October 9, 2016

Forgotten Book Reviews ~ Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Whilst going through my archives I found a few book reviews that seem to have been overlooked and left unpublished... so here's the first from my 'forgotten book reviews' file!


Title: Menagerie (Menagerie #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

The general meaning of Menagerie is a collection of wild animals kept and trained in captivity for exhibition, so I was interested in the concept of keeping animals/beings/mythical creatures in a fair-ground, much like the oddities in freak shows back in the day - or most recently as seen on television on the show American Horror Story (Season 4, 2014). And I've always been a sucker for myths and legends, so I was intrigued as to how this story would bring all the elements of story together.

I liked the beginning - it had a definite changeling (Irish/Scottish) folklore feel to it and I was immediately sucked in, such a promising start. The flash forward to her 12 year old self was okay - but it didn't really follow on the anticipation of the introduction. And then another time jump to 'present' day. *note: I'm not a fan of the multiple time jumping thing unless it completely affects future narrative and/or is actually at time travel novel (in hindsight - not so much).

TBH - Dililah is boring. Boring life. Boring job. Boring boyfriend. Just boring. And I guess that's the point - she needs to grow as a person once she 'reveals' herself, it's a plot point - only it doesn't really work because she stays consistently boring! There are no high points or light points of story line to really get you motivated to root for her character and the possible romance factor is on such a slow burn it may in fact fizzle out - and for all their abilities/talents/weirdness - nothing of any importance ever really happens. It's all too even keeled which really is a shame. The potential for this story to blow your mind is right there - and yet its totally overlooked in favor of a 'nice' read.

I also was not a fan of the news 'snippets' interspersed amongst the chapters in an attempt to clarify 'the reaping' that had occurred - it just tended to add mud to an already murky story line.

So while I was not impressed at all by this book, I am curious to see if the author can improve on the story next time around, so I may give book #2 a look.

I so wanted this to be an epic story... but with very little light and shade, it was just mediocre at best - 2 stars

September 24, 2016

Challenge Completed! Book Review ~ Spark by Rachael Craw

Title: Spark (Spark #1)
Author: Rachael Craw
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Source: Purchased

Evie doesn’t have a choice.

One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.

The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.

Goodreads Link

Initially, I simply set out to read a book from cover-to-cover without getting distracted and losing interest as my recent track record has been - but very quickly, all that changed...

Spark is the first book in a YA trilogy about genetically engineered people with superhuman powers and a creepy secret organisation that tries to control everything and everyone associated with it (it has a very cool 'The Tomorrow People' vibe to it).

Evie is an average girl who has just buried her mother and she's trying to adjust to living with her aunt - but right off the bat you know she's sick, you know that weird stuff is about to go down, and it is so, so good.

If you love young dystopian novels like The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, and Divergent; there are definitely those same crazy institutional overlord vibes going on within the Affinity Project (the bad guys) but Spark is so much more than that - it has fabulous friendships, amazing first loves, and super awesome secrets that hold you to the edge of your seat!

And the writing is so damn good - I saw it all playing out in my head! The author has an incredible talent for painting such lifelike scenes, I actually felt like I was watching a CW show. (Supergirl, The Flash, Supernatural, Legends of Tomorrow, TVD, iZombie, Arrow, etc, etc, etc, I am a CW show fa-na-tic!! and Spark would totally rule as a CW show!!)

Full of twists and turns, mystery, adventure, and forbidden desire - Spark is a roller coaster read and quite easily the best YA book I've read in a very long time. And as an added bonus, I described this book to my fourteen year old and it's now on her tbr pile, and honestly, my nine year old is lining up to read it too and as a parent, any book that will get my kids off their devices is a blessing!

Spark is a heart poundingly good read and completely deserving of a 5 star rating.

September 21, 2016

Challenging Myself...

My reading record of late has been a bit dismal and so I'm setting myself a little reading challenge.

I've chosen a book by a New Zealand author that I've seen popping up on all my social media feeds recently - Spark by Rachael Craw.

I've had a copy of this book on my tbr pile for quite some time but the third book in the series just released earlier this month and my feeds have been flooded with lots of beautiful cover art and I'm hearing fabulous things - so its time to dust my copy off and take the plunge!

The challenge is... I want to get this book read within a week - considering the reading funk I've been in of late it may be harder than it sounds - however, I've only heard great feedback so I'm hoping to finish it much sooner!

Here's the cover and blurb for those that might like to take a look...

Evie doesn’t have a choice.

One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.

The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.

Goodreads Link

September 12, 2016

New Beginnings...

I’m sitting here at my dining table contemplating the whirlwind last few months... if you had told me earlier this year that I’d be living in a new town in my own home, pfft – I’d have said you were crazy, and yet here I am!

My husband and I were only looking at what possibilities were available to us when we came across a cute place that ticked nearly all of our boxes, and in such a fast moving housing market we had to make a split second decision. Happily, things came together fairly easily, although I definitely gained a few more grey hairs from the paperwork alone! But we're now all unpacked and the kids have settled into school really well so it's happy dances all round!

I have a garden!

We've already started to put our personal stamp on things and I have a list as long as my arm of little jobs that need doing just to brighten the place up a bit, and as the previous owner neglected to keep up with general maintenance I have some big jobs to get to also, but you know what - I'm happy to do it because it's my own home!

The only real downside of buying my first home is that I need to get a job - the days of being a stay-at-home mum while hubby goes to work are long gone sadly, and expenses like a new roof are going to set me back more than I can put aside on a weekly basis! I've already had to put in a new stove as the old one was a fire hazard, and I just purchased a new range-hood - although I've yet to book an electrician to put that in... those elusive funds and all! So it's time to dust off the C.V and start looking at job possibilities.

As some of you know I closed up Book Chatter Promotions late last year and the running of My Book Chatter has slowly fallen by the way side also as my family commitments at the time meant my time was needed elsewhere. The last time I read a book was about three weeks ago and I only left a short review on Amazon. The time just seems to slip away on me and if I'm being completely honest, I'm really struggling to find something that holds my attention - even my trusted favorites (authors) no longer hold their same allure.

Hopefully I might be able to get in some reading time in the future but for right now it's all about the house...

Sunset from my yard

April 27, 2016

Cover Reveal ~ Scorched Fury by T.G. Ayer

Releases on May 10, 2016
In the 5th book in the SkinWalker series, Panther shifter Kailin Odel is bombarded with problems. The Great Ash Trees - supernatural guardian trees of the DarkWorld - are dying, and Kai enlists the help of MetalSinger & Fae Queen Tara to find those who threaten the stability of all the realms. Then, Logan - still in his cryo-induced coma - makes a request of Kai that she cannot refuse. "Save her." Whether Logan lives or dies, Kai is determined to fulfil her promise to find the girl from Logan's memories and help him find peace. What Kai doesn't expect is to find her in a world on the brink of extinction, a world Kai didn't even know existed. But there is more at stake than a missing girl. Can she keep her promises or will it be an impossible ask? Filled with grief, and blossoming passion, redemption, and growing hope, Scorched Fury reveals secrets long buried and brings together a band of friends who are destined to one day save the DarkWorld.
Haven't started the Skin Walker Series yet? The first one is FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Abandoned by her mother and raised by her aloof Alpha father, panther shifter Kailin Odel has finally found a way to feel like she makes a difference. Discovering her unique power to track Wraith's, Kailin moonlights as a Hunter - ridding the streets of Chicago of these soul-sucking demons. Her human friends have no idea the supernatural worlds exists alongside theirs. No idea shifter and demons walk in the shadows. And Kai prefers to keep it that way.
Until she discovers the body of a murdered shifter, and is quickly embroiled in a world of supernatural drug-dealing and renegade shifters who leave a trail of blood and mayhem wherever they go.
When Logan Westin, paranormal investigator and super-hot human, begins investigating the murder Kai refuses to allow her feelings to control her. Humans are off-limits, no matter how sizzlingly sexy they are. But can Kai keep him at bay? And does she even want to?
In her quest to find the killer Kai inadvertently puts her friends' life in danger and brings her to the attention of the sadistic shifter killer. Her comfortable life is gone, her friend murdered, and shifters are disappearing around her. To survive and to save her friends, Kai must allow herself to trust Logan, to give her scarred heart to someone again.

About T.G. Ayer

I have been a writer since I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse and am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It's a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves - it works wonderfully...
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. The other half of me has been transplanted to the island of New Zealand. A land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands - I shall forever remain crosseyed.

Release Blitz and Giveaway ~ Opaque Mirrors By Courtney Lane

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Release Blitz

Opaque Mirrors

By Courtney Lane

Cover Artist: Courtney Lane

Dark Erotic Thriller

Release Day April 26, 2016

  opaque mirros cover  


When the line between fiction and reality bleeds, there is no end to the lies or a truth to be found.

It was never supposed to happen. He was supposed to remain a porn star—the source of my fantasies—in my expansive collection of torture porn. But he found me, and he only wants one thing from me. He calls it the ultimate orgasm; death.

He gives me the illusion of choice—my life or his.

I thought my choice would be the end of my troubles, but it followed me to a town known for its close-minded, small population and hypocritical way of thinking.

My madness lurks in the shadows. It watches me and seduces me with pretty smiles and dirty degradation. It assures me that my fantasies aren't wrong. It tells me that they will star in all of my nightmares…and I want nothing more.

Content contains strong violence, coarse language, graphic sex, scenes of horror, and situations that most readers would find objectionable. Reader discretion is highly advised.
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Add to your Goodreads TBR

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Buy Links

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Courtney’s Previous books:


Amazon US

Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

The Sordid Promise (Breaking Insanity #1)

Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Starkest Truth (Breaking Insanity #2)

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

The Darkest Descension (Breaking Insanity #3)

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Punk Shock Love Society (The Complete StrangeHer Love Trilogy)

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Shock (StrangeHer Love Trilogy #2)

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Love Society (The StrangeHer Love Trilogy #3)

Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Sect (Wicked Trinity #1)

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

The Rebirth of Sin (Wicked Trinity, Book #2)

Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

COURTNEY LANE has been creating her own little world since she was very young. When she was eight years old, she began to bring her worlds to life with a pen and paper.
While many of her works touch several different genres, she has an archetype when it comes to the female protagonists in her stories — they have to have certain brand of strength, be deeply flawed, and harbor layered personalities. In her books you will find themes that reflect the darker side of life with a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. She also has an affinity for characters that aren't necessarily the girl or boy next door, or the people you'd encounter in everyday life. In other words, she prefers to explore characters who aren't easy to fall in love with.
Currently, Courtney can be found either working on her next book, playing the latest role-playing game on her X-Box (preferably a game by Bioware), or spending time with her family.

Stalker Links

Amazon Author Page Here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H0IS7SC


1 $10 Amazon Gift Card & 2 straight to kindle eBooks
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April 22, 2016

Blog Tour ~ DIRTY by Kylie Scott


Are you ready to get Dirty?  
Dirty is Book One in Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar Series.  

Order your copy of DIRTY here:
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1MetF1F

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The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to burn down the church or sit and
cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she'd marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong-maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?
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“Once upon a time,” he began, voice low and measured. “There was a princess. A beautiful, occasionally annoying princess.”

“What was her name?”

“Ah, Notlydia.”

I frowned. “Her name is Notlydia?”

“You wanted a story, I’m giving you one. Shut up.”


An even heavier sigh from the man. “Anyhoo, Notlydia was all set up to marry this prince. We’ll call him Prince Bag of Dicks.”

“Works for me.”

“But on the day of her wedding, when she was wearing this sweet dress that served her tits up like they were a fucking platter—”

“Is this an R-rated story?”

“Please,” he said, sliding an arm around my bare waist. And I let him. “R is for rubbish. If you don’t get to see any penetration then you’re wasting your time. This is XXX.”

I laughed.

“So on the day of her wedding to Prince Bag of Dicks, Notlydia kisses him and he turns into a big slimy two-headed toad with terrible breath and even worse foot odor.”

“Whoa.” I rested my head back against his shoulder. “Poor Notlydia.”

“Hell of a plot twist, right?”

“Never saw that one coming.”

“Mm.” He rested his cheek against the top of my head.

“What happens next?”

“Well, she’s completely freaked out, of course.”

“Of course.”

“And she takes off into the woods. She’s running through bushes, jumping fences, climbing trees, you name it. Nothing’s going to stop her from getting the hell away from that toad, Prince Bag of

Dicks.” He took a sip of beer. “Unfortunately, she loses her fancy dress along the way. She’s just down to some skimpy underwear and a corset and with all that jogging through the forest, it’s barely holding her in. One decent breath and there’s going to be nipple out there for all the world to see.

Did I happen to mention she’d been voted Best Rack in the kingdom four years running? Anyway, eventually she finds this small cottage. Now, what you don’t know about Notlydia is that she has a shady past.”I tried to look up at him. But with the angle, all I got was stubble and cheekbone. “That doesn’t sound like Notlydia.”

“Be quiet.” A hand covered my mouth. “Notlydia’s a dirty, dirty girl. Got a bad side like you wouldn’t believe. A little breaking and entering is nothing to her. So into the house she goes. But she’s all muddy from running through the woods, see? She can’t let people see her like this, she’s a princess, for fuck’s sake.”

The hand remained over my mouth. Which was fine, I had nothing to add to his pornographic fairy tale.

“Notlydia gets in the shower and starts soaping herself. There’s lots of bubbles and steam, and she’s a modern woman so there’s a bit of self-love. She even finds time to wash her hair, shave under her pits. Things like that. But then the owner of the cottage wakes up and hears the water running. He stomps into the bathroom saying, someone’s using up my hot water. Notlydia cries out, not me, not me.”

He craned his neck, meeting my gaze. “See, babe, what did I tell you? That Notlydia is a filthy little liar.”

I looked up to heaven. No help was forthcoming.

“Someone’s using up all my soap, says the owner. Not me, not me, cries Notlydia.” He put his lips next to my ear. “She should be ashamed of herself, shouldn’t she? If ever a busty princess deserved a spanking.”

I bit at the palm of his hand, teeth catching at the fleshy mound beneath his thumb.

“Ow.” He laughed, pulling his hand free. “Then the owner said, someone’s been fingering herself in my shower.”

“Stop!” I put my hands over my ears, trying desperately to hold in my laughter. “This is the worst story ever. The Brothers Grimm are rolling over in their graves.”

“Notlydia throws back the shower curtain and says, oh yeah, big boy, that was me. Come and get it. And they have wild sex all over the cottage.” Vaughan’s body jerked beneath mine as he laughed his ass off. “The end.”

“No way. Notlydia is virtuous and pure. She’d never pull that sort of shit.”

“Nah.” He chuckled. “It all happened exactly as I said. Dirtiest princess in all the land.”

“Like hell. The owner of that cottage was a pervert and a deviant. Why, he would have picked the lock on a chastity belt. She never stood a chance.” Difficult to maintain my pious stance, given I’d started laughing so hard tears were pouring down my cheeks. The funny bastard. “I want to know more about this cottage owner. What’s his name?”

“I don’t know. Let me think . . .” He rested his chin back on top of my head. “He definitely isn’t Prince Charming.”

“He could be!”


“If he wanted to. Or not. Whatever,” I added weakly. Crap. “Let’s go back to not talking.”

I was a moron.

We’d been all relaxed and laughing. Me and my idiot mouth. Way to go, Lydia. Just shout out any old impossible daydream to the dude who’s made it clear there was no future “we.” If someone could just direct me to the nearest brick wall, I’d knock a little sense into myself.On the other hand, it was two stupid words. Surely he could have ignored the last hundred years of Disney perpetuating slick-haired young royals gallivanting around the countryside saving hot babes in distress. For the sake of getting along. God knows, Chris never had any problems ignoring or placating me. I’d seen his thoughtless gorgeous smile aimed my way a hundred times. No, a thousand. If only I’d recognized it for what it was.

Ugh. Just the thought of it made me want to punch the douche all over again.

Maybe I needed a bit more than a week to get over that catastrophe. The money would help. Substantially. I’d never imagined that compromising my morals and taking hush money from such foul woe-begotten assholes would feel so good. Maybe I should sell out more often.

“This, ah, this Prince Charming of yours,” he said haltingly.


Vaughan shifted beneath me, pushing out a heavy breath. “I mean, it doesn’t make sense, does it? Why would he be in a cottage instead of a castle?”

“Well . . . his parents, the king and queen of the neighboring kingdom, died in a terrible accident.”

I stayed perfectly still, waiting to see how he’d react.

“I see.”

“And it hurt him so bad he just, he didn’t want to be a prince anymore.”

Nothing from him.

“Bad things happen in fairy tales sometimes.”

A grunt.

“It’s not fair, but it happens,” I said, feeling my way with more caution than skill. “The prince loved his parents and the castle had too many memories.”


“So he ran away into the woods too.”

“Doesn’t sound like much of a prince if he can’t handle his shit,” he said.

“Princes are just men too, human beings. I don’t think a crown or a penis gives you magical invulnerability to loss and pain.” I stared at the wall, thinking the problem through. “Life is hard.

Terrible things happen. We all have feelings. We’re all just flesh and blood, trying to do our best.”

“Running away from problems isn’t doing your best.” His voice echoed around the small room, the same as around in my head.

What with holding the Coeur d’Alene title for runaway bride of the year, I had no answer. None at all. So much for my half-assed wisdom.
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About the Author
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Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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