THE DOLL FACTORY - by Elizabeth Macneal

Published: May 2019 - Picador. 
Genres: Adult / romance / thriller / Gothic / historical fiction.    
Pages: 370.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / explicit sexual content / abuse / animal abuse. 
Format: Hardcover. 
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening ... 

Guest Post: FAVOURITE MOVIES OF 2019 (so far) - Ruby Rae Reads

Hey there. My name is Ruby and I’m from the blog Ruby Rae Reads. I promised this post to Amy ages ago and have only now got to it. Well done me.
I’m a book blogger, and mainly read young adult, but really love middle grade and some adult novels. At one stage, I wanted to be a filmmaker which is why I have such a huge love for movies.

Blog Tour and Book Promo: SEEKER - by Kim Chance

I talk about the Keeper duology a lot, so you're probably not surprised to see this post! Today I'm sharing some more information about the sequel to Keeper: SEEKER, and there's also a giveaway for US readers. You don't want to miss this... 

ECLIPSE THE STARS (Ignite The Stars #2) - by Maura Milan

Published: September 3rd 2019 - Albert Whitman & Company.
Genres: Young adult / romance / adventure / dystopia.    
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence.
Format: eARC.
Source: Edelweiss. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Ia Cōcha never thought she’d be working for the Olympus Commonwealth. But that was before she found out her trusted brother Einn was trying to tear apart the universe. Now, Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, has agreed to help the Royal Star Force on one condition: when she finds him, she gets to kill Einn herself.

Brinn Tarver has just come to terms with her Tawny identity when the public lashes out against her people, crushing her family. At her breaking point, she starts to question everything she believes in—including Ia. After the death of his mentor,

Knives Adams is doing his best to live up to a role he didn’t ask for as Aphelion’s new headmaster. Still, with each new step deeper into war, he feels torn between his duties and the pull of Ia’s radical—sometimes criminal—ideas.

As they fight to keep darkness from eclipsing the skies, their unpredictable choices launch this breathtaking sequel to explosive new heights.

THE STOLEN KINGDOM - by Bethany Atazadeh

Published: August 20th 2019 - Grace House Press.
Genres: Young adult / romance / adventure / retelling / fantasy.    
Pages: 310.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: eARC.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself? 

Arie eagerly anticipates becoming Queen of her humble kingdom. Even when a Jinni’s Gift manifests before her 18th birthday, she fights to hide the forbidden ability. But when a neighbouring king attempts to marry her and steal her kingdom, discovery feels imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.

A Jinni hunter and his crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift. And she must remove it before it’s exposed. Or die trying.

Book Tag: SEEKER - by Kim Chance

I am so excited for the release of Seeker by Kim Chance, which is the sequel and conclusion in the Keeper duology! Having read both books, I can assure you that they are absolute gems in the world of urban fantasy. To celebrate Seeker's upcoming release, I'm participating in the Seeker book tag. If you want to join in, please consider yourself tagged!
Kim is also offering an amazing Preorder Campaign for Seeker, so I encourage you to check that out too...

3 Year Blogiversary! ft. embarrassing facts

I'VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR THREE YEARS! I can't believe it. I've learnt a lot, and I'm still clueless about most things. But I've had fun. I love this space, and I love the people I've met through it. Here's to many more years!

TV Show Talk: I finally watched Stranger Things...

I finally watched all three seasons of Stranger Things!  Ruby first insisted that I watch it months ago, but I only got as far as episode 5 of the first season because I was extremely bored and not invested in the characters. Then, when season 3 hit and the whole world erupted with the impact, I decided to give it another try. And the rest is history. 

Life Update: Writing, Netflix, Bible, Social Media, Exams...

This post is in lieu of a monthly wrap-up, since I haven't written a life update in a while and it's already a few days into August! I can't believe we're more than halfway through 2019. Also, apologies for the long post...I just wrote and unpacked everything that's been going on recently...

A THOUSAND SHIPS - by Natalie Haynes

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: May 2019 - Mantle.
Genres: Adult / historical / mythology / retelling.    
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendos / gory descriptions / rape.  
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them…

In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash . . . The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across oceans and sky in between.

These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all…

THE KINGDOM - by Jess Rothenberg

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: July 2019 - Macmillan's Children's Books.
Genres: Young adult / sci fi / romance / fantasy.   
Pages: 344.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual assault / suicide.  
Format: Paperback ARC.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Welcome to the Kingdom, a dazzling fantasy theme park where 'happily ever after' is not just a promise, but a rule . . . 

It's a fairytale which ends in murder as the one of the 'Fantasists' goes renegade... Ana, a half-human, half-android princess, is tasked with entertaining visitors and making wishes come true, but now she's on trial, after finding herself experiencing emotions and romantic feelings against all her programming.

THE MOMENT OF LIFT - by Melinda Gates

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Flatiron.
Genres: Memoir / non fiction.   
Pages: 273.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Adult themes. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.

In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women's empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge" change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.

Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether and when to have children, Gates took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning. That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.

Product Review: Desk Stand™'s Wavy Sit-Stand Table

Today I'm excited to be sharing with you a product that's made my life a lot easier. A huge thank you to Desk Stand™ for the opportunity! Read on for my review and some photos...

2 Mini Reviews: INTO THE HOURGLASS by Emily R. King and SLUMBER by Becky Bird

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: August 2019 - Skyscape. 
Genres: Young adult / epic fantasy / romance. 
Pages: 286. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: One scene of distressing gory description / violence / mild sexual innuendo. 
Format: eARC.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Everley Donovan’s mission: retrieve the hallowed sword of Avelyn stolen by the wicked Prince Killian, who slayed her family and left her for dead. Should she fail, the seven worlds will come to an end, as could time itself. And no one treasures time more than Everley, whose lifesaving clock heart cannot beat forever. She has set sail with a rogue crew for the otherworlds, where the key to dethroning the prince lies deep within the Land Under the Wave.

But passage through these unknown seas—where horrors lurk and pirates rove—proves a treacherous gamble. The Land Under the Wave was not made for humans, particularly one with a fragile clock heart. Here, Everley’s tragic past resurfaces unsolved questions. Here, too, the prince has hidden secrets more precious than pearls, secrets that could fracture the future forevermore. Everley must take back her sword and break free from this watery world before her time runs out…or so will everyone else’s.

KING OF SCARS (Nikolai duology #1) - by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2019 - Pan Macmillan.
Genres: Young adult / epic fantasy / romance. 
Pages: 527.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Gory descriptions / violence. 
Format: Hardcover.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built.

With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Monthly Wrap-Up: The One With Very Little Reading

I can't believe it's July already! How are you feeling? Are you ready to leap into the second half of the year? I'm overwhelmed by it. It's terrifying, yet thrilling.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2019 - Harper Collins.
Genres: Nonfiction / self help.  
Pages: 240.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

THE GRACE YEAR - by Kim Liggett

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: October 2019 - Wednesday Books.
Genres:  Young adult / dystopia. 
Pages: 416.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Gory descriptions / strong violence / sexual innuendos.
Format: eARC.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

5 Reasons Why I Love Winter

What's your favourite season? Mine's winter! It always has been, and I think it always will be. I always loathe the hot days and the hot months, but when winter comes around I'm the first to grab a fleecy jacket and beanie and make a steaming cup of coffee...

THE NEIGHBOUR - by Fiona Cummins

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Pan Macmillan. 
Genres: Adult / contemporary / thriller.  
Pages: 416. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild sexual innuendos / violence / occasional, disturbing gory descriptions. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

FOR SALE: A lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . . And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune. The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

TV Show Talk: 'Peaky Blinders'

I've decided to start a new serial on my blog where I'll occasionally share a post about a TV show (or aspect of a TV show) on which I have strong feelings. Discussion is encouraged!
In this post, I'm simply going to talk (read: gush) about the BBC TV series Peaky Blinders, and why I love it so much.

May Wrap-Up: The One With My Birthday

May is over! We're almost halfway through the year. What?!

All in all, May was a good month for me. I sold two articles online, I passed my learner's license test, I've started practicing my driving, and it was my birthday. My Instagram is going well, I have so many ideas for blog posts, and I've been working on my WIP. I've also been rewatching The Office (US version) and loving it all over again. It's an amazing series.

There have been some bad mental health days, but the good still outweighs the bad. I'm looking forward to June :) 

4 Writing Lessons From These TV Shows

TV shows are generally assumed to be a source of entertainment. We watch to relax and have fun, and it's wonderful. But I strongly believe that TV shows can teach us something, too - not just from the fictional stories playing out on our screens, but from the writing and production of the show itself. For writers, TV shows are a goldmine. I am constantly learning so much from them.

Today I've chosen to focus on one aspect of each of the below shows for their writing tips. These are TV shows that have personally taught me something about writing. Hope you enjoy the post!

3 Netflix Shows You Need To Binge Watch

In desperate need of a new series to binge? I have you covered with these recent Netflix releases!

Each one irresistible in its own way, the shows below present very different but equally enticing stories, characters, and themes. I hope that at least one of them piques your interest!

5 Story Elements I Love To Write

It's been a while since I've shared a writing-related post, so here's one for today! As I'm sure is the case for most writers, there are some story elements that will pop up in every book we write. Themes, ideas, trends.....aspects of story we always go back to. Here are 5 that can be found in every WIP of mine...

How To Get People To Read Your Blog Posts

We've all been there. We write what we think is a brilliant post, something we're incredibly proud of, and no one reads it. Worse, no one even comments. And we feel like failures. 

Sharing your post around the web is a topic for another post, but today this one is all about the little ways we can attract people to our blog posts. Ways we can get them to click and read.

I hope you find these methods helpful :) At least a little bit!

Blog Tour and Review: BRIGHT BURNING STARS - by A.K. Small

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Bright Burning Stars. Read on for my review and some more info about this debut YA novel...

Characters That Remind Me Of Myself

To give credit where credit's due, this post topic came from That Artsy Reader Girl for the Top Ten Tuesday prompt. I only saw the posts circulating the blogosphere when it was too already too late to join in Top Ten Tuesday, so that's why this post isn't up on a Tuesday ;)

Here are six characters that strongly remind me of myself...

2 Mini Film Reviews: ROBIN HOOD (2018) and A STAR IS BORN (2018)

Robin Hood (2018)

Director: Otto Bathurst. 
Cinematography: George Steel. 
Score: Joseph Trapanese.
Screenplay: Ben Chandler and David James Kelly.
Cast: Taron Edgerton / Jamie Foxx / Jamie Dornan / Ben Mendelson / Eve Hewson. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: PG13 for violence.
Source: Rented.

A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2018 - Harper Collins. 
Genres: Adult / contemporary / drama.  
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Child abuse / strong sexual innuendos / physical and emotional abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice Hart goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.

As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal, and a man who's not all he seems combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

RUN AWAY - by Harlan Coben

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Century.
Genres: Adult / contemporary / mystery / thriller.  
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual innuendos / themes of rape and sexual abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

You've lost your daughter. She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she's made it clear that she doesn't want to be found. Then, quite by chance, you see her busking in New York's Central Park. But she's not the girl you remember. This woman is wasted, frightened and clearly in trouble. You don't stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home. She runs. And you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Where criminal gangs rule, where drugs are the main currency, and murder is commonplace.

Now it's your life on the line. And nowhere and no one is safe.

SEEKER (Keeper #2) - by Kim Chance

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: September 2019 - Flux Books.
Genres: Young adult / urban fantasy / romance. 
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence. 
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Lainey’s normal, bookworm life no longer exists. With her family murdered by the Master, she joins forces with a group of Supernatural rebels. But as she struggles to cope with her new role as Keeper and the uncontrollable power it gives her, Lainey realizes that magic does indeed leave a mark—but it’s not always physical.

Ty isn’t one of the good guys. He’s done terrible things, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants. Even if it hurts. Even if it means betraying the girl he loves…again.

For Maggie, all her comic book dreams have come true, and her new life as a Shifter is just beginning. But with war closing in, is it truly a dream or a death sentence?

In the ultimate battle for power, Lainey, Ty, and Maggie must face-off against the Master, and work together to discover the greatest weapon of all.

Seek and you will find. 

April Wrap-Up: The One With The Exam

We're almost halfway through the year! I'm so excited for May because A) it's almost winter and I love love love winter and B) it's my birthday month. I've also managed to do some things in April I was dreading (but now am proud of) so I'm glad to put it behind me.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Orchard Books.
Genres: Young adult / contemporary. 
Pages: 347.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong violence / child abuse / mental illness. 
Format: ARC paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

2 Mini Reviews: TWISTED by Steve Cavanagh and CLEARING THE DARK by Hania Allen

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2019 - Constable.
Genres:  Adult / thriller / contemporary.
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / graphic descriptions. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When DI Dania Gorska is called to investigate the shooting of a young man on a Dundee street, the nail hammered into his forehead suggests that local gangster, Archie McLellan has left his calling card. Clues point to his involvement in an illegal replica firearms venture, a scam that may include other members of the infamous McLellan family.

The chance discovery of human remains buried in the grounds of Breek House, once owned by the McLellans, convinces Dania the two cases must be related. But who was the mysterious tenant of Breek House at the time the bodies were put into the ground? Identifying them is complicated as all the teeth have been removed - post mortem, to prevent identification? Or was the back room at Breek House used by the McLellans as a torture chamber?

As Dania moves closer to discovering what went on at Breek House she disturbs dangerous secrets from the past which threaten the lives of those in the present...

VIPER (The Isles of Storm & Sorrow #1) - by Bex Hogan

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Hodder and Stroughton.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / adventure. 
Pages: 382.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Infrequent sexual innuendos / strong violence / strong descriptions of gore and torture. 
Format: ARC paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny. 

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles. But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake. He's the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne's father. She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life? 

Romanticised Abuse: Passengers (2016 film)

Our goal is to raise awareness and draw attention to romanticised abuse in films, books, etc, in order to fight it
- Join us! Start posting whenever you want.
- Share examples of romanticised abuse you've seen in books or films - doesn't even have to be a whole book or film; simply one scene is enough, if there's an instance of romanticised abuse in it.

- Please link to my blog as the original creator.
- This is not only about romanticised abusive relationships. It is about romanticised sexual assault, rape, and harassment, as well.
- Please consider the following statement a trigger warning: this blog series explores and draws attention to themes of abuse in fiction. I will discuss sexual assault, abusive relationships, and rape. I will infrequently explore those topics in depth as the fictional example requires it. Please read on with care. These subjects could be triggering.

LITTLE DARLINGS - by Melanie Golding

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: May 2019 - HQ.
Genres: Adult / thriller / mystery.
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild violence / harrowing themes / self harm.
Format: ARC Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

The twins are crying. The twins are hungry.

Lauren is crying. Lauren is exhausted.

Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting...

6 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid

During my early blogging days (way back in 2016) I made a lot of really thoughtless blogging mistakes. The best thing about those mistakes? They taught me something. I'm still learning (obviously) but there have been a few major blogging changes I've made when I realised what I was doing wrong! I hope you find this post interesting.

Monthly Wrap-Up: The One With The Book Sale

Another month is gone and 2019 is speeding by. It's been a good year so far, for me, although the idea of it being April does freak me out a bit. I'll have to start my exams soon, and that's scary. I also really need to get my learner's license. That's utterly terrifying.

My Favourite Films And Why I Recommend Them

I'm actually surprised that I haven't posted on this topic before. Or, well, maybe I have and it's lost somewhere on my blog, but I don't think so...
Anyway. I have a ton of favourite films, but the ones listed here are my absolute faves. They're all so incredible, some of them extremely underrated (at least I think so, lol) and I hope you'll give one or two of them a watch and end up loving them as much as I do!

Blog Tour and Review and Excerpt: WICKED SAINTS - by Emily A. Duncan

This book. People, this book. I could not be happier to share this post with you today, because this novel is about to rock the YA fantasy genre. I simply adored it. It's electrifying, it's frightening, and it's beautifully written. Hope you like the post!

BLOOD ORANGE - by Harriet Tyce

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2019 - Wildfire.
Genres: Adult / thriller / mystery / contemporary.
Pages: 336.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong language / substance abuse / explicit sex scenes / rape / mild gore / violence.
Format: ARC Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems...

Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. 

Alison's client doesn't deny that she stabbed her husband - she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything....

The Bargain Books Warehouse Sale - March 2019

Happy Wednesday everyone! I'm so excited to be talking about my recent visit to the Bargain Books Warehouse Sale, and of course, showing you all the amazing books I picked up :) If you'd like to check out my post from last year's sale, here's the LINK.

Falling In Love With: Friends-To-Lovers

Tropes are tricky things to pull off. They're loved, they're hated, they work terribly, they work well. It all depends. But I guess everyone has at least one trope they're a sucker for, and this post is about my personal favourite. It's a little different from my usual posts. It's a ramble, it's a discussion, and it doesn't have much structure. I just let myself type. It's a bit all over the place, and I apologise for that! I wanted it to be informal.

ENCHANTÉE (Enchantée #1) - by Gita Trelease

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: February 2019 - Macmillan.
Genres: Young adult / historical fantasy / romance.
Pages: 459.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Substance abuse / gambling / inexplicit sexual innuendos / mild violence.
Format: ARC Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire— Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

The Dark Side Of Beloved Fairytales - Part II

Welcome to Part II of the morbid fairytale truths! If you weren't disturbed enough by Part 1, then this ought to do it. I guarantee you won't look at any of these fairytales in the same way ever again. Sexism, abuse,'s here and it's rampant. 

The Dark Side Of Beloved Fairytales - Part I

Researching for this post disturbed me, to say the least. Who knew that fairytales had such dark, shocking origins? Who knew that underneath Disney's sugary romances were tales of abuse, sexism, and murder? To be honest, it worries me that Disney is so quick to wring beautiful romances from grotesque origins and yet do nothing to address those serious themes in their pretty retellings.

DAWN OF COBALT SHADOWS (Burning Empire #2) - by Emma Hamm

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: February 2019.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / romance.
Pages: N.A.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong violence.
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

A tamed dragon may be loyal, but it will forever be free.

Loose from her cage, Sigrid of Wildewyn returns to her homeland with a heavy heart. An army of Beastkin await her orders in a new kingdom made out of animals and forgotten rules. When she begins to lose faith in herself, she embarks on a journey to find her history and that of all the Beastkin.

Far in the desert, Nadir tightens his control over his kingdom. For a time, he’s the Sultan they’ve all waited for. Until an assassin arrives in his palace declaring a legendary warrior has summoned him. A warrior who claims to be his mother. Both struggle to discover their own history, while remaining tied to each other regardless of distance. But a war brews between the kingdoms. Sigrid and Nadir must once again choose between each other, or their people. Only this time, they aren’t certain what they’ll choose. 

International Women's Day: My Favourite Female Characters

Happy International Women's Day! I only remembered it was women's day yesterday, so this post came together very last minute. But it's here. And it's long. Sorry about that ;) I just have so, so many favourite female characters and I wanted to mention as many as I could. Even now, I still haven't managed to list all of them. But without further ado, here they are!