Cover Reveal: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Posted June 24, 2017 by Hannah in Blog Tours / 0 Comments

Image result for excited gif

YOU GUYS, I’M SO EXCITED!!

Today, in conjunction with Inkslinger PR and HarperTeen, I’m taking part in the cover reveal for Rebecca Ross’s debut novel, THE QUEEN’S RISING, which is one of my most anticipated debut’s for 2018. So to say I’m excited is probably just a little bit underwhelming – I’m literally over the moon! There are so many amazing YA Fantasy reads coming out in 2018, and I’m sure that this one is going to be in the same category!

With gorgeous description and detailed rendering of a world where not everything and everyone are what they seem, Rebecca Ross weaves an intricate tale of revenge, loyalty, and ultimately, self-discovery. Don’t miss the beautiful cover for Rebecca Ross’s debut young adult fantasy, THE QUEEN’S RISING, and pre-order your copy today!

Okay, so without further ado, drum roll please….

Image result for excited gif

Enough teasing! Here it is – QUEEN’S RISING!

A post shared by Hannah (@hannahplusbooks) on

Inline image 2

 

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

THE QUEEN’S RISING Pre-Order Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | HarperCollins 

At this stage, I’m not sure about international publishers, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated as I hear more news for my fellow Aussie and INTL readers where to grab this amazingly gorgeous title from!

Inline image 1

Rebecca Ross received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia. In the past, she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college. She resides in Northeast Georgia with her husband and her dog. THE QUEEN’S RISING is her debut novel. Visit her on the web at www.rebeccarossauthor.com or on Twitter @_RebeccaRoss.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST

Inline image 3

 

Displaying InkSlinger PR blogger banner.jpg

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ten Series I Haven’t Read Yet (But Everyone Else Has!)

Posted June 20, 2017 by Hannah in Features, Top Ten Tuesdays / 3 Comments

 

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by Broke & Bookish

FACT: I am a terrible reader of series. I’ll start series, and not finish them. Even worse? I’m so far behind on catching up on series I haven’t even started yet, that I want to read. I know, I know. What sad excuse for a book dragon am I? But life, people. Life. Why can’t I get paid to just lounge around in my pjs all day and read books?!

 

 

The Dark Artifaces by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight | Lord of Shadows | The Queen of Air & Darkness

I haven’t even finished The Mortal Instruments yet, so this is one series that has been sitting on my to be read list and probably will for a while! I just can’t justify starting it without knowing how TMI ends…which means an entire re-read of the books I have read is in order. Hello, binge reading session! Maybe once the last book is out – because I’m terrible at waiting!

 

The Disruption Duology by Jessica Shirvingon

Disruption | Corruption

This duology by #LoveOzYA author Jessica Shirvington has been sitting on my shelves for ages (well, okay, since last year). It’s a blend of sci-fi and dystopia, and I’ve heard very good things, so why haven’t I read it yet???? #tbrtoolong

 

  

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Choshski

The Star Touched Queen | A Crown of Wishes

Yet another duology I’ve heard really great things about and I’ve not started yet. A Crown of Wishes only came out this year, and these two books just sound so appealing!

 

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae | Gemina | Obsidio

I think I’m the only person in the book community to have not read these books? Okay, so Obsidio doesn’t come out until next year, so I’ve either got a lot of catching up to do or I can get away with not reading them until it is out…

 

 

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Court of Fives | Poisoned Blade | Buried Hearts

This series sounds so good. A fantasy world with a competition of epic proportions, friends and family loyalty? I think I need a four week holiday for all this series binge reading I need to be doing!

 

The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine

The Imposter Queen | The Cursed Queen | The True Queen 

Some of my favourite people rave about these books, but again, it’s another series where the final book hasn’t been released yet. I feel like now that I’m older, I’m less “I want it now/can’t wait for the next book” and more “I’ll wait until the series has finished” for books I’ve not read? Ha, who am I kidding – give it to me now!

 The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath & The Dawn | The Rose & The Dagger

There’s a reason this TTT is so aptly named. I PROMISE I WILL READ THIS DUOLOGY BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR, OKAY????

  

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic | A Gathering of Shadows | A Conjuring of Light

See above. Although I’m going to have to take a week’s holiday to binge read these books because boy oh boy, they are maaaaassive.

 

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina | Shadow Scale

A series about dragons and I haven’t read it yet? I feel like Derek from Zoolander. “Who am I?”

 

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes | A Torch Against The Night | Untitled Books 3 & 4

In my defence, I’m going to go down the “but there’s more books in the series and I don’t know if I can deal with the pain of a cliffhanger” route on this series too.

Tags: , , , , ,

See You in September Blog Tour: Charity Norman on Choosing a Setting

Posted June 9, 2017 by Hannah in Blog Tours / 1 Comment

Today I have Charity Norman, author of the thrilling See You In September on the blog, sharing with me about how she chose New Zealand as a setting for her fifth novel. Don’t forget to scroll down for more info on this powerful story of family, faith and finding yourself, as well as check out the other blogs on the tour!

The Rotorua lakes of New Zealand are haunting as well as beautiful. The area’s steeped in Maori legend, alive with geothermal activity: steam and bubbling mud, hot pools and earth tremors.

The lake and mountain at Tarawera have a particularly dramatic history. Legend has it that once upon a time a dreadful sorcerer, Tama-o-Hoi, lived nearby and preyed on travellers. One day he was vanquished and flung into a chasm on Mount Tarawera. He was trapped inside the mountain for centuries, waiting to burst out – in other words, to erupt.

Fast forward to the mid 1800s, when the region became a world-famous tourist destination. They came to see the pink and white terraces, a natural phenomenon made of silica. The terraces were on the shores of a small lake called Rotomahana, at the foot of Mount Tarawera. The local Maori made a living as guides and boatmen.

In the early hours of 10th June 1886, it all came to an end. Mount Tarawera erupted catastrophically. The entire bed of Lake Rotomahana was hurled into the air; villages and landscape were buried in the pyroclastic flow, in rocks and mud and ash. At least a hundred and twenty people died, perhaps many more. People watching the eruption saw the stars go out, and thought they were witnessing the end of the world. To this day you can visit the buried village at Te Wairoa, New Zealand’s version of Pompeii. It’s both fascinating and sobering.

When it came to writing a story about a doomsday cult, I knew exactly where I wanted to set it: on the shores of Tarawera, among all that beauty and peace, in the shadow of a volcano.

It was supposed to be just a short holiday… but when Cassy is lured to an idyllic valley called Gethsemane it’s years before her friends and family see her again. Can her family rescue her before it’s too late? A dazzling, gripping new novel about a young woman lured into a clutches of a doomsday cult by its charismatic leader, Justin.

Cassy smiled, blew them a kiss. ‘See you in September,’ she said. It was a throwaway line. Just words uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

It was supposed to be a short trip-a break in New Zealand before her best friend’s wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they’d see her again.

Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective. Overcome by the peace and beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community’s leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay.

As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched in the group’s rituals and beliefs, her frantic parents fight to bring her home-before Justin’s prophesied Last Day can come to pass.

See you in September by Charity Norman is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.

 Goodreads | Allen & UnwinAmazon | Booktopia | iBooks

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law in the northeast of England. Also a mediator, she is passionate about the power of communication to slice through the knots. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. Her first novel, Freeing Grace, was published in 2010 and her second, Second Chances, in 2012 (published in the UK as After the Fall). The Son-in- Law, her third novel, was published in 2013. Her fourth novel, The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone (published in the U.K. as The New Woman) was published in 2015.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tags: , ,

The Power of Fandom: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Posted June 6, 2017 by Hannah in Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult / 2 Comments

The Power of Fandom: Queens of Geek by Jen WildeQueens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Published by Swoon Reads, Pan Macmillan Australia on 1st May 2017
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
BoffinsDymocksBooktopiaPublisher
Goodreads

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

I started blogging because of a convention.

In 2009, I moved to the UK. Oh so conveniently at the same, Twilight mania was still in full force, and I was, yes, an uber Twi-hard. I was part of a couple of forums online, and had developed some fantastic friendships that I still hold dear to this day. I wrote fanfiction (it’s still on FF.net but it’s terrible, you don’t want to read it). So of course when I heard that there was going to be a convention dedicated solely to Twilight and the stars of the film, my friend and I leaped at the chance to go. We had so much fun that we went three times.

I still remember the excitement of going. It was daunting – but everyone was there for the same reason you were. You got to meet some amazing people – and not just the celebrities! It was at the first convention I went to I met a girl who was a blogger – and honestly, if it wasn’t for meeting her, I don’t know if I’d even fall into the blogging scene. And that would have meant not meeting some of the most amazing people I have today!

If it wasn’t for conventions, I would never have met one of my best friends either. In 2014, I went to an OzComicCon event because one of my favourite actors (yes, Benedict Cumberbatch!) was doing a special Sydney event. Of course I had to go. And in the end, it didn’t just turn in to a day were you met a celebrity you’ve looked up to (literally, he was that tall) for a long time. You forged friendships and met people you wouldn’t necessarily meet – and one small detail bonds you together.

Queens of Geek is a testament to that connection, forged out waiting in long lines and that current running through the house – these are my people. It’s the story of Taylor, a young Australian learning that her anxiety isn’t a barrier. It’s Charlie’s growth in being proud in who she is at heart, and that others don’t define her. It is, essentially, a story for all young women and men out there who are trying to find their place, and that’s what makes this novel so attractive.

Stories like Queens of Geek are essential, I believe, in helping to shape and nurture a young generation who are afraid to be who they are. That they are not defined by pre-disposed boxes or labels. There’s a lot of diversity representation in QoG, and it’s representation that, to my knowledge, is done right. If you don’t believe me, I’d recommend checking out all the amazing reviews on Goodreads. It also fosters and nurtures the idea that you are never alone, no matter how small or insignificant or how different you feel, because chances are, there’s someone out there who feels exactly the same.

Unlike a lot of my fellow readers, unfortunately I didn’t love QoG as much as I wanted to. There’s very little in the way of plot, which considering it takes place over a weekend convention, makes sense. My other main gripe is probably a little insignificant in the scheme of things, but it made me sad that Taylor wanted to go to a U.S. university to study screenwriting when we have amazing locations right here in Australia. While the author and two out of three of the main characters are Australia, the homegrown #LoveOzYA identity was missing from this novel. Whether or not that was because the place setting was supposed to be a mirror of San Diego Comic Con, which is easily recognisable throughout the world, or that the publisher (Swoon Reads) is American based, I felt that it sent a message that Australia wasn’t good enough on the film industry front – which is…ironic, I guess, considering Charlie has just starred in a breakout Aussie film (which, for our industry, is a huge thing, something to be applauded). So the pressure of getting into an international university when we have some outstanding leaders in our own industry was a little hard to fathom. Also because studying at a university overseas for the full degree is not a light decision to make, and also a very costly one. It was all a little…unrealistic?

In saying that, it brings me great joy to see how much Queens of Geek has been embraced by the YA book community. That it brings a smile to people’s faces and touches their hearts is truly what literature is all about. Seeing yourself reflected in these characters and Wilde’s words is what diversity is meant to represent, and that is where this book finds its groove.

“To the weirdos, the geeks and the fandom queens. To the outcasts, the misfits and everything in between. The days of playing sidekick are over. You are the superheroes now. You are my people, and this is for you.”

Image result for jen wilde

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek, and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books, and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (As They Rise), witches (Echo of the Witch), and fangirls (Queens of Geek). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller. When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favourite shows on Netflix, eating Mexican food, traveling to faraway places, and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.

Jen lives in a sunny beachside town in Australia with her husband and their cheeky pug, aptly named Heisenberg.

Website | Twitter |  Youtube | Instagram

Tags: , , , ,

June 2017 New Releases Giveaway Hop!

Posted June 4, 2017 by Hannah in Giveaways / 40 Comments

Hello fellow book lovers! It’s that time of month again, the best time of the month – the New Releases Giveaway Hop! Hosted by the lovely Shannon at It Starts At Midnight, you can find the full list of participants here, or head down to the end of this blog post for more links!

How is it June already?! I honestly don’t know where time has gone. Halfway through the year, halfway through our TBRs – wait, that’s a big lie. We’ll never be done with our TBRs – not with the amazing books coming out this month! I swear every time it gets to June we need to freeze frame the month just so we can catch up on all the books released at the start of the year. There’s soooo many books this month, IDK how I’m going to deal. Especially because I’m on a (dare I say it!) book buying ban!

Anyway! Let’s get down to business!

So let’s without further ado head on to the best part of this post – the giveaway! Normal rules apply, but for those who are new (or don’t remember), here is the gist of it:

ONE (1) winner will win ONE (1) June 2017 New Release to the value of AUD$30. And as long as The Book Depository ships to you, anyone can enter! Not sure if that’s you? Check here. The winners will have 48 hours from me contacting them to say hello, or another winner/s will be chosen. Side note: I am more than happy if the winner wants to choose two books up to the value of AUD$30, but both books MUST be released in June, or else it does not count.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out the other blogs for more chances to win!

And as always…

Tags: , , ,

Jazz & Friendship: Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam

Posted May 15, 2017 by Hannah in Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Jazz & Friendship: Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara LovestamWonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam
Published by Allen & Unwin on 29th March 2017
Pages: 318
Format: Paperback, Finished Review Copy
Source: Publisher
BoffinsDymocksBooktopiaPublisher
Goodreads

A celebration of being a little bit odd, finding your people and the power of music to connect us.

For Steffi, going to school everyday is an exercise in survival. She's never fit in with any of the groups at school, and she's viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she escapes is through her music--especially jazz music.

When Steffi hears her favourite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home on her walk home from school, she decides to go in and introduce herself. The old man playing her favorite song is Alvar. When Alvar was a teenager in World War II Sweden, he dreamed of being in a real jazz band. Then and now, Alvar's escape is music--especially jazz music.

Through their unconventional friendship, Steffi comes to realise that she won't always feel alone. She can go to music school in Stockholm. She can be a real musician. She can be a jitterbug, just like Alvar.

But how can Steffi convince her parents to let her go to Stockholm to audition? And how is it that Steffi's school, the retirement home, the music and even Steffi's worst bully are somehow all connected to Alvar? Can it be that the people least like us are the ones we need to help us tell our own stories?

Wonderful Feels Like This was a beautiful coming of age story, and something completely different from what I’ve been reading recently, and turned out to be a refreshing contemporary about an unlikely friendship between retiree Alvar and schoolgirl Steffi after they discover their mutual love for all things jazz.

Steffi Herrera is a fifteen year old who loves jazz – especially Pavel Romel and wants to be a great musician one day too. Her quiet demeanour doesn’t fit in with the other kids at school, who torment her relentlessly with name calling, slut shaming and more. It’s in her music that she finds solace, and the power of words and lyrics that gives her strength day in and day out. On the way home from school one day, she hears her favourite piece of jazz, and meets Alvar, a resident in a retirement home in her small town of Bjorke. The pair quickly bond over their shared love for Pavel Romel, and Alvar delights Steffi with tales of his adventures growing up in neutral Sweden during World War Two.

The dual narration in this story was one of my favourite parts. Learning about a country I know little about – both historically and in general, was completely refreshing in a spate of generic reads over the past couple of weeks. It was interesting to see and recognise the parallels between both Steffi’s and Alvar’s life growing up – albeit at two very different periods of time. Alvar’s story of a young, nervous country boy moving to the big city of Stockholm at the age of seventeen at the height of World War Two was adorable and heartwarming all the way through, and really touching.  From Alvar’s stories, we get to see Steffi shine as she comes into herself. His stories give her the hope she needs to continue with her music, and to stand up against her bullies. Despite the doubts that every teenager gets, Steffi was able to persevere, knowing that there was something more for her than small town life and that knowledge she carried with her throughout the whole novel.

A surprising (but completely commendable and lovely aspect) was the understated message of diversity throughout the novel. I love reading about different cultures, and don’t do it nearly enough. Steffi might be a Swede, but her father – or Pappita – is Spanish, and it was interesting to see his cultural influence on his family and in Steffi’s life, especially from a non-English speaking perspective. I need to read more novels like this!! Another theme of the novel was identity. Steffi’s bullies often used lesbian as a slur, and this was something Steffi struggled with throughout the book. Because she didn’t find any of her classmates attractive, does this make her a lesbian? And what’s so wrong about that? The way Steffi draws her own conclusions was empowering to say the least.

As much as enjoyed this novel, I found aspects of it lacking at times. I felt like was on the outside looking in – never really connecting with the story. I wish there’d been a bit more depth and exploration between the characters – most of it seemed surface level, never really getting any deeper. I just liked it – I didn’t love it. I wanted so much more – more from the relationship between Alvar and Steffi. I felt that the ending was a little bit too quick, and then it was over. But in saying that, Wonderful Feels Like This was a heartwarming story that all ages will be able to enjoy.

Wonderful Like This by Sara Lovestam is published by Allen & Unwin and is now available from all good bookstores (support your local!) for RRP$29.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Page 1 of 1412345...10...Last »