The Plastic Throne: Children’s Picture Book Review

The Plastic Throne by Amani Uduman & Kera Bruton
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publication: 1st March 2021
Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing
Source: Review copy from the publisher – Thank You
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

Denver flushes all kinds of things down the toilet but never stops to think about what happens to them once they are gone. One night, while he sleeps, the ocean begins to stir, no longer able to suppress its fury over how it is being treated. Can Denver and his sister Maisy make things right before it is too late?

This engaging story touches on the concepts of sustainability and the protection of our natural environment all while keeping a tongue placed firmly in its cheek.

LINKS: GoodreadsBooktopiaAngus & RobertsonDymocksBoomerang Books.

When a four-year-old asks you to read a book three times in a row you know you are onto a winner, especially if it is one aiming for environmental education, and this was the case when I read The Plastic Throne from children’s author and primary school teacher Amani Udman and debut illustrator Kera Bruton with my boys.

The story follows a little boy named Denver as he flushes the veggies, he does not want to eat down the toilet. When this works well for him, he starts flushing broken toys, the cat, his sisters’ bike – anything he does not like or wants to hide. Obviously, this back-fires, comedically so, and the ocean swells with rubbish engulfing his town in rubbish, water, and ocean creatures. Denver realises the error of his ways with the help of his sister Maisy, and they try to rectify his mistakes.

The Plastic Throne is a bright and colorful picture book with an engaging story and artwork. The ending of the story opens the opportunity for deeper conversations with children about the responsible conservation of the earth’s environment and how to dispose of rubbish responsibly. And it is a read I highly recommend.

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Footprints On The Moon: Review

Footprints On The Moon by Lorraine Marwood
Genre: Historical Verse novel, #LoveOzYA/MG
Publication: February 2nd, 2021
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Source: @AusYaBloggers Tour
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Rating: ✵✵✵✵

Humans are about to leave footprints on the moon, but what sort of mark can one girl make here on earth?

It’s 1969 and life is changing fast. Sharnie Burley is starting high school and finding it tough to make new friends. As the world waits to see if humans will land on the moon, the Vietnam War rages overseas. While her little cousin, Lewis, makes pretend moon boots, young men are being called up to fight, sometimes without having any choice in the matter. Sometimes without ever coming home.

Dad thinks serving your country in a war is honourable, but when Sharnie’s older sister, Cas, meets a returned soldier and starts getting involved in anti-war protests, a rift in their family begins to show. Sharnie would usually turn to her grandma for support, but lately Gran’s been forgetting things.

Can she find her own way in this brave new world?

About The Author: Lorraine Marwood was born and raised in rural Victoria and has lived for most of her married life on a dairy farm with her husband and their six children. Lorraine is an award-winning poet who has been widely published in literary magazines across Australia, as well as magazines in the UK, USA, New Zealand and Canada. She has also published several children’s novels and collections of poetry.

Author Links: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | UQP Australia | Goodreads


Set in 1969 this verse novel by award-winning Aussie poet Lorraine Marwood follows the life of Sharnie as she navigates the first year of high school. Not only is Sharnie dealing with everything that happens when you start growing up – Friendships changing, making new friends and losing old, learning how to navigate bullies and the rules of high school – she can also tell her Grandma mind is starting to slip, that’s already so much to deal with emotionally, and I haven’t even touched on the War and Moon landings.

At the start of the book, Sharnie and her sister Cas are starting to drift apart. I loved seeing them coming back together by the end of the book, it was one of the highlights for me. As was Sharnie growing as a person and coming to realize how complicated life and the big and wild world is. Another highlight was Sharnie embracing Gail, whose brother was killed Vietnam War, and the beautiful and meaningful friendship they develop.

The moon landing plot was always in the background, and with the addiction of Sharnie’s space-obsessed little cousin, it provided relief from what is actually a very sad story.  I will be honest and say that I cried A LOT reading this book, every time their Grandma was mentioned it ripped me apart.

The War, conscription, and anti-war protests also feature heavily, but nothing is ever so descriptive that this book would be unsuitable for young audiences. I actually think this book is a magnificent time capsule for 1969 Australia – but this story is also timeless and universal, and one I will be encouraging my boys to read once they are a little older.

Check out the rest of the tour HERE.

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

For Eternity: Queer-Review

57053135. sy475 For Eternity by Samantha Calcott
Genre: M/M, BDSM, Paranormal, Romance (Queer Novella)
Publication: February 14th, 2021
Source: Review copy from Author – Thank You
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Rating: ✵✵✵✵

After World War Three, the world is scourged by vampires, and the only hope of stopping them lays in the hands of nineteen-year-old Desi Duponce. He has an idea, but in order for it to come to fruition, he must collaborate with the older wizard Oscar Scott. Desi didn’t expect his new partner to be so alluringly handsome. In addition to fighting the vampires, Oscar teaches him much more than he expected as he shows Desi the true pleasures of being his submissive.


For Eternity was a valentine’s day release, sadly I did not get it read in time. I will say that I think It would make for a fantastic date-night with yourself read, or you could read it to someone – either way 😊.

The romance/sex is male on male, so step away if you are afraid.

The two main characters are the younger Desmond Duponce, who lost both parents to vampire attacks when he was a babe. And the older Oscar Scott, whose reputation as a potion’s master proceeds him. The unlikely duo ends up spending six months together down in Oscar’s Lab developing more than just an airborne weapon to be used in the war on vampires, they also develop a deep and loving Dom and Sub relationship. The romance is cheeky and fun sometimes, and hot and heavy other times.

I really enjoyed this romance novella. It was short, sweet, and sexy – yes, even BDSM can be written into a fast and fun read. I would love to read more from this world Ms. Colcott has created and see more of WW3 and the Nuclear Vampires.

All in all, I found that For Eternity had a good balance of world-building and action (warcraft and sexual). Part paranormal horror, part romance, part BDSM erotica – you might be surprised at how well-rounded this story is, and by the twist at the end.


About the Author: Samantha Calcott is a secret lover of romance when it’s done right, and after years of writing under another pen name in the horror and paranormal genres, she decided to dip her toe into a brand new genre.

She’s a Midwestern girl who spent nearly a decade in the gritty heart of Los Angeles, where sex, drug, and rock n’ roll reign.

When not writing, she’s reading, at a concert, or cooking. She currently lives in Chicago. She also writes horror and paranormal books as USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Girl of the Southern Sea: Review

GIRL OF THE SOUTHERN SEA By Michelle Kadarusman
Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary
Publication: February 2nd, 2021
Publisher: University Queensland Press
Source: Review copy received as part of the @AusYABloggers tour, THANK YOU.
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Rating: ✵✵✵✵

A gifted student, Nia longs to attend high school so she can follow her dream and become a writer. She has notebooks filled with stories she’s created about the mythological Dewi Kadita, Princess of the Southern Sea. But her family has barely enough money for food, let alone an education, so Nia’s days are spent running their food cart and raising her younger brother.

Following a miraculous escape from a bus accident, Nia is gifted with good-luck magic. Or at least that’s what everyone’s saying. Soon their family business is booming and there might even be enough money to return to school. But how long can her good luck last?

When a secret promise threatens everything she’s hoped for, Nia must find a way to break the mould and write her own future.

About The Author:  Michelle’s first middle-grade novel The Theory of Hummingbords was nominated for the OLA Silver Birch Express, MYRCA Sundogs and SYRCA Diamond Willow awards. Her novel Girl of the Southern Sea was a 2019 Governor General’s Award finalist, USBBY Outstanding Book and Freeman Book Award Honorable Mention. Her new novel, Music for Teens, released in 2020.

Michelle grew up in Melbourne, Australia and has also lived in Bali, Surabaya and Jakarta in Indonesia. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada. You can find her @ Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.


The story opens in the slums of Jakarta Indonesia with POV Nia trying to get her drunken father home. A series of events (no spoilers here) leaves 14-year-old Nia’s father MIA and sees her having to work the Family’s banana cart by herself to feed herself, her 5-year-old brother Rudi, and to pay off their fathers’ debts.

Nia has had to play the role of mother to her little brother since their mother died giving birth to him. Even with this, Nia has no hated or resentment towards Rudi, rather she looks at having him as still having a piece of her mum to hold. She does come to, and rightly so, resent her father’s addiction to alcohol.

Nia is a natural-born storyteller, and she yearns to attend high school, and later become a writer. But sadly, in Nia’s part of the world, the government schools are only free until the end of middle school and Nia does not have enough money for the fees to attend high school. Even though I am trying to be spoiler-free, I will say that I love that Michelle included the stories that Nia writes her little brother and friends, so that the reader can enjoy them too.

At 14 Nia’s character is age-wise on the border of middle grade and young adult, Girl of the Southern Sea has been written for the MG market. The story is quick and engaging, written in a beautifully simple and flowing style. And fear not, the story does have a happy ending. Everything does not end all fairytale and fluffy, but the reader is left with the hope that things will improve for Nia, thanks to her being a hard worker and never giving up on her dreams.

Ultimately Girl of the Southern Sea is a story of never giving up or losing hope. A story of holding onto your dreams and working hard to make them a reality.

Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
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Before the Beginning: #loveozya Review

The story of four friends, a mysterious stranger, and the week when everything changed. For fans of We Were Liars.

Schoolies week: that strange in-between time when teenagers move from school into the adult world. It’s a week when anything is possible, and everything can change.

Grace is questioning everything she thought about herself, and has opted not to join her clique of judgemental friends for schoolies, instead tagging along with her brother Casper and his friends. Casper, an artist, is trying to create the perfect artwork for his uni application folio. Overachieving, anxiety-ridden Noah is reeling from a catastrophe that might have ruined his ATAR result. And Elsie is just trying to figure out how to hold their friendship group together.

On the first night of the trip, they meet Sierra, a mysterious girl with silver-grey hair and a magnetic personality. All of them are drawn to her for different reasons, and she persuades them to abandon the cliched schoolies experience in favour of camping with her on a remote, uninhabited island. On that island, each of them will find answers to their questions. But what does Sierra want from them?

An empathetic and suspenseful coming-of-age story from the author of All That Impossible Space.


Before the Beginning by Anna Morgan, published September 29th, 2020. I received a review copy from Hachette via the #AusYABloggers – Thank You! 

Anna Morgan’s writing captured me from the first page. I loved this book way more than I was expecting to. I went into this book thinking it was a contemporary coming of age tale, it is that, but it is also so much more. My Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

This “schoolies” story is split up into five parts and is told through multiple points of view as the plot progresses.

The first narrator we meet is Grace. She is extremely endearing, and I was immediately drawn to her. Grace is at a point in her life where she is finding her church and her friend group does not fit her anymore (hence why she is spending schoolies with her brother’s mates). Nothing makes me happier than normalised sexual diversity, so Grace getting to have her first girl on girl kiss on the island and getting to journey with her as her entire world shifts, was bliss. While we are inside Grace’s head, we find out how lost and alone she is feeling. But also, how worried she is for her brother’s future too, even if for the most part he treats her dismissively and she always feels she has to compete with him and make up for his shortcomings.

The second narrator we meet is Noah. Oh, what a beautiful Bubba Boy. I just wanted to hug Noah and take him to therapy. This kid made the mother in me rear up, I wanted to help this kid. I wanted to nurture this kid. I saw a lot of my eldest son in Noah and it made my heartache. The poor bub has crippling anxiety and is way too hard on himself. He is super smart and a total sweetheart. While we are inside Noah’s head, we find out how pressure is on him to succeed and we see him crumble and break – thankfully he has good mates to help put him with some much-needed RNR and moral support.

The third narrator we meet is Casper at just around the halfway mark of the story. I really did not like Casper until I got to be in his head. He tends to get lost in his own head, losing track of the real world, and sometimes really struggles to get out and is left feeling a little out of sync. With the end of his chapters, we get to experience him realising what a dick he had been, but also the story really ramps up in suspense and action.

The fourth narrator we meet is Elsie. Oh Elsie, she is trying to get over her crush on her bestie, trying to figure out what she wants to do after school, who she wants to be, and trying to hold her group of friends together. Elsie and Grace were quite standoffish at first and I loved seeing their friendship grow.

For the fifth and final part of the story narration swaps back to Grace.

I have talked about the others, so now I must mention the last of all the main characters, the one who pushes the plot along to its flaring conclusion, but does not get to narrate the story. The one teen who was a stranger to the rest of them in the beginning. Oh, Sierra! Is she the ghost of a girl who died on Shearwater Island, or just a copycat using her name, or is she something else, perhaps a mythical creature from the sea? I do not want to tell you what I think about who or what Sierra is (I changed my mind a few times along the way). I want you to meet her and make up your own mind.

This book touches on faith, sexuality, sibling rivalry, growing up, the pressure put on kids relating to final exams, and picking the perfect careers. Each of the four friends’ journeys was beautiful, full of reflection and personal growth, their time on the island only strengthening their bonds of friendship.

BEFORE THE BEGINNING is a phenomenal read, a cut above the rest, and it will stay with you for quite some time.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna was born in Sydney, but spent most of her childhood surrounded by mountains in Nepal and Tibet while her parents were part of an international community of health professionals. Navigating this cross-cultural life made her a curious observer of people, although most of her time was spent reading Enid Blyton and dreaming of going to boarding school. This did not cushion the shock of shifting from home-school in Tibet to an all-girls high school in Melbourne when her family returned to Australia. All That Impossible Space explores some of the intense and convoluted friendships that thrive in this setting. Anna completed a MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in 2015, and now lives in Melbourne with her husband. She works as a bookseller.
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The Secret Life of Stars: Review

We all know the Sun, the powerhouse of our solar system, but what about Luyten’s Flare, the Rosino-Zwicky Object or Chanal’s variable star? For those whose curiosity takes them far beyond Earth’s atmosphere, The Secret Life of Stars offers a personal and readily understood introduction to some of the Galaxy’s most remarkable stars.

Each chapter connects us to the various different and unusual stars and their amazing characteristics and attributes, from pulsars, blue stragglers and white dwarfs to cannibal stars and explosive supernovae. With chapter illustrations by Eirian Chapman, this book brings to life the remarkable personalities of these stars, reminding readers what a diverse and unpredictable universe we live in and how fortunate we are to live around a stable star, our Sun.


A book on Astrophysics aimed at teens, yes please! Science was one of my favourite classes in high school (that and Art & Drama, yes, yes, strange mix I know).

From the moment Lisa introduced herself at the start, just the vibe I got from reading her introduction, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I was going to love this book or the intense pull it would awaken in me to stop, slow down, and gaze up at the stars with a reinvigorating sense of wonder.

Before taking a stroll around the known universe one Star at a time, The Secret Life of Stars kicks off close to home, talking about the bringer of our life, the marvel that is our sun.

“At around 6 billion years old, the sun is in the middle age of her life. And before you ask, yes, the sun is a woman. How do I know? She holds down a steady job (heating and lighting the solar system), provides for a family of eight and hasn’t taken a holiday in 4.6 billion years.”

All hail the sun!!! and a high five and hug to Lisa, a woman showing up for girls in Science!

The pure love and worship of the universe around us and all the infinite number of stars in existence shines through in Lisa’s sometimes humous, always fascinating words.

Lisa has written an informative and interesting delve into the universe around us in an easily accessible way. Ha, maybe if they wrote textbooks like this more kids would be entranced by not only Astrophysics and Astrology, but Sciences as a whole!

I have been in a reading funk lately, struggling to focus on fictional tales and The Secret Life of Stars was a like an invigorating dip in the ocean, or use a different analogy, like a breath of fresh air. It is a perfect conversation starting coffee table book, a perfect read a little here and there book, and it is also engaging enough to read in a cover to cover marathon. I kept finding myself reading passages out loud to my other half Shane. The Secret Life of Stars has rekindled a stargazing passion for us both. And has us intending to save up for a decent telescope and muck around with Astro-Photography to make use of our old SLR in the meantime.

Who would like this book: This book may have been aimed at teens in its conception, but at 33 I can tell you it’s not just for teens. Maybe you know a stargazer, a dreamer, a sci-fi lover, a lover of all things science, or even a lover of travel – maybe it’s you – then The Secret Life of Stars would make a fantastic special treat, birthday or Chrissy gift.

There isn’t much more I can say, so I will leave you with this quote: “Every atom of iron on planet Earth was made inside a star. That goes for every atom of iron in your blood, too… Next time you look at your veins, or use a compass, or don’t die in a shower of lethal cosmic radiation, be grateful to the unnamed relic of a cosmic behemoth who gave its life that we might live. Our ancestor star, our gentle giant of the skies.”


Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, astronomer, author and Women in STEM ambassador looks up at the moon.Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astronomer and Professor at the University of New South Wales. She has a talent for making complicated science seem simple and fun. Lisa is a regular on national tv/radio/media and has appeared in several TV series and documentaries as a guest scientist and is a presenter alongside Prof. Brian Cox on ABC TV’s Stargazing Live. 

image2194In 2018 she was appointed as the Australian Government’s Ambassador for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). As an Ambassador Lisa is responsible for increasing the participation of women and girls in STEM studies and careers across Australia. She is also a vocal advocate for building inclusive workplaces for LGBTQI+ scientists.

Find out more about Lisa here > https://lisaharveysmith.com/biography

Links: Goodreads | Thames & Hudson Australia & Lisa’s Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Follow the Australian Bloggers tour HERE.

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THERE’S A ZOO IN MY POO: Children’s Review

THERE’S A ZOO IN MY POO
By PROFESSOR FELICE JACKA
AND ROB CRAW
Genre: Children’s, Non-fiction
Publication: 28 July 2020
Publisher: PAN MACMILLAN AUSTRALIA
Source: Review copy from publisher – Thank You
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

World expert in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry and gut health, Professor Felice Jacka and teacher and musician Rob Craw have created one of the first gut-health picture books aimed at kids: There’s a Zoo in my Poo.

Exciting new science tells us now that an unhealthy gut can contribute to a wide range of health issues including obesity and depression. And for children, a poorly functioning gut may contribute to stomach aches, poor immunity, allergies and asthma, and mood fluctuations.

There’s a Zoo in my Poo is a funny, entertaining and informative look at gut-health, encouraging kids to become the Zookeepers to the trillions of tiny bugs that live in and on all of us. It’s designed to give kids the knowledge and power to make healthy choices for themselves.
An important, timely, and engrossing introduction to gut health for kids (and their parents), who will learn which are the good bugs and which are the bad, and what we should eat to keep our good bugs happy and our body strong.

Fun and educational, There’s a Zoo in my Poo gets to the guts of what makes a healthy, happy you!

About the author and the illustrator:
Professor Felice Jacka is an international expert in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry and gut health and leads a research field examining how individuals’ diets affect mental and brain health. Rob Craw is a teacher, musician, and illustrator, who shares Jacka’s passion for educating everyone, especially kids, about the importance of healthy eating.

LINKS: Goodreads | Pan Macmillan | Booktopia | Amazon

I had only just finished opening the Pan Mac postal pack and placed the book on my desk when Ethan spotted it, picked it up and proclaimed “Ohhhh, can you read this to me mummy” – So that’s a win for the overall physical look of the book – it looks just like a little kids picture book with its bright glossy hardcover and full-colour pages printed on high-quality paper.

The artwork is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, as are the chapter headings and the little poems that accompany them.
Dr. Seuss vibes! always a win in my book!

The main text of the book is interesting and informative, delving into how the gut actually works digesting food, fueling the body, the connection between mood and food and so much more. As an adult, I can appreciate the way the author has organised the data and facts into something digestible for a younger audience, and I applaud the book’s good intentions, but my two did struggle with the large info blocks. We took two breaks while reading it, poping in two just-for-fun silly picture books for a rest and that seemed to do the trick for Riley (7-yrs-old) at least, who afterward said he liked the book.

So Riley (7) and I liked it, but Ethan (3) lost interest once we got to the large chunks of text – I’d say, this is a book best suited for 6 to 10 year olds. I can see it being a classroom hit, with the teachers and primary school students, which is what I think the author was going for.

At the back of the book are some gut health recipes with fun titles! I am keen to make some of these with the boys, as I think the funny names and being apart of making the food concoctions might just get them excited enough to get the courage to try eating them – big win right there!

Physical appearance/feel – 5/5.
Dr. Seuss vibes – 5/5.
Books educational content – 5/5.
Overall reading enjoyment – 3/5.
The recipes – 5/5.

Conclusion: THERE’S A ZOO IN MY POO is a book that well worth the read with your 6-10 year old – They’ll learn something and you just might too.

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The Diary of a Late Bloomer

The Diary of a late bloomer by L.M.L. Gil
Genre: Coming of Age, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Source: Review copy from Xpresso – Thank You
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Follow the Tour
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

Every wallflower blooms at their own perfect time, but some like quirky Lo, take longer than others.

Lo is a sheltered 20-year-old who loves baking, manga/anime, and octopi. When she spots her college swim team’s tryout flyer sporting her favorite sea creature, an octopus she knows it’s a sign that she must join the Flying Octopi. The only things standing her way are her social awkward nature and the fact that she just learned to swim.

Will Lo find her place to shine or will her social anxiety DQ her dreams?

Late Bloomer is a new adult novel that is a cross between Bridget Jones’s Diary, Baywatch and Kuragehime.


My thoughts: The Diary of a late bloomer was a blissful slow burn of a book, that I ended up adoring. The story is told in the format of diary entries written by the POV character, each day for five months (First entry Sept 3rd, 2003, last entry Feb 29th, 2004). The diary style in which this is told felt unique and as the reader, I felt as if I was reading a personal journal and like I was looking into Lo’s mind.

The story opens with Lo running late to swim team tryouts. She taught herself to swim over the summer, with the help of books, and really isn’t that good. But the coach takes pity on her and allows her on the team, even going as far as to come up with special training routines to help her become as capable as her other teammates – it’s actually super sweet now that I look back at it, he could have just turned her down – At first, she struggles with the grueling routines of the swim team, but grows to appreciate it as her fitness level increases.

Lo comes across as a bit stilted at times, but that grows on you and ends up being kinda adorable. She’s 20, has had hardly any adult life experiences, and oh boy does she wine a lot in the beginning. But that all starts to make sense as we see how overprotective her mother is and the life she leads at home with her brother and parents.

For the most part of the story, Lo is very down on herself after years of schoolyard bullying. It is glorious to see her come out of her shell. We see her go to her first concert without parental supervision, learn how to navigate friendships and dating, have her first kiss, and *spoiler* her first boyfriend. It was enjoyable watching Lo’s character grow, to see her stop making excuses and start moving forward with her life.

I would have loved a prequel showing the swim team still kicking, (person who I’m not naming as it’s a big spoiler) and Lo awkwardly in love and (that same person) spending more time with Lo’s family.

Summary: this book is a clean slow burn romance that will warm your heart.

NOTE! You do not need to be into swimming to enjoy this book!


Watch the book trailer HERE.  Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

L.M.L. Gil is a writer, a reader, and a dreamer. When she is not writing, editing, or thinking about her next story, she is either in the kitchen testing out a new recipe or snuggling with her fur munchkins reading.

As a glutton, she equates a good novel to a scrumptious dessert, which leaves your heart a little lighter and a smile on your face. She hopes her novels provide a sweet treat without the calories

You can find her HERE.

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Mister Invincible: Review

Mister Invincible: Local Hero by Pascal Jousselin
Genre: Childrens, Graphic Novel
Publication: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: Magnetic Press
Source: Review copy from Netgalley – Thank You
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Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵

Winner of the BEST MIDDLE GRADE COMIC Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair! There’s a new superhero in town — Mr. Invincible! Sure, he wears a mask and cape and helps widows and orphans as any self-respecting hero would, but he also thwarts the mad scientists and bad guys with his amazing super-power that makes him the only true comic book hero: he can reach outside the comic strip panels to affect both space and time! By breaking the boundaries of ‘comic book physics’ he and his companions are able to do amazing things that are only possible thanks to the magic of comics! A wholly unique and creative twist on conventional comic-book reading experience, this wacky Middle Grade title will put your imagination to the test!


Mister Invincible: Local Hero was a quick, fun and humours read. I quite liked the way Mister Invincible can reach through the story panels, breaking the fourth wall. Mister Invincible moves around the panels and pages grabbing things from the future and positioning himself perfectly to stop the bad guys.

Mister Invincible outsmarts evil supervillains (two reoccurring), befriends wayward teens who have their own superpowers and takes on one such teen as an apprentice, travels from France to America to help the president, saves cats stuck up trees – all sorts of things – Sometimes solo and sometimes with the aid of one of his sidekicks (one a local police officer and the other his superhero apprentice).

I do not know much about this series other than the synopsis grabbed my attention and that it has been translated from French. It reads like it was a weekly web or newspaper series that has been compiled and published together in a paperback format – it had major Sunday newspaper vibes for me. This book is filled with smaller standalone stories, which I think makes it a perfect coffee table book that you could pick up and read a few pages of here or there, as well as it also being entertaining enough to read in one sitting, cover to cover, as a whole.

I read this as an eARC from Netgalley and I am thinking that I will buy a printed edition when it comes out in August for my eldest son Riley, as I think he would find Mister Invincible rather fantastic!

All in all, Mister Invincible is a fun for all ages comic, that’d I recommend for anyone after some light-hearted reading.

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Bottle Rocket: Adult Review

53415380. sy475 Bottle Rocket (So Over the Holidays #3)
by Erin McLellan
Genre: Contemporary, 18+ Romance
Publication: June 15th 2020
Publisher: Erin McLellan
Source: Review copy from A Novel Take PR – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵

Freshly single Rosie Holiday is on the hunt for passion and excitement. This leads her to Leo Whittaker—a bad boy who waltzed out of town, and her life, thirteen years ago. Leo isn’t the type to stick around, but Rosie’s not going to let a no-strings opportunity pass her by.

When a business trip sends Leo back to his hometown, the last thing he expects is for his first love to hand him a list of scorching-hot escapades and a deadline. He’s happy to help Rosie discover her bossy side in the bedroom. Or in a fireworks stand. Or at a Fourth of July barbecue.

Their chemistry burns bright and fast, but what tore them apart years ago is still between them. They are polar opposites. A reserved kindergarten teacher and an irreverent artist. A nester and a wanderer. It will take a spark of imagination and a lot of love to keep their second-chance romance from flaming out.

Bottle Rocket is a queer second chances romance that releases today (June 15, 2020). Happy book birthday Erin!!!!

WARNING: this is an adult read and there are graphic depictions of female with male and male with male sex. There is also an orgy at a sex party (m/f/f/m), but that is not delved into all that descriptively. All sexual encounters are respectful and consensual.

Bottle Rocket is the third book in the So Over the Holidays series, but each can be read as a standalone. While there are cross over characters, each book has a different main character and a different Holiday is celebrated. The first book focuses on Middle sister Sasha and Christmas, the second book being about baby brother Benji and Valentine’s day. Then this the third book focuses on the eldest sister Rosie and the fourth of July.

I enjoyed meeting Benji and William, and experiencing their romance in Candy Hearts, so I jumped at the chance to read Bottle Rocket. I went in with high expectations and I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed. Now I just need Erin McLellan to write a queer holiday romance that has some leading lesbians, or a lesbian and a bisexual, and then this series would be real winner for me.

STORY SUMMARY: Rosie divorced and down on herself, runs into ex Leo at a painting class – Leo unexpectedly is the naked male model. After 13 years the two reconnect via a six day no strings attached sex pact. Throughout their weeklong fuck fest, both keep battling their old resurfacing emotions.

Happily, by the end of the story, Rosie has found herself again – Yes, the story isn’t all about sex, there are important messages of finding fulfillment within one’s self, the importance of family and friendship and balance.

I really appreciated the Epilogue of two years later, checking in on the characters and how their relationship has progressed – it made for a happy and heart-warming ending.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is after a super cute romantic pick-me-up type read – if you can handle the heat.
All in all, Bottle Rocket is a super cute, hot, humorous, and fun second chance at love story.
A happily-ever-after read, that I thoroughly enjoyed.


About the author: Erin McLellan is the author of the Farm College, So Over the Holidays, and Storm Chasers series. She enjoys writing happily ever afters that are earthy, emotional, quirky, humorous, and very sexy. Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up queer contemporary romances set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.

Connect with Erin: Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Bookbub |

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