Tag Archives: books

Aussie YA Secret Santa Blog Hop

Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa Blog Hop
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This year I’ve joined in on an awesome Secret Santa and blog hop run by Aussie YA Bloggers. I’m super exicted to be included because, well…who doesn’t like recieving books in the mail! Plus, there’s the wrapping and I looooove wrapping things.

What are your top 5 favourite books this year?

A lot of what I read this year falls under the category of ‘brain candy’, but there were a few standout reads.

  1. Magic Bites by Illona Andrews was fantastic. I started off reading expecting an bog standard urban fantasy and was delighted when it turned out to be anything but.
  2. Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart. I loved the way Stewart blended magic and real world physics that make a future world that almost seemed possible.
  3. Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards is another urban fantasy that surprised me. It wasn’t all about the romance, which was refreshing, and it was really well written.
  4. Grave Visions by Kalayna Price. I was hanging out for this book for three years and I was not disappointed! It’s one of the few series I read as ebooks but would consider getting the paperbacks as well, just because.
  5. The Mayfair Moon by JA Redmerski. I finally got to read this one! It wasn’t available for about a year while it Redmerski was having it reedited and for all of that time I haunted Amazon, checking to see when it would be available again.

What are your top 5 favourite Aussie YA books this year?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t read a lot of Australian fiction this year, although what I did read was great and it was YA.

  1. UnEarthed by Rebecca Bloomer is a sci-fi set on Mars. It’s great and has a nice twist on the typical teen romance. My only niggle is that it’s too short! I want more.
  2. Asena Blessed by Tracy M Joyce. Awesome epic fantasy with wolves, magic and women who kick butt. ‘Nuff said.

How did you go with your Goodreads challenge?

Not so well. This year I upped my goal to 70 books, which, a few years ago wouldn’t have been a problem, but ever since I started writing full-time I just don’t read as much. This year, I’ll be lucky to read 60.

What is your favourite blogging moment of 2016?

My antiheroine interview series! I love antiheroines (heroines who subvert the traits of the classic hero) and I just don’t think that there are enough of them out there. Sure, we have a heap of antiheroes such as Sherlock, Ironman and Han Solo, but you have to search harder for their female counterparts.

Interviewing other authors about why they’ve chosen to write antiheroines, what makes a good one and how they contribute to the reading culture was a lot of fun.

What are your blogging goals for 2017?

To blog more consistently. I’m planning on doing more interviews with authors and readers about select topics, such as what makes a strong female character, racial diversity in fiction and representations of the disabled. Really, any topic that I think we can learn something new about.

What books are you looking forward to in 2017?

  1. Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price
  2. The Aztlanian by Brandon Sanderson
  3. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams

What is your favourite thing about the Aussie YA community?

Everyone is so friendly that I don’t feel weird about taking part in events even though I’m not a dedicated blogger (yet  I’m working on it). Plus, any community that runs a Secret Santa has to be awesome!

Leave 3 clues for your santee below!

  1. You thumped your Goodreads challenge twice over
  2. Your Goodreads shelves have funny, descriptive titles
  3. Your pet’s name rhymes with ‘jaw’

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog hop!



Featured image courtesy of SimplyPanda. Used with a Creative Commons license.

6 awesome space operas books, all free

Space opera, it’s my favourite subgenre. I love how big the universe is, how spaceships can zip to and fro, with warp drives, hyperdrives and jump gates. But mostly I love the drama of it, how a single person (or a few persons) can save the universe. Inevitably, someone important dies along the way, but that just adds to the tension and that slightly breathless feeling you get as story draws to its conclusion.

If you haven’t read space opera before but want to give it a try, and even if you’re a hard core fan, below are few free space operas to get you started.

The Course of Empire (Course of Empire 1)

The Course of Empire by Eric Flint and KD Wentworth
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Would they destroy earth in order to save it?

Conquered by the Jao twenty years ago, the Earth is shackled under alien tyranny—and threatened by the even more dangerous Ekhat, who are sending a genocidal extermination fleet to the solar system. Humanity’s only chance rests with an unusual pair of allies: a young Jao prince, newly arrived to Terra to assume his duties, and a young human woman brought up amongst the Jao occupiers.

But both are under pressure from the opposing forces—a cruel Jao viceroy on one side, determined to drown all opposition in blood; a reckless human resistance on the other, perfectly prepared to shed it. Added to the mix is the fact that only by adopting some portions of human technology and using human sepoy troops can the haughty Jao hope to defeat the oncoming Ekhat attack—and then only by fighting the battle within the Sun itself.

Amazon.com Amazon.com.au

Caretaker (Caretaker Chronicles 1)

Caretaker by Josi Russell
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Fifty years in space—alone.

Ethan Bryant was supposed to fall asleep on a ship leaving Earth and wake up fifty years later with his family on the planet Minea. Instead, after the ship’s caretaker—the lone human in charge of monitoring the ship’s vital systems—suddenly died, the ship’s computer locked Ethan out of his stasis chamber and gave him the job. That was five years ago. Five years of checking to make sure everything runs smoothly on a ship Ethan knows almost nothing about.

Who wouldn’t dread the years ahead? Who wouldn’t long for their once-bright future now stolen away?

Ethan is resigned to his fate, until the ship suddenly wakes up another passenger: a beautiful engineer who, along with Ethan, soon discovers a horrible secret—a navigation room hidden from even the ship’s computer. The ship is not bound for Minea—but to somewhere far more dangerous.

With the ship nearing its sinister destination, Ethan soon learns he is the only one who holds the key to saving all 4,000 passengers from a highly-advanced, hostile alien race.

Amazon.com Amazon.com.au

Alien Hunters (Alien Hunters 1)

Alien Hunters by Daniel Arenson
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The skelkrins. Predators from deep space. Creatures of claws, fangs, and unending malice. They swarm across the galaxy, slaying all in their path. Planets burn in their wake. And now they’re heading to Earth.

Raphael “Riff” Starfire commands the Alien Hunters, a group of scruffy mercenaries. Galactic pest controllers, they mostly handle small critters–aliens that clog up your engine pipes, gnaw on your hull, or burrow through your silos.

Riff and his crew have never faced anything like the skelkrins before. As these cosmic killers invade our solar system, will Riff be the one hunting aliens…or will aliens hunt him?

Amazon.com Amazon.com.au Kobo

Bane of the Dead (Seraphim Revival 1)

Bane of the Dead by Jacob Holo
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In an empire ruled by the honored dead, seraphs are the ultimate weapons. Fueled by the pilot’s very soul, these colossal humanoid war machines are unstoppable in battle. Only a few possess the gift to control such craft, and those men and women are prized above all others.

Jack Donolon is the most powerful pilot in existence, a hero of Earth with a mind fractured by his seraph. On the far side of the galaxy, he uncovers a terrible truth about the seraphs and their pilots. Now he must return on a mission no one will understand, to face and kill the people who once called him friend and comrade.

But the death he will bring is insignificant next to the destruction that will follow, should he fail…

Amazon.com Amazon.com.au Kobo

Dark Expanse (Bright Beyond prequel)

Dark Expanse by Theresa Kay
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In a world of military space stations, planetary jumps and alien offensives, nineteen-year-old Eva Braebel’s life has never been easy. She’s small. She’s female. And she earned the ire of a powerful General at a young age. With hard work and the support of her friends, she achieves more than she ever dreamed possible: A position as flight squadron leader and the man who she loves by her side.

Eva just got everything she’s ever wanted, but how long can she keep it?

Amazon.com Amazon.com.au Kobo

Axira Episode One (Galactic Coalition Academy)

Axira Episode One by Odette C Bell
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She is different. Powerful. A solider of centuries.

For 450 years she was enslaved to one of the masters of the Kore sects. She was forced to fight in endless battles. War, destruction, desolation–all wrought by her.

But then she escapes. Seeking revenge on her master, she turns to the only group powerful enough to help her–the Coalition.

She joins the Academy. It should be easy. It isn’t. She rapidly finds out that despite her raw power, she needs more to become an effective recruit.

But now is not the time for failure. There is a spy on Academy grounds–a spy who is tearing the Coalition’s intelligence to shreds. She finds herself drawn into the hunt. A hunt she will not lose. For she is Axira, the most powerful spacer in the Milky Way…

Amazon.com Amazon.com.au Kobo

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Feature image courtesy of Bill Lile via Flickr. Used with a Creative Commons license.

2016 Brains to Books Cyber Convention

You are cordially invited to the annual
Brains to Books Cyber Convention!

Instructions: Book lovers | Authors

Brain to Books Cyber Convention flyer
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If you’re a book lover, join us at the Fairgrounds, on Goodreads, for your chance to find new favourite books, contests and freebies! Plus, I’ll be giving away a signed paperback copy of Hero
plus some cool swag!

To join in, you’ll need to sign up to Goodreads (which is free and easy, and Goodreads is very, very cool) and join the Brains to Books Cyber Convention Fairgrounds group (also free and easy).

Authors, come and be part of the fun! Meet other authors and find a few more readers! For instructions go here.

Giveaway! Athena's Ashes by Jamie Grey

Athena's Ashes Book Blitz
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Another book to add to my exploding book pile! At this rate, I’m never going to get any writing done. I think I need a TARDIS, anyone got one spare?

Excerpt

Renna sat at the small round table in her room, reading through the data Dallas had sent to her tablet. She took another sip of scorching coffee and held the liquid in her mouth for a fraction of a second—until her tongue started to burn—before swallowing. Sometime in the past few days, she’d started doing stuff like that, letting herself experience feelings she’d normally ignore. Like each time might be her last. Continue reading

My Bookshelf on WWW Wednesday

I’m currently reading Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz and Alliance by Mark Frost.

I started watching the television spin-off of Witches of East End. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either, so I thought I’d give the book a go. So far, I’m 8% of the way into the ebook and, like the television show, it’s entertaining, if not brilliantly executed.

As for Alliance, the previous book in the series, The Paladin Prophecy, sucked me in right away, but this one is taking longer. Plus, I’m going to be really, really surprised if the hero still has a girlfriend by the end of the story, because, three chapters in, he’s just done something really stupid.

I recently finished reading Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes. There were a few awkward passages, notably the prologue (thankfully, it was short), but other than that, it was an enjoyable read. Aimed at the young teen crowd and (woohoo!) light on the romance, it’s a superhero novel with a detective feel.

Next, I think I’ll read Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach. I recently read The Spirit Thief, by the same author, and it was pretty funny. Think Ocean’s Eleven with wizards, talking rocks and a really big dog.

WWW Wednesdays, hosted by ShouldBeReading.wordpress.com.
WWW Wednesdays is a weekly event for readers, hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

Want to join in?

It’s easy, just answer these three questions, post your answers on a Wednesday and join in the fun by leaving a link on Should Be Reading!

The questions. What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What are you reading next?

Fade to Black on Teaser Tuesday

The cover of Fade to Black by Francis Knight
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I have finally, finally, gotten around to reading Fade to Black by Francis Knight (Goodreads link). I borrowed it from the library, and I’ve been so busy (with second drafts and work and, you know, stuff) that I’ve had to renew it twice. Crazy.

So far, apart from a few cases of info-dumping at the start, it’s pretty good.

Where am I at? Page 53.
Feels like a steampunk version of The Big Sleep.
What’s awesome about it?

  • The cover
  • The combination of steampunk and magic
  • A city that just goes up and up and up… or down and down and down, depending upon your point of view.

What’s not-so-awesome? The repetition of various facts. Ms Knight, I get it already!

The Teaser Tuesday bit

This girl had a powerful desire not to go home. Having met her parents, I could sympathise, but a paying job is a paying job, and once I took one on it was hard not to follow through.

~ page 4, Fade to Black by Francis Knight

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Find out how you can play along!

10 debuts I'm looking forward to in 2013

Top 10 Tuesday. Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday list was great because I had to go and find 10 debut books I wanted to read. Usually I’m so busy doing my chicken without a head impersonation that I don’t take the time to find out what’s happening in the bookish world.

While there are a lot of books coming out this year, most of them are urban fantasy and I’m a little overloaded on that genre. It also doesn’t help that I’m hideously picky about my reading matter, so my Top 10 is really a Top 9. Continue reading