Never Again: Paranormal Review

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

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

In World War Two, not all monsters were human.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodreads | Walker Books | Booktopia | Bookdepository 

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

June 2017 Round Up

Things have been a bit slow for me on the reading/blogging front since I went back to work. So, I’ve lumped May and June together in my round up. Only problem with that is, I have to stretch my burned-out brain back to May to think up a few sentence to say. Damn I wish I had thought to pre-write them.

Books Read: 9

Blueback by Tim Winton: This “ecological fable” was absolutely beautiful. I borrowed a copy from my local library, but intend to buy a copy for my sons to read when they are older. Blueback was a joy to read and one I promise you’ll want to re-read. A book with heart and a message that needs to be heard.  [Goodreads]

To Betray My King (The Betrayal Legacy #1) by Kayla Lavan: I enjoyed stepping into Ms Lavan’s medieval world of Sol and meeting the magic weavers she has filled it with. I read a review copy that I found to be a little rough around the edges at times, but never the less a light and fluffy read.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick: The Simple Gift was beautiful. I actually hugged the book at the end. I borrowed a copy from my local library and am now thinking that I need to try and buy Steven’s whole back catalog for myself and the boys when they are older, as the three borrowed books of Steven’s I have read I have adored. The Simple Gift is a story of friendship and second chances, of healing and new love.  [Goodreads]

Homies by David Gonzales & Elliott Serrano: Homies is a collection of four separate stories featuring (for the most part) the same key characters. I read a review copy and once I warmed up to the characters I found this comic to be a quick and enjoyable read. The later two stories being my favorites.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

Play by Jez Alborough: Seriously, I have read this book to Riley every night since it arrived and he is still in love with it 6+ weeks on. We read a review copy and found it to be a fantastic story told mainly through the art. The images are magnificent, coming off colourful and clear on the high quality paper used. [Goodreads]  [Review]

Night Swimming by Steph Bowe: An adorable feel good romp about first love, true friendship, growing up, finding your inner strength and a place in the world. [Goodreads]  [Review]

Counting to D by Kate Scott: While the story is rather light and fluffy it touches on a lot of extremely important topics beautifully; peer pressure, social acceptance, learning disabilities and self-worth. It is a heart-warming, fun and fast read.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

Last Rites (Paranormal Detectives, #5) by Lily Luchesi: In book five we get to delve deeper into Harriet’s past, see Danny and Angelica get married, meet the first ever Vampire and experience the epic end of an era.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

Saga #43 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples: After a short break SAGA is back with a new a new story Arc and it didn’t disappoint.  Bring on issue 44!!!   [Goodreads]

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I’m back at work full time, Riley’s just turned Four years and Ethan Six months. We are starting to figure out a routine. We’ll get there and hopefully that’ll mean more read time for me. I knowingly didn’t give myself a big target this year, so i’m still ahead in my Goodreads challenge LOL.

Until next time, enjoy your shelves

Review: I’m Australian Too by Mem Fox

34396859I’m Australian! How about you? Many people from many places have come across the seas, to make Australia their home. How Australian is that?

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Scholastic Australia.

*  *  *  *  *

Mem Fox my dear, I didn’t think it was possible to love you anymore than I did after Possum Magic and Time for Bed, but now I do!

I was so excited when I saw this beautiful book by Mem Fox and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. It celebrates Australia’s multiculturalism, promotes racial equality and shines a spotlight on refugees. All this is wrapped up as a fun and colourful sing-song story to be adored and absorbed by the minds of our young children. Mem Fox you are a wonderful, wonderful woman. I will be repeatedly reading this to my boys.

I’m writing this review after just reading I’m Australian Too for the first time with my 3.5-year-old son. He was fresh out of the bath and about to get into bed, perfect mummy and son book reading time.

This book is absolutely beautiful.  On our first read through when I got to the page that starts with “Sadly, I’m a refugee – I’m not Australian yet.” My spine tingled and a wicked smile crept on my face. I was thinking: You go Mem Fox! Stick it to the haters.

By the end of the second read through I had tears in my eyes and was getting choked up trying to finish the last page. My heart is humming and I need to tell the world about this book. READ IT TO YOUR KIDS. Refugees are mentioned. Aboriginals, Italians, Greeks, Somalians – the list goes on and on – are mentioned. It is truly beautiful.

The last page ends with the line “Together now, we live in peace, beneath the Southern Star.” Oh Mem, how I wish that was so and I hope for a tomorrow when it is!I’m Australian! How about you?

Review: How Not to Fall in Love, Actually by Catherine Bennetto

29991690Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

A hilarious debut for all fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lisa Owens.

General Adult Fiction
Published: 01 Feb 2017
* * *

Emma has a job in television which is distinctly less glamourous and exciting than it sounds. She’s managed to claw her way up the ranks from Tea-Maker and Rubbish-Collector to 2nd Assistant Director (heavy on the ‘assistant’. Even heavier on the ‘2nd’).

So when she finds she’s accidentally very pregnant and at the same time accidentally very sacked (well, less accidentally: she did tell her boss to stick his job up his bum), she knows things are going to have to change.

Luckily she’s also accidentally the heir to a lovely cottage in Wimbledon, with a crazy Rottweiler-owning octogenarian as a neighbour and a rather sexy boy as an accidental tenant. But this baby is coming whether she likes it or not, and she needs to become the sort of person who can look after herself let alone another human being – and quickly.

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

What people are saying about How Not to Fall in Love, Actually

‘It’s fresh, young and very exciting. A fuzzy, warm and sparkly story by a very talented author. I can’t wait to see what else Catherine Bennetto has in store for us’ Simona’s Corner of Dreams

‘A phenomenal cast of characters and some real laugh out loud moments. Brilliant!’ Heidi Swain, author of The Cherry Tree Cafe and Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market

‘More bubbly than a big glass of champers and just as fun. How Not To Fall In Love, Actually is bright, breezy, and the perfect way to beat back the winter blues‘ Georgia Clark, author of The Regulars

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MY THOUGHTS: 

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

We follow Emma as an accidental pregnancy makes her stop and take stock of her life, which up to that point had only consisted of a shitty job, a shitty apartment and a shitty boyfriend.

At the start we met 27-year-old Emma just before she finds out she is pregnant. The story covers the months that she is pregnant, with the book ending just hours after the baby is born.

It took me the first half of the book to really get into the story, but I think that’s more because of the fact I was only squishing in a few pages here and there. I managed to get enough sit down time to finish the second half of the book in one day and found myself really enjoying it.

The leading Lady: Emma did at times come off as self-absorbed and whining. But she was pregnant and being pregnant is hard even with a loving and supportive partner and here she was trying to go it alone, so she is forgiven. Emma matures in the second half of the book and I ended up really liking her and wanting her to have a happily ever after. *spoiler alert: she gets her happily ever after*.

The impregnator/ex-boyfriend aka Ned: By the end of the first chapter I already disliked Ned, he came off as a lazy good for nothing leach. But chapter six proved him to be an absolute asshole with him draining Emma’s bank account before her overly trusting pregnant ass even thinks to remove his access.

The supporting cast: The book had some rather amusing background cast members; Emma’s infuriating and over the top mother, the nosey old couple next door and green thumbed Joe were standouts for me.

While the story was predictable at times it still gave me the warm fuzzies.Image result for warm and fuzzy memeThe writing was humours, flowed easily and was a joy to read. I will be keeping an eye out for Catherine Bennetto works in the future. star.4

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: Life Sentence by Lily Luchesi

She can fight evil, but can she fight the darkness in her own blood?

After the disastrous events with Miranda have subsided, Danny and Angelica have to adjust to a new kind of life at the Paranormal Investigative Division.

Fiona is still on the loose, and she has all of Hell on her side. Danny begins to enhance his psychic abilities with the help of a soul just like his. Angelica is caught between a rock and a very dark place.

Can their love survive these new trials, or will the past tear them apart?

* * * * My Thoughts * * * *
I’m sitting here pondering the three books that currently make up Lily’s Paranormal Detectives Series (a 4th is coming early next year!) and for the first time since Harry Potter a third book in a series is my favorite. Well for now because I don’t know  what the forth book will bring.

This installment was fast paced and action packed. I really enjoyed reading this paranormal /horror /action /romance mix. If this book was on a menu it would read: Flash back entree, Demon action main with a side dish of psychic powers and newly turned vampire and a large serve of Inter-species romance for desert.

I was excited at the end of Miranda’s Rights to see how Leander’s character played out in this book and I was not disappointed. I was drawn to Leander in Miranda’s Rights. I was intrigued by his darkness and mystery. The whole time I was reading Life Sentence I had to remind myself he was the “bad guy” and I shouldn’t like him, but meh, I dug his self-righteousness and self-imposed darkness – oh dear, moving right along.

I loved the edition of Mark and Brighton’s characters and the initial stand-off-ish suspicion between Danny & Brighton. I really hope Mark, Brighton and Danny are back for the next installment, but the feeling I got the feeling from the epilogue that we might be following Angie solo in book four with appearances from Leander. I’m sure what ever direction Lily takes the characters in it will be awesome. I will have to patiently wait and see. Five “It drew me in and I would happliy re-read” Stars

Five Stars
* * * * Lily’s Links * * * *

Review: Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

25855506Adulthood Is a Myth: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” Collection by Sarah Andersen

Are you a special snowflake?

Do you enjoy networking to advance your career?

Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared?

Ugh. Please go away.

This book is for the rest of us. These comic document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life. Goodreads – BooktopiaBookdepository

* * * * * * My Thoughts * * * * * *

Oh Sarah Anderson how I love you, your Instagram account always puts a smile on my face and so did this humorous and adorable collection of fantastic comic strips! And the cover is furry! 🙂

Sarah just about touches on everything there is to touch on in life and this book would be a great addition to every woman’s pick-me-up-crappy-day-solutions collection.

star.5

Seriously I’m not going to say anything else. If you don’t believe me go check out her Instagram.

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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

Review: The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Carroll adapted by Moore & Reppion

Take one politely stubborn and opinionated young girl. Add an overactive imagination. Shake in a heavy mix of puzzling and bizarre guides. Reduce all morals and lessons to the nonsensical degree and send it all on a journey to nowhere…

These are the ingredients that Lewis Carroll combined to create a fairy tale unlike any another. Dynamite is proud to present for all ages The Complete Alice in Wonderland; the most vivid adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s genre bursting tale of young Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. It contains Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and the LOST chapter form Looking Glass “The Wasp in a Wig!”

Join Alice on her whimsical journey down the rabbit hole. From her initial meeting with the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to her final dinner party with the entire (and outrageous) Through the Looking Glass cast, every moment of Alice’s adventures in that astonishing landscape is captured in gorgeous detail. With old favorites like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter joined now by a long-forgotten Carroll creation, The Wasp, in one of the book’s latter chapters, children and adults alike can rediscover the complete Alice tale and fall in love with Wonderland all over again!Alice 1Published on the 19th April 2016, The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll adapted by Leah Moore and John Reppion, illustrated by Erica Awano. GOODREADS

Alice 2

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a an honest review, THANK YOU.Alice 3

 * * *  MY  THOUGHTS * * *