#BookReview #BlogTour : The City of Souls (Starchild #2) by Vacen Taylor @rararesources @VacenTaylor

Hello readers! It’s my stop during the blog tour for The City of Souls by Vacen Taylor, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Check out the book details and my review on this adventurous MG fantasy. Don’t forget to enter giveaway, the link is at the end of this post.

The City of Souls (Starchild #2) by Vacen Taylor
Publication Date: October 14th 2013
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genre: Fantasy / Middle Grade
Pages: 160
Stars: ★★★★★

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A gripping forest adventure full of mystery, betrayal and courage.

When a new sealer boy joins the journey, Mai, Long, and Akra are confident their challenges have come to an end.  But as they embark on their journey once again, they find themselves having to escape from the clutches of dangerous enemies.


They travel to Naroan – the forest lands of the soulbankers, the regulators of life and death. Against the backdrop of rules and suspicion, the children are challenged with unravelling the mystery of the Silvershade, which has been calling to Akra from the moment he arrived in the forest city. But Long is tormented by his doubts – he must face a deadly power from the Underworld before it takes him into the darkness. 


Will the dark pebble take Long along a road of no return? Or will his friends find a way to help him?

*** Note: I received this book from the author as a winner of giveaway. Many thanks to author and Rachel for tour invite. ***

Previous book I read in series:

The City of Souls was adventurous second book in Starchild series that takes children- Akra, Mai, Long and Sahib- to the City of soulbankers, regulator of life and death and their adventure in this city of souls. It was about beginning of the war against evil forces, irresolute mind, self-doubt, manipulation, love of sister, friendship and understanding and controlling the elemental powers and skills.

It should be read in order to understand world, characters and how journey of these brave kids started. Writing was again vivid and engaging. Characters, elemental magic and the world was well written in third person voice.

It started from where the first book ended. Mai, Akra, Sahib and Long are back on their journey towards Valley of Thousand Thoughts but once again they faced danger from the very first chapter. Sandslavers, Melkarie- a deadly underworld winged creature- and unexpected help from soundwaver caused them to take different direction from their journey and landed them in Naroan, the city of souls, where Akra felt the pull of mystical song that they later found was coming from Silvershade. But Long was troubled with the wound on his ankle inflicted by powerful being of underworld, Amual, who has found his weak link and tried to manipulate his thoughts.

What was the Silvershade and why it was calling to Akra, how Long would fight the evil talks of Amual, could they find Silvershade and save Long from Amual’s dark plans? It was fun to get answers to these questions.

The world was brilliant. This time we are introduced to one of the city of soulbankers, their lush green forests, their characteristics, way of living, and how they use their elemental magic. I loved that chamber of souls and how they collect and preserve each souls until they were given new life.

This time the story focuses a little more on Long and Akra’s pull towards a magical mysterious sound in soulbanker’s city and mystery behind it. Long’s self-doubt, jealousy because of Sahib and desperation to prove his worth lead him to darker path. I didn’t expect him to cave in so easily. At the same time I could see how Mai”s ignorant behavior towards Long and taking things lightly when it came to his feelings affected Long. She cared for him but Long couldn’t see it as she didn’t express it outwardly.  I have a feeling their bond is going to turn strong and unbreakable in next books of the series.

Returning of Sahib’s memory and his real identity, the healer’s power and her true nature, upcoming war was interesting turn. Each chapter had adventure, tension, mystery or new information about the world with interesting details.

Mai and Sahib were amazing in this book. Mai’s trust and faith in her brother was great. She was shocked finding out what he was up to and after all that happened, I admired her for her unwavering love for Long. Sahib turned out even more interesting. Akra was still confused because of his broken memory but he showed lot of courage and strength in climax. They all were brave and strong kids with soul filled with good and kindness.

Climax was tense and uncertain. End was tragic yet the hope in these kids kept them going ahead on their journey.

Overall, it was gripping and unique middle grade book with magical world and developed characters. I surely recommend this book to young readers.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amaon UK | Publisher’s site
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Author Bio:

Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements.  A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018.  The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

Social Media Links –  Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Giveaway to Win all 4 books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book in this series? Are you going to add it to TBR?
Which is your favorite Middle Grade book and character?

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#BookReview : Love to Prove You Wrong (Old Pine Cove, #2) by Sophie-Leigh Robbins

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Love to Prove You Wrong (Old Pine Cove, #2) by Sophie-Leigh Robbins
Publication Date: November 4th 2019
Publisher: Got It Covered Press
Genre:Chick Lit / Romance
Pages: 263
Stars: ★★★★★

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Hating the guy who ruined her confidence would be a lot easier if he wasn’t so freaking sexy.

For Addy, small-town life is just perfect. She’s about to expand her inn with ten new rooms and a petting zoo, and she’s helping the mayor’s son organize his wedding. If only her pet duck would stop escaping all the time, her days would be an absolute breeze.

But then Justin Miller shows up at Addy’s check-in desk. The guy went from small-town stud to lead actor in a popular series, and he’s behaving exactly like the celebrity he is. Smug grins, dimples to die for, and hordes of women chasing him all over town.

Addy has no intention of letting him in her life again—not after what happened in high school. So what if he keeps trying to prove he’s changed? No amount of helicopter rides and intimate outings will change the truth:

Justin Miller is nothing but trouble.

Love to Prove You Wrong is a sweet romantic comedy and the second book in the Old Pine Cove series. All books share the same setting, but each story features a different couple.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Many thanks to author. ***

Previous book I read in series:

Love to Prove You Wrong was lovely and cozy romcom, a dazzling love story of Addy. It was hate to love and character falling in love with celebrity arc. It was about second chance, denial of love and misjudgment.

Writing was addictive, entertaining and fast paced. I couldn’t stop reading until I finished the book. Setting was the same as first book and like first book, it was charming. Loved Old Pine Cove in spring and town activities in this season. The more I’m reading about this town and community the more I want to pack my things and move to this beautiful place. You can read this book as standalone but I would say read the first book. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Book started with Addy stressed under the upcoming wedding of Diane’s grandson at her inn and its organization. Diane’s famous tantrums and demands, escaping duck didn’t help with the stress and to make things worse Justin Miller returns the town and staying as a guest at her inn. The same Justin who made her high school life difficult and now he is famous Hollywood star. Addy knew he is trouble and exactly how he was in high school, a jerk. But when they had to work together for spring event, her feelings thawed eventually. But could she trust Justin and her rapidly changing feelings? Can she put her heart in line for a person who lowered her self-esteem and self-confidence in high school? Can a relationship is possible between a small town simple living girl and famous life of Hollywood star?

In last book I said I wish I could know Addy more and it came true here. Addy was sweetheart, professional and realistic. I could relate with her when it came to holding judgement because of bad experience. But unlike me she got a chance to change that judgement and I’m glad it proved wrong here.

Justin was amazing. At first I thought he was obnoxious rich and super famous Hollywood star. But I thawed pretty quickly than Addy. He was definitely irresistible. But I couldn’t figure out his actions in high school in half of the book and to be honest the reason was pretty lame. Who acts like that! But his confession was heartwarming and when she said why he came back and expressed his feelings, I was ready to swap places with Addy.

I enjoyed reading all characters and I was glad to meet old ones too.It was great to see both Justin and Addy’s feelings develop. They were perfect with each other. Their dates were awesome. Paparazzi, drama, and jealousy added spice in the story. Conversation and dialogues were great.  

I could figure out the end pretty early but not that climax. I loved how thing took turn at climax and the way they found solution to their problem. I loved the end, epilogue and everything in this book.

Overall, it was light, sweet and fun read with lovely characters and town. I highly recommend this book.

Books Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book by the same author? Which small town you dream to visit after reading about it in a book?

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello readers! It’s been long time I did tags and awards. I enjoyed it when I started blog but then I just didn’t feel the fun. After a year break from tags I thought I should give it try once again. Thank you Stephen for nominating me. You should check out his blog. I love reading his reviews.

What is The Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  • Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.
Stephen’s Questions:

If you could choose one book to live in forever, which would it be?

Harry Potter. Hogwarts looks better among all the book I have read.

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What genre are you the most drawn to?

Fantasy, Mythology, and Women’s fic

Are there any films that you thought were better than the book?

Jungle Book

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Which supporting character do you think deserves their own book and why?

I don’t know! I think Nana D as main character in Braxton Campus series. That would be hilarious.

How would you describe your blog in just one sentence?

Eclectic book blog and reviews. (not really impressive but that’s what you’ll find in this blog)

Of all the books you own, which one has the nicest cover?

Six of Crows, The Girl in the Tower, and The Priory of the Orange Tree

Which country or place would you most like to visit?

Paris and Vienna

Which book do you always find yourself recommending to people?

Percy Jackson series.

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What are your favourite type of blog posts to write?

Definitely book reviews

Share one of your favourite quotes of the book you are currently reading or have just finished reading.

Worthiness is not in hand but in heart. And you have a heart worthy of such an elemental duty.

-Starchild book 1: The Age of Akra by Vacen Taylor

What is your favourite thing about the book blogging community?

Support book bloggers give each other in this community. Everyone is friendly, helping and lovely. It feels good being part of it and I’m glad I joined this community.

I Tag:

Prose & Pancakes
KARISBOOKS
Kyera’s Library
Misty’s Book Space
Chicks,Rogues and Scandals
Jessica Belmont
Reader Gal
Book Princess Reviews
Orangutan Librarian
How Useful It Is
A Book. A Thought.

My questions:

(I’m really bad at coming up with questions. These are the questions I saw on Instagram and I have been answering them more often these days.)

  1. Your favorite retelling that is not fairytale.
  2. What do you hate in book cover?
  3. Your favorite female antagonist
  4. What is the biggest book you own?
  5. Which fictional character you have a crush on?
  6. Who are the two authors who hasn’t worked together before but you want them to team up?
  7. If you’re given polyjuice potion to disguise, in which character you would like to turn into and why?
  8. Who is most read author(s) and how many books you read by the same author?
  9. Is there a book you never gave a chance even though you keep seeing it around a lot?
  10. Books you want to read before the end of the year.
  11. Your 2020 reading and blogging goal.

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#BookReview : The Doubt Factor by Renée Paule

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The Doubt Factor by Renée Paule
Publication Date: August 2019
Publisher: RPG Publishing
Genre: Non-Fiction / Self-help
Pages: 123
Stars: ★★★★★

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“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” – René Descartes. Renée Paule took this advice to heart in The Doubt Factor – sowing seeds of doubt about a range of topics and giving them the benefit of her unique take on things. She encourages us to use our own powers of reasoning, rather than taking things at face value. Renée writes “Doubt feeds on the fear of imagined consequences, such as making a mistake we may later regret; doubt holds us in a state of indecision … it becomes our master.” She makes a good case that we need to “… learn to doubt intelligently.” – to wield doubt rather than to be wielded by it. There is much in this book to give us pause for thought – perhaps even enough to shake off complacency.

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author. ***

Previous Books I read by the same Author:

The Doubt Factor was non-fiction, self-help book in which author encourages to seek the truth by implanting the doubt on the age-old beliefs, mindsets, habits, authority, rights and prejudice, human nature, and even on the food, making you question everything and ponder over the true meaning of life.

 All topics were insightful and motivational. They had so many things one can discuss over again and again and find something enlightening everytime. The more I read the more I reflected on what was said in the book and how I could reflect it with things around me and in myself. When I was reading this book I jotted down my thoughts, what I understood from it with my own experiences in my life. Shockingly, it was 4 pages long. I’m not going to bore you with that long review. Just one or two line on each essays. So here is what the book and each essay was about and what author portrayed through it.-

Habits– Here author doesn’t say about good vs bad habits and its pros and cons but how it affects our life and thinking. I loved this topic. It motivated me to start getting in routine of exercise that left during pregnancy. The core point of the topic was, sticking to bad habit is going to root us at one place in life while good one helps us grow mentally, physically and spiritually. Escape– How many of us seek escape when something bad happens? All of us, right? There was nothing new here that we don’t know. Escaping is not solution and even after escaping we don’t achieve peace and inner-happiness. So what was different here was examples author gave based on her own experience.

Next in Line– This was a hard truth we all don’t like, ‘we all are replaceable in life and even after death’. Somebody else gets what we wanted and we start throwing tantrums, plot revenge, think bad things about them and ultimately be unhappy about everything. What authors tells here is being selfless, do something in life that is not just good for us but for everybody, world and humanity, to leave something better for our next in line.

The Doubt Factor– In this title essay, author first tells about what doubt does to us. How it can make or break human. Mostly lot of harm comes with doubt but sometimes there is truth behind it as well that lead us to discovery. So doubt intelligently, not be blinded by misleading information, clear the confusion and so bad doubts making space for positive and wonderful things.

Rights and Prejudice– Now one can have endless discussion on this. Many times I encountered people who wrongly claimed rights on even smallest things and prejudiced people, gender, religion and so on. When I couldn’t bear it any more I tried to put forward points that might change their mind and thoughts but all in vein. When I read discussion in this book, I realized what I was doing wrong. I cannot change anybody’s mind. It’s not in my hand. Change should come from that person’s heart and it won’t happen by me telling them, they have to do it.

On Being Bored tells about retraining our mind and thoughts rather than being productively and constructively bored. Food for Thoughts was about strong mentality. What and how we are feeding our body and mind is important, it’s all about will and determination. We are the One was a topic that was discussed over and over in all previous books by author and this was a brush up on it. One can affect all and one can change all. We cannot turn away from society because we don’t like some people some age old rules or thoughts. We created such society and it’s up to us to change it. We are part of society and we will be no matter where we go. This was really insightful for me. Don’t get me started was kind of mixed topic but all it says is, change the education style, leave behind bloody history and war and instill wisdom and humanity. Worldly possessions are not going to stay all our life or follow us in our grave but love, compassion, self-reflection and wisdom will stay till and after death.

 Authority– I loved concept in this. The true authority is control over our thoughts, action, and ourselves. It’s presence of good and absence of evil. Another favorite topic was mindset. I’m told person leaves his/her character in grave, it stays the same all their life, no one can change it. Whoever now is going to tell me this I’m going to slap this essay on their face. You must see some situation where we are told to just go along with how things are because we cannot change people and their mindset and it’s futile to even try, it’s like ‘let a bully, bully you’ situation. Mindsets can be changed, it takes time and maybe some miraculous experience for some but it’s not impossible.

In a nutshell, author talked about inner happiness, clearing the confusion by clearing the doubts, change of heart, self-reflection, strengthening the mind and will, seeking wisdom, a true authority on ourselves by being selfless and removing evil, negative thoughts, and doing right and good thing in life, be a kindred spirit and bring change in our life and so in society. It’s these things we are going to take with us after death not worldly possessions.

Overall, it was inspirational, motivational and very insightful collection of essays. I highly recommend this book if you’re into self-help books.

Books Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book by the same author? Are you going to add it to TBR? Which is your favorite self-help or nonfiction book?

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#BookBlitz : Christmas at the Château by Lorraine Wilson @Romanceminx @rararesources

Hello readers! I’m excited to be part of blitz tour for new festive novella from Lorraine Wilson, Christmas at the Chateau. Blitz is organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Please check out the book details and giveaway in this post.

Christmas at the Château by Lorraine Wilson
Publication Date:1st December 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins / One More Chapter
Genre:  Romantic Comedy/ Women’s Fiction
Standalone Book 1.5 in ‘A French Escape’ series

Synopsis:

A Christmas she’ll remember forever…

Poppy is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in France at her boyfriend, Leo’s, Château. And as the snow falls softly around the dramatic castle, Poppy can’t think of anything more magical.

There are new traditions to discover, a cosy Christmas market to explore and best of all, a promise of secret treasure hunt from gorgeous Leo. Only family pressure and uncertainty about her future in France can threaten to cast a shadow over the holiday.

When the treasure hunt takes an unexpected turn Poppy knows for sure this is one Christmas she’ll remember forever.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2CYEyp5 

Biography:

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a Harper Collins imprint – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.

She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

Social Media Links – Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Giveaway to Win Signed paperback copy of ‘Poppy’s Place in the Sun’ (1st book in the ‘A French Escape‘ series), hand embroidered makeup bag (made by the author) and some artisanal French chocolates (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Let’s discuss!

What do you think about these book? Have you read any of these already or any book in the series? Are you going to add it to TBR? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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