Perfect Pitch: Book Review

Perfect Pitch
Alex Hayes
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

All Dean wants is to escape…

But he can’t leave his younger brother, Ty, in the care of their alcoholic mother. And when their abusive father shows up, Dean has to get Ty out. Which means joining Shri — his best and only friend — in taking a job out of state and breaking the law by stealing his brother away.

Cadi’s life is almost back together after Dean blew it into a million pieces. She’s come to terms with her life as a shape-shifter — well, almost. She’s still trying to wrap her head around the fact that a vicious enemy is out to destroy the remnants of her people.

As if Cadi doesn’t have enough to deal with, Dean’s about to land on her front doorstep, forcing her to decide whether to let him into her secret world or slam the door in his face.

The Chameleon Effect series, starring shape-shifter teens with extraordinary superpowers, is sure to appeal to Young Adult and New Adult readers who enjoy romance with a paranormal twist.

Goodreads / Amazon


MY THOUGHTS:

Today is my stop on the Xpresso Tours release celebrations for Perfect Pitch by Alex Hayes.
Perfect Pitch is the second book in the The Chameleon Effect series. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of both the first and second book to read as part of this tour.
Silken Scales and Perfect Pitch are described as NA/YA Paranormal Romance. It’s definitely a YA Romance, but it’s a Sci-Fi series, which suits me perfectly!

Book one, Silken Scales, has a strong and gripping epilogue. I was hooked pretty quick.
Chapter by chapter the story swaps between two POV leads, Idris & Cadi.
I really enjoyed getting to know them both and felt like I connected to both characters.
It’s revealed very early on that Cadi has telekinetic abilities. She of course gets caught using them and all hell breaks loose. The one positive that comes out of Cadi having to move on to a new town, a new school etc. is that she then meets Idris and the two story-lines converge.

After some twists, turns and an action packed finale, we’ve found out that Idris and Cadi are aliens. They are Livran’s originating from the planet Daizani. They were sent to earth when the were very young to keep them safe – and i’m sure you can appreciate there is so much more to it than that, but as to not spoil it for potential readers I’ll shhhhhh.

Book two alternates between Cadi and Dean (Dean an ex friend, almost boyfriend, who sort of betrayed her and kinda outed her abilities in the first book) and is set about six months after the end of the first.
Cadi actually got on my nerves a bit in this second book. But I loved getting to see inside Dean’s head and getting to meet his little brother TY.
In this book Cadi’s pasts collide. Her past past, cue evil alien’s out to get her and Idris. And her more recent past, cue awkward and jealous moments between Dean and Idris.
The last quarter of the book is an action whirlwind with Dean’s broken family life coming to the front of the story, then all the main characters coming together just in time to kick some bad guy alien butt.

The book’s are not all romance and alien slaying, there are some deeper things dealt with; mental health, alcoholism, and parental abuse come to mind.
The human characters had racial diversity (and of course there was the two different races of aliens), so a BIG YAY for that. But there was no room in the plot for sexual diversity.

All in all I liked both books and I am keen to read the next one to see how Idris and Cadi manage to find the other hiding Livran teens. And I want to see Ty thriving in his new home!

Author Bio:

Alex Hayes wrote her first fiction story when she was twelve. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, she began work on her first novel, Ice Cracks, at eighteen.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.

Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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It Sounded Better in My Head: #LoveOZYA Review

47324659. sy475 It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
Genre: Contemporary #LoveOzYa
Publication: August 6th, 2019
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

When her parents announce their impending separation, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. And now that Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, have fallen in love, she’s feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward.

Where does she fit in now? And what has happened to the version of her life that played out like a TV show—with just the right amount of banter, pining and meaningful looks?

Nothing is going according to plan.

But then an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

It Sounded Better in My Head is a tender, funny and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out and finding out what really matters.


It Sounded Better in My Head is a new #LoveOzYA Contemporary YA Romance that is adorable, entertaining, relatable and warmed my heart. And while it may be a romance, there is also a heavy focus on friendship – which is always a winner for me.

The story begins: Natalie’s parents are getting divorced, her two best friends are hooking up, she’s just finished high school – Her whole world is changing at a rapid speed and she struggling to keep up.
Cue a kiss from a cute boy, who in her mind is way out of her league, and she is foundering all over the place. Natalie has no idea what the kiss meant. We the reader know right away. But it’s fun watching all the adorable awkwardness of Natalie trying to figure it out.

18-year-old Natalie is an easily likeable protagonist. Natalie spent her early teens with serious skin problems that needed a lot of heavy medication to get under control, thanks to those years she has zero self-esteem, endless anxieties and still sees herself as “gross”.

This is a story that deals with figuring out what to do once high school is over, a story of navigating first loves and how friendships change and grow. It also deals the fallout of parental divorce. The romance is soft and beautiful, and keeps the story feeling light while some heavier things are dealt with.

It sounded better in my head is an adorkable, fast flowing, easy to read, heart-warming story that I can see myself picking up again if I’m in need of a pick me up.

Who would like it: any #LoveOZYA aficionados. Fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jenn Bennett. Lovers of soft and sweet getting-to-know-myself-while-getting-to-know-you romance.

Five out of five.


Nina Kenwood is a writer, who lives in Melbourne. She won the 2018 Text Prize for her debut young adult novel, It Sounded Better in My Head. You can find Nina via Twitter | Instagram | her Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Booktopia.

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

Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure: #AusYaBloggers Tour

45186265. sy475 Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure by Dion Summergreene
Publication: April 12th 2019
Source: Review copy from Dion Summergreene in conjunction with the #AusYABloggers Tour – Thank You
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵

Buckley, a young, enthusiastic detector dog, was about to clock off from his regular shift at the Brisbane International Airport when he uncovered a shipment of smuggled exotic animals. Discovering that all but one, a chameleon named Ciara, and two turtle eggs, had perished on the long journey, Buckley makes it his mission to track down who is behind the smuggling ring and ensure no more helpless and endangered animals are killed. A fire is ignited within Buckley and he is determined to return Ciara to her home and reunite her with her family. Breaking all of his obedience training whilst battling his usual insecurities and self-doubt, Buckley, Ciara and a charismatic Californian mouse named Bo, set out on an international adventure that propels them from a world of structure and safety into dangerous, risky situations.With fast-pace, witty humour and suspense, Dion Summergreene takes young readers on a crime-fighting adventure like no other to discover an exotic world through the eyes of man’s best friend.


In this new #LoveOzMG title, Buckley the detector dog discovers a crate of smuggled animals. He befriends the only surviving chameleon, this leads to a return smuggling plan of his own. Cue wacky hijinks, plane flights, run ins with other not so friendly animals, police chases, and unintentionally bringing down a major smuggling ring in a Bangkok shipping port.

Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure reads like a Pixar movie and I mean that as a compliment.
It’d make a hilarious movie. Think Zootopia, crossed with The Secret Life Of Pets, and Isle Of Dogs.

As an adult I can appreciate all the lessons Dion is trying to fit in about animal cruelty, illegal animal trade, animal facts and general life lessons as part of and in and around the plot. I do wonder if it will make the intended MG audience’s eyes glaze over. If it will be information overload or if they’ll be enthralled by it, soaking it all up with their wonderfully young sponge brains – I hope for the later. And never the less the action sequences are fantastically entertaining and humorous.

The ending is super cute and of course the good guys win and it’s a happily ever for Buckley and his friends.


To check out everyone else’s thoughts on Buckley and follow along on the tour click HERE.

You can find Buckley on Goodreads HERE, Instagram HERE, Facebook HERE.

Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure is available as an eBook or paperback HERE.

Dion Summergreene has worked as an art director and illustrator for the past 20 years, now making his writing debut with Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure being his first published book. Visit www.buckleysadventure.com to learn more.

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

June/July 2019 BOOKISH SUMMARY

Total books read in June/July: 14

Comics/ Graphic Novels = 6 | #LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 6 | the remainder = 2


Comics: In the last two months I continued reading the Runaways and Heartstopper series and started reading the Lumberjanes series.
I’m still really enjoying the Runaways and Heartstopper series. I love that as the series goes on Runaways, has gotten queerer. Currently there is one Lesbian main character and another shapeshifting genderfluid one – awesomesause!
Heartstopper is the queerest, most heart-warming and adorable comic series I’ve ever read.
And out of the three collected Runaways editions I read, I especially loved Vol 6, as we spent most of the issue just hanging out with the youngest Runaway, 11-yr-old mutant girl Molly – she’s kick ass and adorable.
I found Lumberjanes to be whimsical and super cute. It follows a group of girls banding together to deal with magical and evil things that start happening at their camp.

Poetry: I’ve also been trying to indulge in more poetry compendiums to fend off readers burn out. I really enjoyed being submerged in Amanda Lovelace and Omar Sakr’s worlds.

Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOZYA Stories – anthology.
I loved the variety of own voices rep! The story highlights for me were Light Bulb and Questions to ask straight relatives. A breathtakingly beautiful, dark and deep story. And while not really “YA”, still a brilliant personal essay. I felt both deep down in my soul.
View my Full Review | View on Goodreads

Devil’s Ballast by Meg Caddy
Devil’s Ballast is a fictionalised historical YA tale based on the life of female pirate Anne Bonny and is set at the start of Bonny’s pirating career. The friendship between Bonny and Read was the shining highlight of the book for me and I would love to read a sequel that follows the two creating pirate-y mayhem together.
View my Full Review | View on Goodreads

Hive (Hive #1) & Rogue (Hive #2) by A.J. Betts
I finished the last page of Hive, made a fresh cup of tea and started reading Rogue, so for me it was one 618-page epic dystopian Australian story. The only thing that could have made it better would have been some queer characters – But they were two lovely and exciting books that focused mainly on friendship and exploring the world around the protagonist.
View my Full joint Review | Hive on Goodreads | Rogue on Goodreads

Meet Me at the Intersection #ownvoices – anthology
Necessary reading for all Aussie teens and adults alike. A brilliant inclusive anthology featuring #ownvoices authors from marginalised groups. This anthology shows how beautiful and diverse Australia can be, but also how we need to look after each other better.
Stars In Our Eyes, Sheer Fortune, DNA, The Other Son and The Last Stop were highlights for me.
View on Goodreads

It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
It Sounded Better in My Head is a new #LoveOzYA Contemporary YA Romance that is adorable, entertaining, relatable and warmed my heart. And while it may be a romance, there is also a heavy focus on friendship – which is always a winner for me.
Full Review COMING SOON | View on Goodreads

Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure by Dion Summergreene
I’m part of the #AusYABloggers tour for this #LoveOzMG title, it kicks off on Monday the 5th with review posts my myself and Star. So come back (pretty please) on Monday and or follow along with the tour HERE.
Full Review COMING SOON | View on Goodreads

Conclusion: June was that crazy that I didn’t even get a bookish babble reading round up posted. July was a little better. I did a Q&A with author Helen Scheuerer HERE and a Queer Book Chat HERE (over on the #AusYABloggers site) with fellow queer book lover and out and proud lesbian, Star.

I also partook in a seven day, no descriptions, black and white photo challenge on Instagram, which was kinda fun and changed up my feed for a while.

Shane and I signed up for the Camp Quality FUNx4, you can read about that HERE.

Past Monthly Summaries: Jan 19Feb 19Mar 19April 19May 19

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

Camp Quality FUNx4: Car 42

This year my husband attended the 2019 Camp Quality FUNx4, which ran from the 1st – 6th July. As one of two mechanics on the event, tasked with ensuring all 13 cars made it through the event. My Uncle Gordon Trigg was the other mechanic on hand.

My family has been involved with Camp Quality for nearly thirty years. Firstly with my grandfather being a part of setting up the Newcastle Branch of Camp Quality, my grandfather and mother both attended camps in the early days as councilors. Later my Uncle entered the Camp Quality escapade in it’s second year as an entrant, then when back the next year with my grandfather as mechanical support and he has gone along every year since. Along side Ben Mildren, he now sets the courses for both the esCarpade and FUNx4 and attends both as the mechanical support.

In 2020, my husband Shane and I will be fundraising and attending as FUNx4 participants in Car 42.

The Camp Quality FUNx4 is a 4WD event is set to challenge experienced and amateur drivers alike tackling tricky terrain through some of Australia’s most spectacular 4WD playgrounds. All the while raising much needed funds for Aussie kids facing cancer.

FUNx4 is Camp Quality’s newest outback motoring fundraiser. Hailed as Australia’s happiest 6-day 4WD adventure, in 2020 the event will begin in Caboolture on Monday 1st June, will travel through the Glashouse Mountains, Kenilworth and LandCruiser Mountain Park before finishing with three days exploring Fraser Island on Saturday 6th June.

Camp Quality provides services and programs specifically made to support children 0-13 facing cancer, who are dealing with their own diagnosis, or the diagnosis of someone they love, like a brother, sister, mum or dad. It is an extremely worthy cause and every donation no matter how big or how small helps! For more information or to donate click HERE.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂

CONVERSATIONS 001: QUEER BOOK CHAT

Tonight, over on the #AusYaBloggers group site, I chat with the lovely Star Robinson about things we noticed during Pride month, the importance of W/W in Queer books and being able to see yourself in characters. We also give some F/F reading recommendations. You should definitely go check it out HERE.

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

Helen Scheuerer: Author Q&A

Helen is a YA fantasy author from Sydney.
You might know her as the author of THE OREMERE CHRONICLES, or as the founding editor at WRITERS EDIT.

Please welcome Helen.


Hindsight is a marvelous thing. Looking back now that the third book in your The Oremere Chronicles is complete, is there anything you wished you’d done differently?

You’re absolutely right about that! I learnt so many things over the course of writing these three books, the biggest being: the importance of planning. While I’m more than happy with how the series turned out, I would have saved myself a lot of hassle and heartache if I had of planned a tad more meticulously!

I also learnt how hard it is to juggle multiple projects; writing one book, editing another and marketing another… It’s draining work and often I’ve felt that I’m stretched too thin. However, not much can be changed in this regard, it’s just the nature of publishing I’m afraid!

I am fascinated by how authors come up with the ideas for their books. Can you tell us a little bit about where the inspiration for The Oremere Chronicles came from?

I get asked this question quite a lot and the truth is, I still don’t have a real answer for it! For me, these books weren’t the product of a lightning bolt of inspiration. I made a conscious decision to write what I loved reading and over the course of NaNoWriMo one year, Heart of Mist (Book I) was born.

When it comes to finding inspiration, the settings are actually the best example. I have found inspiration all over the world: Sydney beaches, Scotland, Prague, New Zealand… There are tidbits of these places in the details of my continents, landmarks and cities.

I know I can’t be the only one fascinated by people’s lives. (Hands up if you’re a YouTube vlog addict like me). Can you take us through a normal day in the life of Helen the Author?

You’re definitely not the only one, Sarah! I love this stuff.

A normal day looks a little something like this for me:
6.00 – Get up and make a tea
6.30 – Review the To Do List (usually made the night before)
6.45 – 8.45 – Creative writing and/or plotting (books, prequels)
8.45 – 9.00 – Breakfast
9.00 – 11.30 – Creative writing round #2
11.30 – 13.00 – Go for a run & lunch break
13.30 – 16.30 – Emails, calls, social media, marketing tasks
16.30 – 17.00 – Reassess To Do List
17.00 – 18.30 – Creative writing round #3
18.30 – 19.30 – Dinner

Of course, it’s not always that strict. Though, around launch time, it’s even worse (starting earlier, finishing later).
I’ve learnt recently not to be too hard on myself and to be a little more flexible, however, I’m definitely the sort of person who thrives on routine!

Do you have any other projects in the works you can let us in on?

Ohhhhh I have so many projects in the pipeline, Sarah!
I can tell you that there are two projects planned for 2020, but that’s all I can say for now unfortunately.
Right now, it’s all about War of Mist hitting the shelves on July 25 🙂


If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out book one:

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Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer
Genre: YA, Fantasy, #LoveOzYA
Publication: August 31st 2017
Publisher: Talem Press

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

HELEN CAN BE FOUND ON
TWITTERINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK & HER WEBSITE

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Helen before. We did a Q&A on the #AusYABloggers site [HERE] & Helen did a guest post on The Adventures of SacaKat [HERE], after the first book in the The Oremere Chronicles, Heart of Mist, was released. Make sure to check them out to.

The Oremere Chronicles CAN BE FOUND AT Amazon AUamazon USbooktopia.

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