December 31, 2009

Old School Ties

Old School Ties by Kate Harrison

Everything Changes, But Its Always The Same!


Tracey Mortimer was a queen; she was a leader in fashion, had the best looking boyfriend and always got what she wanted. But that was back in 1984 when she was seventeen. Now Tracey is 33, she's a boring suburban house mum, with an unfaithful husband and has since learnt that you don't always get everything you want.

Tracey's life has not turned out as she might have imagined when she was seventeen, and now more and more Tracey is thinking about her glory days when she was queen of the school and life was simpler. So when the opportunity presents itself for her to step back in time, by way of a school reunion, Tracey jumps at the chance. But not everyone is as excited as she to walk down memory lane.

A school reunion sounded like a good idea at the time, but as the reunion approaches Tracey finds her life unravelling. She has no career to speak of, her marriage is falling apart, her children are unhappy, and she has no real friends. Tracey begins to wonder if this reunion idea was such a good idea at all, especially now it seems she may be attending it alone.

In Old School Ties Tracey is forced to look to her past to find the means to move on in the future. This is a book about growing up and making mistakes; about realising that not everyone is the same, and not everyone remembers the same. A book that has something for everyone, it's a witty and entertaining story with attitude.
On sale: 05 January 2010
Price (AU): $22.99
ISBN: 9781409102335
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: School
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: possibly
Star rating: three out of five
xx

December 28, 2009

Dreaming of Amelia

Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

To Dream, To Time Travel, To See Ghosts!


The final year of high school is a year full of changes, messing about, dreaming of the future, farewells, and of cause exams. But at Ashbury High, it is also a year full of ghosts. There are two new students attending Ashbury High this year, Amelia and Riley, and there is something very different about them, but no one can quite guess what...

Amelia and Riley are hiding a secret, actually they are hiding more then one secret, but the secret that brought them to Ashbury High for their final year of high school has something to do with their new class mate Lydia.

Lydia, however, seems to be the one person at Ashbury High who is not interested in Amelia and Riley. Emily, one of Lydia's best friends, has becomes increasing obsessed with the new students; and also with a ghost that's haunting the school. While Tobias, another class mate, finds himself drawn further and further into the past. But somehow it all seems related to Amelia and Riley.

Dreaming of Amelia is a ghost story like you've never read before. Told through exam answers, essays, emails and blog entries, it is unique in its format. However, all the chopping and changing in this book seemed to draw the story out unnecessarily long, it also made it difficult to finish this book as it kept loosing my attention. While the story (when you get to it) is somewhat interesting, there was way too much back tracking and too many versions of the same events given over and over to keep this book from flowing.
On sale: 01 November 2009
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9780330425278
Recommended age: 13+
In a word: Ghosts
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: possibly
Star rating: three out of five
xx

December 24, 2009

Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush! by Margaret Wild
illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo

A Walk Through The Reeds To Create A Sleepy Hush!


Baby Hippo couldn't sleep; he was too awake and too full of energy for sleep. Baby Hippo played and rolled about, he wriggled and moved, and still he was too full of energy for sleep. Baby Hippo turned upside down and stood on his head, he waggled his legs and moved them about in the air, and still he was too full of energy for sleep.

It was time for Baby Hippo to sleep; his mum was calling him to sleep. But Baby Hippo was not sleepy, so he decided to take a walk instead. He trotted through reeds, mud, rocks, grass and trees. Along the way Baby Hippo meet with all kinds of baby animals, all with their mums, being called to sleep. Baby Hippo wanted his mum, he wanted to go to sleep.

Hush, Hush! is enchanting and warm. Baby Hippo's walk is highlighted by gorgeous and delightful illustrations that compliment its light and musical narrative. It's a lovely story of mothers and their babies, for mothers and their babies. A story both whimsical and sincere that will be well loved.
On sale: 01 November 2009
Price (AU): $24.99
ISBN: 9781921272868
Recommended age: 3+
In a word: Hush
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to children
Star rating: four out of five
xx

December 20, 2009

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2

ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER:
The Laughing Corpse
by Laurell K. Hamilton

If Your Not Careful You Could Become Your Own Worst Nightmare!


Anita Blake is an animator. She makes her living raising the dead; and also slaying a few vampires. There isn't much she does know about the dead, and raising it. The first rule to raising the dead, the older the corpse the bigger the sacrifice needed. In others words to raise a really old zombie, a human was going to have to die.

Anita and her boss have just been made an offer of a million dollars to raise a two-hundred-and eighty-three-year-old corpse. The sacrifice will of cause be provided. But Anita can not accept, despite what you may have heard about her, she is no murderer. However Anita may not have much say in the matter, this was not Anita's idea of good business.

There is a killer tearing up families. Anita has been called in by the police to assist with inquiries, there is a theory it is a killer Zombie on the loose. No one knows more about Zombies then Anita, except maybe Dominga Salvador, the voodoo priestess, who has her own plans for Anita. As does Jean-Claude, the new Master Vampire of the City.

Having never read an Anita Blake book before I really enjoyed this story, Anita is a new (to me) heroine who's tough and smart. There is plenty going on in this story to keep you on your toes. The Laughing Corpse is a creepy mystery full of danger, suspense and the dead; well worth reading.
On sale: 01 November 2009
Price (AU): $22.99
ISBN: 9780755355303
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Zombies
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: three out of five
xx

December 17, 2009

A Modern Faerie Tale #1

A MODERN FAERIE TALE:
Tithe
by Holly Black

An Exchange That Will Turn You Green!


When Kaye was little she had friends that only see could see, everyone knew her as the girl who believed in faeries. Now, Kaye is sixteen and people still remember her as the girl who believed in faeries.

One night while walking home Kaye hears a noise and goes to investigate, and there she finds an injured boy. But he is no ordinary boy, he is a faery; a faery knight. Not long after this her old childhood faery friends, who she had long assumed make-believe, return to her asking for help.

Kaye didn't really want to get involved in faery affairs but she agrees to do all she can to help her past faery friends, even when they ask her to trust them with her life, literally. Kaye is warned also to stay away from the very dangerous faery knight, but she can't seem to keep from thinking about him, and running into him. Things are changing for Kaye, and so is she...

Tithe is a book of faery Queens, and magic, and sacrifice. But it is also a book of smoking and alcohol, and lust, and teen angst. Although there are some good ideas in this book, there is also a lot that seems stale and monotonous. I think my expectations were a little to high.
On sale: 01 June 2005
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9780689860423
Recommended age: 12+
In a word: Fairies
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: possibly
Star rating: two out of five
xx

December 14, 2009

Whistling Tor - Book 1

WHISTLING TOR:
Heart's Blood
by Juliet Marillier

A Tale As Old As Time!


A young woman is running away from the demons in her past. She has come to the edge of the world, to the middle of nowhere. To a place darkened by fear and cast in shadows. She has come to Whistling Tor.

Caitrin has made her way west, far from her old life in Market Cross, to the settlement of Whistling Tor. Now she finds herself alone and her funds all gone. But she does have the means to support herself, if only there was work for a scribe in the small settlement. Luckily, up on fortress of Whistling Tor a position is found available for a scribe and Caitrin does not hesitate to take.

Not many folk venture to Whistling Tor because of the curse. Evil presences and manifestations surround the hill and fortress of Whistling Tor, and all who venture there take their lives into their own hands. Even the chieftain of Whistling Tor has not escaped the curse, all warped and twisted. Caitrin is sure these are just stories told by the fireside to entertain and thrill. But once on the Tor and in the home of Lord Anluan, Caitrin comes to find truth in these tales.

Caitrin soon uncovers the sad and cursed history of Whistling Tor, but can she also uncover the key to saving the Tor and its people? There are more then just presences on the hill, there is an evil that will stop at nothing to hold its secrets, and Caitrin is getting to close to the truth. But if she can not face her own demons who sent her running scared from her home in Market Cross, how can she face the evil on the Tor to save those she loves?

Based on the fairytale Beauty And The Beast, Heart's Blood, with its stunning imagery and passionate storytelling, this story will capture both the heart and imagination. There are thrilling moments filled with danger and suspense, and charming characters that will enter your heart. This is a lovely story of hope and love, where one heart can stand against a frenzy, and a wager can win you a prize more precious then gold; Heart's Blood.
On sale: 01 November 2009
Price (AU): $32.99
ISBN: 9781405039437
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Heart
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

December 10, 2009

spellcrackers.com - Book 2

spellcrackers.com:
The Cold Kiss Of Death
by Suzanne McLeod

She Is Unique, But Sidhe Is Not The Only One!


Genevieve Taylor is a fae, a sidhe fae. And while there are plenty of fae to be found in the city, Genny is the only sidhe fae in London. Which is why when a dead body turns up with sidhe magic all over it, Genny is the polices' number one suspect. Never mind she didn't do it.

Genny is on the run, and it's not only the police after her. Every vampire is dying to sink their teeth into her, ghosts are haunting her, and many others are after her body in more ways then one. Unfortunately the witches are causing trouble, and she has a fear of ghosts.

It seems everyone in London is after her and time is running out. Genny has to find the sidhe killer before its too late. But when her own kind turns against her is her only salvation in a vampire, and her own death.

The Cold Kiss Of Death will chill you to the bone and steal your breath away. Beautifully involving characters are wrapped in an absorbing and inventive mystery. Mesmerising and suspenseful, its heart racing action will keep you on your toes. A great read.
On sale: 16 July 2009
Price (AU): $29.99
ISBN: 9780575084292
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Fae/Fangs
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: five out of five
xx

December 7, 2009

Me and You

Me and You by Janet A. Holmes
illustrated by Judith Rossell

What I Like Best...!


Little rabbit is one happy bunny. There are many things little rabbit loves about being a rabbit, many things he can do that make him happy. Little rabbit can hop, skip and jump, swim like a fish, run with a kite and climb up a tree.

Everyday little rabbit does many different things that make him happy and everyday when he hop, skips and plays little rabbit plays with a friend by his side. Although little rabbit loves to play, nothing makes him happier than doing those things with his best friend, little mouse, by his side.

Me and You is a tender tale of friendship and fun. Little rabbit and little mouse are the best of friend doing everything together as they demonstrate just how important friendship is. Beautifully engaging with charming and bright illustrations, Me and You is a story best enjoyed with little friend.
On sale: 01 November 2008
Price (AU): $24.99
ISBN: 9781921272547
Recommended age: 3+
In a word: Friendship
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to children
Star rating: four out of five
xx

December 3, 2009

Rose - Book 1

ROSE:
Rose
by Holly Webb

It Must Be Magic!


Rose was an orphan who lived at St Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. She had been abandoned as a baby with nothing to show of where she came from; except possibly an unusual talent. But even her name was borrowed from the rose bush at the orphanage.

While other girls daydreamed of one day finding loving, and wealthy, parents who would one day return for them, Rose was imagining more practical dreams. All she wanted was employment as a maid, her own wages and freedom from the orphanage. One day her dream came true.

Rose had found employment as a maid at the home of Mr Fountain, a magician. Rose is initially unsure about magic, but it's something she can not ignore. Rose has a new home and new friends, but when her old friend disappears Rose is determined to find her. But she is not the only one; children have started disappearing all over London.

Rose is a magical and mysterious story that is endearing and instantly appealing. Rose is practical and thoughtful, but also funny and very enchanting. It is an exciting and inventive story of magicians and witches, talking cats, mist-monsters, treacle and friendships.

Rose - covers
On sale: 06 August 2009
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9781408304471
Recommended age: 9-11
In a word: Magic
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five
xx

November 30, 2009

Harper Connelly #2

HARPER CONNELLY:
Grave Surprise
by Charlaine Harris

Its Never To Late ... !


Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver have been invited to Memphis to give a demonstration. Dr Nunley, who teaches an unorthodox class at Bingham College, has it in mind to expose Harper as a fraud. But when Harper makes a surprising discovery at the old cemetery, even Dr Nunley is left speechless.

Harper had finally found Tabitha Morgenstern who had disappeared eighteen months ago in Nashville; only its months later and in the wrong city. Something about all this was not quite right, and when a new body turns up Harper and Tolliver decide its time they did some investigating of their own.

However, Harper finds herself distracted with prophecies, and ghosts and other things... Harper is accused of having more then one suitor. But is it the teenager Victor who is so obviously hiding a secret or two? the black leathered, white haired, pierced all over Manfred who so obviously has feelings for Harper? or is it the last person Harper expected, who will capture her affections?

Harper is gifted, strangely so, but despite her unique talent and association with death she is still very human and very likeable. As a character Harper is attainable and full of personality, her story highly imaginative while still remaining grounded. A thrilling mystery and a great read.
On sale: 01 September 2008
Price (AU): $19.99
ISBN: 9780575082878
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Mystery
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: four out of five
xx

November 27, 2009

I could be a Superhero!

I Could Be A Superhero! by Chris Hornsey
illustrated by Gwyn Perkins

When I Grow Up...!


Murphy is a little dog with big ideas; he has many dreams of the future and imagines himself as all sorts of wonderful things, from a teacher, a pop star, and a magician, to a dinosaur hunter, a superhero and many more.

What little boy or girl doesn't have BiG dreams for when they grow up. Murphy embodies all the ideas and possibilities that children dream up about their future and the possibilities available to them through their imaginations.

Ultimately Murphy learns he could be marvellous just being himself, just as children learn that they too can be great just by being themselves. A charming and creative book that sparks the imagination, children will be delighted with the possibilities presented within these pages.
On sale: 01 September 2009
Price (AU): $14.99
ISBN: 9781921541186
Recommended age: 3+
In a word: Imagine
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to children
Star rating: four out of five
xx

November 26, 2009

Meeting Fairies

Meeting Fairies by R. Ogilvie Crombie

Fairies Are All Around!


Robert Ogilvie Crombie, or Roc as he was sometimes known, led a full and fascinating life. Roc was a trained musician, had studied science, was a self-taught spiritualist, and was interested in mythology, psychology, nature and all things 'occult'. In short he was a man with many interests, and a man who many described as being magical.

One day, late in his life, while visiting the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh Roc made a wondrous friendship with a most unique being. A faun. It was not long after this that Roc was introduced to Pan, a magical nature god, and through him a whole new world of fairies, nature and spirituality was open to him.

Over the remainder of his life Roc met and became aware of numerous fairies, nature spirits and elementals, and used his experiences to enlighten others. Roc found he was not the only one to feel a shift in the collective consciousness that was to spark a widespread interest in spirituality, and of cause fairies.

According to Roc most fairies are beings of light and energy, and are given form by the human imagination that perceives them. Roc is not the only one to see fairies as such. Below is Brian Froud's impression of a fairy made of light and energy. Next to that is Cicely Mary Barker's impression of a fairy made with the human imagination.


Meeting Fairies is a book that's part autobiography, part gardening tips, part spiritual guide, and part science text. But it is also a book that is all about fairies and all about love. For anyone who loves fairies, or has an interest in spirituality this is the perfect book.
On sale: 01 November 2009
Price (AU): $29.99
ISBN: 9781741759907
Recommended age: 16+
In a word: Fairies
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

November 23, 2009

Harper Connelly #1

HARPER CONNELLY:
Grave Sight
by Charlaine Harris

A Gift From God, A Servant Of The Devil,
A Product Of Lightning!


Harper Connelly is not your average girl, she has a 'gift'. She can find the dead. She can't talk to them or see them, only find their bodies after their life has expired. Harper makes her living using the gift god, and a lighting bolt, gave her; and not everyone likes that.

Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver have entered the town of Sarne, or as Harper likes to think of it Hell, for nothing seems to go right from the moment they enter the town. It was supposed to be a simple job, a quick in and a quick out. Unfortunately someone has murder on the mind, and Harper and Tolliver have just been dragged along for the ride.

Even in small towns there are secrets, some more deadly then others and someone will stop at nothing to keep the truth, and a few bodies, buried. Harper's gift has unwittingly brought a whole lot trouble down on the residents of Sarne, and in turn trouble has hit Harper and Tolliver, hard. Harper has sworn that she will never again set foot in Sarne, if only she can live long enough to leave.

Charlaine Harris has created yet another strong, intriguing and unique heroin in Harper Connelly. Grave Surprise is a murder mystery with a twist; where the paranormal meets the everyday. Every character in this story has their own history and quirks making them substantial and instantly familiar. A murder mystery that is exciting, fast paced and full of surprises.
On sale: 01 November 2007
Price (AU): $12.95
ISBN: 9780575079236
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Murder
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: three out of five
xx

November 21, 2009

Duck

Duck by Janet A. Holmes
illustrated by Jonathan Bentley

'Duck Is Where The Heart Is...'


A little boy introduces us to Duck. Duck is yellow and raggedy, smells like a blanket, feels soft and woolly, and can do nothing without the little boy. The little boy is Duck's hero.

One day the little boy discovers Duck is missing. The little boy looks everywhere for Duck, he asks all over town, even asking the dog next door, but still Duck could not be found. The little boy is so upset he is no longer able to do anything, not eat his dinner or splash in the bath.

Later as the little boy curled up in the corner between the cushions, he makes a discovery, Duck is hidden deep beneath the cushions. The little boy is so happy, he missed Duck so much and now that Duck is back he can do anything again. Duck is the little boy's hero.

Duck is a simple yet heartfelt story of friendship and love. It demonstrates that sometimes we don't appreciate what we have until it's gone, or just how much we care about someone till they are no longer there. Duck shows us that we need others as much as they need us, and that its no fun doing things on your own. A truly beautiful story to share with those you love.

On sale: 01 April 2009
Price (AU): $24.99
ISBN: 9781921272875
Recommended age: 3+
In a word: Duck
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to children
Star rating: five out of five
xx

November 20, 2009

Zombie Blondes

Zombie Blondes by Brian James

Its Dead Easy Being Popular!


Hannah and her father have just arrived in a new town; it's a new start. Hannah is used to new towns and new starts, she has had to experience both numerous times, but she still does not like it.

On first impressions Maplecrest is just like any other small town you find anywhere, the same sparse shops in the main street, the same popular kids you find at every school. Hannah is sure she has this town figured out and, if she plays it right, this time she just may be in with the popular group.

However not all is as it seems, there are strange stories and warnings from Lukas, a nice but odd boy who developed a crush on Hannah, and then there is Diana, a wannabe that is interested in Hannah only if she succeeds in being popular. But will Hannah forget them both in her bid to become popular? and is it worth being popular if you wont live to enjoy it?

This is your typical story of adolescence with your everyday trials of acceptance and identity. The familiar story of the new kid at school is used to highlight the themes of friendship and belonging; and zombies... As a young adult book about adolescent themes it falls a little short. As a fictional book about zombies it doesn't quite make it for me.
On sale: 01 October 2009
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9780312573751
Recommended age: 12+
In a word: Zombies
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: possibly
Star rating: two out of five
xx

November 17, 2009

The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy Book 2 - Prequel

THE SEVEN KINGDOMS TRILOGY:
Fire
by Kristin Cashore

Everybody Loves A Monster!


Fire is a monster. Not because of who she is or what she's done, but because of what she is, and what her father was. Monsters are not uncommon in the Dells, all being bright and beautiful and unnaturally coloured, what is uncommon is a human monster; and Fire is the last.

However, not all monsters are distinguished by their bright vibrant rainbow of colours. Some are the most unassuming of people, others are greedy and hateful men, and others still are dark memories that refuse to rest. In a world on the edge of disaster, is Fire the one to fear as the bringer of destruction, or will she be the only chance of survival?

Fire must make a choice, between what she was born to be, and what she wants to be. There is a war coming, enemies at every turn and murder on everyone's mind. Everybody has a secret, and the past is fast catching up with the present. Not everyone will survive and those that do will have blood on their hands. But not all is lost, for one way or the other the war will end, and with that ending there will be a new beginning.

In Graceling we are introduced to stories and rumours of rainbow coloured monsters in the land beyond the seven kingdoms. In Fire we learn that these stories are true. Fire may have been born a monster, but she is more human then most. And as Fire discovers, some of the scariest monsters were born human.

Fire is a story that draws you in, taking you on a journey that is full of twist and turns and surprises. It is both intriguing and insightful as death, loss and heartache are experienced. But this fast paced and entertaining story also holds hope, love and new life. Fire is a strong and powerful character that has also the ability for vulnerability. Despite her monsterness and great beauty she is warm and relatable; a stunning heroine.

The Dells and Pikkia - map
On sale: 01 October 2009
Price (AU): $32.99
ISBN: 9780575085121
Recommended age: 14+
In a word: Fire
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: five out of five
xx

November 13, 2009

Ultra-Violet Catastrophe

Ultra-Violet Catastrophe!
or The Unexpected Walk with Great-Uncle Magnus Pringle
by Margaret Mahy
illustrated by Brian Froud

A Short Walk, A Long Adventure!


It all started with a visit to Aunt Anne Pringle's home, where for the first time Sally met her Great-Uncle Magnus Pringle. It was suggested that Sally and her Great-Uncle Magnus go for a walk. A walk seemed innocent enough; after all how much trouble can you get into on a walk...

Apparently a walk can be a very dangerous and adventurous thing. There are hedges and mud puddles, tree pirates and dams, and a large brown-and-white cow that chased them through a barbed-wire fence.

Sally and Great-Uncle Magnus ended up wet, muddy, stained and torn. But despite all they had a wonderful adventure that was simply 'Horrible Stumper' and 'Ultra-Violet Catastrophe'.

I love this book, it is delightful and engaging, and leaves you with a smile on your face. A warm hearted story that is beautifully illustrated and will always be cherished by young and old readers alike.

On sale: 1975
ISBN: 9780819307484
Recommended age: 6+
In a word: Adventure
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx

November 10, 2009

Fairest of All

Fairest of All
A Tale of the Wicked Queen
by Serena Valentino

Once Upon A Time...!


We all know the story of Snow White; a beautiful princess, a wicked stepmother, a hunter and a poisoned apple. But what is the real story? Is Snow White really as innocent as all that, and is the Queen really that evil? Well yes, and yes. But what it not known is why...

Snow White's stepmother, the Wicked Queen, was not always wicked; she was once young, and beautiful, and loving. But something had changed, she had changed, she traded her grief for vanity and once she started there was no going back.

The Queen had suffered a lot during her life, and when she was at her lowest there he was, the man in the mirror. After that she was never the same again, and not even the gentle and beautiful stepdaughter could save her from herself, or the man in the magic mirror.

This story takes you beyond the fairytale to tell the real story of the Wicked Queen, and how she became capable of the unspeakable act of attempting to murder a stepdaughter that she had once loved as her own. It is a beautifully presented book with a dark yet fun story that is full of insights. If you like fairytales or dark fiction, then this book is for you.

Fairest of All - covers
On sale: 01 August 2009
Price (US): $15.99
ISBN: 9781423106296
Recommended age: 9-12
In a word: Mirror, Mirror
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: possibly
Star rating: three out of five
xx

November 7, 2009

Where The Streets Had A Name

Where The Streets Had A Name
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

A Dream Of The Past, A Dream For The Future!


Hayaat is not your average thirteen year old; she will break laws and risk her life, and all for her ill grandmother.

Hayaat has grown up in Bethlehem but it is not where she was born. She is a Muslin and also a Palestinian, but most importantly she is a girl, a child living under occupation in the West Bank. Her life is a mixture of good days; going to school or skipping it to spend time with her friend Samy, and bad days; being locked in her home during curfew with her family for days on end.

The past is a scary place for many, filled with loss and heartache, and Hayaat has not been spared from this; she carries the scares of the past with her. People cling to their memories and to each other to survive, but despite all there is love and life, shopping and gossip. Although for many the future seems bleak and devoid of hope, life goes on, and so does their dream for freedom.

This is a story that is not often told. It is about more then just survival, it's about hope, and courage, and the enduring human spirit. A simple yet beautifully written story that is incredibly moving and passionately honest.
On sale: 01 October 2009
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9780330425261
Recommended age: 13+
In a word: Hope
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: yes
Star rating: three out of five
xx

November 4, 2009

spellcrackers.com - Book 1

spellcrackers.com:
The Sweet Scent Of Blood
by Suzanne McLeod

Sidhe Is A Sucker!


In an alternate world, vampires have come out of the coffin to become the most sort-after of celebrities, but they're not the only ones out in the open, witches are a foot, goblins roam the streets, trolls wear the badges of law, and faeries take paid employment.

Genny is a fae living in London and working for the witch company Spellcrackers.com, it's a job she enjoys for she is good with magic, well with finding it anyway. But suddenly Genny has found herself to be in demand, and not just for her magical spell abilities. But as she keeps explaining to everyone, she is not a detective, and definitely not anyone's slave.

Many secrets from Genny's past emerge and are fast returning to haunt her, but Genny has many other secrets of her own that are placing her in danger; she has more then just fae blood running through her veins. There are also romantic complications at work, blackmail, murder, and confused identities.

In this fast paced, action packed, mystery we are given complex characters wrapped in a complicated and intriguing plot. The Sweet Scent Of Blood is imaginative, entertaining and full of surprises; Genny being one of the most original and unique characters around. I can not wait to read more...
On sale: 01 June 2009
Price (AU): $19.99
ISBN: 9780575086142
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Fae/Fangs
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five
xx

November 2, 2009

The Tallest of Smalls

The Tallest of Smalls by Max Lucado,
illustrated by Maria Monescillo

You're As Tall As You Believe You Are!


Ollie is a Too Small of Stiltsville. Only the special in Stiltsville are chosen to walk about on tall stilts, but Ollie was not special, or clever, or funny, or cool. So for a long time Ollie felt unwanted, unworthy and unhappy. One day, however, Ollie was chosen to own stilts, and it was the happiest day of his life. That is until he tried to walk on the silts. When he fell none of the other stilt walkers were there for him, but someone else was. Ollie learnt that it doesn't matter how tall you are, all that matters is being yourself.

The Tallest of Smalls is a charming children's story of acceptance and of belief in oneself. It is also a story of Jesus and faith, but no matter if you believe in several gods, or one god, or in no gods, the message in this story is one everyone can appreciate. The story is one that both girls and boys will enjoy and teaches that you are special because you are who you are.

The Tallest of Smalls is a parable from Max Lucado's novel Fearless . The rhyming story is captivating, creating a lovely flow to the story that children will enjoy. Equally enjoyable are the beautiful and bright illustrations that compliment this fun and poignant story.
On sale: 03 November 2009
Price (US): $16.99
ISBN: 9781400315147
Recommended age: 4-8
In a word: Acceptance
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to children
Star rating: three out of five
xx

October 31, 2009

FLOWER FAIRIES: Sparkle Like A Flower Fairy

FLOWER FAIRIES:
Sparkle Like A Flower Fairy 
by Cicely Mary Barker

Sparkle For Yourself!


Fairies are known for their sparkle, but have you ever wondered what it is that makes them sparkle? Fairies sparkle with magic, fairies sparkle with love and fairies sparkle with kindness, but most of all fairies sparkle with happiness.

Being a fairy is about completing your chores and doing what needs to be done, only then can you claim your reward and your crown. Helping others in need is very important to fairies, and friendships are often cemented with bracelets.

Forgiveness is a very important lesson fairies learn, and often you can make others smile with a necklace made of flowers. A little magic is often present in all friendships, in the songs sung and the wands waved.

Parties are often planned to celebrate friends, and when you can love and laugh and believe in fairies you may just discover your own pair of wings, and sparkle like a Flower Fairy.

I love fairies, and in this beautiful book you will discover just why it is a Flower Fairy sparkles, and how to sparkle yourself. Cicely Mary Barker's stunning Flower Fairies guide you through a book full of lessons, discovering hidden treasures to take out and keep. An enchanting book for any fairy fan, and pages of fun for those wishing to be a fairy.
On sale: 28 September 2009
Price (AU): $29.95
ISBN: 9780723264194
Recommended age: 6+
In a word: Fairies
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five
xx

October 29, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse - A Touch Of Dead

SOOKIE STACKHOUSE:
A Touch Of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Sookie's Quick Bites!


A Touch Of Dead is a collection of five short stories from the Sookie Stackhouse series that has been published here together for the first time.

Fairy Dust. (takes place after Dead To The World)
Claudine enlists Sookie's help to find a murderer. A fairy has been murdered and only Sookie has the skills to discover who murdered the fairy, and why? But will she be able to discover the truth before the fairies decide to take matters into their own hands?

Dracula Night. (takes place before Dead As A Doornail)
Eric is excited, it's his favourite time of the year, and a huge party has been planed for the event. Sookie has received an invitation to a birthday at Fangtasia, but it is not Eric's, its Dracula's, and rumour has it this year he just might show up...

One Word Answer. (takes place after Dead As A Doornail)
News of Sookie's cousin Hadley arrives in the form of a demonic lawyer, and he's not alone; he comes with vampires. Sookie is about to discover what has become of Hadley, she is also set a task that seems almost impossible to her. But is this one offer she can't refuse?

Lucky. (takes place after All Together Dead)
A mystery has landed on Sookie's doorstep in the form of an insurance agent with magical powers. It's a simple case, or so detective Stackhouse and her partner inspector Broadway thought. But even with a telepath and a witch on the case, they are going to have to be more then good to crack this mystery, they are going to have to be lucky.

Gift Wrap. (takes place before Dead And Gone)
Sookie has accepted the fact that this year she is spending Christmas alone; or so she thought. Someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make this Christmas one Sookie will never forget; but will it be the killer Were on her doorstep, the naked man in her living room, or the surprise guest for dinner that is the most memorable this Christmas?

This book is invaluable to any Sookie Stackhouse fan, and if you're not a fan you should be. So many hidden gems from the Sookie Stackhouse universe are revealed as we learn all those glorious bits of inconsequential snippets of the lives affecting our heroin, Sookie. These are the background stories that enrich the series, a must read.
On sale: 01 October 2009
Price (AU): $29.99
ISBN: 9780575094437
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Short Bites
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: four out of five
xx

October 25, 2009

Faeries Gone Wild

Faeries Gone Wild by MaryJanice Davidson,
Lois Greiman, Michele Hauf & Leandra Logan

Faery Lust and Mortal Love!


Tall, Dark and Not So Faery by MaryJanice Davidson
Scarlett is on a mission. A very important mission. A mission from the King, and she will let no one stand in her way. Unfortunately for Scarlett it is not a person that is hindering her, but a large, heavy, wooden door that is constantly closing in her face. If she can just get through that door, Scarlett would discover a strange and odd mix of individuals, she would make new friends, find old family and quite possibly fall in love... But only if she can get through the front door first.

Pixie Lust by Lois Greiman
Avalina has entered the Mortal world for one reason only, to search for a rare plant, a Fern. But this is no ordinary Fern, at least not to a Fay, for it is believed to hold medicinal properties, and Avalina, being a Fern Fay, is determined to find it. What she didn't count on was finding William. Only the fickle and decadent flower faeries entered the Mortal world to consort with men. So why then all of a sudden is Avalina acting just like the silly flower faeries she has so little respect for, and is being with William really worth all the trouble?

Dust Me, Baby, One More Time by Michele Hauf
Sidney may be leading a double life, but both lives are as straight-laced as you can get. By day she is Sidney Tooth, librarian and Reverie local, keeping very much to herself. By night she is the Tooth Faery, silently entering homes and exchanging teeth for coins. Nothing can upset Sidney's work routine, nothing that is except Dart. Sidney may not have time to sleep, but is she willing to make time for Dart Sand, the Sandman?

A Little Bit Faery by Leandra Logan
Tia Mayberry has never quite fit in to the Enchanted Realm. Everything about her just seems wrong compared to the elegant faeries that call the Enchanted Realm home. So Tia has decided to try her luck in the Mortal Realm, she is leaving the Isle of Man for the Isle of Manhattan. But will her luck be any better among the humans, and will she be able to overcome her secret past to find happiness in the future?

In these four stories you will find naughty tales of pixy lust and adoring fables of faery love. Highly imaginative and vividly romantic, these stories are not for the faint of heart; these are definitely faery-tales for adults only. If you love faeries and love love, you will love this book.
On sale: 01 August 2009
Price (AU): $12.99
ISBN: 9780312945688
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Lust/Love
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: possibly
Star rating: three out of five
xx

October 22, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse - Gift Wrap

SOOKIE STACKHOUSE:
Gift Wrap by Charlaine Harris

The Best Presents Can't Be Wrapped!


Gift Wrap is a short story in the Sookie Stackhouse universe that has been published in the book Wolfsbane And Mistletoe. A book of short stories about the furred persuasion and the Christmas spirit from a number of different authors.

Sookie is about to have one hell of a Christmas. She is not speaking to her brother, her great-grandfather is not exactly the Christmas type, and her house mate Amelia has left her for the holidays to be with her own family. All in all this is shaping up to be one lonely Christmas.

But her brother has planned a surprise for Sookie, one she may not like. Mostly because of the danger it seems to have put her in, but she's not the only one. Another tall, dark and naked man has appeared at Sookies home seeking help, and Sookie can never say no to a person in need.

However, things are not always as they seem, as someone else has plans to surprise the unsuspecting Sookie with a gift of their own. A gift like no other has been arranged for Sookie, and it will come from the most unlikely of sources. Christmas is no time to be alone and lucky for Sookie this year she doesn't have to be.

A lovely story of family, love and yuletide cheer. An intriguing story with a twist that you will never see coming, but with an ending to warm the heart. This story takes place before Dead And Gone, the eight story in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
On sale: 01 September 2008
ISBN: 9780441016334
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Christmas
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: three out of five
xx

October 19, 2009

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Which Ever Way The Wind Blows!


Julian Carax was once heard to say that we only exist as long as there is someone to remember us. According to all reports Julian Carax had died many years ago, but thanks to a small boy, Julian Carax is about to exist once more amongst the living.

Awoken in the night by the cries of his young son Daniel, a father makes a decision that will change his son's life forever. Daniel is introduced to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and it is within these numerous dust filled shelves that Daniel discovers Julian Carax, and a mystery that will haunt him and bring danger to everyone he loves.

From the moment Daniel picked up the book The Shadow of the Wind at the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he became enthralled with the author Julian Carax. The only problem was that no one seemed to know much about how to locate any of his other books, if they still existed, and even less was known about the man himself.

Determined to discover all he can about the man whose books mean so much to him, Daniel embarks on a journey into the past. Hidden beneath secrets and around dark corners, Daniel is slowly able to put together the life of Julian Carax, a life that is not so different from his own, but will he live long enough to see it through to the end of the story.

This is a story about first loves, and true loves, and loves of literature. This is a story about danger, and murder, and wars; a story of secrets and mysteries. In this story madmen roam the streets with all authority and characters escape the confines of their pages to walk amongst their readers. This is a story about The Shadow of the Wind. In this, you will be taken in, unable to escape the mystery that burns within; a brilliant and unforgettable read.
On sale: 03 July 2006
Price (AU): $25.00
ISBN: 9781920885854
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Mystery
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five
xx