blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Heir to the Darkmage – Lisa Cassidy*

Ambition drives her. Danger thrills her. But magic always has a price.
Twenty years have passed since the Darkmage was destroyed and the war between mages ended.

For Lira Astor, the single living heir to the Darkmage, escaping her name is impossible.

People still fear what is long dead, and they see in her the rise of another dangerous mage with deadly ambition. Desperate to claw her way free of her grandfather’s shadow, to make her own name amongst the world of mages, Lira is willing to do whatever it takes. Even if that means
joining the secretive rebel group looking to restore his vision.

Survival is a lesson Lira learned early and often, yet when she is abducted and held prisoner in a deadly game of cat and mouse, she finds herself facing a nemesis she may be no match for.

Forced to band together with unlikely allies who challenge everything she believes about what it means to be a mage, she will have to rely on every bit of ruthlessness she possesses.
Because the war may only just be beginning…

…and Lira Astor intends to come out on top.

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Lisa is a self-published fantasy author by day and book nerd in every other spare moment she has.

She’s a self-confessed coffee snob (don’t try coming near her with any of that instant coffee rubbish)
but is willing to accept all other hot drink aficionados, even tea drinkers.

She lives in the Australia’s capital city, Canberra, and like all Australians, is pretty much in constant danger from highly poisonous spiders, crocodiles, sharks, and drop bears, to name a few. As you can see, she is also pro-Oxford comma.

A 2019 SPFBO finalist, Lisa has published the YA fantasy series The Mage Chronicles, and is currently
working on her latest epic fantasy series A Tale of Stars and Shadow. She has also partnered up with One Girl, an Australian charity working to build a world where all girls have access to quality education. A world where all girls — no matter where they are born or how much money they have — enjoy the same rights and opportunities as boys. A percentage of all Lisa’s royalties go to One Girl.

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My thoughts:

A lot happens in this quite short novel, we meet Lira, the granddaughter of the notorious Darkmage, a man she’s never even met, but whose reputation causes her fellow students to cower away from her.

Her story, the death of her mother, a childhood spent first in an orphanage, then on the streets, joining a criminal gang just to stay alive, before becoming a student and learning how to control her magic.

When she and several other students are kidnapped, supposedly her supporters of her grandfather, she must escape and save her newfound friends, without looking too suspicious – she is a spy after all.

Fast paced, intelligent and darkly comic, this is a smart and engaging YA fantasy novel, with more to follow as Lira works to bring down the enemies of the state, without revealing her beliefs or becoming too much like her grandfather.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Kate in Waiting – Becky Albertelli*

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.
[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker
Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent.

Examples:Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.
Enter Stage Left: Matt OlssonHe is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at

She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

My thoughts:

I knew I would enjoy this for two reasons – one, it’s about theatre kids and two, it’s by Becky Albertalli.

A really fun and totally enjoyable read about crushes, friendship, first love and putting on a show. Kate and Andy’s bond is strong and genuine and those are the ones you hold onto. It’s also very funny.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Zara Hossain is Here – Sabina Khan*

Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.

But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.

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Sabina Khan is the author of ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.

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My thoughts:

This was really good, a powerful novel about our differences and our similarities, about race, religion and sexuality. A book about family in all its different guises and friendship.

The fun stuff; bits are really funny, like Zorro the dog and his pizza hedge or Zara’s dad getting carried away on the karaoke machine. There’s so much food I was practically drooling all the way through – South Asian food is delicious and I was extremely hungry (I made curry after I finished it, also you should definitely try bhel puri, it’s amazing). The romance between Zara and Chloe was sweet and tender.

The not so fun stuff; racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, bigotry. What happens to Zara’s dad is really awful, what she and her family endure from the small minority of idiots that think the colour of someone’s skin or the way they practice their faith is an acceptable thing to attack. It’s very sad and it made me very angry. Some of my best friends are Indian and Pakistani, some of them are Muslim too and I hate how they have to deal with ignorance and bigotry.

There is hope in the book, though, Zara has so much hope and that is so so important when dealing with things like this. She’s determined to stand up and fight back against the racists and the bigots. I stand with all the Zaras out there dealing with this nonsense (trying really hard not to swear) as an ally.

An important, timely book and one I hope lots of people choose to read.

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Prison Healer – Lynette Noni*


Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.

Click on the poster to buy tickets to Lynette’s only UK event.

My thoughts:

This was so, so good. I really enjoyed it, it reminded me of Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire series and Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, all the amazing protagonists escape terrible prisons and fight their way to the top.

But this book takes place in the prison, you’re in Kiva’s suffering with her, the way she’s treated by both guards and other prisoners, her fears and hopes, her quiet days in the prison infirmary treating the sick and new arrivals.

But one of those new arrivals shakes up her existence – and offers new hope even if her family never come. But there are complications ahead, and inmates keep dying of a strange stomach virus.

I couldn’t put this down, it was so gripping and clever, enjoyable and I am so excited for book two, which I now have to wait for. If you want an epic new adventure series with a brilliant protagonist and excellent supporting characters, read this one.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books

Book Blitz: The Demon of Yodak – Adria Carmichael

TheDemonofYodok

I’m happy to share YA Dystopian novel, The Demon of Yodok! Read on for book details and a chance to win a signed hardcover edition. Oh and for all of you book reviewers, you can request a copy of this exciting book from R&R Book Tours!

Juche part one - eBook - Copy

Demon of Yodok

Genre: YA Dystopian

A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival series that will keep you glued to the pages.

JUCHE [dʒuːtʃe]

Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family are taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then – her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in face of the mounting evidence he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

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About the Author

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Adria Carmichael is a writer of Young Adult Dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a signed hardcover edition of The Demon of Yodok, click the link below!

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Giveway will run from today until April 15th!

Book Blitz Organized By:

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Gifted – Andy Lewer*

The last thing Abigail Everett thought would happen over spring break was having her world shift into an entirely new perspective. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what happened.

Between struggling to master her newly-formed abilities, coming face-to-face with dark, deceiving mind tricks by those that seek her leadership, and learning of a mythical world that she never deemed possible, Abigail risks everything with the future of mankind and the safety of its’ people in her hands.

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Andy is an urban fantasy/fictional writer that loves a healthy dose of character development. She’s a true Potter-head at heart with a deep love of nature, cooking, and comfy clothes. Andy is constantly plotting and pondering her works to come and has many exciting things in store.

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My thoughts:

This was an interesting take on the teenager discovers they have special powers trope, as Abby’s newly appeared heritage puts her in danger. There are two factions who both want her to lead, but for different reasons. Unfortunately she’s in the dark about all of this and makes mistakes.

The book was fairly short and sweet, setting up the conflicts to come – between the two sides but also within Abby, and between the bad boy who says he loves her and the best friend who’s loved her for years.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: What Beauty There Is – Cory Anderson*

What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson’s stunning YA novel about brutality and beauty, and about broken people trying to survive—perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Laura Ruby, and Meg Rosoff.

To understand the truth, you have to start at the beginning.
Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.
Living in harsh poverty, Jack Dahl is holding his breath. He and his younger brother have nothing—except each other. And now Jack faces a stark choice: lose his brother to foster care or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.
He chooses the money.
Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father, a merciless man, has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up on Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or speak, and help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price.

My thoughts:

You know you come across books sometimes that are sad and beautiful and there’s probably a German word for that. Well this is one of those books. It’s heartbreaking and moving and lovely.

Jack just wants to take care of his little brother, he will do anything for Matty. And then he meets Ava, who wants to take care of him. But the world is a cruel and dangerous place and neither Jack or Ava are safe.

The adults in this book are all pretty awful human beings, except Doyle, and they keep letting Jack and Ava down. His parents, his uncle, her father.

Keep some tissues handy if you’re a crier, this book will break your heart and then try to fix it. The imagery is stunning, the writing poetic and the story utterly wrings you out. A wonderful, powerful debut.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Down World – Rebecca Phelps*

Stranger Things meets the Netflix series Dark in this paranormal thriller where three mysterious doors in a school basement hold the key to unlocking the mystery of what really happened the night Marina’s brother died.

As the new kid in school and still reeling from the unexplained death of her brother Robbie, Marina O’Connell is only interested in one thing: leaving the past behind. But a chance encounter with handsome Brady Picelli changes everything. He will lead Marina to a startling discovery. The Down World is real and the past, present, and future are falling out of balance.

Brady is determined to help Marina discover what really happened to her brother. However, what is taken from one world, must be repaid by another. And Marina is about to discover that even a realm of infinite possibilities has rules that must be obeyed…

My thoughts:

This was a strange, trippy book, with weirdness all around. From parallel worlds with other versions of everyone you know and strange doors in unexpected places.

Is Down World something created by the military in the base that’s now the high school? How did the sinister Russian take over? Is there actually a conductor on the train? So many questions!!

All Marina wants to do is find her brother, if he’s still alive, and mend her family, but instead she gets sucked into a surreal and terrifying alternate reality, one that starts seeping through into hers. Can she unravel the universes as they merge and alter everything she knows?

A blend of scientific theory and a lot of science fiction weirdness that creates a novel that makes you think about reality and how far you might go for the people you love.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Kid – Sebastian De Souza*

  • Available to pre-order at many retailers including: Bookshop.org | Waterstones | Hive | Amazon
  • Indie bookseller West End Lane Books is running a special pre-order promotion, where readers can get a SIGNED & DEDICATED copy of Kid if purchased through their website

London, 2060: Following a series of deadly pandemics, devastating environmental disasters and a violent surge in cyber terrorism, the UN has made it compulsory for every tax paying citizen to login to the Perspecta Universe: a totally safe, pollution free, environmentally friendly virtual reality world.

Eighteen years later, ‘The Upload’ is complete, and billions of people all around the world exist in massive dormitory complexes surrounding the major cities, all totally unconscious of the crumbling world around them.

Apart from the renegades, the ‘Offliners’ who live in London’s silent wasteland, making the disused Piccadilly Circus Tube station their home: a fully self-sufficient, subterranean community.

When Josh ‘Kid’ Jones, a young Offliner, discovers that an antiquated piece of technology called an ‘iPhone left to him by his father seems able to communicate with the past through social media. He strikes up a friendship with Isabel Parry, a 16-year-old living in 2021, and the two begin communicating through time and space via Instagram. But what Kid and Izzy don’t realise is that by doing so they are not only changing their own fate, but also the fate of the rest of the world…

Sebastian de Souza is an actor, producer, screenwriter and musician. Sebastian can currently be seen on Channel 4, playing the leading role of Leo in the Hulu Original series The Great, opposite Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, written by Oscar-nominated and BAFTA award-winning writer Tony MacNamara (The Favourite).

Previous roles include Gareth in the BBC/Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People directed by Oscar-nominated Lenny Abrahamson (Room); in Netflix’s Medici, playing the iconic painter Sandro Botticelli; Alfonso d’Aragona in Showtime’s Emmy award-winning The Borgias, opposite Jeremy Irons and Holliday Grainger; and in the multiple BAFTA award-winning Skins, as lead Matty Levan.

Sebastian has also played the lead role of Rafa in Paramount Pictures’ Brit-Crime thriller Plastic, opposite Will Poulter and Alfie Allen, and can currently be seen on Netflix playing Edmund in Ophelia opposite Naomi Watts, Daisy Ridley and Clive Owen.

As a writer, at the age of 20 Sebastian wrote the feature film Kids In Love, which he also starred in opposite Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne. The film was produced by Ealing Studios, the oldest and most prestigious studio in the UK. He wrote and directed the short ‘Evelyne’s World’, starring Evelyne Brochu at Korda Studios in Budapest.

His debut YA novel KID: A History of the Future is published by Offliner Press in Spring 2021.

My thoughts:

This was a really clever book, the plot was so intriguing and revolves around blooming Instagram messages of all things, but in a very different way than just sending someone a random DM.

The future is bleak, utterly miserable, but maybe it can be changed in the past, which in this context is our present – 2021.

But from Kid’s perspective, this is the tipping point, from here on out things get really bad and he desperately wants to stop evil megacorp Gnosys from taking over even the tiny crumbling corner of London, Soho, that he calls home.

I was absolutely hooked. Even though we currently appear to be living through our own dystopia, I am still very keen on dystopian fiction with a touch of hope. And Kid and Izzy’s friendship via some weird technological loophole gave me that hope. This is a chunky book but it fizzes along, blending future tech with contemporary lockdown life.

This is written with confidence and talent – it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. The characters are realistic and engaging, the plot is smart and gripping. It’s very enjoyable and compelling.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Dragonfly Girl – Marti Leimbach*

In this spellbinding thriller and YA debut from bestselling author Marti Leimbach, Kira Adams has discovered a cure for deathand it may just cost her life.

Things aren’t going well for Kira. At home, she cares for her mother and fends off debt collectors. At school, she’s awkward and shy. Plus, she may flunk out if she doesn’t stop obsessing about science, her passion and the one thing she’s good at . . . very good at.

When she wins a prestigious science contest she draws the attention of the celebrated professor Dr. Gregory Munn (as well as his handsome assistant), leading to a part-time job in a top-secret laboratory.

The job is mostly cleaning floors and equipment, but one night, while running her own experiment, she revives a lab rat that has died in her care.

One minute it is dead, the next it is not.

Suddenly she’s the remarkable wunderkind, the girl who can bring back the dead. Everything is going her way. But it turns out that science can be a dangerous business, and Kira is swept up into a world of international rivalry with dark forces that threaten her life.

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Marti Leimbach’s latest novel is DRAGONFLY GIRL, a YA action/thriller about a high school girl with a gift for science who discovers a “cure” for death and ends up embroiled in an international rivalry. It is published by Harper Collins in February 2021.

Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’t Talking. She is interested in neurodiversity and has shared the stage with young inventors at the Human Genome Project (Toronto), the National Autistic Society, and the University of Oxford.
She teaches on the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Dragonfly Girl is her eighth novel, but her first for young adults.

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My thoughts:

This was very good, blending science fiction and fact, action and intrigue, Dragonfly Girl takes us from small town America to Stockholm’s fanciest hotels and then to Russia in all its decaying finery.

Kari is a science genius, her brilliant mind can process information quickly and she can think out a method for all sorts of experiments in no time.

Her intelligence gets her awarded science prizes that stave off debt collectors but then catch the attention of men who might not be entirely as they seem.

I loved April the rat carer and Dmitry the grumpy Russian defector in the lab, I felt for Kari as she took on her family’s worries and tried to juggle high school as well.

This was really enjoyable and I hope there’s a book two in the works.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.