Michael Earp: Author Q&A

Michael is a Children’s and Young Adult bookseller and writer.
He is the editor of the collection Kindred: A Queer #LoveOzYA Anthology which will be published by Walker Books Australia this coming June.
And he also contributed the story ‘Meet and Greet’ to Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories, ‘Regulation’ to Aurealis #99 and ‘The Next Stop’ to The Victorian Writer.

Michael graciously took the time to do a Q&A with me earlier in the week and I am very excited to share it with you.


DID YOU ALWAYS DREAM OF BECOMING A WRITER? 

My desire to be a writer developed gradually. I’ve always written. Starting with the terrible teenage poetry, of a 14 year old. But I never stopped journaling in free verse. Then I got a job in a bookshop as a 19 year old and rediscovered my love of books. Then started wondering if I couldn’t write them myself.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR WRITING PROCESS; WHERE YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM FOR YOUR STORIES, DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-WRITING RITUALS OR MAYBE EVEN A PREFERRED WRITING PLACE?

I often have to tidy my desk. Clear workspace, clear mind and all that. And while I can journal and/or daydream stories anywhere, I find it very difficult to write or edit a work in progress with other people around, so I tend to do most of my writing at my desk at home, trying hard to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I’m VERY easily distracted.
As for inspiration? A lot of my ideas come from images, or snapshots from a scene that appears in my head. Then I get really curious to what came before, or what comes next, and I tease it out. Occasionally a story is in direct response to something I’ve heard. Regulation, my story in Aurealis #99 for example, was my reaction to comments someone said during the Safe Schools debate and I just felt erased in a single statement. That story just poured out of me, and I’m really proud of it.

[Note from Sarah: I purchased Aurealis #99 specifically to read Micheal’s short story Regulation. It was gripping, poignant and beautiful. It was a story that resonated within me. I am now feeling an even deeper level of connection to Regulation, after reading how it came about – I encourage you all to read it]

HAVE YOU FOUND THAT ANY WRITERS, CHILDHOOD FAVORITES PERHAPS, HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?

There are certainly authors that while I don’t actively try to emulate their style, I maybe try to channel their vibe? Because I want my writing to be mine. But it’s hard not to aspire to be like the people you admire.

ARE THERE ANY BOOKS YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN?

Ummm YES! But only in that the writer in me has grabby hands every time I read something I feel is brilliant. Margo Lanagan, Patrick Ness, David Levithan, David Almond just to name a few.

WHAT ISSUES DO YOU LIKE TO EXPLORE IN YOUR WRITING?

I’m really interested in the way that people relate to each other. The nuance of individual connections and relationships is what makes them fascinating. This includes people (or characters) relationship with themselves. All these connections are so bolstering and fraught that regardless of what the plot is doing, it’s that balance that intrigues me most.

I WAS ELATED WHEN I HEARD THAT YOU WERE PUTTING KINDRED TOGETHER (Kindred: A Queer #LoveOzYA Anthology). THE WORLD NEEDS MORE QUEER BOOKS! HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GOT THE GO AHEAD?

ELATED! The world does need more queer books, so the fact that I was going to be able to help usher these amazing stories into the world was so exciting! I’ve been riding that wave for almost 2 years now. So now that the release is so very close (!) I’m ready for the world to have Kindred in their hands!

CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR TOP FIVE QUEER READS? – I KNOW, I KNOW, ONLY FIVE WHAAAAT. JUST GO WITH THE FIRST FIVE THAT POP INTO YOUR HEAD.

How. Dare. You.
Only 5? Sigh. Ok, here we go:
Release by Patrick Ness
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Welcome To Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Deadendia by Hamish Steele

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK THAT YOU READ?

I’m currently reading Prisoncorp, the 3rd and final in Marlee Jane Ward’s FREAKING BRILLIANT series that started with Welcome to Orphancorp. Really, if you haven’t read it, go out and get it in your face.
My last 2 reads were After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson which was great (and I loved that the main character was bi, even though it wasn’t about her sexuality at all and the romance storyline was F/M). The other was Highway Bodies by Alison Evans, which all I can say is: If zombies are your thing, then what are you waiting for, and if they’re not, read it anyway. The characters and relationships Alison has created are heartwarming, crackling with life and so delightfully queer.


THANK YOU SO MUCH TO MICHAEL FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!

You find Michael here > >
Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories – June 1st 2019, Walker Books Australia.

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #OwnVoices collection, twelve of Australia’s finest queer writers explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us.

Compelling queer short fiction by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to the #LoveOzYA community including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin.

Sign ups are OPEN for the queer own voices Kindred tour.

To sign up or for more information see HERE.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Vardaesia: #LoveOzYA Review

39808670Vardaesia (The Medoran Chronicles #5) by Lynette Noni
Genre: Fantasy YA
Publication: February 18th 2019
Publisher: Pantera Press
Source: Review copy from Pantera – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

“When Day and Night combine and fight against one Enemy,
then Dark and Light shall meet mid-strike and set the Captives free.”

In the wake of loss and devastation, Alex must cast aside her grief to seek aid from those who banished the Meyarins long ago. But the proud Tia Aurans care little for the woes of mortals and demand that Alex—and her friends—undergo the Gates of Testing to prove their world is worth saving.

With an ancient prophecy looming, Alex must confront the secrets of her past if she is to survive long enough to see the future. For if she returns to Medora without the Tia Aurans by her side, all hope will be lost.

In this explosive conclusion to The Medoran Chronicles, the fate of Medora hangs in the balance as Alex readies herself to face Aven one final time.

Who will survive, and who will fall?

“If, however, darkness wins, there is no strategy
to keep from all that will be lost, and so will always be.”


The final instalment of the Medoran chronicles was as heart-wrenching and heart-warming as I expected. I sure had some high expectations of this books awesomeness, and rest assured that I wasn’t disappointed.

My problem now is trying figure out how to write a review without spoiling it for all.

I could tell you about Alex and…
Oh no I can’t, spoilers!

I could tell you about Alex being…
Oh no I can’t, spoilers!

Damn!

Look! You already know Alex is going to come out on top, once she’s gone through a whole lot of struggles and only with her friends by her side. So I think I’m safe in saying that other than Niyx coming back from the dead, all my other dreams for Alex came true.

One of the best things about Lynette Noni’s Medoran Chronicles is the strength of her friendships. Alex and her loyal companions: human, immortal and animal alike – It is a truly beautiful thing to read and be apart of. Through all the trials and tribulations that Noni has put her characters through, the messages of the importance of being there for your friends, trying your hardest, never giving up and believing in yourself, always shines through.

Two of the other best things about Noni’s Medoran Chronicles is all the atmospheric world building and pulse quickening action. So, so many best things!! Oh, how I didn’t want this series to end. There is some hope at the end for a spin off/companion series, so fingers crossed!!!!

Summary: Alex’s friendships, loves, loyalties, physical abilities and sheer force of will, are all tested in the action packed and epic conclusion to one of my all-time favourite series.

Who would like this series: Fantasy lovers of all ages over 10. #LoveOzYA aficionados. YA literature lovers. Anyone after a heart capturing cast of characters on a whirlwind adventure to save their world.

Lynette Noni’s Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pantera | Goodreads

Booktopia | Bookdepository | Amazon AU | Amazon US

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Songs that sound like blood: Review & Playlist

27803898Songs That Sound Like Blood
by Jared Thomas
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: August 1st 2016
Publisher: Magabala Books
Source: Own Purchase
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

Roxy May Redding’s got music in her soul and songs in her blood. She lives in a hot dusty town and is dreaming big. She survives run-ins with the mean girls at high school, sings in her dad’s band and babysits for her wayward aunt. But Roxy wants a new start. When she gets the chance to study music in the big city, she takes it. Roxy’s new life, her new friends and her music collide in a way she could never have imagined. Being a poor student sucks… navigating her way through the pressure of a national music competition has knobs on it… singing for her dinner is soul destroying… but nothing prepares Roxy for her biggest challenge. Her crush on Ana, the local music journo, forces her to steer her way through a complex maze of emotions alien to this small town girl. Family and friends watch closely as Roxy takes a confronting journey to find out who the hell she is.


Songs that sound like blood is a beautiful coming of age tale about a young aboriginal girl coming out and discovering herself. This story is filled with courage, love and music. It is a heartfelt yarn that I highly recommend you read.

This wonderful story features a same-sex-attracted aboriginal protagonist – Roxy. We follow Roxy as she finishes up high school in her small town and heads to the big smoke (Adelaide) to study music and follow her dreams of making it as a singer. 

Throughout the pages of this book there are fantastic examples of loving and supportive relationships, which I found delightful and heart warming.

This story also serves to highlight some of the many issues affecting Indigenous Australians. The writing is so good and the issues so intertwined and connected to the character Roxy’s life that you never feel like the author is trying to educate you, you just feel as if you are Roxy and you are living her truth with her.

Music plays a big part in Roxy life, so obviously it plays a big role in this story. I love music that you feel deep down in your soul and this book was full of it, with the likes of Bob Marley, Courtney Barnett, Yothu Yindi, Midnight Oil, The Pixies, Frank Yamma, Kev Carmondy, Paul Kelly, Coloured Stones, Warumpi Band, Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave and Johnny Cash’s names gracing the pages.

Below I’ve listed and included a link to an apple music playlist I made of the songs performed in the book.


SONGS THAT SOUND LIKE BLOOD: A PLAYLIST

Songs Roxy performs on Starbright:
1) My Island Home by Neil Murray and performed by the Warumpi Band.
2) We Have Survived by No Fixed Address.

Songs “Soul Band” performs:
1) Soul Man by Sam and Dave.
2) I’m Coming by Sam and Dave.
3) Valerie by The Zutons (the book doesn’t state who Valerie is by, so I’m assuming that it is Valerie by The Zutons, later covered by Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson).
4) Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett.

Song Roxy sings at the protest rally:
From Little Things Big Things Grow by Kev Carmondy and Paul Kelly.

Song Roxy sings at the Survival Day concert:
Dancing in the Moonlight by Coloured Stones

“When the applause died down Justin and I started playing Coloured Stones’s Dancing in the Moonlight – the blackest of black songs I knew.”

Songs of note: She Cried by Frank Yamma (the song Roxy mentions Frank signing while watching him perform to write her article for Stage).

[ SONGS THAT SOUND LIKE BLOOD PLAYLIST – listen to on apple music ]

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

I Had Such Friends: #LoveOzYA Review

40530953I Had Such Friends by Meg Gatland-Veness #LoveOzYA
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: August 1st 2018
Publisher: Pantera Press
Source: Copy for review from publisher – Thank You.
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

When Charlie Parker dies, it affects everyone who knew him. Everyone, that is, except for seventeen-year-old Hamish Day, the boy who lives on a cabbage farm and only has one friend. But Hamish soon finds himself pulled into the complicated lives of the people left behind. Among them is Annie Bower, the prettiest girl in school. As he uncovers startling truths about his peers, his perspectives on friendship, love, grief and the tragic power of silence are forever altered.

Meg’s own teaching experience has enabled her to delve deeper into the true nature of a universal high school experience. I Had Such Friends will speak to high school students/teenagers on a personal level, and foster important conversations among Australian youth, school and family culture on issues including abuse, failure and neglect.

With hard-hitting themes including unrequited love, abuse, neglect, sexuality, bullying, prejudice, death and suicide, I Had Such Friends is a poignant journey of self-discovery, grief and the tragic power of silence. A gripping look at adolescent pain with a narrative maturity that accurately reflects its YA milieu, I Had Such Friends resonates with young adult audiences and pushes them to reflect on their own ‘sliding doors’ moment.


Damn, I’ve been struggling with how to review this one.
While I loved parts of it, it also made so super sad.

The story follows Hamish, a self described scrawny farm kid loser who hates farming, during his last year of high school. We journey with Hamish as he discovers his sexuality, self-identity and true friendship. This story is filled with grief, hate, and heartbreaking sadness.

Things I liked:

♥ Going on Hamish’s journey with him.
♥ Hamish’s self confidence and self-worth growing as the story progressed.
♥ Hamish learning how to let people into his heart again.
♥ Hamish figuring out the whole friendship thing and making a lifelong meaningful and healing friend in Annie.
♥ Peter finding comfort, friendship, and someone he could confide in with Hamish.

Things I disliked / made me sad:

I feel Peter should have been able to end up in the flat with Hamish and Annie. He could have done labouring work, while Hamish and Annie attended Uni. The story would have still carried valuable messages, but have left your heart warmed in the end.

I had such friends was a beautiful story and I did really enjoy it, I just feel it doesn’t offer any kind of hope to a person in Peter’s situation. Peter was without a doubt my favourite character in the story. I liked Hamish and Annie. But I loved peter. Even in our much more progressive modern society people in Peter’s situation still do not make it out, that’s why in my mind his character should have.

Who would like this story: Anyone who wants to read something ‘real’ feeling. Anyone wanting a glimpse into queer teenage australia. #LoveOZYA aficionados. #AusQueerYA aficionados. Anyone into ‘day in the life’ style contemporary reads.

Trigger Warnings: child abuse, homophobia, bullying, death and suicide.

I will be keeping an eye out for more books by Meg Gatland-Veness and am keen to read what she writes next.

[ LINKS: Facebook | Goodreads | Pantera | Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US ]

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

December 2018 Bookish Summary

Ah, tis the season to end up in car park queues because you realise on Christmas eve that you forgot to buy more dog food when you did the grocery shopping the previous week to try and avoid going near the shops that close to Christmas – dumb ass I am.

On the 14th my littlest baby turned two and I am still in shock as to where that last two years have gone. I wrote a poem about it HERE.

On the 21st I got to have dinner with some fantastic people including the lovely Lynette Noni at Pantera press house in Sydney. I felt super blessed to have been invited and was ecstatic when we got to take home a copy of Vardaesia before its release. I am still buzzing from it.

Christmas day was overwhelming and tinged with sadness, as it was the first one since my grandmothers passing. But she raised a strong bunch and we will always come through.

Total books read in December: 9

Comics/ Graphic Novels: 3 | #LoveOzYA: 2 | The remainder: 4

Skin Deep (Paranormal Detectives #6) by Lily Luchesi.
Published June 10th, 2018 by Vamptasy Publishing [View on Goodreads].
Vampires, Skin Changers, Psychics. Fast and furious action. A PDS tale that is Classic Luchesi.

Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert (Ryan Rupert #1) by P.S. Malcolm
Published June 30th, 2016 by P.S. Malcolm [View on Goodreads] #LoveOzYA.
A hate to love YA romance set on an island paradise with a murderous twist [Full Review HERE].

What If? X-Men (2018) #1 by Bryan Hill, Neil Edwards, Giannis Milonogiannis & Rahzzah.
Published October 3rd, 2018 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].
The X-Men reimagined in a dystopian like cyber-scape abusing world.

X-Men: Black – Magneto (2018) #1 by Chris Claremont, Dalibor Talajić & J. Scott Campbell.
Published October 3rd, 2018 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].
A deep and meaningful, dark and entertaining Magneto filled tale.

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson.
Published April 5th 2016 by Image Comics [View on Goodreads].
A compelling read with a sci-fi twist that was giving me apocalyptic vibes.

Day of Execution (Paranormal Detectives #7) by Lily Luchesi.
Published January 1st, 2019 by Vamptasy Publishing [View on Goodreads].
Battle scenes, gore and vampire lore. I thought book 6 was fast and furious, book 7 is even more so. Bring on book 8 and what I’m sure will be a killer conclusion. *Full review to come.

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins.
Published March 22nd, 2011 by Disney- Hyperion [View on Goodreads].
Two dreamy warlocks, a sassy part demon protagonist and a whole bunch of action and drama.

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins.
Published March 13th, 2012 by Disney- Hyperion [View on Goodreads].
Wicked witches, out of control demons, sexy self-sacrificing warlocks, and the trilogies conclusion.

 

Vardaesia (The Medoran Chronicles #5) by Lynette Noni.
Published: February 18th, 2019 by Pantera Press [View on Goodreads]
#LoveOzYA. Alex’s friendships, loves, loyalties, physical abilities and sheer force of will are all tested in the action packed and epic conclusion to one of my all-time favourite series. *Full review to come.

 

Conclusion: December was hectic, stressful and sad at times, but it was still awesome. I met some wonderful people and read some fantastic books.

Past Summaries: Oct 18Nov 18

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert: YA Review

30167247

Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert (Ryan Rupert #1) by P.S. Malcolm
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: June 30th 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Review copy from Author
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵

Aubany Winters’ life soon becomes a nightmare when her Mom gets cancer and has to leave for California with her Dad. Left with her neighbours, the Ruperts, and to her displeasure, their son Ryan, she finds herself forced to tag along on their family vacation to Nula Island. There’s just a few problems, like her fear of the ocean, her and Ryan’s mutual hatred for each other, and the psycho girl who is trying to kill them.

Will Aubany overcome her fears? Will she and Ryan ever stop hating each other? Or will their flaws and disagreements lead them right into the enemy’s hands?


Ryan Rupert is a typical immature rude superfishal teenage douchebag when we first meet him, but it was actually his parents that drove me nuts. They are rather negligent in my opinion. Serisily! Who the heck lets two teenage kids’ room together for six weeks unsupervised. Even once they find out a nut job has been on the loose tormenting their kids, they still leave the teens unsupervised! But hey, maybe i’ll feel different once my eldest reaches seventeen – yeah maybe not.

It was at about the 50% mark I realised I was thinking about the book all wrong. I wasn’t reading a book that was trying to change the world or teach me a lesson. I was reading a book that just wanted to entertain me. I had a Disney movie light bulb moment and really started to enjoy the book and appreciate it for what it was.

This book is like a Disney channel teen movie. Not deep and meaningful. But super cheesy and at times preposterous. It’s light, fluffy, fun and extremely entertaining – if you’re in the right mood.

The stories redeeming qualities: Aubany’s fighting spirit. Aubany’s fear of the ocean and her overcoming it. The murderous twist. The writing being easy to read and the story flowing well. Heck even with the issues my mummy brain had with Ryan and the parental units in the story, I still couldn’t help but enjoy the story.

Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert is a hate to love YA romance set on an island paradise with a murderous twist and I can see myself reading and enjoying the sequel to once it’s released.

Who would like this book: Younger YA readers, as i’m sure they’d love it if their parents abandoned them on an island OR someone fed up with everything having to have a deeper meaning and that is just after a fun read.


Stuck on Vacation with Ryan Rupert is P.S. Malcolm’s self-published debut. Pagan did a guest post on The Adventures of SacaKat a little while back talking about how the story came to be – View the post HERE.

P.S.Malcolm links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Wattpad

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

November 2018 Bookish Summary

Total books read in November = 11
Comics/Graphic Novels = 4
#LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 2
the remainder = 5

The Rift by Rachael Craw.
Published November 1st, 2018 by Walker Books Australia [View on Goodreads].
A gripping tale of an isolated island with paranormal secrets [Full Review HERE].

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer.
Published November 1st, 2018 by Walker Books [View on Goodreads].
A beautiful story of love, friendship and recovery [Full REVIEW HERE].

All Aces (Circus Hearts, #3) by Ellie Marney.
Published November 1st, 2018 by Bearded Lady Press [View on Goodreads].
An action-packed finale to the #LoveOzYA dark romance trilogy, Circus Hearts [Full Review HERE].

The Coven Heir (The Coven Series Book Two) by Lily Luchesi.
Published October 5th, 2018 by Vamptasy Publishing [View on Goodreads].
A paranormal tale of romance, revenge and necromancy [Full REVIEW HERE].

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins.
Published March 2nd, 2010 by Hyperion Book CH [View on Goodreads].
Witches, Demons and boarding school, oh my! A tale of fitting in, friendship and family secrets.

The Portal (Tales of Mentara, #1) by Ashley Uzzell.
Published April 13th, 2018 by Ashley Uzzell [View on Goodreads].
A fantastical tale of friendship, nature magic and mysterious new worlds [Full Review HERE].

The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses by A. B. Banjo Paterson.
Published April 8th 2016 by Spoken Realms [View on Goodreads].
A collection of 19th century Australian bush poetry that serves as a time capsule for the way we were.

What If? Spider-Man (2018) by Gerry Conway, Diego Olortegui & Patrick Zircher.
Published October 3rd, 2018 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].
The tale of a world where it wasn’t Peter Parker who was bitten by the radioactive spider.

Fence #12 by (Author) C.S. Pacat (Illustrators) Johanna the Mad, Joana Lafuente, Hamlet Machine.
Published November 28th, 2018 by BOOM! [View on Goodreads].
A loveable underdog, competitive fencing, the drama of an all-boys school
= a compelling series.

Batman Damned: Book One by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo.
Published September 19th, 2018 by DC Comics [View on Goodreads].
Batman together with Constantine is my jam! My dark Jam!

Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White.
Published 2017 by Nick White [View on Goodreads].
A whirlwind adventure involving a little cat fighting for her freedom [Full REVIEW HERE].

Conclusion: I feel like I smashed it out of the park this month. I’ve had a few rather low reading months prior. But I felt like I was back in fine form. I had plenty of awesome reads and I managed to get out quite a few reviews, woop woop.

Last month’s summary [HERE].

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

The Rift: YA Review

37802612

The Rift by Rachael Craw
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: November 1st 2018
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Source: Review copy from Walker – Thank You 
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

When the Rift opens, death follows.

For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against horrors released by the Rift. Cal West, an apprentice Ranger with a rare scar and even rarer gifts, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. After nine years away, Meg Archer returns to her childhood home only to find the Island is facing a new threat that not even the Rangers are prepared for. Meg and Cal can’t ignore their attraction, but can they face their darkest fears to save the Island from disaster?


So many unanswered questions and possible plot continuations. Please let this turn into at least a duology, PLEASE RACHAEL! What becomes of Rilke? What goes down with the Nutris Pharmaceuticals a######s and the cull? I need answers Rachael, please!

Okay now that I got my little beg session out of the way let’s continue shall we.

Rachael Craw has developed a rich and evoking world with her Actaeon’s Bane, Rift Hounds, Black Water Ranger community and Fortune Hunters. On an island in our modern world that is hardly been touched by modern luxuries and technologies. Think Yukon Men gets paranormal in the beautiful rugged wilderness of the most remote parts of New Zealand – actually drop the paranormal and that is my idea of heaven on earth, bye bye modern world, I’ll pop my head back out every other month or so to say hello. But this is a story and not my idea of paradise and as you all know I love my stories with a paranormal twist. So perfect… yeah kinda.

I found The Rift to be an unsettling read, as in I couldn’t preempt what was going to happen and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

The story swaps between protagonists Cal and Meg chapter for chapter.

The story begins with Meg’s return to the island nine years after the event that scared her physically and emotionally, cost her her best friend and her dreams of growing up to be a Ranger like her father.

Cal has spent the last nine years trying to appease those that don’t think he belongs. He spends so much time hating on himself and struggling with the aftermath of the night that led to Meg being taken from the island, that it is a relief by the end of the story to get to see him live again, to see him with love back in his life.

The bad guys are a little too real for comfort. Selfish, self-righteous and filled with greed. Because they exist in real life, because men act like this in real life, it makes them all the scarier on the page. I kept thinking about tigers and how they’ve been hunted to near extinction for their medicinal properties – although this is Deer not Tigers.

The story deals with grief, longing, acceptance, bravery and the ethical ramifications of hunting. There are possible triggers for people, what with all the animal death and attacks, but I found nothing was unreasonably graphic, gory or over the top. I think Rachael has managed to tell a beautiful story that deals with some very dark things. And I truly hope to read more about Black Water in the future.

 

Rachael Craw Links: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website | Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon | Booktopia |

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

All Aces: YA Review

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All Aces by Ellie Marney
Genre: YA Romance, #LoveOZYA
Publication: November 1st 2018
Publisher: Bearded Lady Press
Source: Review copy from Author – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

A teenage contortionist and a young cardsharp risk danger to right a family legacy of injustice.…

Nineteen-year-old contortionist Ren Putri is committed to circus, study and self-discipline – in that order. But after being rescued from a carnival fire by cardsharp Zep Deal, she’s overwhelmed by some highly disorderly thoughts. Zep has a history of trouble, and now he’s been suspected of sabotaging the circus that’s become his whole life. Ren is already coping with family, and keeping secrets of her own – but she can’t resist a mystery. Will Ren’s penchant for solving puzzles bring the case against Zep to rights, or will digging further into the bad blood between rival carnivals only put them both in danger?

Dark YA romance, with a criminal twist – Circus Hearts: Step. Right. Up.


All three books are set in Klatsch’s circus, with the times lines of the characters’ lives continuing from one book until the next. That being said, all books could stand alone, but I think you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t read them all and you may as well do that in order.

I was captivated with this series right from the start. In book one I adored the POV character, Sorsha.
With Fleur as the POV character in the second book it took me a little while longer get into the groove of the story, as I didn’t really like her in the first book, but I got there in the end.
Ren is the POV character of the third book and I liked Ren right from the moment Sorsha met her in book one, so I connected with her voice immediately.

Oh, adorkable Ren. Overthinking, overstressing, hardworking to the point of breaking, world on her shoulders and in desperate need of some good loving, Ren.

And I can’t forget the other star of this instalment – Zeb! Delicious Zep Deal, with his A****** of a father and his dark past. I love me a bad boy who is trying to break free of his past and make good for himself. Zep made a fantastic love interest for Ren.

A connection of sorts sparks up between Ren and Zep rather early in the story. One good dead is returned for another, that then turns into a tentative friendship, that then develops into the two of them partaking in some sneaky and very risking business together, which leads to them falling hard for each other.

Ren learns she has limits and how far she can push them. She learns how to stand up for herself and fight for the things she wants – she also learns what the things she really wants are.

Zep gets the break he deserves and a good woman to help him heal his heart – aww.

Damn, I’ve made this sound like its all mushy romance, but it not. There is plenty of action, punch ups with bad guys, revenge on the circus saboteur, and just more circus life in general!

Yes All Aces has a rather adorable first love romance for Ren, but it also has a you-gotta-fight-for-the-things-you-want vibe going on the whole way through. We also get a conclusion to the circus saboteur storyline that has ran through all three books.

I said this in my reviews for the previous books and I’ll say it again for book three as it still holds true – Fast paced action. Hot romance. Circus life. What more could you want people. Do yourself a favour and check the series out.

Who would like this series: Fans of swoon worthy romance. #LoveOzYA aficionados. Anyone after a captivating and fast paced read.

Ellie’s Links: Amazon AU | Amazon US Goodreads | Twitter | Website 

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

October 2018 Bookish Summary

The start of last month was an emotional one for my entire family. We held our heads high and celebrated our matriarch, my grandmother’s life. She illuminated this earth with her light for 91 years. I will mourn her for the rest of my life. But, I will take the lessons she taught me and try to be the best version of myself I can be.

So as you can imagine October was a pretty crappy month for me and I didn’t have much motivation to do anything. But somehow I did still manage to read some wonderful books.

I decided while reading Stephanie’s September 2018 Recap post [shout out to Stephanie] that I should start doing a summary post each month.
A lot of bloggers do a monthly roundup /recap type posts. I’ve sporadically done it over the years in one form or another. I always read more books than I write up reviews for, and I want to try and shout out more of them. I won’t go into to detail on comics, as some months I smash quite a few single issues and that would make this post too long and a pain in the butt to write. So here we go.

Books read in October: total books read = 9

Comics/ Graphic Novels = 4

#LoveOzYA / #LoveOzMG = 5

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah.
Published August 1st, 2005 by Pan Australia [View on Goodreads].
A contemporary tale of an Aussie Muslim teenage girl battling, then embracing her identity. This is not the first Abdel-Fattah book I’ve read and it won’t be the last.

All the Little Bones (Circus Hearts #1) by Ellie Marney.
Published September 1st, 2018 by Bearded Lady Press [View on Goodreads].
A dark romance that is fast, exciting and so delicious you’ll want more. Oh Ellie Marney I love you. All hail Ellie the queen of young-adult crime-romance mash-ups.

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.
Published March 14th, 2018 by Allen & Unwin [View on Goodreads].
A sci-fi symphony. The Pow-pow-ping-ping-BOOM-hacktastic and thrilling conclusion The Illuminae Files trilogy. Amie & Jay = pure sci-fi awesomeness.

All Fall Down (Circus Hearts #2) by Ellie Marney.
Published October 1st, 2018 by Bearded Lady Press [View on Goodreads].
Ellie Marney at it again with book two in the circus hearts series steaming up my reading space. Bring on book three!!! [Full REVIEW HERE].

The Bogan Mondrian by Steven Herrick.
Published September 3rd, 2018 by University of Qld Press [View on Goodreads].
A contemporary tale of friendship, grief and domestic violence. Steven Herrick is a brilliant storyteller and his books are always deep and meaningful, while being easy to read and entertaining. [Full REVIEW HERE].

Conclusion: Sometimes life is hard. Losing loved ones is always hard. We must make sure each moment counts. Steven Herrick is a gem and Ellie Marney is awesome.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).