Category: Blog Tours

Cover Reveal: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Posted June 24, 2017 by Hannah in Blog Tours / 1 Comment

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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….

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

A post shared by Hannah (@hannahplusbooks) on

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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!

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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

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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

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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.”

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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

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Girl in Between Blog Tour: An Ode To My Publisher:

Posted May 12, 2017 by Hannah in Blog Tours / 0 Comments

I’m so excited to have Anna Daniels, author of the funny and charming debut Girl in Between, as part of her blog tour! Keep scrolling as Anna talks about her relationship with her publisher, Louise Thurtell, and what it means to have someone just as passionate as you are in your dreams. And keep an eye out tomorrow for my review of Girl in Between, which is in bookstores now!

Hello! I’m typing this to you on Friday 5th May, having just heard the news that my publisher of Girl in Between, Louise Thurtell, is leaving Allen & Unwin after ten years.

Before I start sobbing into the keyboard, there’s a funny story behind Louise and I meeting, so I think I’ll begin with that.

In 2015, my manuscript was shortlisted for the Vogel Award, but at 38,000 words, it was very short, so whilst I knew deep down that Girl in Between would not win the prize, my dearest hope was that a publisher would recognise the potential in my writing, and wish to develop it with me. That person turned out to be Louise Thurtell!

I arrived at the Vogel’s party, held atop the Allen & Unwin terrace in Sydney in April 2016, knowing in the back of my mind that I’d like to meet Louise. I’d done a bit of stalking on the Allen & Unwin website and saw that Louise had started the Friday Pitch submission for A&U because she wanted to encourage more unpublished writers to send her their material. I also read in an interview where Louise particularly loved championing authors from rural and regional Australia, who might feel daunted by the publishing process.

I asked to be introduced to Louise at the party, and when we met, I immediately felt at ease. Louise grew up in Orange and I grew up in Rockhampton, so we got each other as ‘country girls’ from the very first. I told Louise that I’d brought my Mum and Dad along to the awards night, and she said she’d love to meet them. Well, that sparked off a very funny chain of events!

My parents are characters! They’re not as ridiculous as Brian and Denise in Girl in Between, but they’re very funny and lovable and have an uncanny ability to charm and disarm! I introduced Louise to them and walked away to retrieve drinks, and when I turned back I saw that Mum and Dad had Louise wedged between them on a couch! She could not escape!

They all got along like a house on fire, with Louise talking cattle and sheep with my Dad until apparently he at one point said to her, ‘So, are you going to be able to help this daughter of mine out or not?’ Louise then replied, ‘Well, you know her manuscript’s too short…she’d have to write another 40,000 words,’ to which Dad immediately said, ‘Oh Louise! She’d do that in her sleep!’  Too funny. To this day Dad still takes credit for sweet-talking Louise into giving me a publishing deal! He’s dreaming!

From that initial meeting at the Vogel’s party, Louise then requested my manuscript, and wrote back within the week saying she really enjoyed it and hoped we could turn it into an amazing novel. She said she thought I had the talent to do so. I almost fell off my chair when I read her email, and after I jumped up and down and patted myself on the back, I got down to business, workshopping ideas with Louise for how I could develop Girl in Between.

When you’re in the creative industries, you use your talents and pursue your passions, but sometimes you need just one person to believe in and champion you to help you achieve your dreams.

Louise instilled such blazing confidence in me and my writing that I never had a chance to doubt my ability to transform Girl in Between from a novella of 38,000 words to a novel of over 80,000 words…something I never thought I could do.

Girl in Between will be one of the final books which Louise publishes at Allen & Unwin, and I consider myself so lucky and fortunate to have worked with her.

Thanks very much for everything you’ve done for me and all the other debut authors in Australia, Louise. Best wishes for your next chapter!

Anna x

When you’re the girl in between relationships, careers and cities, you sometimes have to face some uncomfortable truths . . . like your Mum’s obsession with Cher, your father’s unsolicited advice, and the fact there’s probably more cash on the floor of your parents’ car than in your own bank account.

Thank goodness Lucy’s crazy but wonderful best friend, Rosie, is around to cushion reality, with wild nights at the local Whipcrack hotel, escapades in Japanese mud baths, and double dating under the Christmas lights in London.

But will Lucy work out what she really wants to do in life and who she wants to share it with?

Girl in Between is a warm, upbeat and often hilarious story about life at the crossroads. Featuring an endearing and irrepressible cast of characters, it will have you chuckling from start to finish.

Goodreads | Dymocks | Amazon AU | iBooks | Booktopia

Girl in Between by Anna Daniels is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.

 

Anna Daniels has enjoyed great success as a comedic storyteller since kicking off her career by winning the ABC’s ‘Comedy Segment of the Year Award’ for an interview with Russell Crowe. She then went on to co-create the ABC’s first online sketch comedy series ‘Tough at the Top’ with Melbourne comedian, Anne Edmonds.

For several years Anna wrote and presented funny upbeat stories for The Project, winning over viewers with her warm, silly, endearing style. Having grown up in Rockhampton, she particularly championed the stories and characters of rural and regional Australia with affection and humour. As well as The Project, Anna has written, presented and/or produced radio, TV and online content for Queensland Weekender, Red Symons’ Breakfast Show, and the BBC One series,  ‘John Bishop’s Australia.’ Anna continues to report for The Project and often presents on ABC Radio Brisbane.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

 

Follow the Blog Tour! Click on the interactive banner below for more great content about Girl in Between!

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Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa Blog Hop

Posted December 7, 2016 by Hannah in Blog Tours / 3 Comments

Hey Guys!

I’m so excited to be part of the 2016 Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa Hop!

For my international counterparts, the Aussie (and Kiwi!) YA Readers & Bloggers group are a bunch of amazing people from Australia and New Zealand who love books, and can be found on Goodreads and Facebook. It’s a wonderful community, and I absolutely love it, and am so happy to be participating in my first Secret Santa Hop!

 

Funnily enough, I didn’t really read as much YA this year as I usually do. I’m definitely branching out in my reading material, and I think because I was so sick mid year and with university, I chose to read historical and contemporary romance over YA…

Wanderlost by Jen Malone // London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard // Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

 

Again, having not read nearly as much YA as I wanted to, means that my #LoveOzYA reads have sorely been lacking. Must get on that next year, I think!

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley // Spark by Rachael Craw

 Stolen by Lucy Christopher // The Special Ones by Em Bailey //The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Hannah has
read 129 books toward
her goal of
200 books.
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HA! The Goodreads Challenge. Oh, the Goodreads Challenge. As you can see, I am terribly behind. Like, 57 books behind, apparently. I have 70 books I need to read to complete my challenge. Why do I always set myself unrealistic goals? Actually, I can answer that one. You see, I challenged my older brother that I could read more books than he…lucky for me, he’s way behind on his own…which means I get a book of my choice! Woo! Silver linings, right?

 

If I had, absolutely had to chose, it would probably be coming back to blogging! I re-started my blog this year, and I’m so happy that I have. More on that later. This year I moved to Sydney, and it’s opened up a whole new world for me, and I’m so glad that I’m able to go to events like #YAFest hosted by Allen and Unwin and Teen Con as part of the Sydney Writer’s Festival. And I’ve absolutely loved being able to meet all of the bloggers!

I’ll be touching on this a bit more in a separate post, but my Top 3 Blogging Goals are:

1. Finally get rid of my Netgalley TBR

2. Figure out how to WordPress once and for all

3. Read (and recognise) more diversely

WHY CAN’T I CHOOSE ALL THE BOOKS????

Honestly, there’s too many, and some of them are pretty much a given (we won’t talk about how Throne of Glass ends in 2017). Here are some that I’m eagerly waiting for though!

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard // Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

  Wait for Me by Caroline Leech // Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B Larson // Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology by SO MANY AMAZING AUSSIES

 

So 2016 has been a bit of a crap year, hasn’t it? One thing I’ve always admired about the OzYA book community is that everyone is so accepting. Everyone is kind, but challenging. Everyone has different backgrounds, different experiences, different cultures, but we’re all united by our love of books. Having been away from Twitter and blogging for so long made it really hard to just “jump” back into the blogosphere, but the OzYA community has made me feel welcomed, new and old friends, and that’s an absolute true blessing!

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1. You’re an inspiration to the #LoveOzYA community!

2. We use the same make up brand (according to a few of your tweets, not stalkerish at all, right?)!

3. You have the most beautiful bookshelves!

 

Check out the other blogs on the hop, read about what we loved about 2016 and see if you can guess the Santees!

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Hungry for Wonderland: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Posted December 1, 2016 by Hannah in Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult / 1 Comment

Hungry for Wonderland: Heartless by Marissa MeyerHeartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on 8th November 2016
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Publisher
BoffinsDymocksBooktopiaPublisher
Goodreads

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, the infamous Queen of Hearts, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favourite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King's marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness and monsters, fate has other plans.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Marissa Meyer and her books. I love her as a person – her writing advice is solid, she’s a beautiful person, and she has a great knack for creating really interesting worlds. However…I just don’t ever seem to enjoy the plots of her books. In saying that, I’ve only read Cinder, and haven’t as yet continued with the series. So I was looking forward to reading Heartless, a fantasy standalone back story to the famous Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Like many, many people, I’ve been a huge Lewis Carroll fan since I was a young girl (thanks Mum!). I can remember pouring through this really old copy of Through The Looking Glass we had and absolutely being besotted with the rhymes, idiocies and illustrations. So whenever a unique retelling or reimagining crops up, I am there faster than the White Rabbit.

The best thing for me about Heartless was the world. Meyer has created a fantastic backdrop to the story, and it’s probably the reason I kept on reading. Heartless has the whole host of Alice characters we know and love coupled with unique twists that will make any Alice fan smile. I also loved how there were sly little references to other nursery rhymes. For example, one of the characters is Sir Peter, a reference to the nursery rhyme Peter, Peter.  The way it was all put together was simply amazing, and I had so much fun reading all the little details, from the flamingos (‘Ah like shrimp’) to the jumble group of Hatta’s tea parties.

Sadly, that’s where things tend to go a bit south for me. Everything else I found…rather boring. Which is a shame, because I really wanted to love this novel. Cath seemed like a character that I could understand solely for her love of food. But even all the references to sweets and pies and chocolate seemed too much. There isn’t a lot of plot going on in Heartless until the last quarter of the book, as this is, essentially, an origin story for the villainous Queen of Hearts we all know from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The plot is simple: Cath wants to open a bakery, but her parents want her to marry the King of Hearts. Then Cath meets Jest, the new court joker, and everything evolves from there. I can see where Meyer was wanting to go with this – the whole idea of living your own destiny, following your own heart and not the wishes of others – but it just didn’t resonate with us. I felt as if Meyer had spent so much time creating such a wonderfully vivid world that the characters and the plot were swept aside. Even the romance seemed forced, and for a book that’s over 400 pages long, way too instalove for my liking. I would have preferred to get to see Jest and Cath’s feelings develop slowly, rather than all at once. In saying that, my favourite character was probably Hatta, aka the Mad Hatter, and I think Heartless is well worth the read for his story alone.

It’s sad when something doesn’t quite live up to its full potential, but if you don’t mind a (very) slow plot and can look past instalove for the great world building, Heartless definitely belongs on your TBR.

Check out the other blogs on the Australian Heartless blog tour below!

 

 

 

 

 

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