Friday, 23 December 2016

Beauty & Lace Book Review:
Walking The Line - Mandy Magro 

Walking The Line is the latest book by Mandy Magro, and is ideal for those who enjoy rural romance.
Charlize Dawson is a city girl who is currently separated from her husband Alistair, after discovering that he cheated on her. 
Charlize is a fashion columnist, and her boss is a friend of the family from way back. He offers her a story that could potentially see Charlize get promoted to managing editor, a role which she would relish. 
But she will need to spend a week in Rollingstone Ridge, a rural property in the town of Grenfell, NSW, where cowboy Dallas Armstrong resides, with his mother and his grandfather. 
Dallas is a professional bull rider and will be featured in an upcoming nude calendar to raise funds for drought victims, and it will be Charlize's job to interview him about it.

After a few hiccups along the way, Charlize arrives at the property and is welcomed warmly by Katherine, Dallas's mother. Katherine is such a likeable character; definitely one of my favourites throughout the story.
Katherine is grieving the death of her husband Mick, who was involved in a car accident only months ago. 
But there are secrets to be uncovered about Mick's past, which really kept me intrigued.

Charlize and Dallas are attracted to each other from very early on in the story, and whilst it was possible to foretell, it didn't dampen my reading experience as I liked the chemistry between them. 
I also got a sense of what rural living might feel like, with people willing to help at the drop of a hat in a tightly knitted community.

As the story progresses, we discover that Charlize has regrets about her marriage, and wonders if she ever loved Alistair at all. 
Her relationship with Dallas blossoms rapidly and she finds herself enjoying his company more and more. It did feel as though their relationship was a little rushed at times, but I felt that both these characters deserved happiness, so it was nice that they find that in each other.

My only small issue I had was that a couple of scenes felt a little unauthentic, and went against what I believed the character would typically do in that situation, but overall, this is a pretty good read, especially if you enjoy the rural romance genre. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of Walking The Line for reviewing purposes thanks to Beauty & Lace and Harlequin Mira. To read the original review on the Beauty & Lace website, head here

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Book Review: We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk 

A few years ago, I came across Lindsey Kelk's 'I Heart' series, and as I worked my way through the 6 books in the series, I was delighted with Lindsey's witty writing style. I became a fan of hers, and I'm always happy to read anything she writes. (If you haven't read the 'I Heart' series and want a laugh, then I suggest you check it out!)
I picked up her latest book, We Were On A Break, from my library last week. 

Liv and Adam are in a long-term relationship and away on a holiday in Mexico. It is their last day of their trip, and Adam is planning to propose.
He'd confided to his brother before the trip, who in turn told his wife.
His wife 'accidentally' told Liv as she happens to be Liv's best friend!
So, unbeknownst to Adam, Liv has been waiting not-so-patiently for him to propose throughout the duration of their holiday.
When it gets to their final night and things don't go as planned, their frustrations and lack of proposal see them having a confrontation which results in them taking a break.
What ensues is Adam and Liv both trying to find themselves, without much luck!
The story is narrated by both Adam and Liv, which I enjoyed, but it was a little confusing at times as the narrators change mid-way during a chapter. It would've been much easier to have the characters narrate a chapter each.
Whilst I could envision the way the story was heading, it didn't deter me from reading, as like Kelk's other books, this one has some very funny lines and scenes.
The characters are flawed, which always appeals to me as it makes them more relatable.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and it is perfect if you're after a light-hearted and funny book.

Have you read any books by Lindsey Kelk? 
And are you ready for Christmas?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Books for young readers

I was recently sent a range of books from Parragon Books that are aimed at young readers. 
They include:

The Beast Within - A Tale Of Beauty's Prince by Serena Valentino

Most of you would be familiar with Disney's Beauty And The Beast tale, but before there was a Beast, there was a Prince..
In this book, we find out the story of how the young and handsome Prince becomes a reclusive Beast.
Is there hope for this monster to find true love? Will the evil curse that has been put on him ever be taken away, and if so, how?
It is aimed at readers aged 10-13 years old. 

A Frozen Heart  by Elizabeth Rudnick

This book is the prequel to Frozen, and it focuses on the relationship between Anna, princess of Arendelle, and Hans, prince of the Southern Isles. It is narrated in alternating chapters between Anna and Hans.

This would be a great book for any Frozen fan! 
It is aimed at readers aged 8-12.

The Isle Of The Lost by Melissa De La Cruz 

The Isle Of The Lost is a prequel to the Disney Channel's movie 'Descendants.'
Twenty years ago, all of the evil villains were driven away from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle Of The Lost. It is a bleak and dark place protected by a force field, making it impossible for the villains to leave. But there is hope for escape in the Forbidden Forest if one of the villains can find the Dragon's Eye...But who will be the one to find it?
This book is aimed at young readers aged 7-10

A Whole New World - A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell

This is the first book in a young adult series that, as the title suggests, twists classic tales into something unexpected and unlike the original version.
In A Whole New World, we find out what would happen if Aladdin had never found the lamp.. Jafar has possession of it and it is up to Aladdin and Princess Jasmine to put an end to Jafar's controlling behaviour.

Moana -  Book Of The Film & Movie Collection Storybook

I'm really looking forward to taking my girls to see Moana, as I have heard some great things about it. 
Parragon have a released a range of books based on the animated feature, including The Book Of The Film, which is a chapter book aimed at an audience of readers aged 8-12 years old. It features 8 full-colour pages of scenes from Moana.
And Moana, Disney Movie Collection is a large, hard-covered book with bright and detailed illustrations that would make a great bedtime story book.

For further information on any of the above titles, head to

Disclosure: I was given the titles listed above to review. I was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

New Release Books for Young Readers from Penguin Random House Australia 


Snot Chocolate And Other Funny Stories by Morris Gleitzman is a compilation of short stories (in similar fashion to Gleitman's Pizza Cake, and Give Peas A Chance), that will engage the reader from start to finish!
There are 9 different stories in Snot Chocolate, including Wipe Out, Troll, and Cumquat May, which deals with friendships, falling out, and forgiveness.
Whilst the topics of the stories are somewhat more serious than other short stories of his, they are very highly entertaining, and written in a way that are sure to give a few laughs!
The book was released on October 31st, and has an RRP of $16.99. 

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Double Down by Jeff Kinney is the 11th book in the DOAWK series. The series has been hugely popular, with tens of millions of copies sold all around the world. 
In Double Down, young Greg Heffley is given orders by his mum to explore his more 'creative side', so when he discovers a bag of gummy worms, Greg gets an idea (to coincide with upcoming Halloween) to make his own horror movie.
This involves a lot of humour and is typical of Greg's usual antics and wrong decisions that we have come to know and love through the other Wimpy Kid books.

It was released on 1st November, and has an RRP of $14.99

I'm sure there will be a lot of children receiving these great books for Christmas this year!

Has your young reader read any books by Morris Gleitzman or Jeff Kinney? Any favourites you'd like to share?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Current Releases from Exisle Publishing

Book 1.
The Art Of Mindful Origami by Dr Richard Chambers

If you are looking for a way to inject some calm and mindfulness into your day (and at this time of year, who isn't?!), then The Art Of Mindful Origami is an ideal way to do just that.
Written by clinical psychologist Dr Richard Chambers, this book features 15 origami projects with simple step-by-step instructions, as well as some mindfulness exercises for you to practice. It is a great way to unwind.

The designs range from simple to more complex, so even if you have never had any experience with origami, the detailed instructions will guide you through.
Simple Step-By-Step Instructions

 The book includes tear-out pages to use for folding, and colouring pages that you can customise to the colours of your choice, then use to fold into your origami designs (which include a Pinwheel, Lotus, Crane, a Jumping Frog, and more.)

There's also interesting facts about the history of origami, as well as information about each of the designs. For example, we learn that the crane is a sacred creature in Japan, Korea, and China, and is believed to live for a thousand years.

The meditation exercises included are very relaxing.
This is a lovely book that you can enjoy on your own. It would also make a great family activity to do on a weekend. 
RRP $19.99
For further information, click here.

Book 2.
Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney

Australia Illustrated is Tania McCartney's first self-illustrated picture book, and I think it's fantastic!
It is one of those books that you can spend hours poring over. 
From the beautiful hard cover, to the highly detailed, vibrant illustrations (created using ink, watercolour, digital art, and mono-printing) the reader is drawn in as we are taken on a state-by-state look at what makes our country so unique and distinctive.

Topics like bush tucker, Aussie slang, rocks, and wheat production are all covered.
There's also information about the names of native animals, trees, and wildflowers.

Tania has captured the idiosyncrasies and diversity of our country perfectly. 
Each page tells its own story - there's food, festivals, beaches and more to explore!

I would highly recommend this book as it truly is a visual feast that readers of any age will appreciate.
RRP $29.99

For further information, click here

Disclosure: I was given review copies of both titles to feature on my blog, with thanks to Exisle Publishing. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. I was not paid for this review.