RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Loves & Loathes – 31st August


1. I am LOVING that it is the first day of spring tomorrow! Finally we are leaving winter behind… – C

2. Buddy reads! I love discussing books with literally anyone who will indulge me, so buddy reading with my BBH and some of our amazing online book-buddies is going to be ridiculously fun! – C

3. We are currently reading Black Lies by Alessandra Torre and oh my bloody god, what a mind f-ck. Seriously. 

4. Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid has been out for a few days. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the ridiculously talented Penny Reid. LOVE. Like I already feel like re-reading! Look out for my review ASAP and HERE is where you go to purchase… – C

5. We each have our own Twitter accounts now! We still have our main Once Upon a Book Blog account where we post all of our reviews, promo stuff and Goodreads updates but we were finding that there was a lot of confusion sharing one so – ta daa! Now we each have our own too. These will be a little more ‘us’ so expect mild insanity. Add us! – @KristalOUABB  & @CharmOUABB 

6. I’m adding a 6th thing here because it’s worthy. We have had a ton of new Facebook followers this week and so we wanted to say thanks for following us and we are looking forward to chatting books with you all! Definitely a 6th love week 😉



1. The Goodreads iphone app. I have so many dramas with that thing. – K

2. We keep being promised rain. Downpours even! But nothing. We have clouds but no rain –

3. The True Blood Finale was not good. Thank GOODNESS Kristal and I made up for it by making sure we had delicious food to eat – C

4. I’ve had literally NO reading time for the last few days… make for a very cranky Charm!

5. This is more of an apology than a loathe – I’m really behind on my emails at the moment. I am working my way through them so bear with me! If you have sent an email and haven’t received a response know that I am getting there and that I’m very sorry it’s not sooner! – K

Our WTF! moments and more from the final EVER True Blood…

Kristal – Ok! So, True Blood. Hmm. When you spend hours of your life, and (literally) hundreds of dollars on a book and/or tv series you expect that there will be some kind of pay off. When that expectation isn’t met there’s…disappointment, to say the least. So bear with me will I express my feelings. I’m not 100% sure why I persisted with both the book AND TV series (stupidity?) but I did… and hell, I feel let down. Kind of like when you back the wrong ‘team’ in a love triangle and find out in the 3rd…6th…13th book that your guy isn’t the winner. Except Sookies triangle was more like a square, or a hexagon.

All bitching aside, there were things I liked about the final episode of this series. For starters, Jessica, Jason and Hoyt were absolutely the heart and soul of this show by the end. Without Jessica & Jason this series would have gone to the pot ages ago. The end of their story was beautiful and heartwarming. Perfect. And Jessica was a stunning bride! There’s just something about a redhead in nude and reds. What. A. Babe. She was ridiculous. 

The other thing that I felt (grudgingly) happy about was that Sookie and Bill didn’t end up together. Whoever called this an ‘epic love story’ was a liar. It was gross. Bill as a character was way too soft for me. Like soft features, soft voice, softly spoken….it gave me the creeps. Also, when there are literally hundreds of thousands of fans screaming at the producers about how much they love Eric and Sookie, and the producers then decide to push Bill and Sookie instead, well the trust is gone. I can never trust those producers (or Charlaine Harris) again with a good TV show or book series. I’m pretty sure they would just f-ck me over. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” 

Honestly there’s not that much more to say. Hopefully Charmaine will be more articulate (and nicer), than I have been. Sorry to the three Bill and Sookie fans that still exist and sorry about the bitch and moan as well – I had to get it out! Let’s end on a positive note – the gif above is everything.

Charmaine – Firstly, that GIF is pretty much the best part of the season finale. Eric bopping along in that car was just perfect Eric-ness and this last episode needed all of the Eric-ness it could get. Now aside from that, I feel kinda bleak on the whole thing. I know that no matter what, when a TV show ends you can’t please everyone… I know this. But this went beyond that. I find it hard to believe that many people would be loving the fact that in the end, after everything fans have invested in the characters, Sookie ends up with a faceless, nameless, no-body. I know that the aim was to show her leading a somewhat normal life in the end like she apparently always wanted… but really, if she wanted that would she have not given up her light when Bill asked? Would we not find it so damn hard to believe? Because, honestly, I don’t for a second believe that Sookie was meant to end up as Mrs average Bon Temps. If this ending was, from the start, the point of 7 seasons of this show then it would’ve been nice to have a heads up so that we could anticipate being lead so far astray there was no chance we’d make our way back to any semblance of a decent conclusion.

Back when I was reading the books, well before the final book came out, I was totally Team Sookie & Eric. Same goes for when this show started, I just wanted Bill to back the eff up and leave those two to find their own version of HEA. But by the time I’d finished the books AND now that the show has finished, I hate to say it but I’m GLAD Sookie and Eric don’t end up in each others lives. I’m glad he’s off doing a million other more deserving things than her. Sookie turned out to be probably one of my least favorite main characters ever. By the end of this series I didn’t want to watch one more second of her storyline (probably didn’t help that they all contained Bill and his time consuming BORING life flashbacks, or the two of them rambling on to one another about feelings.) So if I came away with anything from the finale it was the realization that really, Bill and Sookie were probably the two characters I cared about the least out of the core group. I just couldn’t bring myself to feel anything. There was nothing there. Oh and I have to take a sec to mention that the whole ‘she could hear Bills thoughts’ near the end was probably one of the STUPIDEST things I have seen. Whoever came up with that one obviously wanted to smash us across the head with their apparent love for each other, no room for subtly there obviously.

Now while it seems like I didn’t like anything, I promise that’s actually not true. Like Kristal, I was a huge Jessica fan. I actually read somewhere in a review that she was the ‘beating heart’ of this last season and I believe that is absolutely the fact. Her storyline was just perfect, all of it. It was the right way to end a series for a character. Likewise with Jason, he, like Sookie got the typical normal ‘happily ever after’ treatment, but in his case it ‘seemed’ right. I’ve always loved his character, and I finished watching the finale loving him more than ever before. Since I’m totally team Eric and I love Pam too, I don’t have any complaints about them ending up taking over the world one infomercial at a time together, these characters seemed to be designated to be responsible for the comedy of the season so of course that would extend to this episode… and it was fine. Not amazing, but you’ll hear no complaints from me.

So that’s the end of that. True Blood is finished for good, which is probably a good thing because I just don’t think I could’ve committed to another season. After the last few seasons being pretty darn average, I knew some type of mind blowing ending was probably was too much to hope for, but even so, I don’t think I was fully prepared for how flat it was. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good… it was just an ending. After 7 seasons I think we deserved something more, even if it was big and terrible, at least I could’ve respected them trying and failing. Here it didn’t even feel like trying…

Book Review – See How She Fights (The Chronicles of Izzy #2) by Michelle Graves

I was still floating in a cloud of Izzy and Kennan love from the first book in this series when I dove straight into this one. (You can read my review for See How She Runs HERE) I literally finished SHSR and jumped straight onto Amazon to download this one. I HAD to know where this story was going to go next and of course I had to get more of Izzy and Kennan…

She thought it was over.
She thought her life was finally her own.
She was wrong.

Izzy is thrust back into the world of Seers and Guardians. With a summons from the Council she can’t ignore, Izzy heads back into the fray. Now, it is up to her to figure out why Seers are being sacrificed, carved up, and left for ruin. If she doesn’t find the person orchestrating the deaths, she may well be next.

If that wasn’t enough, her powers have started to expand exponentially. Kennan is keeping secrets. Moreover, a strangely familiar Symbol-smith starts wreaking havoc on her precariously balanced world.

Will Izzy survive this latest crisis? Will she stop fighting destiny and accept her fate? Find out in See How She Fights.

So like the blurb goes, Izzy has to re-immerse herself in all things Seer, not only that, but she also has to leave the beginnings of her future perfect life and attend the Council whom have summoned her. To put it mildly both Izzy and Kennan are VERY unimpressed with this development. After everything how could this be a fair situation?! As she will soon learn, a lesson in the reality of fairness is one of the numerous lessons Izzy will learn by the end of this book.

When I reviewed the first book I mentioned it was mostly romance and built up towards action near the end and I LOVED it… Well this book is mostly action with the romance to sweeten the story… and guess what? I LOVED it!!! I love that this is a series that doesn’t just follow the same familiar formula for each book. Instead the story flows and the books are what they need to be to tell the story, at the start that was a romance, detailing the background, the characters and the romance. Now that we’ve moved into this book we can focus on the fast paced action which is (to put it simply) awesome. Luckily though, we don’t lose the romance, we just have to learn to share Izzy and Kennan with the world, for better or for worse…

Izzy has to deal with some horrific happenings, violent bloody crimes are being committed against seers and before long she has been dragged right into the middle. She needs to fight and stay one step ahead, just so she can stay alive. The things that were happening both to Izzy and around Izzy were intriguing and more than a little disturbing. I was definitely with Izzy and her intense frustration at the beings around her, they can see into the future, read minds, jump into the dreaming but they are so damn vague! A little heads up once in a while would’ve probably helped Izzy from feeling like she had missed out on reading a Seer instruction manual, but then I guess, where’s the fun in that? Make no mistake, going into this book Izzy hasn’t developed and understood half of what she needs to. This is a drag out, dirty dealing, fight to bloody knuckles, scream in your sleep story, yet I loved that despite everything, Izzy still retained one of her traits the I love the most about her, her snark. Only Izzy could pull off sassy conversations with a sacrificed seer spirit…

“this sucks,” I said, frustrated.

“You’re telling me. At least you still have your eyes. Oh, and your life,” Ren griped.

“Seriously, if you are going to be haunting my visions, could you at least be a little nice?…”

Once again Michelle Graves strikes the character chemistry just right, I loved the developing friendship between Izzy and Molly (everyone needs a BFF!) I laughed at the fiery feisty relationship between Ian and Molly and I melted at the love between Izzy and Kennan. It’s also in this book that we are introduced to a few more book boyfriend contestants. The first being Conall, sometimes too formal, way too gruff and fiercely loyal, he half the time rubs Izzy the wrong way and the other half of the time he’s trying to help Kennan reign in the carnage that inevitably follows her around. Also, another manly man of note we meet Aberto. Ancient and mysterious, he doesn’t throw a spanner in the works for Izzy and Kennan as such, but there is a lot more to him than what originally meets the eye. Along the way we start to get to slowly unravel his secrets, although very vaguely (there’s a theme here!)… and the big tough guy vs big tough guy interactions between him and Kennan, as well as his confusing relationship with Izzy are pretty much everything you could ever need for that little bit of tension every story needs.

By the end of this book I was feeling completely and utterly on edge and I knew this story was far from over. I definitely didn’t have a feeling that all was lost, but there sure will be a lot of obstacles to come, of that I am certain. Like I said, I loved the first book, it was so good to have a strong start to the series… But this second book has nabbed the top spot out of the two for me… Everything about it was just perfect and made sure I could literally not put it down. Which is why I jumped straight onto Amazon after I finished this one and one-clicked the next… It’s an addiction and I’m not even sorry…

 photo credit: ♥ via photopin cc

Book Review – A Whole New Crowd by Tijan

Posted on

 Every time I read a Tijan book I swear it will be my last. More often than not I’m left confused and stunned, feeling like my emotions have been toyed with – an overall feeling of “what the f-ck just happened”. However, something about the rich spoiled bitches, the ‘I don’t give a damn’ female leads and the hot as hell alphas sucks me in time and time again. A Tijan book is like a giant octopus – you end up wrapped up in the story, unable to get free. But you don’t want to be free. You won’t even struggle. 

Taryn grew up in a different world. Her boyfriend was a criminal. His older brother was part of a gang. They weren’t great people, but they were her family. Then everything changes when she’s adopted by a family in the neighboring town. New family. New friends. A new world. She’s elated. This is her chance for a new beginning, but secrets start being revealed and Taryn learns her new life has ties to her old one, ties that she’s not happy about. Her new family might not have been the lucky break she thought she had. Now she’s not only fighting to live that new future, but she’s fighting to survive as well.

Taryn is a girl from the wrong part of the wrong town. She’s been brought up in the foster system and shuffled from family to family. The one constant throughout her life are the Lanser brothers – first love, Brian and hotter than hell (and possibly from Hell himself), Jace. 

After Taryn is mysteriously adopted one day by a well off family, her whole world is changed. She’s thrust into a life of trust funds and assholes. Jace is adamant that she needs to stay away in order to start her new life in a new place but there’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes and Taryn is determined to get to the bottom of it and protect those she loves. 

Now, call me a cold hard bitch but I love the way Tijan writes her female leads. I love how they are so dismissive of everyone. Friends, school mates, queen bees, even the boys they love. Especially the boys they love. I actually find this to be quite a refreshing and realistic attitude because living in the types of worlds Tijan creates, with the types of assholes she writes about, wouldn’t you feel the same? No? I can only imagine that at some point you would just feel….over it. Maybe it’s just me.

“I’m here to kick some ass. Let’s save the poetry talk for later, like never.”

One of the things I love about a Tijan book is that there is always something bigger than the romance going on. A story usually full of mystery and intrigue, twists and turns. A Whole New Crowd was no exception and it was really that side of the story that kept me hooked rather than the romance between the main characters. Don’t get me wrong – the romance was great, but it was the other stuff that kept me flipping pages like a crazy person.

Another thing I noticed about A Whole New Crowd is that I wasn’t left feeling as confused as I usually do after a Tijan book. I knew exactly what I’d read and how I felt about it. This, for me, is a bit of a rarity. Maybe it was edited differently to her usual books, bringing the story together in a more structured way? Or maybe it’s just that Tijan is getting more and more awesome with each book. Either way I’ll definitely be looking out for her next release! 

“I won’t change,” I rasped out.

“Neither will I,”

We were both assholes. That had been established.



photo credit: FotoRita [Allstar maniac] via photopin ccphoto credit: Michele Catania via photopin ccphoto credit: Katie Tegtmeyer via photopin cc

Book announcement!!! TRUE LOVE WAY by Mary Elizabeth

Posted on

The amazing Mary Elizabeth has a new book out December 2014! No doubt it’s going to be a goodie so add to your TBRs ASAP!! No cover yet (as you can see) but check out this synopsis –


Mary Elizabeth 
December 2014  

Some days are brighter than others, but Penelope Finnel has learned she can be invisible behind the 
colored lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses. 
Her mind is her own worst enemy, and simply waking up in the morning is risky. For a girl like her, 
staying in bed is easier. Especially when the day come to start school in a new town with new kids who 
don’t understand that the clouds are not the only reason everything is so gloomy. 
Dillon Decker is a typical boy from a typical small town who radiates light and happiness. Under the 
hovering glare of her father, Dillon leads Penelope around on his bicycle’s handlebars, hoping he will be 
the cure to her madness. 
But as time goes by and when friend turns to lover, and lover turns to caretaker, how much can either of 
them endure before they’re swallowed whole? 
This is a story about rollerblades and moving trucks, trading candy for smiles, and passing notes across 
First love and the struggle to keep it sane. 
The true love way. 

Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons 
hanging in your closets.  
orn and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to 
one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, 
new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of 
licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent 
for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is 

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”—Jeremiah 17:9 





Loves & Loathes – 24th August

Loves loves loves…

1. Beautiful sunny days. We’re nearing the end of winter here in NZ and luckily for us we’ve had a whole weekend of beautiful warm sunshine. Life always seems so much better with the sun out…

2. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from Penny Reid for her new book (being released end of the month) Beauty and the Mustache. I kid you not, this beautiful romance gave me the butterflies AND the giggles at the same time! ❤   – C

3. The Keatyn Chronicles by Jillian Dodd. I have been making my way through this series over the last month and the final book, Get Me, is out today. I’m loving this series! I was a big Gossip Girl fan and this series gives me major GG vibes. I’ll be writing a review on the whole series once I’m done but the first 5 books in the series are either free or only $0.99 at the moment!! Total bargain. Check it out – 

4. We won a prize recently! We entered a competition on The Fairytail Sagas facebook page. All we had to do was post pictures of hotties – easy and fun! If you haven’t checked out The Fairytail Saga by S. K. Munt yet, I definitely recommend it. Mermaids and smoking hot heroes…what more could you want! We may also have a signed copy of S K Munts newest release Venom up for grabs to pass along to you thanks to the competition win! – K

5. Another book love – finally, after what seems like an eternity, Rival (Fall Away, #2) 
by Penelope Douglas is out tomorrow! Eeeeeep!! Excuse me while I go and dance with happiness!! – K



1. I can NOT get Taylor Swifts new song out of my head. Everytime I get in the car it’s on!! I’m in bed singing and dancing even. It’s driving me insane! I don’t mind Taylor Swift (side note – Good on her for dating around! Live it up girls!!!!) but damn her for this! Now you can all suffer with me – K

2. I hurt my toe on our night out last weekend. It’s STILL so sore! Hating it! – C

3. I’ve decided my standards have been set too high after my last couple of books because nothing that I am starting is really clicking – C

4. Peanut M&Ms. Holy shit M&Ms are my biggest weakness in life. I’m going to have to run for a hundred miles to burn all those calories off. Having raw oats, yogurt and goji berries for breakfast really has no effect when I’m stuffing my gob with M&Ms by arvo. Damn it. – K 

5. Loathing that we’re going to have to pretty much ban ourselves from all internet related activities for a whole day so we don’t catch any spoilers for the True Blood finale. It better not end stupidly…Ahem… (ahem… -K)


Book Review – Lost Girl (Hidden #1) by Colleen Vanderlinden

Molly Brooks is a telepathic vigilante with a few secrets and a mysterious past. Determined to make something of her bizarre powers, she devotes herself to saving those who need her most. One night, she’s followed by a powerful being in a pickup truck, and her world will never be the same. Finding herself thrust into a world full of supernatural beings she could have only imagined, Molly learns how powerful she really is, and how much she stands to lose.

This book was a fast paced, action packed, thoroughly entertaining ride of a story… From the very start I was intrigued and it didn’t let up… Not for one minute. It’s a fine line to walk to write a story that is all of these things without seeming rushed, but the author achieved a story that was to the point without giving me whiplash. Being the first book in a series it did have the job of setting up the world and storyline to do. While the storyline definitely got off to a roaring start and I did get a good sense of this alternate universe, I do hope that in the subsequent books we get a little more detail about this world and the beings in it.

Molly was a bit of a darker heroine than the usual. Totally bad ass and unpredictable… Actually she probably was bordering on unhinged for a lot of the book! She was definitely conflicted, she didn’t for the most part understand her powers or where her place in the world was. She was a loner and pretty prickly towards anyone and everyone. What absolutely didn’t help her state of mind was the certain big, gruff Nain… He swept in, shook up her world and her life was never the same. Nain, just like Molly, was dark and light rolled into one, but in his case way way darker. He’s not some kind of ex-bad-demon… he’s the real deal ex-evil-demon. But he’s spent a long time fighting for redemption before rounding up Molly to join his group of assorted supernatural good-guys. I loved the chemistry between these two… The power, the violence, the needing to do good. Their relationship (and sometimes lack of relationship) is what in my opinion really propelled the book along.

I really enjoyed this book but I have to say I am so so SO happy that there is a follow up book to this story because I literally felt like I had the wind knocked out of me by this ending. So let this serve as a warning, if you’re after an instant HEA you are going to be left wanting… However, I think this is going to make for a very interesting second book. I’m really looking forward to what Molly does next, whether she keeps her darkness in check or lets it overtake her, so I know the ending to this book was necessary and very smart., because there is no room for a tidy neat anything when you’re talking Urban Fiction and that is especially true here.

Lost Girl: Hidden Book One (Volume 1)

By Colleen Vanderlinden