REVIEW | The Forgotten Girl: A Thriller by Rio Youers

Title: THE FORGOTTEN GIRL

Author: RIO YOUERS

Released: 28TH MAY 2019 by TITAN BOOKS

TWs Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation.

Genre: ADULT THRILLER | SCI-FI | HORROR


This was an awesome novel! It more than met my expectations and I truly enjoyed it. I’ve never read Youers before, but after this I’ll definitely be adding him to my list of authors to watch! I am so glad I was able to pick this up.

The plot was so interesting and unique. I can’t say I’ve ever read anything quite like this. There is so much life, and death, in The Forgotten Girl. I found myself thinking about this story even when I wasn’t reading, and there were several times I kicked myself for not bringing it along with me to read in my downtime.

The characters were so real and the writing actually made me feel I was in the room with them dodging bullets and engaging in high speed car chases! Even the secondary characters were so well written and captivating.

It is such a page-turner and I urge you to pick this up as soon as possible! It will surprise you in the best way.


“She possesses a unique and powerful ability. Just like we can erase data from a computer hard drive, Sally can erase memories from a person’s mind.”

Abducted and brutally beaten by a group of thugs, street performer Harvey Anderson is convinced he’s a victim of mistaken identity when they demand to know the location of his girlfriend, Sally Starling. Harvey Anderson has been single for years. 

She dominated my dreams. Sometimes as a lover, more often as a scared, lonely girl running from something that slathered and swooped. I woke with her name on my lips, clutching the empty half of the bed, knowing beyond all doubt that she should have been next to me. 

Aided by his thugs, a sinister man known as “the spider” has tracked Sally to Harvey. He has pursued her for nine years, desperate to possess her remarkable talents. Yet emotion runs deeper than memory, and so Harvey goes looking for a woman he loves but can’t remember, and encounters a danger beyond anything he could ever imagine.


Thank you so much to Lydia Gittens at Titan Books for the review copy!

ARC REVIEW | Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

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Title: LITTLE DARLINGS

Author: MELANIE GOLDING

Released: 30TH APRIL 2019 by CROOKED LANE BOOKS

Genre: HORROR, MYSTERY, THRILLER

Rep: POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION | TWs: CHILD ENDANGERMENT, CHILD ABDUCTION

I finished Little Darlings not long ago and omg…my heart…my FEELINGS. MY BRAIN!!! That was so amazing…

How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all?

What a weird, creepy, and darkly twisty little tale- kind of like that cover! It seems to half take place in a nightmarish land and also half in reality, which makes you wonder if that’s maybe also a discussion on postpartum depression and how it affects new mothers. The story was mostly between that and the twisted fairytale details. It seems to me that the idea of changelings probably stems from new mothers suffering from PPD before people actually understood what it was and why it happened, but I’ve also read that they potentially stem from children that begin to show signs of disability after the initial birth. Either way, they are very sinister in the stories, and that is no different from this tale.

Look at someone every day for long enough and you stop seeing what everyone else sees. You start to see what no one else sees, what is kept hidden from most people.

Lauren seems to have very little support from either her husband, family, or nursing staff, which is not really all that uncommon for many women. They all seem to expect her to get on with it and know how to take care of everything, as well as looking after the housework, etc. Especially her husband who MOVES OUT OF THEIR BEDROOM SO HE CAN GET SOME REST!! What an absolute bastard of a man. He complains nearly the whole time and doesn’t take any responsibility for the boys. I really didn’t like him much throughout the story. Also, those damn nurses and midwives are assholes! How dare they treat her that way… I don’t understand what that’s actually about.

Anyway, this tale about changelings and faeries is gripping and so interesting, yet still very strange. I truly could not put this down once I began reading. The writing is amazing and strikes straight to the heart of so many issues! Also, I was really shocked by the ending, which doesn’t happen to me very often.


SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

APRIL 2019 LIBRARY READS PICK!

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Thank you so much to Melanie Golding and Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

five stars

BOOK LAUNCH | Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

TONIGHT WAS AMAZING!

I got to meet (again) one of my favourite authors. By all accounts, Sarah Maria Griffin is one of the best people on the PLANET and I seriously love her so much! This launch for her second fiction novel was packed full of awesome people and her beautiful pink book, Other Words for Smoke! *go check it out*


The introduction by Sinéad Gleason was so emotional and inspirational. #tinycoven

She really would have sold me on the book if I wasn’t already 100% in for it. This book of family, supernatural, and love has been on my highly anticipated list since last October at DeptCon 4! Plus, who doesn’t love weird books with unconventional characters? I’ve only read a few chapters so far, so can’t really tell you much about the content, but just having it makes me ecstatic!

Isn’t she just stunning? Total role model 🖤🖤🦉🏡 Review to come soon, as I’m sure I’ll absolutely devour this story. Thanks for reading, wayfarers!

COVER REVEAL | Jennifer Strange by Cat Scully

I’ve got a beauty for you all today, Wayfarers! I’m so excited to get to help promote –

JENNIFER STRANGE, by Cat Scully,

releasing July 23, 2019 from Haverhill House Publishing.

Not only did she get to design her own cover, but also create the illustrated map for her book, as well. How cool, right? Has that ever happened before? So unique! This cover was officially unveiled on YABC, so go find that post for the giveaway and details – which IS international, yay!!!

When I first discovered this was coming out, I knew I needed to get as involved as I could! JENNIFER STRANGE is to be an illustrated YA horror/comic AND I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED!


So, scroll down a bit to see the beauty…

And the map –


About the Book

When her father disappears, Jennifer Strange moves in with her estranged sister Liz in Savannah, Georgia, one of the most haunted places in the United States. When the ghosts begin to tear Jennifer and Liz’s lives apart, the sisters must learn to trust each other again if they hope to uncover the truth about their family history. If they can’t sort out their differences, they’ll not only destroy the veil between the living and the dead, but fall into the hands of a rival family that wants them dead.

Cat Scully’s illustrations bring the ghosts and demons of her fictional world to eerie and beautiful life, harkening back to the style of SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK and Ransom Riggs’ MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN.


I was also lucky enough to have gotten to ask Cat Scully some questions about designing her cover, so read on, Wayfarers!


QUESTIONS:

1. What was your favorite part of illustrating your cover?

Concepting it! I loved seeing how many different covers I could come up with to represent the same thing. One of my favorite images wasn’t used as the final cover (because it wasn’t EXACTLY what I wanted) but I will probably do a giveaway of it in the future. That’s my favorite part about art is the process and finding the right image and typography to convey the right message. I am such a designer! All of my writing I think visually first. Honestly, I was so nervous to do the cover. I thought our staff cover artist, Dyer Wilk, was going to do it. His work is so brilliant. I’m in awe of his talent. I sheepishly sent him a sketch of what I was thinking. He told me I was good. I didn’t need him. And I totally didn’t believe it. I didn’t feel good enough to do my own cover! I gathered my courage and did it though. I’m so happy with the result, and it makes me want to do more covers!

2. Hardest part?

Having to be my own client as well as my own designer. There were moments I had a lot of “Oh I’d love to do this kind of map!” or “That cover style looks awesome, but which style? They’re all good! I can’t decide!” I had to be the designer and go “that isn’t possible in the time frame” or “that style doesn’t work for what you’re going for.” But it really wasn’t as bad as all that. Actually, I have sort of the opposite problem as a designer. I’m notoriously good at taking criticism and at being a gun-for-hire when it comes to design. Maybe too good. But Jennifer Strange was the first art project I’ve ever done where I had such a strong artistic vision and I had to speak up with my own voice. I was very nervous to illustrate my own project, believe it or not. When I had to stand up and say something for myself artistically, I realized I do have a voice, and I want Jennifer Strange to look like THIS.

3. What was it like to have the responsibility and freedom to design your own cover?

It’s a lot of responsibility to do a cover. Not that it isn’t to do the interiors. A lot of weight is placed on maps. But covers are a whole other beast. You have to think about first impressions. Everything has to be right in tone, including character pose, facial expression, style, elements, and typography. It’s really very much like a tightrope walk. One wrong element and the whole thing is off. I went through a lot of revisions getting the right idea to be the best it could be. I sent it to two trusted cover designers whose work I admire, Dyer Wilk and Todd Keisling, and asked for their feedback. I also sent it to comic book writer Christopher Golden. Their criticism and suggestions shaped the final cover into what it is now. It’s worth its weight in gold to get yourself some publishing friends who will be honest with you, but also have the skill and knowledge to thoughtfully back that criticism up. Dyer suggested the blue haze in the cover while using a pose from a recent drawing I posted to Instagram. Todd suggested I take the girl I designed and place her inside my first cover sketch, which was of two hands encircling the logo. Chris suggested I make her face more comic and less anime. It took a village, but it was so worth it get their suggestions while also pushing back with my own thoughts. My editor John was very funny and supportive through the whole process. I tend to hold myself to a certain standard. He reminds me my art and writing are in fact okay. Not just okay, but great.

4. Anything we should know about it or anything you’d like to share?

JENNIFER STRANGE part comic, part illustrated journal. It’s about a pair of sisters trying to solve the mystery of their families’ past before another rival family hunts them down. Jennifer has the gift of summoning, meaning she can give ghosts or demons corporeal forms. Imagine you’re a ghost and you could have a new body given to you so you can return to the land of the living, no string attached? That’s what Jennifer can do for you. Trouble is, if a ghost or demon is possessing a person… you can see how giving them a body while they’re inhabiting another one could get… messy. The Blackwell family wants to stop her from using her power before all the undead in Savannah try to use Jennifer to cross over back into the land of the living. And poor Liz, Jennifer’s older sister, knows nothing of all this when their dad dumps Jennifer on her doorstep and asks her to watch Jennifer for a few days. She’s an art student at SCAD. But when the ghosts and demons start to find Jennifer, they also start to find Liz, and the two of them half to team up against the undead and the Blackwell family to survive. Pre-order will be available soon!

Where to find her:


Author Bio:

Cat is a writer, designer, and illustrator. When she’s not writing and illustrating books of her own, she works in publishing as a freelance designer and illustrator, best known for her world maps in LABYRINTH LOST and WINTERSPELL. Her first book, Jennifer Strange, is out on July 23, 2019. She lives outside Boston with her husband and children and very fluffy cat.

You can follow Cat on Twitter or Instagram at @CatMScully or visit her website at www.catherinescully.com

Can’t Freakin’ Wait Wednesday 27/02/19

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings and was based on Waiting on Wednesday’s, which is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She created it to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released, but that’s not always the case. I happen to have pile upon piles of books I am excited to read, so thought this would be a fun meme in which to partake!

I got to meet Sarah at a book con in Ireland last year – DeptCon4 in Dún Laoghaire. She was a brilliant speaker and moderator, as well as a kind person all around! She was signing copies of the sampler for this novel – Other Words for Smoke and her book Spare and Found Parts, but ran out of time before she needed to be back inside to play Dungeons and Dragons on stage! Well, I hadn’t made it to her, but she walked over to me and signed my book and sampler anyway before she ran in! I was so impressed with that 😍😍 so she gets all the heart eyes!

I have since read the sampler for Other Words for Smoke and really can’t wait to get it! It’s gonna be amazing! And did I mention she’s Irish? Love highlighting Irish authors 💚

Have you read this yet or is it on your TBR? What do you think of the description?

From the author of Spare and Found Parts, described as “fierce and fearless” by V. E. Schwab and “beautifully written and compelling” by Marian Keyes, comes a story of a haunted house, magic behind the wallpaper, and the strangest summer ever.

The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. The townspeople never learned what happened. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth; they spent two summers with Rita and Bevan, two of the strangest summers of their lives…

Because nothing in that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat, and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape.

And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she’d give the other girl anything. A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh…

eARC Review | White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Title: WHITE STAG

Author: KARA BARBIERI

Publishes: 8TH JANUARY 2019 BY WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: FANTASY (marketed as YA, but I wouldn’t recommend for younger than 16; trigger warnings apply)

White Stag, the first book in a brutally stunning series by Kara Barbieri, involves a young girl who finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

A Wattpad break out star with over a million reads! Now expanded, revised and available in print and eBook.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

This was a strangely interesting story with some unique aspects that were unexpected. I really enjoyed the new take on goblins, as you usually see them being portrayed as revolting beings. In this, they were more appealing and very like most fae descriptions. I’ve never read a story about goblins who were beautiful in their usual form… So that was kinda cool. I also enjoyed Janneke’s relationship with both Soren and Seppo. It was nice to see that she wasn’t subjugated to their culture entirely. She did have some freedom with being a thrall. Though, the slave culture put me off… The Hunt was interesting and the bulk of that kept me reading, alongside her journey to figure out what made her different.

Something that did bother me was the use of rape to elicit sympathy for the MC. I did enjoy her as a character, but felt the assault she endured could have been any other type aside from sexual and fulfilled the same purpose. In any case, there should be a content warning for readers who are sensitive to this type of material. I’ve a few friends who wouldn’t be able to read this because of the content.

Also, very early on on the story it talks about how wolves are always fighting for dominance amongst themselves, which is verifiable untrue. Wolves do not fight for dominance within their pack, as it is a family unit and they help each other to survive. Quite often, the young will stay in the pack to help look after the next year’s litter and learn how to raise pups, etc., then the adult will chase them away to start or join a new pack and help diversify the genetic pool. The scientist who stated wolves vie for dominance was studying captive wolves who do not behave the same as in the wild…and he subsequently retracted his claims after studying wolves in the wild.

So, all in all, I didn’t love this novel, but I probably will give book 2 a chance. Who knows…it could be mind-blowing. Anyway, I gave this THREE STARS because of the triggering (in my opinion, unnecessary) content, as well as the inaccurate portrayal of wolf behaviour.

Will you be reading it?

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (eARC review)

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TITLE: Shadow of the Fox

AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa

RELEASED: November 2nd 2018 by

GENRE: Teens + YA Fantasy

First of all… look at those covers! Aren’t they stunning? Which is your favourite? Red = US/Green = UK. I prefer the green, but only slightly..

Now. Unpopular opinion alert!

I was so excited for this book! Everyone I know has been chatting it up, so I was SURE I’d love it. Not the case. I didn’t hate it, but it definitely isn’t top 10 material for me. I found the plot to be extremely slow and a bit tiresome. Tatsumi was extremely boring, even though he was the demonslayer. There just didn’t seem to be much to him in regards to character development or personality… I did love Yumeko. She was wildly hilarious and just someone you’d love to be friends with. Yumeko and the ragtag crew she collects along her journey are totally what redeemed this for me. I enjoyed parts of the book, but I wouldn’t be mad to finish the series to be entirely honest. Hoping book two is a whole lot better than this…

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

New from the New York Times bestselling author of The Talon Saga and The Iron Fey. Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Julie C. Dao, Marie Lu, Cassandra Clare and more bestselling YA fantasy will be captivated by book one of this enchanting new series.
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Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen via Netgalley for providing me with an ARC.