31 July 2020

July 2020 Book Box Club Unboxing

Book Box Club Unboxing July 2020

I give you my unboxing video for the July 2020 'Magical Talents' box.

You can watch my unboxing video at the bottom of this post or click here

I went for the full subscription for six months. You can select monthly, or 3 monthly, 6 monthly or soon I believe 12 monthly, as well as signing up for the pure books version, which comes without the swag and goodies. The boxes are now shipped slightly differently with tracking numbers.

The box itself:
It comes in a very cute and neat turquoise box, with paper filling to protect the book(s) and goodies, plus very attractive gift wrap around the book.

The artwork is as beautiful as ever!


Book - Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy. 

Clubhouse invite.

Splinters of Scarlet Adjustable Ring by Lisa Angel.

Magic Bottled Water Flask by Girl and Type.

Moana Magnetic Bookmark by TJ Lubrano (originally missing from box but replaced the next day).

Golden Althiometer Lipbalm by Mad About Nature.

Magical Studies Notebooks by Book Box Club.

Bookish extras: Future release card and bookmark.

I'll be reading the book over the next couple of weeks, so watch out for my review coming soon!

My Unboxing video:

Check out my YouTube Channel!


30 July 2020

Am Reading - Summer Magic

Summer Magic - Thorne Witches #1
by T.M. Cromer

What they say: Life in a small town can be tough. It can be even tougher when you’re a witch whose magic regularly backfires. But Summer Thorne only wants one thing: to create the perfect sanctuary for unwanted animals. Nothing and no one is going to stop her. Not even the sexy sheriff who is determined to shut down her rescue center. And certainly not the laboratory where she illegally obtained her mischievous chimpanzee, Morty. 

Sheriff Cooper Carlyle has one goal: to keep his town safe. That includes his stubborn neighbor, Summer, whether she wants him to or not. When the animals of Summer’s menagerie get loose and create havoc, he decides enough is enough. But things aren’t always as they appear, and Coop stumbles upon the secret the Thorne sisters have been hiding. 

Coop and Summer discover Morty holds the key to unlock a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding the death of Summer’s mother. Now Coop is faced with breaking the law he is sworn to uphold in order to protect Summer and her beloved pet from a threat more dangerous than any of them imagined. 


29 July 2020

The Island - Cover Reveal

The Island
by C.L. Taylor

What they say: Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?


Coming in 2021

Read the first chapter:

page1image66344576page1image66349952CHAPTER 1 


Life would be so much easier if I were a psychopath. I’d be charming, manipulative and a pathological liar. I also wouldn’t be wondering what Danny, Honor, Jeffers, Meg and Milo are talking about on the other side of the pool, their faces cast in shadow, the Thai night sky a blank blanket above them. And I definitely wouldn’t be convincing myself that they’re talking about me. Even if they were, I wouldn’t care. But the biggest advantage of being a psychopath by a mile would be lack of empathy. Life doesn’t hurt as much if you stop caring. 

‘Who’s up for a swim?’ Honor, who’s been intertwined with Danny on a sun lounger for the last hour, wriggles out of his grasp and stands up. She slips off her flip-flops, strips off her T-shirt and wriggles out of her shorts. It’s dark and the surface of the pool is still and calm, striped with the reflected glow of the hotel and dotted with candlelight. Honor dives in, barely making a splash. She pulls her arms through the water, blonde hair streaming behind her. 

Seconds later Danny’s in too. He tries to grab Honor around the waist but she slips away like a fish and swims almost a whole length underwater. 

‘Meg?’ Honor’s voice echoes off the walls of the hotel complex as she breaks through the water, just a few feet away from me. It’s after eleven and an older couple to my right, talking quietly on their sun loungers, sigh loudly. ‘Milo? Jeffers? You coming in? We could play water polo?’ She glances at me and the expression on her face changes: uncertainty replaces excitement. She doesn’t know whether to invite me to join them or not. I pull the sleeves of my top down over my hands and shift in my seat. Swimming’s one of my favourite things in the world and I’m good at it – I’ve swum for the county – but I haven’t been in the pool since we got here and I’m not about to start now. 

‘You guys go ahead,’ I shout. ‘I’ll watch.’ 

As holidays go this is right up there with the time we went to Center Parcs and Danny did a poo in the corner of the ball pit at soft play. OK, so we were all three at the time but the memory of the warm squelch as I put my hand in it is indelibly burnt into my brain. The walking tour of the Scottish Isles when we were all twelve was pretty grim too. It never stopped raining and I slipped and twisted my ankle when we were still an hour away from the car. Almost every year since we were born there’s been an enforced group holiday and now here we are, in Thailand, a disparate group of teenagers forced to socialise with each other because our parents happened to go to the same antenatal group over seventeen years ago. Our friendships have changed over the years. As five- and six-year-olds Honor and I were about as close as two little kids could be. We tried to include Meg in our games but she was more interested in trying to muscle in on the games Milo, her twin brother, was playing with Jeffers and Danny. As pre-teens Meg gravitated back to me and Honor and there was a distinct girls versus boys dynamic. That all changed when hormones kicked in and Honor and Danny got together and me and Milo . . . well, I’m not sure how to describe that. We danced around each other, I guess. Sometimes I fancied him and he didn’t fancy me. Sometimes it was the other way round. It’s not that we’ve got a ‘thing’. It’s more of a ‘non thing’ but it’s not just friendship, not like me and Danny or Jeffers. 

Don’t get me wrong, Thailand is amazing. The people are so smiley and friendly, the food is delicious, the streets are buzzing and vibrant and the scenery is breathtaking. Yes, it’s hot and humid but, hello, I’d rather be dripping with sweat over here than dripping with rain in England. No, Thailand’s not the problem, nor is the amazing complex we’re staying in. The fact is I can’t do holidays like this anymore. The others don’t know how to act around me and I’ve forgotten who I used to be. I can’t relax. I’ve forgotten how to banter, and if I catch myself laughing, I immediately feel guilty. I might be seventeen but I feel like I’m a hundred years old. 

‘Jessie?’ I jolt as Milo appears behind me. I was so caught up in watching Danny trying, and failing, to lift Honor above his head that I didn’t notice him slip away from the table he was sitting at with Meg. She’s changed since we hit our teens. She used to be competitive, loud and outspoken. These days, if she does speak, it’s usually to say something snarky. 

‘Hi.’ I shove my hands beneath the table and smile, tightly, up at Milo as my heart hammers in my chest. Like his sister he’s got jet black hair but, while Meg’s tumbles over her shoulders in dark corkscrews, Milo’s is shaved around the sides and wavy on top. 

‘I’m going to the bar.’ He reaches a hand towards me and, for one heart-stopped second, I think he’s going to touch me. Instead he places his hand on the back of my chair and rests his weight against it. He glances towards my glass, most of my mojito mocktail long gone. ‘Do you need a top-up?’

Instinctively I glance across the pool, to Meg, sitting in her seat, hunched forward, her elbows on her knees, watching us. If Milo was interested in me, which these days he’s not, she wouldn’t approve and who could blame her? Who needs my kind of screw-up in their life? If you need me I’ll turn my back. If you want to talk I’ll run. And if you love me . . . 

Something lurches inside me – like a bruise being pressed – and I twist the tender skin on the underside of my forearm until the feeling fades. I might not be a psychopath but I’ve got my own ways of switching off negative thoughts. My aim is to be in complete control of my emotions. I’m not there yet but one day I will be. 

‘No thanks.’ I look back at Milo. ‘I’m going to bed in a bit.’ 

Something in his gaze shifts. Did he just look disappointed or did I completely imagine that? 

‘Are you going to the bar?’ Danny shouts to Milo from the pool as he launches Honor into the air. She shrieks for all of two seconds then plops back into the water with a splash. ‘I’ll come with you. I want a snack.’ He pauses, waiting for Honor to resurface. ‘Want anything to drink?’ he asks her. 

She runs her hands through her hair, slicking it back from her face. ‘Lemonade, please.’ 

‘You don’t want a cocktail? This barman’s not fussed about ID.’ 

‘Nah. I’m good.’ 

As Danny swims to the side and heaves himself out of the water Milo drifts over to him. I watch as they saunter over to the bamboo bar that’s surrounded by palm trees. When I look back at the pool Honor has swum to the side nearest me. The top half of her body is out of the water, her blonde hair slicked back and her arms folded on the tiles. 

‘Are you OK?’ she asks. 

I stiffen. I can deal with people being kind on WhatsApp and social media but, in person, any kind of sympathy makes me want to cry. Thankfully no one’s pushed me to open up. Other than a few awkward ‘I’m really sorry, Jessie’ comments on the day we arrived no one’s mentioned the reason my family didn’t go on the group holiday to Norfolk last year. And I’d rather it stayed that way. 

‘Fine. Hot, isn’t it?’

Honor takes the hint and changes the subject. ‘Is Milo getting you a drink?’ 

‘No. I said I didn’t want one.’ 

‘Oh right.’ She shrugs lightly. ‘I’m not sure why I asked Danny to get me one. I’m not even thirsty.’ 

Danny’s always doing nice things for her. In the three days we’ve been here he’s rushed up to their room to get things for her at least half a dozen times, given her countless shoulder rubs and, when she didn’t like her fried snapper at lunch, he swapped with his own meal, even though he’s not keen on fish. 

Honor sighs loudly, prompting me to ask her what’s up. She ignores the question and eases herself effortlessly out of the water and sits on the edge. ‘Are you looking forward to going to the island tomorrow?’ 

I shudder, despite the heat. ‘Not really, are you?’ 

She shrugs. ‘Seven days with no 4G, no WiFi, no clean clothes and no soft beds. It’s either going to be hell, or the best thing we’ve ever done.’ She gestures across the pool to Jefferson whose got his face buried in a book. ‘Bear Grylls over there is crapping himself with excitement.’ 

I can’t help but laugh. Jefferson Payne, the youngest of the group by nine days, has been obsessed with camping, hunting and foraging for the last few years. He’s small and wiry with over-sized glasses but, in his head, he’s some kind of action hero. If the WhatsApp group chats are anything to go by he spends every night after school whittling knife handles out of bits of wood and plaiting huge lengths of cord into bracelets. I’m not judging – how he spends his time is his own business – but it is a bit weird that a kid who lives in a three-bedroom house in North London and goes to private school is so obsessed with prepping for the end of the world. 

I’m not sure if it’s the prepper stuff or something else but he’s changed since the last time I saw him. He was always the most reserved kid in our group, but he’s got a real loner vibe going on now. We’ve chatted a couple of times since we arrived – small talk mostly – and I got the distinct vibe that he’d rather be anywhere than hanging out with us. 

If our parents have noticed that we’ve all outgrown these group holidays they’ve chosen to ignore it. They all seem as chilled and relaxed as they normally are. Well, maybe not my parents, not this year. 

‘I mean, it’s only a week,’ Honor says, ‘and the guide will be doing all the hard work building us a shelter and stuff. It’s not like we need to be fashioning spears out of bits of wood and killing fish for dinner.’ 

‘I’m packing Pringles,’ I say. ‘Seriously, sod all the sensible stuff we’re supposed to take with us. I’m filling my bag with—’ I’m interrupted by the slap, slap, slap of flip-flops as two lads – one with a nose ring about our age and the other a couple of years older with closely cropped hair – appear from between the palm trees and saunter towards us. Honor turns to look, flipping her wet hair over her shoulder. Inwardly I groan. I’m paranoid and self-conscious enough with people I know, never mind people I don’t. I should have gone to bed 

while I still had the chance.
‘All right, girls?’ The shorter of the two boys looks me 

up and down dismissively before his gaze rests on Honor. 

Behind him, the older boy smirks. With their blue eyes, fair hair and long, angular faces they’re almost certainly brothers. ‘How you doing?’ The shorter boy with the nose ring plops himself down next to Honor, who immediately angles herself away from him. Her eyes dart towards the palm trees, 

anxiety written all over her face.
‘Jesus,’ the older one says, taking a seat next to me. ‘Aren’t 

you hot wearing that?’
Unlike me, in a long-sleeved top, linen trousers and flip- 

flops, he’s barefoot and naked from the waist up.
‘I’m fine,’ I say, ignoring the fact my top is glued to my 

back with sweat.
‘Each to their own.’ He grins widely and sits back in chair, 

blocking my view of Honor and his brother. ‘I’m Jack by the way, and that’s Josh, my brother.’ 


He laughs. ‘Chatty, aren’t you? How long have you been here?’ 

‘Too long.’ I give him a pointed look. I know what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to keep me distracted so his brother can crack on with Honor. I shift my chair to one side so I can see round him. Short-arse now has his arm around Honor’s shoulders, his fingers denting the skin at the top of her arm. She’s smiling at him but it’s a fixed grin – the kind you use when someone’s overstepping the line but you don’t want to cause a scene. She’s doing her best to wriggle away but he’s tightened his grip, pulling her into his body. Over on the other side of the pool Jeffers still has his nose in his book and Meg has disappeared. 

page9image66330496page9image66323200‘Hey!’ Honor says, whipping her face away as Josh dips his head to kiss her. ‘Leave it out, I’ve got a boyfriend.’ 

‘I heard you guys talking,’ Jack says, shifting his chair towards me. ‘You off on some kind of survival experience tomorrow or something?’ 

I ignore him. His brother has one hand on Honor’s face now and he’s angling her towards him, forcing her to look at him. The hand around her shoulders has slid under her arm and his fingers are plucking at the thin material of her bikini top. 

Beneath the table I pinch at the only patch of skin on my forearm that’s smooth and soft but the tight feeling in my chest remains. I don’t want to get involved but someone has to. This has to stop. 

‘Hey,’ Jack says as I stand up, still gripping the arms of my metal chair and carrying it behind me like a turtle shell as I walk to the edge of the pool. ‘What the hell happened to your hands? Jesus, they look really—’ 

‘Hi.’ As I draw closer Josh releases his grip on Honor’s face and rests his hand on the tiles. He feigns nonchalance, all cocky and chilled—’look at me just chilling by the pool late at night’ – but he’s moved his wandering hand back to Honor’s arm and he’s pinning her to his side. 

‘Where are you going with that chair?’ he asks. ‘Going to take it for a swim?’ 

Behind me his brother laughs. 

‘No.’ I smile down at him. ‘I thought I’d join you. Apparently you don’t have a problem with personal space.’ He looks up at me in confusion but, before he can reply, I lower the chair so one of the metal legs is directly above his hand, then I sit down. His shout fills the air – a howl of surprise morphing into a scream of pain. He pushes Honor away from him and grabs at the chair leg but it doesn’t move an inch. I’m too heavy for him to shift. He looks up at me and I feel a stab of satisfaction at seeing Honor’s fear in his eyes. Nothing happens for what feels like for ever then I hear Jack’s chair scraping on the tiles and his roar of anger. A split second later I’m shoved so hard in the back that I tip forwards. There’s no time to react. All I can do is hold my breath as I fall out of the chair and the lights of the pool rush to meet me. The last thing I hear before my ears fill with water is a single word. 

It sounds a lot like ‘psycho’. 


28 July 2020

Am Reading - Moon Over Soho

Moon Over Soho - Rivers of London #2
by Ben Aaronovitch

What they say: The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul. They’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.


27 July 2020

Coming Soon - Midnight Sun

Edward's POV is coming!

Midnight Sun - Twilight #5
by Stephenie Meyer

What they say: When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event he has experienced in his long life as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?

In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and, drawing on the classic myth of Hades and Persephone, brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.

Coming 4th Aug


26 July 2020

Recent Release - The Damned

The Damned - The Beautiful #2
by Renee Ahdieh 

What they say: New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with the second installment of her new sumptuous, sultry and romantic series, The Beautiful. 

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. 

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn. 

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

More info here!

25 July 2020

Am Reading - Simply the Quest

Simply the Quest - Who Let the Gods Out? #2
by Maz Evans

What they say: Elliot and Virgo’s troubles are far from over: death-daemon
Thanatos and his scary mum are at large and determined to
destroy the world. As even more immortal allies and enemies
emerge, Virgo and Elliot must learn how to be heroes …


24 July 2020

Paralleled Bond - Book Blitz

Paralleled Bond
by Stephanie Hansen

Altered Helix series – Novella 3

YA survival fiction

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What they say: When the only option left means losing someone you love, you have no options. How could you, how could you save one person you care about, when doing so would harm another? What if they weren’t even letting you choose but choosing for you? You’d have to intervene without letting them know, right?

To be an Altered Helix and put others in danger is the new reality for Austria. Luckily someone’s there to catch her when she falls, Josh, and fall she does, in love that is. While witnessing her family being put in danger, Austria’s haunted house family grows. Now that Austria has found a way to defeat Mutant Altered Helixes after her, a dangerous stream of events occur to those around her. Just when the family has finally come together, could they be ruined?

The amazing conclusion to the Altered Helix series, Paralleled Bond displays the results when polar opposites come together for the greater good.


Author Spotlight:

Stephanie Hansen's short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind's Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She's part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers' conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Goodreads * Pinterest * Instagram


Purchase here:

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * iBooks * Books2Read

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23 July 2020

Spotlight - Smoke Thieves

Smoke Thieves #1
by Sally Green

What they say: **The first book in the new historical fantasy series from the author of Half Bad**

A princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief.

Five teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands.
Five nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father, while her true love, Ambrose, faces the executioner's block.

In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town.

And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tashis running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our five heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war.

Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?


The perfect new YA fantasy series for fans of The Red Queen Game of Thrones and Sarah J Maas.


22 July 2020

Whatcha Reeding Wednesday - The Short Knife

The Short Knife
by Elen Caldecott

What they say: It is the year 454AD. The Roman Empire has withdrawn from Britain, throwing it into the chaos of the Dark Ages. Mai has been kept safe by her father and her sister, Haf. But when Saxon warriors arrive at their farm, the family is forced to flee to the hills where British warlords lie in wait. Can Mai survive in a dangerous world where speaking her mother tongue might be deadly, and where even the people she loves the most can't be trusted? 


21 July 2020

Am Reading - The World's Worst Parents

The World's Worst Parents
by David Walliams

What they say: Millions of young readers have loved the World’s Worst Children tales and revelled in the World’s Worst Teachers with their delightfully dreadful deeds – now prepare for…THE WORLD’S WORST PARENTS! From the phenomenally bestselling David Walliams and illustrated in glorious colour by the artistic genius, Tony Ross.

Are you ready to meet the worst parents ever?


Sure, some parents are embarrassing – but they’re NOTHING on this lot. These ten tales of the world’s most spectacularly silly mums and deliriously daft dads will leave you rocking with laughter.

Pinch your nose for Peter Pong, the man with the stinkiest feet in the world… jump out of the way of Harriet Hurry, the fastest mum on two wheels… watch out for Monty Monopolize, the dad who takes all his kids’ toys… and oh no, it’s Supermum! Brandishing a toilet brush, a mop and a very bad homemade outfit…


More info


20 July 2020

Blood Feud - Spotlight

Blood Feud - The Legends of Ansu #9
by J.W. Webb

Epic Fantasy

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What they say: Jaran Saerk is an exile from the North, driven out of his homeland by a sorceress who killed his family. Now serving as a warrior in the armies of the Imperial Shen, he’s never forgotten his vow to avenge his family and take back what is rightfully his.  

Recently captured, Savarna hides a dark secret and doesn’t plan on staying a slave for long. Once she’s escaped, she’ll slip inside the Golden Palace and kill the Empress of Shen. When she meets the exiled warrior from the North, she finally may have her chance.

Finvar the Droll is a retired thief who insists he can help Jaran in his revenge against the witch. But whose side is he really on?

With enemies surrounding them on all sides, the trio must unite to stay alive in a realm trapped between war and sorcery, and to take down the witch Sheega before she destroys them all.



A huge figure knelt by a roaring blaze. A shaggy haired man he appeared, with corded muscle and barrel-chest. He wore a kilt, but no cloak to cover his naked torso. Like Jaran, the stranger bore many scars on that flesh. And on closer inspection, he saw the man had only one arm. A distant memory flickered through him. And a name.


The one-armed warrior. A god of the north. Jaran knew the god was testing him. Despite his fear he stepped out, approached the crouched figure, who looked up casually as he walked close.

“Your friends worry that you’ve left them, Jaran Saerk.” The voice was a gravel-scrape and thunder boom, those eyes glints of blazing sliver fire, the moonlight trapped inside.

“I needed time alone.” Jaran shoulder-tossed the elk in front of the god as a gift. He heard it boded ill, meeting Tyho the War God alone in the wild. “Time to think.”

“A gift for a gift.” Tyho rose to his feet, standing massive before Jaran. He reached behind his back and produced a huge long-hafted axe. “Your enemies are closing. You will need Griner to kill them.”

Jaran felt uneasy. Why would Tyho want to help him? And what would he ask for in return? Despite his misgivings, he gripped the weapon and thanked the god. Tyho pinned him with that terrible gaze. “Use it well. Griner belonged to Borian once, before that deity perished in the timeless wars. It serves you now—in the new struggle.”

“You mean against the witch, Sheega?” Jaran hefted the axe. It was heavy, the intricate rune markings glinted on its beard. He sensed power in the weapon. Felt strength flowing into his arms. Strength and something else. A slow burning rage. “I will avenge my father,” he told the god.

“You had best go back,” Tyho said, his silver eyes blazing. “Your little camp is under attack.”


Author Spotlight: 

J. W. Webb is an English writer living in Georgia. Mostly he writes fantasy, though sometimes diverts in even stranger directions. His epic saga, The Legends of Ansu, blends the mystic grandeur of J.R.R. Tolkien with the gritty realism of George R.R. Martin. Webb's characters are three dimensional and flawed, their world a tapestry of vivid color and constant motion. All the books feature beautiful sketches by the late Tolkien illustrator, Roger Garland. When he’s not writing, he spends his time in the garden or attending to the demands of his cat-overlords and dog companions.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Goodreads


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17 July 2020

Something Different - The Book of Dragons

The Book of Dragons

What they say: Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Kate Elliott, Ken Liu, Todd McCaffrey, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, and other modern masters of fantasy and science fiction put their unique spin on the greatest of mythical beasts—the dragon—in never-before-seen works written exclusively for this fantasy anthology compiled by award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan and with art by Rovina Cai!

Here there be dragons . . . 

From China to Europe, Africa to North America, dragons have long captured our imagination in myth and legend. Whether they are rampaging beasts awaiting a brave hero to slay or benevolent sages who have much to teach humanity, dragons are intrinsically connected to stories of creation, adventure, and struggle beloved for generations.

Bringing together nearly thirty stories and poems from some of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers working today— Garth Nix, Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Ann Leckie & Rachel Swirsky, Daniel Abraham, Peter S. Beagle, Beth Cato, Zen Cho, C. S. E Cooney, Aliette de Bodard, Kate Elliott, Theodora Goss, Ellen Klages, Ken Liu, Patricia A McKillip, K. J. Parker, Kelly Robson, Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, Elle Katharine White, Jane Yolen, Kelly Barnhill, Brooke Bolander, Sarah Gailey, and J. Y. Yang—and illustrated by award-nominated artist Rovina Cai with black-and-white line drawings specific to each entry throughout, this extraordinary collection vividly breathes fire and life into one of our most captivating and feared magical creatures as never before and is sure to become a treasured keepsake for fans of fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tales.


15 July 2020

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - Burn Our Bodies Down

Burn Our Bodies Down
by Rory Power

What they say: From the author of the New York Times bestseller Wilder Girlscomes a new twisty thriller about a girl whose past has always been a mystery–until she decides to return to her mother’s hometown . . . where history has a tendency to repeat itself.

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.


13 July 2020

New Release - Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse

Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse
by Chantel Acevedo

What they say: The first in a middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology.

Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.

Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.

When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.

As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse . . . or will it undo them all?


12 July 2020

Am Reading - Summer and July

Summer and July
by  Paul Mosier

What they say: From the critically acclaimed author of Train I Ride and Echo’s Sister comes a moving story of friendship between two girls looking for some happiness in a world that can be a little cruel. Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead, Ali Standish, and Erin Entrada Kelly.

Twelve-year-old Juillet is preparing for the worst summer ever. She and her mom are staying in the seaside neighborhood of Ocean Park, California, for a month, where her mom will be working at the local hospital and Juillet will be on her own, like always.

Her dad is off in Europe with his new girlfriend, and her best friend, Fern . . . well, Juiller isn’t allowed to talk to Fern anymore. Fern took the blame for Juillet’s goth-girl clothes and “not-real” fears, like sharks and rip currents and the number three.

Then Juillet meets Summer, a local surfer girl who knows the coolest people and places around town. With free-spirited and adventurous Summer, Juillet begins to come out of her shell and face the things weighing her down. But when Summer reveals her own painful secret, it’s Juillet’s turn to be the strong and supportive friend. 

Released June 2020


11 July 2020

Spotlight - The Brave

The Brave
by James Bird

What they say: Perfect for fans of Rain Reign, this middle-grade novel The Brave is about a boy with an OCD issue and his move to a reservation to live with his biological mother.

Collin can't help himself—he has a unique condition that finds him counting every letter spoken to him. It's a quirk that makes him a prime target for bullies, and a continual frustration to the adults around him, including his father.

When Collin asked to leave yet another school, his dad decides to send him to live in Minnesota with the mother he's never met. She is Ojibwe, and lives on a reservation. Collin arrives in Duluth with his loyal dog, Seven, and quickly finds his mom and his new home to be warm, welcoming, and accepting of his condition.

Collin’s quirk is matched by that of his neighbor, Orenda, girl who lives mostly in her treehouse and believes she is turning into a butterfly. With Orenda’s help, Collin works hard to overcome his challenges. His real test comes when he must step up for his new friend and trust his new family. 


10 July 2020

Cinderella is Dead - Out Now

Cinderella is Dead
by Kalynn Bayron

What they say: It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. 

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them. 

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