Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Review - Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Title: Black Bird of the Gallows
Author: Meg Kassel
Pages: 300
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: 5th September 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.


My Review:
*I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Entangled Publishing LLC and NetGalley*

Angie Dovage's life changes when Reece Fernandez moves in next door.
She soon finds out that there's more to Reece than meets the eye, that he may not even be human.
In the middle of the harbingers of death and the Beekeepers, will Angie survive the event that will devastate her town?
Can Angie and Reece have a future?

I was really intrigued by Black Bird of the Gallows - the idea of harbingers of death was interesting and unique.
I liked Angie and found her relatable. I would have liked to have seen her hanging out with her friends Deno and Lacey more.
The plot was mostly good, but I did find my attention wandering once or twice.
While I didn't dislike the romance, I'm not sure I really felt the connection between Angie and Reece.
I didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped I would, but I thought the idea of harbingers of death was different, and I liked how they followed disaster around.

Overall this was a mostly enjoyable read.


Monday, 29 January 2018

Cover Reveal - All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire
Publication date: May 29th 2018
Genres: YA Crossover

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

Author Bio

Jamie McGuire is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Walking Disaster, the Maddox Brothers series, the Providence trilogy, and the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster, which paved the way for the new-adult genre. She was the first independent author in history to strike a print deal with retail giant Walmart, and her work has been translated into fifty languages. She lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Jeff, and their three children. To learn more about Jamie, visitwww.jamiemcguire.com, or follow her on Twitter @JamieMcGuire.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Review + Author Interview - A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry

Today is the release day for A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry!

I interviewed Jen about the book, her writing process and her hobbies.

Scroll down for the interview, details about A Wild and Unremakable Thing, Jen Castleberry and for my review!

When did you start writing? 

I started reading exceptionally early, and was writing poems and little chapter books when I was in elementary school. 

What makes you want to write? 

Everything. Musicians experience the world musically, photographers see light and color wherever they go. I experience the world in stories and lyrical turns of phrase. That part of my mind and soul never turns off. 

Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it? 

Everyone does! If I’m feeling sapped of creative energy, my go-to is usually a change of scenery. Driving to a coffee shop or library or park. Just being in a fresh place can revitalize my creative muscles. When all else fails, I just resolve to write, even if what I’m putting on paper is terrible. I can take terrible and turn it into something. It’s too easy to get into the habit of abandoning scenes, or taking long breaks from a frustrating project, so I always set a goal for the day - either drafting a chapter, or hitting a certain word count, something like that, and make sure I hit that goal, whether I’m feeling inspired or not.

Do you have a special way of going about writing? 

I marathon write my first drafts. The best piece of advice I ever received was you can’t edit a blank page. I plan every scene, then stick to a three-days rule through the first draft, where I never spend more than three days on a section. If I’m not happy with it by the third day, I move on and resolve to come back and fix it later. Otherwise, I just hammer and hack until I’m miserable and want to toss the whole project in the garbage. It means I get through that first draft fairly quickly, and then spend an eternity on edits. But it works for me!

Do you have any works in progress? 

I do! It’s a bit under-wraps, but it’s another Fantasy and I’m completely obsessed with it right now. You can catch sneak peeks here and there on my Insta and Twitter.

What are your hobbies? 

Writing. Drinking coffee. Writing. Intermittent bouts of interrupted sleep. Writing and more writing. Forcing my dogs to play with me.

Who is your favourite character in A Wild and Unremarkable Thing?

Fares! He’s this bright, sparkly guy with a devil-may-care wit that really lights up a scene. He was infinitely fun to write. I was always tickled by what came out of his mouth, and even though he’s a secondary character, his story arc was one of my favorites. As the comforts of his privileged life are stripped away, we get to see what sort of person he really is, and that was especially satisfying to write. So many of my closest friends are very Fares-like, snarky and flirty and wildly inappropriate. The life of the party, but if you’re in trouble, they’ll come through in a big way. So I felt like I was writing my favorite kind of friend when I was writing Fares, and I weirdly miss him!

How did you get the idea for A Wild and Unremarkable Thing?
I’m the middle sister of three, and I wanted to write about sisterhood. I wanted to write about strength and self-sacrifice. About girls. Hayden, Emilia, and Cayda would do anything – even the most unimaginably terrible things – to help one another. To save one another. They have this pure, unflinching love that makes them brave and selfless and strong. On the outside, this is a story about dragons and adventure and violence. But at its heart, AWAUT is about the quiet, powerful love shared by these three modest, remarkable young women.

What was your favourite part of writing A Wild and Unremarkable Thing?

I loved the multi-POV aspect of this piece. Experiencing the world from such radically different perspectives was a fun challenge, and it always kept me on my toes as I was drafting. Creating all these threads and then twining them together as the piece progressed was especially gratifying. 


What are you currently reading? 

I just read Wildwood by Jadie Jones for the second time. Urban fantasy, fan-freaking-tatic. And I’m about a third into Geekerella by Ashley Poston, which is completely adorable. 

What is your favourite book? 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve read it six times. Give me any member of the Night Court (and a certain member of the Autumn/Spring Court), and I’ll marry them. Except maybe Amren. She scares me.

Who is your favourite author? 

Leigh Bardugo! I want to BE her.


What is your favourite film? 

The 2005 Pride and Prejudice, with Keira Knightly. Even though I own it, I watch it through to the end every time it’s on TV. I’ll never get tired of it. Best movie ever made (says the girl who always says she can’t wait to see such-and-such movie but never actually watches it). 

What is your favourite TV show? 

I’m a Netflix binger, so this changes pretty frequently. Right now I’m obsessed with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Quick-fire questions:

Chocolate or ice cream? 
 Ice Cream! My favorite is Coconut Cream Mint Chocolate Chip!

Paperback or ebook? 
 Paperback. I just love to hold a book in my hands. Plus, as a writer and editor (and, lets face it, as a human), I spend a lot of time staring at screens. It’s nice to give my eyes I break now and then.

Dogs or cats? 
BOTH! My background is in Animal Welfare. I’ll cuddle almost any creature.

Go out or stay in? 
 Stay in. Homebody, party of one.

Summer or winter? 
 Summer! I’m part mermaid.

 About the Book and Author

Title: A Wild and Unremarkable Thing
Author: Jen Castleberry
Pages: 144
Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: 23rd January 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:
Fifteen years have passed since a Fire Scale scorched Cayda’s village.  Fifteen years of beatings, of bare kitchen cupboards and sloppy swordplay.  Fifteen years of biting her lip for her father’s cane while her younger sisters did the same for the grimy patrons of the village brothels. Fifteen years of staring steadfastly after beauty in an increasingly ugly world.

Now, with hair shorn and breast bound, Cayda marches into the Summer Alps as Cody, a hopeful Champion seeking a dragon-slayer’s reward, with the full weight of her family’s survival on her shoulders.

But the road between poverty and prosperity is rife with beasts, betrayals, and baser temptations. Sensible Cayda soon discovers that she is not the only Champion with her eye on the prize, or the only one wearing a disguise.
With monsters, gods, and royalty hot on her heels, Cayda must ask herself if victory is worth sacrificing her identity for – or her life.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing pits girl against dragon in a stunning blend of Greek mythology and medieval lore. Readers will not quickly forget the diverse cast or the thrilling, sexy ride!

 Purchase Links:

 About the Author

Jen Castleberry resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and pets. Her background is in Communications and Animal Welfare. All of her pets are named after superheroes!

Learn More About Jen Castleberry:

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

When Cayda was a child her village was burned by a Fire Scale.
For the next fifteen years, Cayda, now Cody, has been forced to pretend to be a boy by her father so she might have the chance to kill a Fire Scale and become a Champion, saving her family from a lifetime of poverty.
Now Cody's time has come - with the next Fire Scale Emerging fast approaching, Cody makes her way to the Alps. On her way she encounters monsters, royalty and a God.
Can Cody change her family's future for the better?
Can she survive long enough to slay a Fire Scale?

I'm a sucker for mythology so when I read the blurb for A Wild and Unremarkable Thing I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the book.
I really liked the characters, who were all relatable and realistic. Cody and Penn were my favourites -I was rooting for them both all the way through the book and I felt sorry for Cody whose father had treated her cruelly.
The world that the author has created is intriguing and I'd like to find out more about it, as well as more about the Fire Scales, Night Beasts and if there are more Gods.
While this was a short read, it was fast paced. The plot was interesting and held my attention.
The writing style was engaging and made me want to read on.

Overall this was an enjoyable, unique read that I would recommend.