Under a Different Sky Book review

Under a Different Sky is the debut novel by Haleli Samdar.

BLURB

Allie has never been the type of woman to settle for cozy domesticity and weekend barbecues on the porch. Together with her husband and their three children, she has the rat race behind her to embark on a life of adventures on the open road, exploring all the four corners of the world. She wants a different kind of life for herself and her children, and she knows she never wants to go back.

But when her husband decides to go home and leaves them in a remote Indian village, Allie finds herself struggling to keep the travel dream alive. A shocking assault leaves her badly shaken, and she seeks solace in the arms of her rescuer, Mano. Together with the children, they set off to explore the wilds of Mongolia: the country Allie has always dreamed of visiting. But then her husband drops a bombshell, and Allie finds herself facing the toughest decisions of her life as she navigates a land on the very edge of the world.

REVIEW

This is a book that isn’t one that I would normally read, however I did thoroughly enjoy reading it. The travels and the main characters were wonderful.

I’m looking forward to reading more books by Haleli Samdar.

The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife Book Review

The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife is by Maz Evans and illustrated by Chris Jevons.

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Scarlett Fife has BIG FEELINGS. And when she has BIG FEELINGS, they explode out of her like an over-squeezed stress ball. 

Scarlett’s in big trouble after a BIG FEELINGS episode leads to a runaway hamster getting into the vicar’s trousers at her aunty’s engagement party. If she loses her temper ONE MORE TIME, she’s going to miss out on her trip to Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World, the best theme park on the planet. 

But feelings are like slime in a party bag. No matter how much someone tells you to keep it in, it’ll always find its way out. And very soon, Scarlett notices that every time she pushes her feelings down, something explodes. Like … really, properly explodes. 

It might be her teacher’s slimy green smoothie. A huge pot of purple paint. Or a massive pile of elephant poo at the zoo. And let’s hope Scarlett doesn’t get mad at Aunty’s wedding – that wedding cake is HUGE …

REVIEW

This was a fantastic and fun read. I truly enjoyed it and I know readers from 7 years old will love it. This book highlights that it is normal to have strong feelings whether it be anger or happiness but how we deal with these feelings are important.

The main character Scarlett was very relatable and her friends truly understood her but still tried her to manage her feelings. The illustrations added to the story and made you laugh more at the scenes that were described.

If you are looking for an enjoyable read, definitely check out this book. I don’t read a lot of middle grade books but this would be one I would read again.

4/5 stars

LightFall Book Review

Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian is by Tim Probert. It is book one in the Lightfall series.

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Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig’s House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. 

All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it’s the Pig Wizard. 

But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found—all that’s left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard’s safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light. 

Will these two unexpected friends find the beloved Pig Wizard and prevent eternal darkness from blanketing their world Or has Irpa truly seen its last sunrise.

REVIEW

I absolutely adored Book 1. It is very well done and the art is amazing. So much detail and truely brings the characters Bea and Cad to life.

Younger readers will definitely enjoy this and I think it would be the perfect addition to a library collection. Although aimed for younger readers, readers of any age will definitely enjoy reading.

The character growth and narrative fully immerse readers into a world full of light.

I can’t wait for book 2 and definitely recommend this book!

THe Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Crown of Gilded Bones, the all new gripping and intense third installment in the epic fantasy Blood and Ash series from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout is out now, and we have an inside look!

She’s been the victim and the survivor… 

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.  

The enemy and the warrior…  

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head. 

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

Bow before your Queen today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3pGJq9l

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/CrownofGildedBone

Apple Books: https://apple.co/35KztA5

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3pFzRHW

Nook: https://bit.ly/35JKgu9

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2ISWebS

Hardback: https://bit.ly/3nG8L1z

Paperback: https://amzn.to/35J310H

Excerpt

A sudden growl of warning came from the largest wolven I’d ever seen. Kieran and Vonetta’s father stood to my right. Jasper had officiated the marriage between Casteel and me in Spessa’s End. He’d been there when Nyktos showed his approval by briefly turning day to night. But now, the steel-hued wolven’s lips peeled back, baring teeth that could tear through flesh and break bone. He was loyal to Casteel, and yet instinct told me that it wasn’t just the guards he warned.  

  Another snarl came from my left. In the shadows of the blood tree that had sprouted from where my blood had fallen and then grew to a massive height within seconds, a fawn-colored wolven crept into my line of sight, head dipped low, and wintery blue eyes iridescent. Kieran. He stared down Casteel. I didn’t understand why either of them would behave this way toward the Prince, but especially Kieran. He had been bonded to Casteel from birth, meant to obey and protect him at all costs. But he was more than a bonded wolven to Casteel. They were brothers, if not by blood then by friendship, and I knew they loved each other. 

  Right now, nothing about the way Kieran’s ears were pinned back was loving.  

  Unease skipped its way through me as Kieran sank down, the sleek muscles of his legs tensing as he prepared to attack…Casteel.  

  My stomach plummeted. This wasn’t right. None of this was right. “No,” I rasped, my voice hoarse and barely recognizable, even to my ears.  

  Kieran didn’t appear to hear me or care. If he had been acting normally, I would’ve just assumed he was attempting to ignore me, but this was different. He was different. His eyes were brighter than I ever remembered seeing, and they weren’t right because they…they weren’t just blue now. His pupils glowed silvery-white, an aura that seeped out in wispy tendrils across the blue. My head jerked to Jasper. His eyes had changed, too. I’d seen that strange light before. It had been what my skin had done when I healed Beckett’s broken legs—the same silvery glow that had radiated from me minutes earlier.  

  Icy bursts of surprise raced through Casteel as he eyed the wolven, and then I felt…relief radiate from him. 

  “You all knew.” Casteel’s voice filled with awe, something no one standing behind him felt. Even the easy grin was absent from the auburn-haired Atlantian. Emil looked at us with wide eyes, broadcasting a healthy dose of fear, as did Naill, who had always appeared utterly unfazed by everything—even when he’d been outnumbered in battle. 

Add The Crown of Gilded Bones to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/34D4N31

About Jennifer L. Armentrout 

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications.  Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was an Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

Connect with Jennifer

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2xSL7u5

Instagram: @jennifer_l_armentrout http://bit.ly/33GWn8R

Twitter: @JLArmentroutnews http://bit.ly/2QvDYpT

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dnOSIi

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2U5Jemy

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2U2Fe63

Stay up to date with Jennifer by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/2qBce5m

Website: https://jenniferlarmentrout.com

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The Crown of Gilded Bones Book Review

The Crown of Gilded Bones is the third book in the Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I want to thank Social Butterfly PR for the ARC.

BLURB

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

REVIEW

The Crown of Gilded Bones has been one of my favourite reads this year and I know it will be in my top 10 of 2021 for sure. This book was absolutely amazing and I new I was going to enjoy if from the teasers shared in Jennifer’s Spoiler Group on Facebook. I was kept on my toes and the emotional rollercoaster was awesome and something I wasn’t ready for. Jennifer did an amazing job growing the world and answering some of the questions I have but have led to so many more.

The first two books in the Blood and Ash series was full of romance and steam and this builds on the romance! I love how Poppy and Cas’ relationship grows and how perfect for each other they are. When reading you truely see how pure their love for each other they are and how Poppy is breaking down the wall she has.

You are the foundation that helps me stand. You are my walls and my roof. My shelter. You are my home.

I really enjoyed the friendships that were built upon in throughout the book. There were some many good one liners and funny interactions with so many different characters but I have to love Poppy’s interactions with Kieran and Cas.

Apparently, there's a Willa who wrote a sex diary of some sort." Kieran said with a sigh. "It's Poppy's favourite book or something."

Like the other books in the series, the action doesn’t let you down and it is full on in some moments. The revelations that are shared really a surprising. The ending has left me wanting the next book already and even then I know I will want the rest of the series immediately.

I definitely recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and romance. Jennifer L. Armentrout will have you wanting to be fighting right along with the characters and witnessing what happens between Poppy and Cas.

5/5 stars

Jennifer L. Armentrout has a new series which is set in the world of Blood and Ash called Flesh and Fire. The new book A Shadow in the Ember is out later this year.

if you want to get your own copy of The Crown of Gilded Bones below are some links you can use:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3pGJq9l

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/CrownofGildedBone

Apple Books: https://apple.co/35KztA5

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3pFzRHW

Nook: https://bit.ly/35JKgu9

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2ISWebS

Hardback: https://bit.ly/3nG8L1z

Paperback: https://amzn.to/35J310H

Anticipated Books for April 2021

Its the beginning of April and I’m trying something new. Here are some of the books being released in April that I’m looking forward to. I have read some of these already as review copies or ARCs but I will be rereading them.

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

Here at Zalindov, the only person you can trust is yourself. 

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer. 

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals. 

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: Don’t let her die. We are coming. Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom. 

But no one has ever survived. 

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun. 

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L Armentrout

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen

THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY

Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.

His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark―and in doing so, risks starting a war.

BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN

Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.

Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves―or put them all in their graves.

Lore Book Review

Lore by Alexandra Bracken is a novel and I want to thank Hachette Australia for the review copy.

Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, attempted murder, murder, murder of children (graphic), murder of parents (graphic), terminal illness, abuse, attempted rape, arranged marriage

BLURB

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

REVIEW

I absolutely love Greek mythology so it was great to have another book full of Greek gods. The relationships between the characters and the plot was excited very well.

I really enjoyed the main character Lore and the complexity of her pas and how it relates to what happens in the present, however, I still have questions that need to answered.

I definitely recommend it to lovers of Greek mythology but the book may not be for everyone.

4/5 stars

Witch Book Review

Witch by Finbar Hawkins is an amazing debut which is set in the 17th century. I want to thank HarperCollins Publishers Australia for the review copy

BLURB

After witnessing the brutal murder of her mother by witch-hunters, Evey vows to avenge her and track down the killers. Fury burns in her bright and strong. But she has promised her mother that she will keep Dill, her little sister, safe. 

As the lust for blood and retribution rises to fever pitch, will Evey keep true to the bonds of sisterhood and to the magick that is her destiny?

REVIEW

Hawkins did an amazing job creating a dark and haunting atmosphere in his novel. This book features witchcraft, revenge, the trauma from grief and strong family ties. It also deals with the witch trials which has intrigued me.

This book fit perfectly in the era and had me entranced from the first page.

4/5 stars

Author Highlight: Casey L. Bond

One of my newly discovered authors is Casey L. Bond and I am so glad I have discovered her books. I’ve only just started reading her books but I already have a few that I’ve picked up and read.

Her works include:

  • Harvest Saga
    • Reap
    • Resist
    • Reclaim
  • New Covenant
    • Pariah
  • Sin
  • Frenzy
    • Frenzy
    • Frantic
    • Frequency
    • Friction
    • Fraud
    • Forever Frenzy
  • Keeper of Crows Duology
    • Keeper of Crows
    • Keeper of Souls
  • High Stakes Saga
    • High Stakes
    • High Seas
    • High Society
    • High Noon
    • High Treason
  • When Wishes Bleed
    • When Wishes Bleed
    • The Omen of Stones
  • Novels
    • Shady Bay
    • Winter Shadows
    • Crazy Love
    • Catalyst
    • Liquid
    • Prisoner of Prophecy
    • Riches to Rags
    • Savage Beauty
    • Glamour of Midnight
    • Unlocked
    • Brutal Curse
    • Thinks That Should Stay Buried
    • With Shield and Ink and Bone
    • Gravebriar

Casey’s latest book is Gravebriar which I have absolutely loved reading. I have also posted a review recently for the book, however, here is the synopsis if you haven’t read my review.

Sometimes witches hunt their own…

Someone knows my secret and they’re wielding it as the weapon of my execution. I stand accused of poisoning my Gravebriar coven mate. To my fatal regret, I can’t prove my innocence without revealing the truth I’ve long kept hidden: while every other Gravebriar witch are green witches and healers, my magic lies in poisons.

There is one witch who believes me – the same boy who was sent to kill me with instructions to pluck the briars that sprouted from my grave – the only cure for a Gravebriar witch. Forge Silverthorn will be my undoing… or my salvation.

He claims there is a malicious plot vining through the witch town of Cauldron that threatens to tighten around my throat in a deadly noose. Promising I can escape by seeking the help of a banished witch who hides our kind in plain sight, he leads me to a dark circus full of witches.

The ringmaster will only help us if we agree to join his circus of uncanny tricks and diabolical feats for two nights only, using our magic to thrill his patrons. In exchange for our participation under the big top, he’ll divulge the information I need to save my coven mate and clear my name.

But when dark secrets emerge from the shadows of this promised sanctuary, I’m forced to decide if I can truly trust anyone, especially Forge… my would-be executioner, my coven’s sworn enemy, and my could-be love. 

These Violent Delights Book Review

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is a Romeo and Juliet retelling and a debut novel.

Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, murder, transphobia, alcohol consumption and parental abuse.

BLURB

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

REVIEW

It was a fantastic debut novel by Chloe Gong. It was great to read a story set in 1920 Shanghai with the story giving me West Side Story vibes with the rival gangs. Gong has done an amazing job describing the locations and characters as well as having a fast paced plot.

I enjoyed the relationship between Juliette and Roma as their relation ship blurred the line between love and hate as well as the roles they played in the plot. I loved the mysterious creature aspect and how the characters figure out what’s happening. The side characters were also amazing.

I’m looking forward to the next book!

5/5 stars