Review: Disruption & Corruption by Jessica Shirvington

Oh wow, where do I start. I finished the last page of Disruption, made myself a fresh cuppa tea then opened up Corruption and continued Maggie’s journey. It was 833 pages of utterly enthralling action. Let me calm down and try to break this down (without spoilers).

19032994Disruption (Disruption #1) by Jessica Shirvington

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

Published April 1st 2014 by HarperCollins. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Disruption sucked me in hard and fast. I wanted Maggie to succeed in her mission, all the while wishing more for her and her family. This books gives us blackmail, bad guy bullshit and sassy bitch brilliance. Maggie is a strong young woman that is not to be messed with. Maggie has worked hard to build up the skills she needs to succeed and she radiates a powerful darkness, but as the reader we get to see past the mentally disconnecting and physical conditioning she has created as her Armor to the real Maggie underneath, the broken soul who just wants to put things right. This book delivers us all the big game players, even if it doesn’t reveal all their true field positions. There is a big plot twist late on and a cliff-hanger that will have you needing to get your hands on the next book.

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Corruption (Disruption #2) by Jessica Shirvington

How do you live with yourself when you’ve deceived the one you love?

How do you move on when the person you’ve been fighting to save betrays you?

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt.

Four weeks ago, Maggie’s world fell apart, when she finally
found what she’d been looking for. And when Quentin,
who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies.

Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she’s not about to stay there.
Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down.
Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.

In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do
whatever it takes to show the world the truth.
And the price for her quest?

Everything.

Published November 1st 2014 by HarperCollins. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Corruption! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. We really get to know the characters and they feel real, well they did for me. Gus, Maggie, Quin, Travis, Morris and Liam – I loved them all! Actually the character Gus reminded me of a friend of mine. The scary thing with this dystopian is that it really isn’t that far-fetched. I’ve come to realise that the more, oh shit that could totally happen here in the next 10-20 years, a dystopian is the more I enjoy it. Hmmmm yet I love fantasy novels with dragons and trolls, yeah I have issues – ANYWAYS. This book has high stakes, high action, big plot twists, betrayal and forgiveness, world saving, love making (no sex scenes as such), corporate corruption and personal redemption. Maggie’s life tidy’s up nicely at the end, which is probably the most unrealistic part of the whole story, that and Quin’s ability to forgive. But I LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS so it’s all good. Well the ending is only as happy as it can be when a shit loads of innocent people have had to suffer and die along the way, but the bad guys get what’s coming to them, so that’s happy ever after enough for me.Five Stars

The Disruption duology is going on my Recommend-to-everyone-list along with the The Tribe Series, The Medoran Chronicles, The Illuminae Files and anything by the fantastic Will Kotastis. #LoveOzYA people, love that OZ YA!

Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review: The First Third by Will Kostakis

17185857Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you’re embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you’ve made.

That’s how Billy’s grandmother explains it, anyway. She’s given him her bucket list (cue embarrassment), and now, it’s his job to glue their family back together.

No pressure or anything.

Fixing his family’s not going to be easy and Billy’s not ready for change. But as he soon discovers, the first third has to end some time. And then what?

It’s a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.

* * * * My Thoughts * * * *

I read The Sidekicks and loved it. I’ve now read The First Third and loved it. I must get my hands on more! You, Mr Will Kostakis are brilliant and I love your humorous and heartwarming style.

In The First Third we follow 17 year-old Bill as he navigates first love and the monumental task his ill Grandmother has given him to put his broken family back together. With the help of Bill’s best friend Lucas and a pretty girl named Hayley, Bill manages to make some major progress with his family and help some other people out along the way. The ending leaves you with tears in your eyes, a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart and hope for the future.

Bill is a total sweetheart and reading along with his interactions with his friends, family and especially his Yiayia is a treat for the soul.

As with The Sidekicks the story flows beautifully, the characters are engaging and feel real. There is no denying that Mr Kostakis has the ability to tell a meaningful and captivating story. I am looking forward to reading more by him in the future.

Five Stars

Kostakis Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook

Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Bookdepository 

Review: Raelia (The Medoran Chronicles #2) by Lynette Noni

Bookish Babble: Y16.W14

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Aussie Author Quote Edition:
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I haven’t read Stormdancer yet so I am not sure of the context, so the fact that I used an image of people kissing as the background maybe a lil bit off, BUT when I read this quote I thought in a romantic context “Yep, been there and done that!”

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This is true, but It doesn’t always feel that way.

kady2Yes, yes you do! Run with me people.

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Well yes, as long as you haven’t read the synopsis or any reviews :-P.

This next one is a snippet from The First Third by Will Kostakis. Now i’m not sure how it will translate if your never read the book but I loved this bit. So imagine for me a 17 year old Australian born grandson with his Greek born grandmother >>

“Sti zoei mas, ehome tria… komatia.” Greek for, “In our lives, we have three… pieces.” She must have been in an imparting-wisdom kind of mood. It was obviously important, because she switched to English, not trusting my Greek.

“In first part,” She said, “your family embarrass you. Then-pff-they die.” I couldn’t tell whether she was trying to teach me something or make me feel bad for laughing at her.

She focused hard, like she was having difficulty summoning the correct phrasing. “In number two, you feel agape, you find love, you make baby, you want to have family like before.” I thought of Papou. I thought of Mum.

Yiayia snatched up a polka-dotted piece of fabric and slowly started to stretch it. The elasticity disappointed her. She dropped it back into the heap and rested her hand on the edge of the bin. “Then, one day, you old. You try to give, and your family,” Yiayia shrugged, “they embarrassed. And then-pff-you die.” 

It was the circle of Greek life. “You see, one day,” she added.

Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you’re embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you’ve made. 

It’s funny because it true and it’s heartbreaking because it is true. I’m in my second third now! I’ve always been blessed with a big, loving and yes sometimes embarrassing family. The older I get the more I long for how connected my family was when I was younger. All my cousins and myself included are off making our own families now. I hope I can give my boys the connections I had and the love I felt in my first third.

Until next time, enjoy your shelves (and your families).

Review: Love, The Lion by Brremaud and Bertolucci

LOVE volume 3: THE LION by Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci

Pub Date: 12th July 2016 by Magnetic Press and Diamond Book Distributors

Thank you, Brremaud, Bertolucci and NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis mk3

The third volume in the lavishly illustrated series of wildlife graphic novels, each following a single central animal through an adventurous day in their natural environment. Each tale depicts genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in illustration. Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, this volume focuses on a solitary Lion as it wanders the plains of Africa, handling the daily hunt, and vicious rivalry, without a Pride of its own.image

The circle of Life takes center stage in a world where predator and prey trade places on a regular basis, and Family is something worth fighting — and dying — for. This exciting tale, written by Frederic Brremaud, is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. A beautiful, powerful tale of survival in the animal kingdom that explores the all-too-identifiable, universal concepts of Life, Courage, Aging, and ultimately Love.

My Thoughts mk3

It felt like a I was reading a beautifully illustrated David Attenborough documentary! And i mean that as a positive thing! Not one word of text is used to tell the story. But the detailed and dramatic illustrations over the eighty pages tells us the story perfectly. image (1)

We open to a pride of Lions, moving on to follow a particular Cub, let’s call him Brian. We see Brian grow up fighting to survive. We survey the land and all the other creatures with Brian as he wanders alone. We get to see a wide array of animals go through their day to day lives. The story comes full circle when Brian returns to the pride he came from and challenges the leader.

I have to say that I enjoyed the Love: The Fox more, but that’s because it had a happy ending. Reality very really has a happy ending, which is why this graphic novel feels more like a documentary rather than Disney’s the Lion king. It was truthful and tragically beautiful. Ah and so continues the circle of life. Four “I really enjoyed it “Stars

Author’s Links mk3

Amazon | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Review: The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

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The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.

All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?

Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.

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Paperback, 256 pages. Published February 29th 2016 by Penguin Australia.
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Goodreads WebsiteTwitter – Facebook

Amazon AUBooktopiaAmazon USBook Depository

* * * * * * * My Thoughts * * * * * * *

Set in northern Sydney The Sidekicks is the story of three very different boys. While on the verge of manhood they suffer the loss of a mutual friend. We follow each of the boys as they go on to deal with their friend’s death. The trauma initially separates them, but by the end of the book it has brought them together with a closeness they never had before. This is a story of love, loss, friendship, sexuality, homophobia and just wanting to fit in.

The Boys:

“The Swimmer” I was immediately drawn to Ryan (Thommo). His character straight up felt kind hearted and genuine. My heart wanted to reach out and hug him. The poor boy not only had to deal with the loss of his best friend, but with coming out to the world.

“The Rebel” Scott (Harley) is bloody adorable. Harley was the kind of boy I swooned over in school, and rightly so, thanks for proving me right Harley. Harley really grows up after losing his mate and he does everything he can to put things right. I outwardly applauded him (seriously my husband looked at my like a was mad clapping at a book) as he ran off to find and support Ryan.

“The Nerd” I was most afraid for Miles after the loss of Isaac. He really ends up in a dark place, but thankfully that big beautiful dastardly brain of his sees the light and lets the other two boys in. I wasn’t as drawn to Miles as the other two boys at first, but seeing the world through his eyes and his projected vision of the future, was a really strong and brilliant way to finish the story off.

star.5

Flash Fiction: Burned, a 250-word short story

His blood called to my blood like a magnetic current. No matter how much I tried to fight, I couldn’t escape his pull. My body moved towards him without my permission. My chest felt tight and my heart raced as if trying to explode out of my chest.

I stood in front of him shacking slightly as he surveyed my nightdress with his shining golden eyes.

He was a strong and powerful delantie, blessed with earthly powers far superior to any other being in existence and still young at 240 years. I was an ordinary 24-year-old human female.

He gave me a look that was dark and deep with desire and I knew the pure bliss that was to follow. But I wasn’t going to make it out of the night’s visit unscathed, I never did.

The more we were together, the more I burned for him when we were apart. I was terrified of the consequences of our union, a union I’d only ever known to end in death, usually for the human when their body was shredded by the earth power realised by the delantie in the heat of the moment.

I woke up the next morning, naked and alone, feeling even more hollow then the time before. But I had made it through. I knew that the burning need to be with him would begin building again. I knew that he would appear again and so the cycle would continue until he had burned me up completely.

DEATH LOVE LUST Anthology

28869647by Aurelia Fray, Catherine StovallLily Luchesi, Emma Michaels, Michael Cross, Iskra Ryder, Patrick Tumblety, Libby Bishop, Charlotte Ondac, Jenn Nixon, Jaclyn Osborn, Jen L. Joyal, Victoria Kinnaird, Olivia Harper

DEATH LOVE LUST.

Death is definite. Love is infinite. Lust is eternal.

In the end, death always wins. And what of the threads that remain? Love? Lust? The desire to feel both? The desire to return to the living and feel again? Because, despite death, the heart will forever pine for the love that once was; the love that was once tangible but now is reflected back only in memories and photographs. Both love and lust are stronger than death and will always linger long after life is pulled from us. Because of this we will always remain definite, infinite, and eternal.

Published February 4th 2016 by Hot Ink Press.

GOODREADSAMAZON AUAMAZON US

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~  My  Thoughts  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I received an ARC of this book in an exchange for an honest review, THANK YOU :-).

As I normally review teen appropriate YA books I better stress the fact that this anthology is for 18+ Adults Only!

I love anthology’s! I think they are great for getting a little peep at different authors ‘voices’ and finding new favorites.

The Death-Love-Lust Anthology is a collection of adult poems and short stories exploring, you guessed it, death love and lust, featuring both hetero and homosexual couples – oh and delicious demons and righteous reapers.

The poems are absolutely beautiful, I read them all multiple times.

The stories range from dark and mysterious to sexy and sinful, with beautiful deep everlasting love shining through.

Normally I’d stay away from erotica that dabbles with death, but as the lovely Lily Luchesi was a part of it and given how I really enjoy her Paranormal Detective series, I gave it a go. I was pleasantly surprised! This is a collection of well-rounded pieces connecting life, death and love. Obviously there were some stories I preferred over others, but as a whole it was a really enjoyable, engaging and entertaining read.

star.4

What happened here?

There is a wooden rocking chair covered with dust.

And a mattress eaten away by time.

Discarded on the bare window sill sits an old teddy bear.

He saw it all and he still continues to see.

Love, illness and pain.

Death, dust and gloom.

She used to throw him into the air, then hug him and spin him around.

Now her fragile little body is buried six feet underground.

Thirty years on and you can still feel the haze of immense pain in the air.

That is why they lock the door and try to forget what happened here.

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I was trying to work out what to post today. Whether to write a piece to enter this week’s Friday Fictioneers or whether to share a little bit more of my work in progress Discovering Home.

While I was staring at my desk calendar debating which to do, the image of a dusty old rocking chair came to mind. I wrote down whatever flowed and then tidied it up to be 100 words only.

It’s a little sad and dark. I guess the ominous way I’ve been feeling lately has worked its way into every part of my brain.

Prologue: Discovering Home

So my attempt at NaNoWriMo 2015 was a bit on the Go Slow. Life got in the way. But I intend to finish the story I started.  So far I’m calling it, Discovering Home, but that’s its working title and may change.

The longest continuous piece I had written before NANoWriMo was only 1200 words and I beat that on my first NaNo day with 1696 words. But I hadn’t actually expected to hit the 50,000-word mark on my first attempt. I feel like I’m ok with beginning and ends, but struggle with the middles. It’s probably why I love writing the Friday Fictioneers 100 word stories, there isn’t room for middle fluff. Next year I will definitely try to plan for my book, rather then just seeing what happens like this year.

I decided to get myself motivated again I’d share a little bit of my work in progress.

Disco Home CollageBlurb (thus far): Joe is a young woman trying to decipher the secrets of her family history after her grandmother mysteriously disappears.

A fictional story about family with a romantic (maybe) and paranormal (definitely) twist.

* * *   Prologue   * * *

My Grandmother’s house only had two bedrooms, but those two bed rooms held a lot of secrets. So many secrets that I believe that still don’t know them all. But I’m getting there. For the past six months I’ve been reading through my grandmother’s diaries. She wrote in a diary every day. There is a half-finished entry from the day she disappeared. It reads “the trees are quiet and look still, but I can feel something moving, hiding in their branches. I think it’s about time I told Josephine about th…” and that’s where it finishes.

Finding the diary open and my Grammy Mac missing has prompted me to sift through her private diaries. A part of me keeps expecting her to walk into the bedroom and scold me like when I was five and caught going through her things. But she never does. And the longer she’s gone, the more I wish she would.

I always thought my grandmother and I were close, she practically raised me. But in reading her Diaries I realise there was so much more to her. So much more I wish she had shared. My dad went AWOL when he found out my mother was pregnant with me and my mother chose the voices in her head over me the day she drove of off the Newton Street jetty.

My grandmother was born Martha Josephine Fionnula Mac a’Bhaird, yeah it’s a mouthful. She was born in 1938 in Glasgow, Scotland. But grew up in the small town a Cranford away up in the snowy mountains of New South wales, Australia. She was raised by three aunts, they brought her over from Scotland when she was only seven years old. I’d never heard her speak of her mother or father. I wished I’d asked more, but I always felt uncomfortable bringing it up.

I am lost. I am struggling without her here. Even with the age difference between us she was always my best friend. I stare out of her window and glare at those trees. Oh how I wish they could tell me something, anything, about where my Grammy has gone.

Today is the 25th of December 2005, Christmas Day and it’s my 18th birthday. Six months Grammy’s been gone. Six months since I’ve slept or eaten properly. Endless reading of yellowed pages and elegant handwritten script. I can’t even remember the last time I left the house or showered. I don’t smell too bad, so I’m guessing it’s only a few days. I know this isn’t how she’d want me to live.

I’ve made the decision to move all the furniture and Grammy’s personal items into a storage unit. I intend on selling Grammy’s house. My boss at the local newsagents was really kind and understanding, it took her two months of me not showing up to work to fire me. There really isn’t anything left for me here.

I can’t really explain how I feel; I know it’s not natural. I understand grief and depression, but this is something more, it’s like I can’t physically do anything but obsessively read through the diary’s. Sometimes I think I can feel a presence in the trees, but then I realise I haven’t slept for thirty plus hours and I am just sleep deprived.

© Sarah Fairbairn