Reviews from the October Readathon – 3 books chosen by @ShelleyWilson72


Shelley Wilson took part in the October Readathon, here are her chosen books. Find out more about Shelley on her blog

October Reviews – Rosie Amber

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine.


5 out of 5 stars


Welcome to Morganville.  Just don’t stay out after dark.

Morganville is a small town filled with unusual characters – when the sun goes down, the bad come out.  In Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows – one that will spill out into the bright light of day.

For Claire Danvers, high school was hell, but college may be murder.  It was bad enough that she got on the wrong side of Monica, the meanest of the school’s mean girls, but now she’s got three new roommates, who all have secrets of their own.  And the biggest secret of all isn’t really a secret, except from Claire: Morganville is run by vampires, and they are hungry for fresh blood…

My Review:

After reading Rachel Caine’s latest novel, Ink and Bone, I was advised by my favourite book blogger, Rosie Amber, to take a look at the Morganville Vampire series.  How had I missed this series?  As an enthusiastic vampire fan, I was like a kid in a sweet shop on Rachel’s Amazon page.  Starting at the beginning of this fifteen book series, I devoured book one, Glass Houses, in one day.

Morganville is a small college town where sixteen (almost seventeen) year old Claire is trying to settle in to dorm life.  Unfortunately, Claire manages to upset the evilest girl on campus and becomes a target of harassment that could cost her her life.  She moves out of the dorm and is thrust into the dark side of Morganville, with its secrets – the town is run by vampires.  Finding a ‘Gone with the Wind meets The Munsters’ mansion, with a room to rent, turns out to be a lifesaver – in more ways than one. We meet Eve, Shane and Michael, who are Claire’s eighteen year old roomies. They know the town’s secrets, and they know how to handle the vampires, but they also have a few secrets of their own.

I do enjoy a good vampire novel, but many of the books I’ve read show the ‘good’ side of vamps (Twilight and Vampire Diaries anyone?).  The dark and dangerous aura of Caine’s vampires put the bite back into this mystical race.   The town and its politics are well crafted, and the characters are immensely likeable (or disagreeable if you’re a bad guy).  Claire accepts the bombshell of a vampire town a bit too well, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of this tale. I’ve already bought book two, The Dead Girls’ Dance.  This series is an easy read for the winter months, and I’m grateful I found them.

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The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward


4 out of 5 stars


When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops.

A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.

Enter Samantha Kemi – an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam’s family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they’ve fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company?

Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime? And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news. No big deal, then.

My Review:

A fantasy tale set in modern times, The Potion Diaries is a fun read about princesses, magic potions and dangerous adventures.  I feel that it’s aimed at the lower age range of young adult, and I know my thirteen year old daughter was impressed with Zoe Sugg’s (aka Zoella) seal of approval.

I read this in one sitting as it was incredibly captivating, and a lot of fun.  There are plenty of epic adventures that test the main character, Sam Kemi, but they are carefully interwoven with typical teen life – she constantly checks her social media for updates on her competitors’ progress. The big bad is a love potion gone ary. However, we also meet Emilie, the princess’s aunt who has been exiled from the Kingdom.  I had high hopes that this character was going to be more magical – a bit like Maleficient, but as the hunt for the cure progresses, she turns into more of an evil Lara Croft.

The Potion Diaries does have the obligatory teen romance and the will-she-won’t-she tug on the heart strings.  All in all, this was a fun, enjoyable read, with a cast of characters you can bond with.

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The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow Book 1) by Rachel Morgan


4 out of 5 stars


Enter a hidden world of magic, mystery, action and romance …

Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale has one job: protect humans from dangerous magical creatures. It’s a job she’s good at—until her latest assignment, a cute human guy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour, follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild law and risked her future as the top graduate of her class.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the guy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot—and it’ll take all her training to get out alive.

My Review:

Vi is a refreshing heroine.  She is a Guardian in training, with a chance of hitting the number one spot on her course, that is until she breaks two rules.  Rule number one – never be seen by a human, and rule number two – never let a human into the fae world. When Vi is sent on assignment, to save a human from a repticilla (I love the creativity of the creatures), she doesn’t expect the handsome Nate to be able to see through her glamour.  She also doesn’t expect him to follow her through to the fae realm.

As the story progresses, we learn that Nate has a history that overlaps with the world of the fae, leading them into danger.  I struggled to picture Nate in my head, although I liked his dialogue, I could connect with Vi straight away, and I loved her feisty nature.  They have a comedic rapour with one another at times.

Morgan’s descriptive style of writing carries the pace along nicely.  There are vivid details throughout, fast action scenes and humourous dialogue. This is the first book in the Creepy Hollow series, and I look forward to reading the others.

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Chill Factor by Rachel Caine

Chill Factor (Weather Warden #3)Chill Factor by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 3 in the Weather Warden Series, this is the first one I’ve read of the series having picked the book up because I’ve read some of The Morganville Vampire series by Rachel. Fitting into the NA market it does feature strong language.

Joanne Baldwin is a weather warden who looks after weather and tries to control freak weather patterns. So far in the series she has died, been reborn as a Djinn, saved the world, dies again, woken up human and lost a kid. A kid with powers which are out of control.

Kevin is a sixteen year old kid who is full of anger and holed up in Las Vegas with a very powerful Djinn. Joanne finds herself being used as bait to flush him out in a battle on many levels. She is kidnapped by a new group who call themselves Ma’at, keepers of balance, but in the end she must use her past experiences to help battle the present.

I’m glad the book explained what had happened so far in the series at the start, it helped me get a feel for the setting. The book grew on me and once I’d got into a bit further I began to enjoy it.

Find a copy here from or

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Good Deeds Week March 30th – April 5th

Welcome to my weekly roundup of my year long challenge to do one Good deed a day for a year. This challenge began back in April 2013 and is still going strong, I’m now entering my final few weeks. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

Good deeds

March 30th – Last night we changed our clocks in line with British Summertime, so I’m a bit late this morning. It’s also Mother’s Day, so I’ve been giving and receiving gifts as all Mothers should.

March 31st – A really busy day today. I’ve just done my morning at school. Now the April Issue of Fleet Life has just dropped through my door, so I’ve written a draft ready to coincide with the online version. click on the online directory and fins me on page 18. This months books are;

Please Call Me Derek by Mac Black

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Calculated by R.S. Novelle

Spirit Warriors by D.E.L Connor

It’s also my first month writing book reviews for Fleet Life’s sister magazine The Elvetham Heath Directory., again click on the online directory and find me on page. This months featured books are different to Fleet Life although I will mix and match on occasions.

The Dating Game by Susan Buchanan

Greening of a Heart by Stepheny Houghtlin

Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls

The Griffin’s Boy by Julia Hughes

The Black Hours by Alison Williams.

With my A to Z Challenge starting tomorrow too, I’m sending out reminders to authors whose books are featuring in the first week. I want it to be a good give and take, I promote their books and they promote me.

April 1st – It’s here the first Day of the April A to Z blogging challenge with well over 1900 bloggers signed up this year it’s going to be huge. I’ve been all over the place visiting blogs and writing comments. My own challenge started with A World Apart by Camelia Miron Skiba. Catch up with posts in my Challenge round-up post, or from the A to Z page at the top of this blog.  The sun has finally burnt off the morning fog so now I’m off out in to the garden for a bit of one on one with nature after all my computing.

April 2nd – Online versions of both local magazines made it up on the internet today, so posted my pieces about them and let all the authors know. Having an absolute blast with the A to Z challenge, I can’t believe how many people are coming to my blog it is fantastic. Today’s book was Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb, Lizzie helped promote the post with her Facebook group of friends which I really appreciated. My slideshow on the sidebar is getting plenty of attention and good comments which is great to hear, have been helping a couple of people out with setting up their own gallery.

April 3rd – Met a friend for coffee in town and caught up with all her news. Went out this evening with more friends and took a birthday present with me for one of them whose birthday is in the next few days. Today’s book on the A to Z Challenge was Coronado’s Treasure by Randy Mixter. I’m thrilled to see lots of re-tweeting going on from other authors who will be taking part in my challenge and from followers of my blog, thanks everyone it means a lot.

April 4th – It’s a Derek Day today on the A to Z with Derek’s Revenge by Mac Black and a plug for the whole series. Went to the local market this morning, met a friend who has offered to pick us up in a few weeks time to attend a party. My Good deeds are mainly internet bound this week, visiting lots of blogs and leaving comments, tweeting and sharing posts. Finished reading Chill Factor by Rachel Caine and left a review on Goodreads.

April 5th – Everlasting by Candace Knoebel is the book for letter E in the A to Z today. Went for a quick walk this afternoon and picked up some litter. Am reading the second book in the Wardstone Chronicles, The Spook’s Curse, by Joseph Delaney, finished it late last evening and posted my review on Goodreads.