Thursday, March 22, 2018

Book Shelf: Over Raging Tides (Lady Pirates, #1) by Jennifer Ellision

The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by many rules, but chief among them is this: they do not allow men on board.

That’s a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter is willing to break when a shipwrecked young nobleman offers her information of an omniscient map, stolen from his warship by an enemy vessel. Until now, the map was only the stuff of legend… but with its help, Grace may finally be able to hunt down the Mordgris, the sea monsters who stole her mother away from her.

Unfortunately, some members of her crew have other plans...

To find the map and face the Mordgris, Grace will have to confront her past, put the Luck between warring nations, and uncover treachery aboard the ship. And ultimately, her revenge and the destruction of the Mordgris will come at a hefty price: the betrayal of her crew.

Grace promised them they wouldn’t regret this.

She just isn’t sure that she won’t.

More info on Goodreads.....


Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellison is a dashing pirate adventure on the high seas full of action, danger and just the inkling of possible romance.

The pirate crew of the Lady Luck live by a commandment of rules, the most important one being no men allowed on the ship at any time. This is a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter breaks when the Luck stumbles upon the wreckage of a downed ship and Grace rescues two survivors from the water. Dealing with the fallout isn’t easy, but when one of the young noblemen tells Grace and her Captain of a powerful map said to be able to display the location of whatever its barer desires that was stolen from the sunken ship by an enemy vessel, Grace and the crew of the Luck set out to steal the map back. For Grace, the map might be exactly what she needs to hunt down the vicious Mordgris, sea creatures who stole her mother away from her. Revenge is in the first and foremost on her mind, but with Grace beginning to suspect all is not right aboard the Luck, treachery will come in many forms and Grace may just wind up regretting some of the choices she makes…..

Having previously enjoyed Jennifer Ellison’s Threats of Sky and Sea series, I was excited to delve into her most recent release Over Raging Tides. I haven’t read many pirate tales myself, but it is a sub-genre I am intrigued by and I think shows a lot of potential. In saying that, Over Raging Tides was well written and offers a promising start to what I’m hoping will be a thrilling series.

This first instalment introduces readers to main character Grace who lives a life of piracy aboard the Lady Luck, a vessel with an all-female crew of pirates. For the most part I really liked Grace. She was intelligent and quick thinking, able to handle her own against any man and someone who was easy to follow. The only time I struggled with Grace was when her lack of morality kicked in. Over Raging Tides is full of action, battle scenes and includes some violence, so Grace’s ability to kill without too many qualms didn’t sit well with me at times. And yet, I could see her growing a conscience too as the novel progressed and am looking forward to seeing a lot of character growth in Grace with the rest of the series.

The Lady Luck features some interesting characters including Captian Ilene and crew member Sam who seems to be a very true friend to Grace. Grace’s past including what happened to her mother is something I’m looking forward to exploring especially considering some of the things that happened to Grace during Over Raging Tides. Leo and John were good additions to the novel and of course rock the ship with their male status. I’m a romantic at heart so of course I’ll be following Grace’s relationship with her love interest with great enthusiasm.

Ending with unexpected developments and surprises, Over Raging Tides leaves me wondering what will happen to Grace, Leo and the rest of the crew now. I’ll be interested to see what Jennifer Ellison does next and how she develops this series!

Source: Sent for review by Xpresso Book Tours and the author (Thank you ladies!)
Publisher: Published by author
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: March 20th 2018
Purchase: Amazon
Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #217

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
Stain by A.G. Howard 
Releases on: January 15th 2019
A high-fantasy gothic fairytale inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea.

Once upon a nightmare, her fairytale begins...

After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest . . . disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra's rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra finds her way back to her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

Can I just start by saying that A.G. Howard's novels always have the most beautiful covers. Honestly. The covers alone are always enjoy to pique my interest before I read the description. I don't think I've ever actually read a Princess and the Pea retelling before so I'm certainly excited to do so with Stain. I think it sounds fabulous. 

What do you think of Stain? Do you plan to read it?
And what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Shelf: Graevale (The Medoran Chronicles #4) by Lynette Noni

“Light or dark, only one can win. This world cannot survive in shades of grey.”

Now that Aven Dalmarta sits upon the throne of Meya, Alex must race against the clock to save the rest of Medora from the Rebel Prince’s wrath.

Haunted by an unspeakable vision of the future, Alex and her friends set out to warn the mortal races. But making allies out of ancient enemies proves difficult.

With her nights spent deep in the Library under the guidance of a mysterious new mentor, Alex is desperate to strengthen her gift and keep all those she loves safe. Because in a world where nothing is certain, she is sure of only one thing:

Aven is coming.

More info on Goodreads.....


Graevale is the fourth instalment in Lynette Noni’s tantalising Medorian Chronicles and is another thrilling adventure packed tale full of excitement, action and powerful moments of friendship.

After the life altering events of the last novel, Aven Dalmarta now sits on the Meyian throne and Alexandra Jennings is racing against the clock to find a way to save the rest of Medora from the rebel prince’s grasp. Hoping to convince the various Medorian races to join together in the fight against Aven, Alex journeys to speak to the different leaders. Each encounter fairs worse than the previous with Alex and those closest to her running out of options to stop cruel prince. Training with a mysterious new teacher, Alex fights to hone her gifts, but as Aven’s threat continues to loom closer with every day that passes, Alex will need to prepare for the unexpected if she hopes to stop him…..

Oh, my heart. My poor broken heart….what an emotionally packed story! Lynette Noni is back with another addictive and perfectly written novel; telling the fourth vivid instalment in her Medorian Chronicles with all the magic, action and excitement I’ve come to expect from her….and a lot of heartache too with the final few chapters seeing our beloved characters put through the wringer.

Alex Jennings has returned from the past with a new outlook on how Aven came to be the way he is, but nothing she has learnt will make defeating him any easier. Determined to stop him before he takes complete control of Medora or destroys it in the process, Alex is searching tooth and nail for a way to stop him. Alongside her friends Jordan, Bear and D.C, Alex has the help of various Medorian’s including her Akarnae professors and her Meyian friends Niyx, Zain and Kyia.

I really do adore Alex as a protagonist and enjoy following her throughout the story. Alex has come a long way since she first stepped through a door into Medora. She’s grown in confidence and capability, but is still the kind hearted, determined and lovable character she has always been. I love how she never gives up and continues to fight even when things get hard. She deserves to be up there with the great fantasy protagonists of our time!

Personally I think Lynette Noni has created something really spectacular with this series. It’s fully realised and becomes larger and more full of life with every instalment. The characters are likable and easy to follow and connect perfectly together. Aspects of friendship, romance and discovery are woven into the story and every chapter brings a new development or alteration to the storyline that pushes things forward.

Magically addictive, Graevale is another sensational novel in the Medorian Chronicles and with the next novel set to be the finale, I cannot wait to see what Lynette Noni has instore for the last novel in this incredible YA fantasy series!

Source: Purchased by me from my local QBD bookstore
Publisher: Pantera Press
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 1st 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Final Thoughts: This series is one of my absolute FAVES and I'm DYING for the next novel to come out so I can join Alex and her friends again!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Owl Post #203

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.
Hi book lovers and welcome to another Owl Post! I bought a few books last week--I can't help myself; I'm weak!
For Review:
From Hot Keys Books:
Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray 
Deft the Stars was one of my favourite books last year and Defy the Worlds is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. Will defintely be looking to read this one very soon!

......Thanks so much guys!

I Bought:
So because I have the self restraint of a toddler, I bought MORE books despite telling myself that I will cut back. Basement Books had a sale and I had to take advantage of these beauties:
The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson 
I've read the first book in this series and did enjoy it. Now I own books 2 and 3 to one day continue it. 

Darkness Follows by L.A. Weatherly 
I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, Broken Sky but never continued on with it which is odd because I have highly looking forward to this sequel before it was released. Looking forward to continuing with it. 

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
While I haven't heard that much about this novel, I couldn't pass up this hardback copy that was so well priced. Sounds fun though!

 -  Changeling by Philippa Gregory 
I know Philippa Gregory is wildly popular but I've yet to read any of her novels. Hope to change that one day with this YA series.
- Star Struck by Jenny McLachlan
I loved the previous three books in this Ladybirds series so am thrilled to have finally gotten around to getting a copy of the fourth and final book. Can't wait to read this.

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann 
This novel was one of my WoW's a few years ago and I still think it sounds fabulous so I look forward to read it in the future.

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton 
I highly enjoyed Rebel of the Sands and am glad I finally got the sequel as I can't wait to see what happens next and I know that the third book has already been released. Better catch up!

The Crown by Kiera Cass 
I NEED to begin this series! It's been on my TBR list forever and I now own books 1, 2, 3 and 5--just have to get 4 so there's no excuse not to dive into it soon!

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick 
 Drowning Instinct features a really heavy topic, but I've enjoyed Ilsa J. Bick's novels in the past so I definitely want to give it a go one day.  
- Oceanborn by Amalie Howard
I LOVED the first book in this series, Waterfell and I'm looking forward to finally continue on with the series. Just need to find the time to read it. 
I bought these next 5 books from my local Vinnies for only $1 each; couldn't help myself:

Paris Lights by C.J. Duggan
I'll be honest here; I already own a copy of this novel but for $1 I bought this copy to get signed and give away in the future on the blog.
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard 
So. I live under a rock. Or it must seem like I do as I'm yet to read the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I now only books 1 and 2 so I will probably begin it in the near future!

Liar by Justine Larbalestier
I've read a few novels by Aussie author Justine Larbalestier and think Liar is something worth reading. One day. 
The Giver by Lois Lowry 
The Giver is another classic I'm hoping it read one day. 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare 
I LOVE The Mortal Instruments series but I've fallen a bit behind. I still need to read the last two books, but I now own copies of both so hopefully that will urge me to finally join Clary and Jace and the gang once again :)

And that's me this week! Quite a few books, lol. 
What did the owls bring YOU?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Blog Tour: These Vengeful Souls by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas- Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to the blog tour for These Vengeful Souls presented by Xpresso Book Tours! These Vengeful Souls is the final novel in Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas These Vicious Masks trilogy and ends spectacularly! I've adored this series and am stoked to share it will all of yo.

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian's powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he's also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he's done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

Add on Goodreads or check out my review!

Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon 
 Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
10 Power Moments We Didn’t Get To Use 
by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

One of our favorite aspects of writing superhero fiction is taking powers and finding unexpected, atypical uses for them– the types of little things a person who has lived with a power for years would come up with. So as we spent years writing this trilogy, with these characters in our heads, we’d sometimes come up with a clever or unique moment with a power and set the idea aside until we found the right place for it in our story. Here are some of ideas we never got the chance to put in.
Warning: There might be some These Vengeful Souls spoilers in here, especially the last two! 

Sebastian Putting Big Mouths To Sleep
Sebastian was always tricky because had he a different personality, he might use his power more … creatively, you might say. One idea we would have loved to use, was that since Sebastian knew exactly how long it would take for him to make someone faint and fall unconscious - but not die - we wanted him to put Mr. Kent to sleep whenever he was too long-winded and annoying. We loved playing with their relationship and have many different AU ideas for them …

Mr. Kent
We can admit it: Mr. Kent is the most fun. Not just because he is so very witty (yes, we are complimenting ourselves here), but because of his power. We had a blast thinking up different ways he might use it. But there are so many more things we wanted to do! We wanted to see him embarrass our group more but also turn Society upside down by forcing everyone to actually say what they mean, for once. 

Miss Chen & Ripping Bodices
We love Miss Chen’s ability to break things and had a blast thinking of fun ways to use that power. One was having her accidentally/not-so-accidentally? break open Sebastian’s shirt when she first meets him. It embarrassed Evelyn and Sebastian, amused Miss Chen and frustrated Mr. Kent. However, we ultimately decided it came off more mean to Sebastian than funny and it wasn’t appropriate for the moment, so we just kept it as something she does to her enemies to distract them in fights. 

Evelyn and Sebastian Getting their Own Fighting Montage
We love movies and Tarun especially has drawn a lot of inspiration from great fight scenes. We were dying to fit in a “Evelyn and Sebastian spar with each other in order to practice controlling their powers” scene. We dreamed of snappy witticisms and tumbling around, lowering and raising their powers, in a lead up to a kiss. However, we had put the two of them in such rough shape by book three, it really would not have made sense for their characters. Next time …. Next time we will find a way! 

Camille & Transformations
We made a conscious choice early on to make Camille’s transformation power permanent, so she could give people entirely new lives and identities as part of her business in These Vicious Masks. We’d meant to explore the negative effects of that, specifically someone being transformed and then stuck in another body when Camille suddenly dies in These Ruthless Deeds. Unfortunately, the way the plot went, Rose was the only one we could do that to and she had way too many other problems to deal with that this would have been a ridiculous thing to pile on top. 

Miss Rao & Thunder Claps
In These Ruthless Deeds and These Vengeful Souls we had a
few heist-like scenes that either got changed or completely cut. For each of those scenes, we needed a way for our characters to communicate and coordinate attacks from different locations, but without radios or walkie-talkies it was pretty difficult. Radhika’s power was our favorite work-around for this, using her thunderclaps as a pre-arranged code or as a countdown, so parts of the plan could be synchronized without any technology needed. 

Mr. Redburn & Power Trading
When we came up with Felix Redburn and his ability to copy and hold someone else’s power, we hadn’t outlined These Ruthless Deeds enough to know he would die at the midpoint. Unfortunately, that meant we never got the battle scene we wanted, where he would smoothly copy his enemies’ powers on the fly or make them tensely wonder what power he was holding at any given moment. 

Mr. Hale & Portals
In case it wasn’t clear from These Ruthless Deeds, we were pretty into the portal power and its many practical uses, but we still didn’t get to use everything we had planned. One of our favorites was a plan to send a character halfway across the world and leave them there in the middle of book 2 and just when everyone had forgotten about them, they’d show up in book 3, furious about having had to travel thousands of miles to get back. 

Miss Fahlstrom & Messages from God
One thing we liked doing when brainstorming was to think about superpowers that helped explain supernatural myths and legends from around the world–like say, how Evelyn’s power could explain stories of miraculous healers, or Emily’s could explain ghost sightings. If you read These Vengeful Souls, you’ll know Miss Fahlstrom had the power to see how powered people were going to die, but we originally wanted to have her believe and claim she was receiving visions from her god, like oracles in mythology would. We liked how that would complicate things about which side was good and evil, but then it ended up being too complicated to properly deal with in the book with all the other things going on.

Reincarnations and Babies
In These Vengeful Souls, Evelyn learns that powers are reincarnated every generation. We had a very large plot point we discarded early on for book three that involved Captain Goode looking for the baby that inherited his brother’s ability to copy other people’s powers for himself. It … did not work, but we did want to have our heroes start thinking about legacy and all those who will come after them.

I have to day, as someone who has loved this series, I think this guest post is really insightful! Gives me an understanding of some of the things going through the minds of these fabulous authors!
Check out the first two books here:
My Reviews:
These Vicious Masks | These Ruthless Deeds
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.

Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.

Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance. 

Visit Tarun:
Visit Kelly:
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
As I've mentioned already, I truly do adore this series and not only congratulate Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas and the release of this amazing third and final novel, but I urge all my followers to check this series out. You won't regret it!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Book Shelf: These Vengeful Souls (These Vicious Masks #3) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian's powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he's also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he's done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

More info on Goodreads.....


These Vengeful Souls is the stunning finale to Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker’s These Vicious Masks series and is an edge of your seat conclusion to what has been a simply brilliant historical fantasy!

Evelyn Wyndham and Sebastian Braddock are on the run after the harrowing events of the Ball that saw the evil Captain Goode misuse his and Sebastian’s powers to kill dozens of people and blame Sebastian in the process. Setting Sebastian up as the villain of the story, Captain Goode quickly does public with the Society of Aberrations, winning over the English people and cementing himself a role of hero to the nation. Only Evelyn and her friends know the truth and once reunited they must find a way to stop Captain Goode before his plans come to fruition. Yet with Captain Goode forcing many Society members to help him, stopping him is going to be the biggest task Evelyn has ever faced and beating him may come with a price she’s not prepared to pay…..

Having immensely enjoyed the two previous novels in this series, I was both excited and saddened to read this final instalment—excited to be with the characters I have come to love once again and saddened as These Vengeful Souls would be the last chance I would get to do so. These Vicious Masks have honestly been a pleasure to read and I can’t recommend this exciting and dashing world Kelly Zakas and Tarun Shanker have created enough.

Perfectly written and featuring a world that is League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Jane Austin, These Vengeful Souls once again follows healer Evelyn and her close friends as they continue their fight against those who would persecute them for their extraordinary abilities. After being betrayed by Captain Goode, Evelyn, Sebastian, Mr Kent and the others find themselves up against a foe who was formally an alley and someone who does not hesitate to manipulate individuals and events for their own gain. Someone who also manages to be one step ahead of our heroes even as they fight so hard to gain the upper hand.

These Vengeful Souls was a really eventful and satisfying read. The world within this series has been so enjoyable to explore. With the series set in luscious 19th century England, Zekas and Tarun work wonderfully together to create a vivid, adventurous and compelling world that follows a strong willed, determined main character in the form of Evelyn who is vastly enjoyable to follow. Stubborn, biting and sometimes reckless to a fault, Eve was someone I adored very much and is exactly the kind of person I hope for in historical novels of this nature.

Bringing to an end a spectacular series, These Vengeful Souls was fast paced and eventful. All the minor characters I’ve come to love were back again—including Sebastian and Mr. Kent—and Kelly Zakas and Tarun Shanker conclude the novel in a manner befitting this fabulous series. I’ll definitely ready whatever they release next and can’t recommend These Vicious Masks enough!

Source: Sent for review by Xpresso Book Tours and the authors (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: February 20th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Final Thoughts: I've enjoyed this series SO very much and highly recommend it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #216

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt 
Releases on: May 1st 2018
In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life.
The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences. 
I've actually had the pleasure of reading some of  Tiffany Schmidt's books in the past and have very much enjoyed them. So much so that I automatically sat up and took notice when I saw she had a new novel coming out....before I even read what it was about and considering the novel is called Bookish Boyfriends, I'm pretty much down straight away. Looking forward to what I'm sure is gonna be a really sweet contemporary YA!
Have you ever read a novel by Tiffany Schmidt?
What do you think of Bookish Boyfriends? Let me know in the comment section!