the secret her town has hidden for centuries. There’s a reason there are more ghosts than living people in Tansy. Three-hundred years ago, a lonely witch cast a spell that mistakenly trapped the soul of every person to ever set foot in the tiny town. So when the spirits beg her to find a way to break the curse, Grace is eager to help.

As she searches for answers, Grace makes discoveries about the secret her family hid for generations and a world of magic hidden in her own backyard.

Grace soon realizes that if she succeeds in breaking the curse, she’ll lose Midnight and all of her ghost friends, but if she fails, everyone living in Tansy will face the same fate. Can Grace break the curse before it’s too late?


Set in the tiny mountain town of Tansy, this story follows Grace’s adventures with the town’s ghost population, magic curses, the class bully, and magical family secrets.

As the reader, I found 12-yr-old Grace to be easily likable. She is an outcast relentlessly bullied, with her only friends being members of the strangely large ghost population of Tansy.

Once we’ve gotten to know Grace a little bit, we find out that her ghost friends are in trouble, then it is a race against the clock to uncover the truth, save their souls and break the curse on Tansy. Along the way, Grace discovers she comes from a long line of female Mages and that she too possesses great power (which explains the whole talking to ghost’s thing), her mother and grandmother join in to help break the curse and Grace even makes some human friends and stands up to her bully!

By the end of the book, the main plot is resolved giving the reader enough closure for a satisfying ending and all over satisfying reading experience, yet leaving the thread of Grace’s great-great-aunt, a white mage who went dark, open for exploring in a follow-up book. *Finger crossed*, as I’d read it!

Grace’s Ghosts is a fast-paced and fun middle-grade urban fantasy. A beautiful story of self-discovery, family secrets, and lost magic. A story filled with adventure and magical mayhem. A story for the whole family to enjoy.


Book Trailer
About the Author: Semi-nomadic, Stephenie and her family currently live near Raleigh, North Carolina. Her kids are Texans at heart and Stephenie and her husband grew up just outside of Seattle. Stephenie writes, creates art, and homeschools her three amazing kids. Stephenie loves to hike with her family and drink lots and lots of coffee.
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Shadow Magic: Review

Shadow Magic (Macabre Academy Book 1) by Sherry J. Soule
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Mystery & Romance
Publication: May 1st 2020
Publisher: Disenchanted Publishing
PG-13: No F-bombs, sex, or graphic violence.
Heroine: A quirky supernatural Nancy Drew.
Premise: An older university-age paranormal academy series with mystery and light humor.

Ghost summoning? No biggie.
Raising the dead? Bring it on.
Solving my sister’s sudden disappearance? A bit more complicated…

I’m Serena LeStrange, a necromancer who prefers to hide her freakishly fabulous skills from others. Only my sister makes me feel less of a weirdo, so when she mysteriously vanishes from college, I enroll at Macabre Academy to start my own investigation.

Except this is no ordinary school for the magically inclined, it’s home to all monsters—even the most dangerous ones. And after meeting an incredibly gorgeous vampire and a sinfully hot reaper, I find myself entangled in a passionate, yet forbidden, flirtation. To complicate matters, I get stuck with a ghostly genie sidekick and suspect a sinister sorority of misdeeds.

But to solve the mystery, I’ll need all the help I can get. Someone at Macabre knows what happened to my sister, and I won’t stop until I dig up the truth.

Unfortunately, some dark secrets prefer to stay buried.

Do you enjoy not-so-cozy paranormal mysteries, slow-burn romances, and unconventional heroines?

Welcome to Macabre Academy, the first spellbinding book in a paranormal mystery romance trilogy!

View on Amazon and Goodreads.


The story opens with our POV character Serena attending Conjuration University taking part in a Resurrection 101 class. As a Necromancer Serena is looked down upon, with other paranormal entities believing the magic she processes to be dark and unnatural, and even amongst other Necromancers she feels like an outsider. Serena is an animal lover who wants to become a pet and familiar resurrection specialist and use her abilities to help people, and to do that she needs a degree in Necromantic Rites.

Serena has been so focused on her studies that she has lost touch with her sister, Harper, the only person she feels truly accepts her for what and who she is. After a disastrous resurrection practice lesson, Serena gets a phone call from her father telling her that her Sister Harper has gone missing from Macabre Academy. Serena is an emotional reck after hearing this news. But she makes the decision to enroll at Macabre to seek the truth and track down her sister and thus kicks off this new paranormal series.

I liked the paranormal set up and world-building in this story of its schooling system and genetic hand me down powers. In this world that Sherry Soule has created powers and abilities are a roil of the dice. And though different “breeds” (e.g. Bear-Shifter, Siren, Harpy, Vampire, Sorceress etc.) reproduce, their offspring can inherit the supernatural traits of any ancestor within their lineage.

Serena is an easily likable protagonist. She is kind, caring and when she believes in herself she can accomplish amazing magical feats and do some super sleuthing. Throughout this book Serena unearths her sisters and other Macabre Academy students’ secrets, solves mysteries and makes friends, real friends that except her freaky death powers and all.

Serena grew up feeling like she didn’t belong anywhere. When she first starts at Macabre Academy she is afraid of people finding out she is a Necromancer. She is also trying to hide the fact that she is Harper’s sister, which creates all sorts of awkward situations throughout the book. Serena’s self-hate is mainly because of her dad. He has made her feel like trash her whole life, for a card she was dealt at birth via past family genetics. Her Dad is an asshole, straight up no other way to describe him. I really want to see her find the courage to stand up to him in the next book.

We are given a cliffhanger ending regarding her Sister, so that storyline continues into the next book. And there is also the budding forbidden romance with sexy reaper Dante to be explored further. “A necromancer and a reaper. Sounds like the beginning of an incredible love story” – and that’s what I’m hoping for in the next book. Yep, I will be reading the next book. I am curious to see where Sherry Soule takes these storylines.

All in all, this is a light and fun read about friendship, self-acceptance, and the acceptance of others, with a lil bit of forbidden romance thrown in for good measure.


About the Author:

Sherry Soule is a Multi-Genre Author, who lives in Northern California with her family and two spoiled rescue cats. She likes to surround herself with positive people and reads daily.

Sherry writes exciting tales of passionate romance, epic drama, and thrilling suspense. Many of her books have been on the Amazon bestseller lists and nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories on numerous review sites.
Subscribe to Sherry’s newsletter to get a free eBook HERE

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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Vampire Blood and Iron Bullets: Review

After five long months since we last saw our favorite Undead antihero, Angelica Cross is back!
All 8 Paranormal Detectives novels are back up LIVE with brand new covers, formatting, and edits, and Angelica returns in a BRAND NEW novel!

53351205. sx318 Vampire Blood and Iron Bullets by Lily Luchesi
Genre: Paranormal, Crime, Romance
Publication: May 15th 2020
Source: Review copy from Author – Thank You Lily
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Rating: ✵✵✵✵

One vampire. One Fae. Countless assassins. Challenge accepted.

Energy vampires make excellent rock stars. Changelings make excellent actors. It’s been that way since time out of mind, and the best way to discover an actor is a changeling? Look at the awards they haven’t won.

Perry Gold is one of the most brilliant changeling actors out there, and one award has always eluded him. Until now. And now that’s he’s won it, he’s a wanted man on a hunter’s hit list. As a celebrity, he can’t run forever. He needs the type of protection only a vampire can provide.

If the world’s most successful special agent Angelica Cross can’t save him, no one can.


You could call Vampire Blood & Iron Bullets a prequel, being set before the first Paranormal Detective Series book, Stake-Out. And what a bloody good prequel it is! I really enjoyed kicking it with Angelica again (I hadn’t realised how much I missed her, until I was with her again).

Lily has yet again created a fast, fun, action-packed paranormal crime and romance mash-up with this book. Vampire Blood & Iron Bullets is a standalone, you do not need to have knowledge of Lily’s previous works and there are no spoilers for the big reveals that take place in the Paranormal Detective Series.

I think Vampire Blood & Iron Bullets is the perfect way to kick off the Paranormal Detective Series and the ending sets up perfectly for where Stake-Out kicks off.

Lily always has flashbacks and or time jumps in her stories, and they always work really well. As an OG Angelica fan I loved the flashback to the night Vincent killed her mum, and the following events that see the strong and ass-kicking half-vampire scared and vulnerable hiding out in a Convent.

This book is perfect for paranormal romance fans, hardcore and lite paranormal mystery/crime fans and obviously, Lily Luchesi fans. This is an adult book, but I would give it an MA15+ rating – There is passionate kissing, some sex (but not overly graphic) and a whole lot of murder and mayhem.

For someone who has never read the series, this would be a fast and fun read featuring a sexy Fae Changeling who is being hunted because of something out of his control. A crime-fighting hot as hell bisexual Vamplet (half-human, half-vampire). A fast-flowing and an action-packed plot. M/F Romance, but we do get a lil bit of F/F while Angelica is at the Convent. There is blood and guts and bang-bang shoot ’em up action, mixed with some humor and heart for a well-rounded and enjoyable read.


About the Author: Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, as well as various short stories in the horror, paranormal, and erotica genres.
Her first young adult novel, The Coven Princess, hit #1 on the Amazon hot new releases chart and remained in the top twenty for two weeks.
Lily is an active and out member of the LGBT+ community, a self-professed nerd, music-lover, and a little obsessed with vampires and comic books. When not writing or reading, she can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee, getting tattooed, going to concerts, or
watching too much of the CW.
She was born and raised in Chicago. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
You can also keep up with Lily via her newsletter … and receive a free e-book as well!

Join Detective Danny Mancini and Special Agent Angelica Cross as they face down vampires, witches, shifters, demons, and the evil that lurks deep in the heart of Chicago.
The Paranormal Detectives Series returns with all new covers, updated content, and a new companion novel. All featuring the badass vampire we’ve come to know and love.

Buy them all now for less than $8, or read them on Kindle Unlimited HERE!

Read Vampire Blood and Iron Bullets today! It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited HERE!

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As Fast As I Can: #LoveOzMG Review

Today is my tour stop on the UQP and #AusYABloggers review tour celebrating the release of Australian Author Penny Tangey’s new book As Fas As I Can.

As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOzMG
Publication: March 31st, 2020
Publisher: UQP
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

From CBCA-shortlisted author Penny Tangey comes this funny, heartfelt novel about ten-year-old Vivian and her quest to one day become an Olympic middle-distance runner. Dealing with themes around chronic illness, persistence and acceptance.

One girl. One dream. A few hurdles.

Ten-year-old Vivian is determined to win a medal at the Olympic Games one day. Problem is, she hasn’t found a sport she’s any good at yet. But everyone says if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, right? So when Vivian discovers she has a talent for cross country running, finally, her Olympic dream might actually come true.

But then a family illness is uncovered and all of Vivian’s plans begin to unravel. Can she keep her dream alive? Or will she be stopped in her tracks?

A funny, heartfelt novel about resilience, acceptance and dreaming big.

Oh wow, this book brought back memories of primary school athletes’ carnivals, Heathy Harold visits, and the excitement of learning about the Olympics for the first time. But don’t worry, you do not need to be into sports or follow the Olympics to enjoy this story. Even though I’m not a big sports fan in general and being that the only sports I will actually sit down and watch involve motors, wheels, and insane speeds – I still really enjoyed this book.

As Fast As I Can is the tale of Vivian Hassler, a young girl whose Olympic dreams are shattered by a life-altering doctor’s diagnosis. We follow the POV character Vivian through the ups of finally feeling like her dreams are achievable, to the downs of having to learn to deal and live with chronic illness.
Even though sad things happen, this is not a sad book – It is a heartwarming book. Vivian Hassler is a bright, charismatic, and energetic girl, who was easy to like and easy to connect with.

I do wish this book would have had an epilogue. I am not a big fan of open endings, they feel unfinished to me, but hey, some people love them. The ending points in the direction of Vivian accepting her illness. But I would have loved an epilogue showing her enjoying new hobbies and just generally being happy.  Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed the book, 4/5 stars, and I intend to look into Penny’s other books. I just would have liked to see her finding a new passion, not just realizing she needs to, as she is only just starting to come to terms with her diagnosis when the story ends.

I love the variety of Aussie Middle-Grade titles coming out these days! For the intended audience, this book will teach kids empathy, family and friendship dynamics, how to handle disappointment, the importance of hobbies, and how there is more than one way to live out your dreams. For me as an adult, I may not have learned anything new, but it was still a captivating read that I am so happy to see exists and one that I intend to share with my boys.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Penny Tangey writes humorous books for young people. Penny studied Arts/Science at Melbourne University majoring in Chemistry and Indonesian. While at university Penny performed stand-up comedy, including in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Penny now works as a researcher for television quiz shows Hard Quiz and The Chase, but is still terrible at trivia.

Penny’s latest book As fast As I Can, is her fourth book published by University of Queensland Press. Her three previous novels being; Loving Richard Feynman, Clara in Washington, and Stay Well Soon.

You can find Penny at her website HERE and on Twitter HERE.

Follow along on the tour HERE.

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

See All Evil: Cover Reveal

Title: See All Evil

Series: Academy for the Wicked #1

Author: Majanka Verstraete

Genre: New Adult Reverse Harem / Academy / Paranormal Romance

Release Date: June 2, 2020

On my eighteenth birthday, a zombie-like version of my mother told me I was invited to join the Academy for the Wicked.

Hours later, the diner I worked at was overrun by creatures that shouldn’t exist. Alec, a warlock, who appeared out of thin air and made a glass levitate – which is probably the least of his powers. A demon named Christian, the culprit who was behind my mother’s zombie-like episode this morning. Damian, the vampire, who promptly killed my manager, and Tristan, a necromancer who could summon the dead, and the most mysterious one of them all, a mesmer called Ronan.

All of them swore they would protect me from the nightmare that has haunted me for years: the red room, the throne of blood, the Queen of Maggots. I have had the same horrible nightmare for years, but now it seems the Queen of Maggots is no longer confined to the world of dreams…

With five gorgeous guys eager to protect me, I should feel safe, but the Academy is unlike anything I’ve ever had to endure. The students and teachers all keep secrets, and the Academy itself is a deadly trap.

To survive my first semester at the Academy of the Wicked, I will need to figure out who and what I truly am, and why the Queen of Maggots wants me dead…

Pre-order SEE ALL EVIL here!
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Author Bio

Majanka Verstraete studied law and criminology, and now works as Legal Counsel. Writing is her passion ever since she learned how to read.
She writes about all things supernatural, her books ranging from children’s picture books to young adult novels, all the way to new adult academy and reverse harem books.
Check out her website for more information about her current series and her upcoming projects: http://majankaverstraete.com

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Free Prequel Novella

Download the Prequel Novella to Academy for the Wicked for FREE!

Two ways to get your free novella:

  • Join Majanka’s mailing list by going here to her blog, and signing up in the sidebar! All you need to add is your email address. As an added bonus, you’ll get monthly updates about my latest releases.
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The Year the Maps Changed: Review

The Year the Maps Changed by Rachel Hennessy
Genre: Contemporary #LoveOzMG
Publication: April 28th 2020
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Source: Review copy from publisher as part of #AusYABloggers tour – Thank You
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Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

I was eleven when everything started and twelve by the end. But that’s another way maps lie, because it felt like the distance travelled was a whole lot further than that.

Sorrento, Victoria – 1999
Fred’s family is a mess. Fred’s mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop is at the Rye Rehabilitation Centre recovering from a fall; Luca’s girlfriend, Anika, has moved in; and Fred’s just found out that Anika and Luca are having a baby of their own. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.

But even as the world feels like it’s spinning out of control, a crisis from the other side of it comes crashing in. When 400 Kosovar-Albanian refugees arrive in the middle of the night to be housed at one of Australia’s ‘safe havens’ on an isolated headland not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family, as she navigates one extraordinary year that will change them all.


The Year The Maps Changed is a story of love and family, a story of grief and finding home.

Winifred (Fred, Freddo, Winnie) lost her mum when she was only Six and since then it is always just been Fred, Her Pop and her adoptive father Luca – Until Luca’s new girlfriend and her ten-year-old son Sam comes to live with them. Fred does not cope with the change very well but keeps all her emotions bottled inside. When Luca & Anika announce they are having a baby, it makes Fred feel left out and lost – it makes her feel that there is no room left for her.

The story follows POV character Fred as she comes to terms with her new family and learns about the refugees coming to her little part of the world and how unfair life can be. The story starts with Fred being 11 years old, but by the end she has turned 12, with the story being set out over the year of 1999. I was 12 in 1999! and have vague memories of the Kosovo Albanians being taken to Point Nepean and other places in Australia. It gave the story this extreme depth, the true events mixed in with Danielle Binks fantastic story telling.

The whole way through while Fred is coming to terms with her new family, there is the refugee storyline unfolding – which I do not want to talk too much about and spoil the story. BUT I will say that two people Fred knows very well end up in trouble for helping an escaped refugee that Fred develops a special friendship with.

POV Fred is a smart, kind and caring girl who gets a little lost but manages to emotionally find her way home to the people she loves and embrace her new bigger family life. It is impossible not to fall for Fred and her family. I loved seeing, or rather feeling, Fred mature and grow into a beautiful little lady throughout the course of this story. It was really touching watching Sam and Fred slowly growing closer and developing a real brother and sister bond. But my favourite part of the story had me crying! When Fred comes to the realisation that Anika loves her and that is okay to love Anika back, that loving Anika like a mum, was not going to mean she would forget her mum or love her mum any less. Oh how my heart exploded with love.

This was a truly touching story that will stay with me and one I intend to share with my boys when they are a little older. Bravo Binks!!!!!


About The Author: Danielle Binks is a Mornington Peninsula-based author and literary agent. Her debut book ‘The Year the Maps Changed’ is out with Hachette on April 28 – a historic-fiction novel for 10-14 year-olds, set in 1999 it deals with the events of ‘Operation Safe Haven’ and Australia’s biggest humanitarian exercise to-date.

Connect with Danielle: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Odd Voices: Review

Odd Voices: An Anthology of Not So Normal Narrators
Genre: Multiple – Queer YA
Publication: February 21st 2020
Publisher: Odd Voice Out
Review copy provided as part of Review Tour – Thank You
Add to Goodreads HERE
Follow Tour HERE
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

In every new story we pick up, we’re seeking an exciting original voice. So why are there still voices we don’t hear from nearly enough? Why are there characters that so rarely take centre stage? In this collection from Odd Voice Out press, we discover the stories of twelve teenagers who stand out from the crowd and who’ll not easily be forgotten.

With settings that range from Scotland to Syria, Mexico to Mauritius, Africa to Russia, these stories take us to all corners of the globe and into the lives of young people with their own unique circumstances and perspectives. Characters dealing with issues of culture and class, exploring their sexuality and gender identity, or letting us into their experiences with illness, disability or neurodiversity. Their tales span all genres and can’t be reduced to labels. These are stories about bending the rules and breaking the law. Stories of fighting for survival and finding your place in the world. Stories of family solidarity, unlikely friendships and aching first love told by teenagers who don’t always fit in and aren’t often heard.

With a foreword by award winning YA author Catherine Johnson, this anthology brings together the top ten stories of Odd Voice Out’s 2019 Not So Normal Narrators contest, as well as bonus stories from in-house authors Kell Cowley and K.C. Finn.


How can you not be keen to read this anthology after a synopsis like that! Odd Voices is a brilliant and inclusive feeling anthology. There are stories with narrators that we do not get to see much of in mainstream YA, and the stories span multiple genres. Obviously, as with any anthology, I preferred some stories to others. But all the stories were of a high caliber.

Breathe by Eddie House. Dystopian, with F/F rep. A Great story to kick start the anthology with and one of my favourites. Captivating from start to finish, I would love to see this turned into a full-length novel. I need to know what happens next for Emmaline & Arabella, underdog teens rebelling against a corrupt health system together. 5/5 Stars.
“the thought of losing her makes my stomach shrivel. Em is my everything. My sun, sky, stars. Loving her feels like my body is a bonfire of salt and skin and blood built human.”

For Hugo by Tonia Markou. Contemporary, autistic rep. The mummy in me just wanted to hug Xander, so damn adorable! I loved this heart-warming story of a sweet boy looking for his lost pet lizard and struggling to behave the way he feels others expect him to. 5/5 Stars.
The Silence Rock by Mary Bill Howkins. Contemporary. A day in the life type story following an eleven-year-old Nigerian boy as his eyes are opened to the struggles of the women of his village community. This is a beautiful story about a thoughtful and caring young boy. 5/5 Stars.

Anchor by Colby Wren Fierek. Contemporary, non-binary rep. An achingly beautiful story about a 13-yr-old in the process of coming out. While the style of the writing caught me up a bit in some parts, I loved the relationship between dad Todd and child Viv (previously Victoria). 4/5 Stars.
“It’s hard sometimes, remembering that the way you are isn’t something that can be summed up all neat by phrases that belong to everyone else.”

Imago by Jack Bumby. Magical realism, M/M rep. The story follows Charlie as he explores his sexuality while battling memory and motor function loss. A deeply tormenting but gripping and beautiful tale. 5.5 Stars.

Love Makes Everyone (Into Poets) by Oceania Chee. Magical realism, F/F rep. The story of a teen so lovesick for her friend that she has flowers growing in her lungs that threaten to suffocate her. While I understand and appreciate the symbolism, I did struggle with the magical realism elements a little bit. 3/5 stars.

Oblivisci by A.Rose. Dystopian, with visually impaired rep. Set in a world were memories are currency, a young girl uses her extra abilities to try and save her sister and ends up overwriting the computer system that controls the memory trade. 3/5 stars.

Piano Wire by Rowan Curtis. Contemporary. The story of a Syrian girl’s life from having a peaceful and happy family life to hiding out alone in war ravaged ruins to overcrowded refugee camps to starting a new life in the UK. A Heart breaking but absolutely beautiful story. I’d love to see this story explained on and turned into a full-length novel. 5/5 Stars.

Shoplifting by Frances Copeland. Contemporary, wheelchair user rep. A day in the life style story about an orphaned teenager who uses her wheelchair invisibility to steal merchandise that she later has a friend sell. Her plan, to save up enough money to get her own apartment. Super sad, but beautiful. I’m telling myself that she gets her wish for her own place. 5/5 Stars.

Size of Rice by Sabah Carrim. Contemporary. The synopsis for this story being “A Muslim girl who finds her growing pains at odds with her religious doctrine.” Teenager, she’s just a normal teenager, being a teenager and coming to question the world around her. I think we can all relate to that. 3/5 Stars.

A last meal of magic by Kell Cowley. Urban fantasy, Albinism rep. A starving teen sets off to try and bargain for some food for his family with a woman who may or may not be a witch. Spoiler, she’s a witch. Also, cats can see ghosts – you’ll have to read it to understand why it’s so upsetting when we, the reader, find that out. 4/5 Stars.

Sixty-Five Days of Night by K.C. Finn. Cli-Fi (No not Sci-Fi, Cli-FI* – This is the first time I’ve ever come across the term. How about you?)
A gripping tale set on a future post-climate change catastrophe earth, where humans must take shifts in being in hibernation chambers as the earth can no longer support the whole population awake at once. This story has a super dark ending, but I still really liked it. 4/5 Stars.

*Definition of cli-fi in English: cli-fi. noun. mass noun. A genre of fiction that deals with the impacts of climate change and global warming. ‘cli-fi, like the science behind it, often presents bleak visions of the future’. – Google.

I’m feeling blessed to be on this tour. Odd Voices was even better than I’d hoped for!

It seems this anthology is to be an annual competition and publication process. So I will definitely be keeping an eye on this publishing house’s future releases. For more info on Odd Voice Out publishing house contest see HERE.

“If you look out of your window, wherever you live, even if you live in a tiny village, there will be different sorts of people out there. People of different races, gender identities, abilities and social classes. If your books are not reflecting that then, as a writer, you’re not truly reflecting society. And obviously stories are fiction and fiction is lies. But you should be aiming to tell the truth with your lies.” – Taken from the anthology forward by Catherine Johnson.

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

Sea of Gratitude: #LoveOzYA Review

Sea of Gratitude (The Bikini Collective #3)
by Kate McMahon
Genre: Contemporary #LoveOzYa
Publication: March 1st 2020
Review copy from Author – Thank You
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Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

Three friends discover, surfing just got serious.

Book three in the Bikini Collective series sees the girls preparing for another action-packed surfing adventure, but one of them is burdened with secrets. With all of her scholarship funds exhausted, Carolyn has no choice: she’ll have to drop off the World Junior Tour. Just as all seems lost, the Bikini Collective – along with a mysterious donor – save the day. Next stop: Brazil! The lush South American tropics are dreamy; playful waves, everyday fiestas and beautiful, smooth-talking Brazilians. But can Carolyn find what it means to truly be happy? Just like a calm ocean with a deceiving undercurrent, things aren’t always what they seem.


In the first book we saw the three friends – Jaspa, Mel and Carolyn – competing in Australia while learning how to navigate staying friends and competing against each other. The second book sees the girls head to Malibu to attend their first World Junior Tour event as part of the Australian team, and their first-time leaving Oz. The first book focuses more on Jaspa, her awkward adorableness and her relationship with her brother. The second book was all up in Mel’s head as she learns how to tell who her real friends are, how not to get lost in the glitz and glamour and how to appreciate the things/people she has in her life. In this the third book the girls head to Brazil with the Australian World Junior Tour team and we follow along with Carolyn as she struggles with feeling like she does not belong.

15-year-old Carolyn does not feel like she fits, anywhere. Certainly not with her more well to do besties and classmates. She has very little faith in her own abilities as a competitive surfer and feels like a fraud on the team.

Carolyn’s qualified for the World Junior Tour but she doesn’t have the money to make it to Brazil. All her scholarship funds have been used up on surf school fees and the Malibu trip. She has been trying to save money from her part time job, but with having to help her mum make rent, she can’t get the funds together. Her friends find out about Carolyn not having the funds and they get together to host a fundraising event, and thus the Brazil trip begins.

Carolyn tries to keep everything locked up inside. She spends a lot of the book stressing about her mum back home, money, her mystery father and later, her sexuality. While all her problems are not resolved by the end of the book, she does learn that she is good enough, that she’s not alone and that her friends and family have her back. She also manages to score the best wave of her life and have a stellar competition run.

Sea of Gratitude is full of all the things I loved from the first two books. The surfing action scenes are written so descriptively that you feel like you are out on the wave. And the story is cute and quick-paced, full of heart and Girl Power!

I think that Sea of Gratitude could probably be read as a standalone, but then you would be depriving yourself of the fun of the first two books and building a deeper connection to the characters.

Who would like this book: While it’s listed as YA, this is a clean book that’d I’d recommend for ages 10 and up. Water and surf lovers. #LoveOZYA aficionados. And lovers of friendship filled tales. I applauded Kate for managing to create an exciting series that doesn’t use sex, violence, or OTT romance to make it captivating.

Kate McMahon: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

View my review of book one HERE & book two HERE.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

Slow Down: Review

Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature
by Rachel Williams (Author) & Freya Hartas (Illustrator)
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Nature
Publication: April 1, 2020
Publisher: Magic Cat Publishing
Distributor: Walker Australia
Source: Review copy from the publisher – Thank You
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View at Walker Books
Rating: ✵✵✵✵

Slow down to watch 50 nature stories that command calm and foster mindfulness

All around us, nature is working wonders. Every day, hour by hour, magical transformations happen right in front of you. But it’s not always easy to see them . . . In this beautiful illustrated collection, 50 moments in nature are paused for you to watch them in detail. Then you should go outside, and explore, and see what you find when you take the time to slow down. Gorgeously illustrated, this charming collection celebrates the small wonders happening all around us every day.

About the author
Rachel Williams studied literature before becoming an editor and publisher of children’s books. She is also the creator of best-selling natural history and adventure books, including The Atlas of Adventure series and Illuminature. She lives with her husband and daughter in London.

About the illustrator
Freya Hartas is a UK based illustrator of children’s books. She graduated from Falmouth University with a first class honors in BA illustration in 2014. The same year, she won the international Lemniscaat illustration Award which resulted in the publication of Little Kong, her first stand-alone picture book. In 2012 Freya Hartas won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

Slow Down is a book to be savored a little bit at a time. The artwork is a visual treat, absolutely stunning! There are no photos I can take to do the beauty held within these pages’ justice. Each double page spread features a new animal or act of nature, bringing about a calm as you focus on the pages, or rather a mindfulness as the book focuses on the world around us.

It took my boys and I a little while to get through this illustrated factual nature book. We were reading four stories (eight pages) each afternoon, taking the time and discussing the animal or event before we moved onto the next one.

Riley (6) was asking all sorts of questions about the critters we were reading about. And to keep Ethan (3) engaged we were counting how many lady bugs, butterflies, etc. were on the page and pointing out the creature’s colors etc. I like to think that subconsciously some of what I was reading out loud was being absorbed. At least I know from the conversations we’d have later in the night about something we’d read in the book that Riley was absorbing some of the information.

This book has fifty different ‘stories’ about the amazing earth we inhabit and the fascinating creatures we share it with. There is a double page spread about butterflies going through metamorphosis, the fazes of the moon, cherry blossoms, how spiders make their webs, horse’s galloping, bees making honey and so much more!

Slow Down is a fantastic tool for introducing, or reintroducing depending on the children’s/adult’s age, to the wonderful natural world around us.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂