Blog Tour: They Stay by Claire Fraise – review + giveaway INT

They Stay
Claire Fraise
(They Stay Series, #1)
Publication date: October 12th 2021
Genres: Supernatural, Thriller, Young Adult

For fans of Stranger Things comes a suspenseful YA mystery about a missing kid, a girl who can see ghosts, and a horrifying crime only four outcasts have the power to stop.

What if the only person who could help you find your missing brother was dead?

Nothing is as important to sixteen-year-old Shiloh Oleson as her little brother Max. So when the six-year-old goes missing without a trace, a heartbroken Shiloh refuses to believe nothing can be done and sets out to find him.

When one of Shiloh’s classmates says she knows where Max is, Shiloh hesitates to believe her. Francesca is creepy. She says she can see ghosts, but everyone knows ghosts aren’t real … right?

But Francesca says that Max is going to be murdered.

And a ghost told her where he is.

As the line between the dead and living begins to blur, Shiloh starts to think Francesca might not be as crazy as she believed. One thing is becoming clear. Someone has gruesome plans for Max, and Shiloh must confront her worst nightmares to find him before it’s too late.

THEY STAY is the first book in the They Stay Series. Read on if you like ghost stories, plot twists, enemies-to-friends, creepy circuses, budding romance, and unlikely heroes.

Content Warnings: This book contains death, kidnapping, domestic abuse, references to suicide, bullying, and mild adult language.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Author Bio:

Claire Fraise earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University. She is also the author of YA dystopian novel Imperfect (winner of the San Francisco and Beverly Hills Book Festivals), which she published when she was 16. When Claire’s not writing, she likes crocheting amigurumi animals, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. Even though it goes against every introverted bone in her body, she is on social media. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on YouTube at Write with Claire Fraise, or visit her website at clairefraise.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Youtube / Pinterest


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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

The description I read of this book classed this book as a thriller YA with hints of the supernatural and, this is what really grabbed me, ‘creepy circus’. As soon as I see the word, circus, in any book, I’m all grabby hands. Unfortunately, there wasn’t that much of circus in this novel and yet, it was still a very engaging read despite my fears that things just aren’t going to turn out well at the end.

This novel is told from 2 perspectives, Shiloh and Francesca, but there are basically 4 of them in the ‘team’; Miles, Shiloh’s boyfriend of all 3 weeks, and his best friend, Jonah. Shiloh and Francesca are both very strong heroines though for very different reasons; Shiloh is holding a family secret very deep inside that would threaten to destroy her if it came out while Francesca’s family is already broken and her secret (seeing & talking to ghosts) is known to all in town. Jonah has his own issues with a broken family of his own and tendency towards juvenile delinquency but Miles is most ‘normal’ out of them all with loving parents and terribly good grades. They gather together to help Shiloh save her most beloved brother and yet, to what cost?

I found the mystery to be well written and the supernatural just slightly creepy; I mean, hanging out at cemeteries at all times is just a bit creepy. I love the dynamics between these four teens and I hope to see them back together again in the next book. I did feel though that I wasn’t in a very good space to read this book because it turned out to be a lot darker than I thought so I’d recommend that you pay attention to above trigger warnings.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

The One Impossible Labyrinth by Matthew Reilly -a review

the one impossible labyrinthThe One Impossible Labyrinth (Jack West Jr #7) by Matthew Reilly

THE END IS HERE

Jack West Jr has made it to the Supreme Labyrinth.

Now he faces one last race – against multiple rivals, against time, against the collapse of the universe itself – a headlong race that will end at a throne inside the fabled labyrinth.

AN IMPOSSIBLE MAZE

But the road will be hard.

For this is a maze like no other: a maze of mazes. Uncompromising and complex. Demanding and deadly.

A CATACLYSMIC CONCLUSION

It all comes down to this.

For it ends here – now – in the most lethal and dangerous place Jack has encountered in all of his many adventures. And in the face of this indescribable peril, with everything on the line, there is only one thing he can do.

Attempt the impossible.

Published 12 October 2021|  Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia  |  RRP: AUD$39.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

It’s finally here!! The finale! Jack West Jr. is finally going to tackle the final challenge and of course, be the ultimate victor in this race. No spoilers but I think we all know who’s going to win in this novel, right? The good guy! Yep, this one is completely a roller coaster feel good sort of read. And coming right at the end of Sydney lockdown, #winning !!

As followers of series would expect, this last book in the series is chock-a-block full of action. If things aren’t exploding, it’s raining bullets. If you’re not being shot at, you’re running through a maze full of life threatening traps. I seriously feel like I couldn’t read fast enough; my eyes couldn’t keep up with how fast the action is taking place in my brain. The team is split into several groups and while, Jack’s team is the primary focus, there were switches in views. I do feel like it’s an action blockbuster movie that I’m “seeing” only in my head.

While I loved following their adventures; the twists on mythologies and each book always action-packed, I also find it to be a bit predictable in one particular way. That is, never believe that someone died unless their corpses are actually presented to you on the page lol. And in this way, I didn’t waste a tear at all.

All my life I’ve watched you and wondered what it is that makes you a hero. And I figured it out: it’s trying when nobody else thinks it’s even worth trying, when the odds really are stacked against you or when your friends and family are taken away from you.

That is why fans love Jack West Jr. and always, without fail, cheer for him and his team. And in centre of things, he fought for humanity so in the end, we all win. The One Impossible Labyrinth is an unmissable finale. Read It!

My thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  instagram

The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans -a review

the unusual abduction of avery coniferThe Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans

Two women abduct and hide out with their four-year-old granddaughter Avery, who they suspect is being harmed. They both love Avery … shame they can’t stand each other. A wise and witty novel for readers of Sophie Green and Brooke Davis.

What would you do to protect a child?

Beth’s daughter Cleo and Shirley’s son Daniel used to be married. Now Cleo is in gaol for supposedly contravening a family violence order, and Daniel has full-time care of their four-year-old daughter, Avery.

When Shirley suspects that Daniel is harming Avery, she enlists Beth to abduct their own granddaughter, even though the two women can’t stand each other. They are joined on the run across country Victoria by Winnie, Shirley’s own 89-year-old tech-savvy mother, and Harthacnut, Beth’s miniature schnauzer.

The abduction gives rise to crises both personal and social, as Shirley’s large and interfering family – including her toxic son – struggle to come to terms with her actions, amid a whirl of police investigation and media excitement. This heartfelt, wise, witty and wholly original novel explores the lengths we may go to for those we love, and the unintended damage folded into daily life.

Published 1 September 2021|  Publisher: Harlequin Australia  |  RRP: AUD$29.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

I just love this title, The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer; it’s a bit of a mouthful but it does give a little of a comic air so you would expect it to be a humourous tale. The premise itself sounds rather unusually funny and yet, there is some serious themes explored in this light-hearted-sounding novel. You just have to dig deep.

This book is told by a myriad of perspectives. The main 3 being by the 3 instigators of this kidnapping of Avery but then there were perspectives of those sitting around the outside of this centre figures. The detectives, TV presenters, and some people that just happened to somewhat touch this ‘case’ who can provide a ‘clue’ or just a perspective from a different angle. I must admit that at times this gets absolutely confusing with all the names bandied about but I do appreciate this wide overlook into the problem.

I think that there was enough family drama as I was growing up which made me reluctant reading novels involving family dramas/conflicts so this started out as a rather uncomfortable read. However, author’s handling of these characters and conflicts present such a riveting look into motherhood that I cannot stop reading. And these ladies are just such characters, I can’t help but cheer for them throughout so in the end, I rather enjoyed this read.

My thanks to The Book Stack for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook  |  instagram  |  twitter

South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century -a review

South of the SunSouth of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century

This is an enchanting illustrated book of fairy tales – but not the kind you read to children at bedtime.

They are strictly for the grown-ups. Often dark, the stories visit places where things don’t end happily ever after, where a single decision can haunt you forever.

But there are also tales to make you laugh out loud, stories of sweet revenge and scenes of sheer delight in the world of magic and the fey.

All the stories, lyrics and poems have something in common, a contemporary edge. Even those set in earlier times have a modern sensibility that reflects the 21st century and celebrates Australian landscapes, characters and voices.

Discover stories from emerging talent and leading award-winning Australian writers including Carmel Bird, Sophie Masson, Cate Kennedy and Eugen Bacon, along with artwork by foremost illustrators such as Lorena Carrington and Kathleen Jennings.

So if you’re ready – once upon a time …

Published April 2021|  Publisher: Australian Fairy Tale Society |  RRP: AUD$35.00

Buy it at: Serenity Press 

My Blurb (4.5 / 5 stars)

I was absolutely curious of just what “Australian Fairy Tales” could be. These would not be Dreaming Time as that is sacred to our First Nations but then what could it be?! The answer was a makeover of familiar tales; freshly dressed in Aussie fashion.

the cultural art of apparently mocking someone while still being warm and friendly. -The Lonely Mosque by Yvette Ladzinski

I loved how these tales were retold in such familiar and beloved setting with mentions of wattles, gum trees, red soil, etc and some with very exaggerated Aussie way of speaking. I especially adore the multicultural references included in these stories whether it be selkies of Irish descent or Vietnamese Pork Roll.

Some of the stories are as traditional as they get as cautionary tales. There was one story about a young girl walking on her own in a quiet ‘blackout’ zone and sending GPS (Grandmother Please Save) signal. But, there are also stories which were just flipped inside out where heroines are strong and aren’t afraid to flex their right to act and save themselves. I love these best!

Being the hero doesn’t make you brave. – The Last Bastion by Marianna Shek

There were just so many stories cleverly twisted to fit into our current world with its own social commentaries. There was a Pied Piper who was engaged to clear out certain creepy crawlies from Melbourne and my favourite of all of this whole book, Jack & the Beanstalk “because the NBN is rubbish”.

The giant didn’t stand a chance. The bureaucrats wrapped him up in red tape in no time at all. – Jack, The Beanstalk and the NBN by Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson

I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this book so much! The beautiful setting, strong heroines, and “new” but old stories. They made me cheer for their courage, frown at how dark parts of our world is, but best of all, they made me laugh out loud for sheer cheekiness. I’d highly recommend this collection of stories to all!

My thanks to publisher for ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

Crown of Cinders (Wings of Fury #2) by Emily R. King -a review

crown of cindersCrown of Cinders (Wings of Fury #2) by Emily R. King

Going to battle against a Titan in the war of all wars, one woman is making history in an epic novel of ancient Greece by Emily R. King, author of the Hundredth Queen series.

May Gaea be with you…

Althea Lambros is growing into her power, wrestling with a burdensome heritage, and unwilling to concede to Cronus, the redoubtable God of Gods. For that, Cronus is making good on his promise. Calling upon the elder Titans, he’s bringing down his wrath on the world. Suffering quakes, tempests, fire, and hail, mortals are paying in blood for the war of the gods.

With the help of her friend Theo, Althea takes cover with her sisters, Bronte and Cleora. But they can’t hide forever. To mastermind the downfall of the evil king, Althea must recruit allies of her own before the aggrieved mortals surrender the sisters to Cronus in exchange for peace.

Is Althea formidable enough to win? It’ll take the help of her sisters and those willing to fight for the cause of the just. As the gods pick sides, Althea must divide heaven and earth to defeat the enemy and write the true history of the war to end all wars.

Published 5 October 2021|  Publisher: 47North  |  RRP: AUD$24.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s 

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I’m not a huge fan of Greek mythology and usually avoids retellings of them but somehow, I managed to dive into Wings of Fury (book 1)… As usual, I wasn’t paying much attention to the description and just started reading. In the end, I decided that I really like Althea and I wanted to find out what happens next.

Crown of Cinders opens some time after the end of Wings of Fury, where 2 siblings are yet to be found but Cronus has begun to make his move to destroy these siblings yet again. A very fast read culminating in a climactic battle for world rule where a heartbreaking moment made me sobbed but yet, the ending made me unsure whether this is it or if there is another book coming. I feel that the story is mostly finished but I’m also annoyed at a certain character at this point so I’m not actually sure if I’d like another one or not.

On the other hand, I feel that this book is about a particular goddess for which I am not at all familiar with her ‘background’ as such so this was a lovely fill for me. She is a strong heroine who have had to fight for her freedom, her independence, her situation in life. I believe this is what author wanted to get across and she definitely had done that very well.

Your value is not in how others treat you but in how you treat yourself. We must believe in ourselves first or there is nothing anyone can say, Titan or moral, that we will believe.

My thanks to 47North for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find her on:  goodreads  |  websitefacebook  |  instagram  |  pinterest  |  twitter

Echoes of War by Tania Blanchard -a review

echoes of warEchoes of War by Tania Blanchard

Set in Mussolini’s Italy amid great upheaval, this is the story of one woman’s determination to find her place in a world that men are threatening to tear apart. Another heart-rending novel inspired by a true story from Australia’s bestselling author of The Girl from Munich.

Calabria, Italy, 1936

In a remote farming village nestled in the mountains that descend into the sparkling Ionian Sea, young and spirited Giulia Tallariti longs for something more. While she loves her home and her lively family, she would much rather follow in her nonna’s footsteps and pursue her dream of becoming a healer.

But as Mussolini’s focus shifts to the war in Europe, civil unrest looms. Whispers of war are at every corner and her beloved village, once safe from the fascist agenda of the North, is now in very real danger.

Caught between her desire to forge her own path and her duty to her family, Giulia must draw on the passion in her heart and the strength of her conviction.

Can she find a way to fulfill her dreams or will the echoes of war drown out her voice?

Published 29 September 2021|  Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

I am partial to war stories but this novel, Echoes of War, isn’t really a war story but a story of womanhood but set within a time of war. This is not to say that the protagonist wasn’t affected by war but just that she was not directly involved in it. All in all, it did not detract from the story of passion, resilience, and strength of this girl’s journey into womanhood.

Giulia Tallariti, our protagonist, is a passionate young woman who has a very clear vision of her future. A vision which was not shared by her father who has his own preconception and therefore resulted in a number of clashes between daughter and father. While fighting for her future, the country itself is turmoil. From wars, natural disasters, and poverty, Giulia and her family stuck together through thick & thin as she sought and found her place in her family & society.

I’m not afraid to confess that I cried a number of times; as you’d expect from such stories. Echoes of War is a novel full of anxiety, heartbreaks, family, sisterhood, and love. What fascinated me most was author’s notes as she described her own family history and how it influenced her writing especially with some of her own family stories woven into this telling; utterly captivating.

My thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  websitefacebook  |  instagram

Serve ‘N’ Protect by Tee O’Fallon -a review

serve n protectServe ‘N’ Protect (Federal K-9 #5) by Tee O’Fallon

Ambushed and left for dead, U.S. Secret Service K-9 Officer Markus York is on the mend and laying low in a safe house while his team tracks down his attacker. But Markus isn’t good at sitting still. Even with his K-9, Ghost, for company, he gets restless and decides now is the perfect time to do some repairs around the house…and inadvertently tears open his wounds.

Fresh out of a bad relationship that ended after a car accident left her with limited mobility, freelance accountant Cassidy Morgan has sworn off men. At least, that’s the plan. Until a frantically barking dog leads her to a neighbor’s house where she finds a mysterious man out cold and bleeding on the floor…and mumbling things like “no, they’ll find me” when she tries to call an ambulance.

Yeah, that’s not at all concerning.

Despite Markus’s surly attitude, Cassidy senses there’s something else at work beneath his rugged, keep-your-distance exterior. Whatever it is, it’s sexy as hell.

With someone still trying to kill him, Markus doesn’t want an innocent to get hurt, let alone take care of him.

If only his dog wasn’t crazy in love with her.

If only the chemistry between Markus and Cassidy didn’t explode whenever they were in the same room.

If only Cassidy wasn’t a target now, too.

Published 20 September 2021|  Publisher: Entangled Publishing

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

I was introduced to this particular kind of reads, romantic suspense featuring dogs, by a GR friend. After a few months, I guess I just couldn’t resist anymore and had to dip my toe in. I am a dog person though and I had my white fluffball sitting by me while I read so it was lovely.

Both characters were very easily likable. Marcus York, our tall, dark, handsome, & broody hero with his beautiful white German Shepherd, Ghost. Cassidy Morgan, strong, independent, and ever bubbly survivor of a horrific car accident. Ghost, of course, is the one who brought them together. The course of true love never did run smooth with a few murderous incidents and a wrong turn but no fear, this is a read you can expect a HEA from 😉

While this is a book 5 in a series, it can really stand on its own as each book is about different team member of the K-9 team and their own experience in finding love. I haven’t read any of the first 4 books and decided that I’m going to defy my own rules of reading in order by just reading this one and see whether I like it or not. It was definitely a fun read and while I’m not particularly interested in reading previous books, there were some teasers about the next book, I think, and I am curious about him! Bring on book 6!

My thanks to Entangled Publishing for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  websitetwitterfacebook

2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson & Candice Fox -a review

2 sisters detective agency2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson & Candice Fox

The exciting new collaboration from James Patterson and Australia’s own Candice Fox, following the recent bestselling success, both here and internationally, of The Inn.

From the creator of the #1 bestselling WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB

Two sisters go into the family business they didn’t know they had – catching killers.

Attorney Rhonda Bird returns home to LA to bury her estranged father, and discovers that he left her two final surprises.

The first is a private detective agency.

The second is a teenage half-sister named Baby.

When Rhonda goes into her father’s old office to close down the business, she gets drawn into a case involving a young man who claims he was abducted.

The investigation takes Rhonda and Baby to dark and dangerous places. Soon they are caught in the crosshairs of an angry criminal cartel and an ex-assassin seeking revenge.

A thrilling new novel starring a captivating sister-detective duo.

Published 28 September 2021|  Publisher: Penguin Random House  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s |  QBD

My Blurb (4.5 / 5 stars)

Truth to tell, I haven’t been reading much of James Patterson’s books as I just haven’t been interested in any of them BUT when it comes to Candice Fox, well, I’ve just GOT to. Her name is like a siren call to me, “Read Me!”. 2 Sisters Detective Agency has got the Patterson’s hallmark of short chapter bursts and Fox’s offbeat cast of characters which made the book to be a very entertaining page turner.

The book description is rather succinct and yet, the book is so much more. There were so many interesting characters and there were just so much packed into this 352 pager that I’m finding myself at a lost on how to describe it. The story wasn’t just told from Rhonda’s or Baby’s views but a number of others as well. With that consideration, I’m so surprised that I wasn’t troubled or confused with keeping up with who’s who.

I think I see Candice Fox’s fingers in Rhonda Bird’s characters where she can just mouth off straight-faced and gets away with it; reminds me a bit of Amanda Pharrell. Her mouthing off isn’t to the point of rudeness but just a very creative way to circumvent whatever situation she happens to be in. The fact that she’s super strong, confident, and generous was just icing on top. Baby, despite her young age, complements Rhonda and together, they are a delight to read.

While we move from chapter to chapter with different characters, it was very easy to follow the story. Even as it felt a little bit all over the place when I was in the middle of it, at the end, when everything falls into its proper place, I really felt that it was all one big circle and I think it was neatly done. The ending itself was rather hairy and… somewhat unfinished so I hope to see more of these sisters.

The pace and tone of the book was set by the very first sentence, “She was a killer”, and I was hooked. Tension gripped me and it just kept on going til the very last chapter. The short chapters probably didn’t help because I keep thinking, “just one more [very short] chapter…”, and suddenly, one hour had past and I really had to run for the ladies’… So yes, this is a fantastic read! Do yourself a favour, read this before lockdown ends because you don’t really want “life” to interrupt your reading.

My thanks to Penguin Random House for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

The Raffles Affair by Vicki Virtue -a review

the raffles affairThe Raffles Affair by Vicki Virtue

A fun, modern twist on the classic whodunnit, set in the glamorous surrounds of Raffles Hotel.

The Raffles Affair is a light-hearted murder mystery featuring the elegant former MI6 agent Victoria West. A retro, tongue-in-cheek homage to the Golden Age mystery novel epitomised by Agatha Christie.

Beautiful former MI6 agent, Victoria West, arrives at Raffles Hotel in Singapore for the wedding of her good friend, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peyton Latchmore. Fresh from a gruelling three-month assignment in East Africa, Victoria’s plans for a relaxing break come to an abrupt end with the kidnapping of Peyton’s fiancé, the charmingly handsome English financier, James Winstanley.

Warned not to contact the police, Peyton begs Victoria to help. Reluctantly, Victoria agrees. Immediately it is clear the kidnapper knows too much to be a stranger, and Victoria suspects one of the wedding guests is involved. Tensions simmer, as one by one their motives are revealed.

With only 24 hours to make the ransom payment, Victoria must act quickly.

Published 14 September 2021|  Publisher: Penguin Random House  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s 

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I’m always up for a good whodunnit mystery and being set in The Raffles (Singapore) seems like an absolutely divinely glamourous way to travel from my comfy sofa. Even if I’m not a fan of humidity, it did not disappoint with all the gorgeous description of the décor and the delicious food spread. With an easily likeable protagonist and an engaging mystery, my evening flew by without me noticing the time.

To begin with, however, I struggled mightily with the number of characters. Trying to remember who’s who and how they are connected to the bride/bridgeroom to be was a nightmare. Even at the end, at the unveiling of the villain, I still had to stop for a few seconds to recall how this person fits in this set of characters. At this stage (third month of lockdown), I really don’t know whether it’s just too many characters or it’s my mindset / lack of focus these past few weeks.

About a third of the way, as I sort of got the hang of who’s who and as they mystery begins to develop, I was really drawn into trying to puzzle it out. I failed; soooo did not pick that character at all. Our protagonist, Victoria West, is in every essence a modern intelligent woman who can take care of herself. She also likes to dress well and in all this, she reminds me very much of Miss Phryne Fisher. Unlike Miss Fisher, however, Miss West did not have any kind of dalliance in this novel.

There was one thing that I had a good laugh at is how she ate rambutan by using a sharp knife to cut through the skin. This Asian gal would just use her nail and pierce that thick skin to get to the juicy bit. Granted, it’s a lot messier but that is the delight of rambutan.

The Raffles Affair definitely has all the markings of a golden age whodunnit reminiscent of those of Agatha Christie’s with moneyed cast of characters, a focus on human nature and their unending greed, a Poirot-esque denouement and ending with an air of tragic triumph.

My thanks to Penguin Random House for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram

Cursed Beauty by Stacey O’Neale -a review

Cursed BeautyCursed Beauty by Stacey O’Neale

From USA Today bestselling author Stacey O’Neale comes a standalone YA fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

The day has come for sixteen-year-old Aurora to receive her witch mark. She should be thrilled. But unlike the rest of her coven, a centuries-old family curse has already decided her fate; the cost of her new power is her life.

After the ceremony, her grandmother offers her hope: Aurora can save herself and prevent her coven from dying by awakening a sleeping prince with the power to break her curse. Unfortunately, she must travel through the forbidden Shadowlands to reach him.

The enchanted forest is filled with magical creatures—friends and foes—including the mysterious son of a powerful wolf pack leader. Can she find the prince in time, and if she succeeds, will he choose to help despite having been placed under the sleeping spell?

Published 30 August 2021|  Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

It’s all about the cover this time! I just adore that cover and seeing that its a twist on Sleeping Beauty where the girl does the ‘rescuing’ definitely got me to read this novella. There were a few other twists as well which I liked but won’t delve too much into to avoid spoilers.

I really liked the premise of “Princess Aurora” being the one to come to the rescue of a sleeping Prince. I didn’t quite like this witchy Aurora as she can be quite annoying in here tendency to act without too much thought. She’d really land herself in hot water, if her bff, Hazel, did not come to the rescue. I loved Hazel – always ready, always smiling, and overall just the stronger character of the two. In saying that, Aurora has her own strength which allows her to grab her fate into her own hands and twist it. The romance is also kinda cute though it’s totally not what I’d expect!

Cursed Beauty is a brilliant twist to the very well-known fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. It features gender swap and other spins which really make me wish this was a full novel. I just feel that it is a little bit undeveloped as a novella but definitely with a potential for a novel.

My thanks to Phoenix Reign Publising & Xpresso Tours for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  websitetwitterfacebookinstagram  | pinterest  |  tumblr