A Girly Cut-Throat for Aubrie Nixons Debut (Secret of Souls Review)

Secret of Souls has been on my radar for a while! Since I joined the bookstagram community, I’ve been following Aubrie Nixon and been awaiting the release of her debut novel Secret of Souls! I look a good book with a strong female character in it, and that’s exactly what I got, with a hint of love for cinnamon rolls and dresses!

Summary (Goodreads)

The Empire of Lucent has stood for centuries as a beacon of strength and light. But now an otherworldly realm has unleashed an army of nightmarish creatures upon the peaceful empire, spreading a lethal plague called The Decay which consumes its victims mercilessly from the inside out.
The king of the Empire of Lucent calls upon “Lady of Death” Zephera Travelle—an infamous assassin with a weakness for braided cinnamon bread and a striking aptitude for murder and mayhem. He sends her on an impossible quest to find the one person who can concoct a cure and save the realm from total annihilation. Together with her best friend Zadkiel, mage extraordinaire Brenner, girly city-guard Oriana, and broody warrior Daegan, she embarks on a journey that will test her wits, will, and sanity. Along the way, she discovers that no one—and nothing—is as it seems, including herself.

So, first off, it was fast-paced, but not too fast-paced, I felt like she found the happy medium between and it really kept me engrossed! I love a book that doesn’t ramble and gets to the point, and I think it took me half the day to read it!

Zephera is also not your typical cut-throat, she’s not your typical fearless female. She has a girly side that she likes to indulge in, which I found quite different, and definitely gave her this soft, delicate side as well!

Aubrie also did the impossible! She made me like the childhood sweet-heart/friend guy. Normally, I just see them as the annoying little twits who are just there to cause trouble and be a pain in the ass when you want the protagonist to fall in love with someone else.

Well, to see how that ended, you need to read the book…

I loved the whole concept of this book, but there was something that threw me off a bit, and that was the public displays of affection that Zephera was involved in. Now, this girl ain’t scared to jump over a bar and ravish you for a free drink, but with one of the lovers, it seemed a tad bit out of place, for me, anyway.

Other than that, the only problem I have is that I have to wait for the next one to come out!

This book is a great debut novel for Aubrie Nixon, and I think, if she keeps this up, she can make something great!

Here is a close-up of the swag I received because I preordered Secret of Souls!

Until next time guys,

Just keep reading!

Jade x

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Life Lessons in the Schoolroom – Schoolroom Scandals Unboxing

BookBoxClub June 2017

A new month means a new bookboxclub box! This is my second box of (hopefully) many more and instead of one, it had two books to add to my to be read pile! I enjoyed Sebastien de Castells Spellslinger so much (find my review here) that I have no doubt I’ll enjoy this one!
The books included was the featured read and a mystery arc copy of a 2017 release!
If you are not subscribed yet,  you can sign-up here and follow their wordpress here!

So, obviously, first thing you see as you open up is the beautifully designed card teling you all about the things in this months box and where they came from! Also, this month, we got a little jar of jelly-beans because everyone needs a school yard treat! And it’s got my name on it too so my brother can’t eat them!

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Followed by the signature paper strings that my dad hates finding all around the house… Oops!

The second of the bookish items I picked out once I uncovered the goodies inside was this beautiful candle! Made by Meraki Candles, this exclusive candle was made for the swoon worthy bad boy in this months featured read! I never knew rum, black lily and cedar wood could go together so well! It smells divine!

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The next thing that caught my eye was this pack of 50 Remember post it notes by Paper Pipit! Great for your journal, fridge, wall, files and just about anywhere to help keep yourself ordered and organised!

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Next, displayed in a lovely little cloth pocket was this Readers Ring by The Locket Library! With a 10% off voucher on my next purchase! I’ve browsed their store and am looking forward to using my code to buy me something beautiful!

I’m not all that in to rings, but as you can see… It’s useful for someone!

This month also featured a Hurricane Pencil case by the Book Box Club with a John Green quote! A perfect place to put your post-it notes and wands – ahem – pencils from last months Wizard at War Box (That unboxing can be found here).


As always, the box also featured some promotion for another book, and this month was a postcard featuring Hayley Barker’s Show Stopper! I think I’d add this to my TBR pile just for the cover!

Also, this adorable little Juniper Lemons HAPPINESS INDEX badge! I love badges and pins so this is just another one to add to my collection!

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Now on to the books. This months featured book is a YA book by Karen McManus called One of us is Lying! I said this last month, but I’ll say it every month probably… I love how you get something with the authors signature on it!
And the mystery arc book that I got was After the Fire, a book released in January this year by Will Hill!

And, as always, there is a little scroll to open at the end with an invite to The Clubhouse to talk about this months featured book with the author and a little interview about the authors inspirations! This lady must be smart because she’d choose Mrs Weasley as a companion in a zombie apocalypse!

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Again, I loved this box! Libby and Kate do a lovely job at putting them together every month and I’m super excited for next months theme ‘Spells and Remedies’ featuring items from The Literary Omnivore and Holly Grace Illustrations!

Thanks Bookboxclub!

And remember guys,

Just Keep Writing…

You might end up as a featured book in a book box one day!

Sebastien de Castell’s New YA Series Brings The Results With Spellslinger

Magic may be a con game, but Sebastiens de Castell’s Spellslinger isn’t!

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Spellslinger is a new young adult fantasy series with tricks, traps, magic, lots of laughs and a talking squirrel cat! And, was recently the featured read in the Book Box Clubs Wizards at War May Box (Unboxing here)! It scores a 4.17 on the goodreads website!

Set in the same universe as Sebastien’s Series T’he Greatcoats’, but on a different continent, we follow Kellen, our young protagonist, a Jan’tep initiate who must prove his worth as a mage as he approaches his sixteenth birthday, or, live his life as a Sha’tep servant!

The only problem is, Kellen doesn’t have any magic!

So, with the introduction of the witty and mysterious, red headed argosi wanderer, Ferius Parfax, who just so happens to be in the right place at the right time to save Kellens life, may be his only way to escape his fait! And, add in a cunning, manipulative, arrogant, but adorable squirrel cat Reichis, and perhaps you have a whole bunch of unlikely heroes ready to take on the world!

I’ll be honest and say it’s not a book I would usually pick of the shelf. The cover is obviously beautiful, but it probably wouldn’t have found itself in my TBR pile! I’m glad it did though (thankyou book box club). It was so easy to read and so humorous that I’m surprised I’d never heard of the author before. I think I found my new favourite author.

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However, there are a few things that didn’t necessarily put me off, but might be a problem for some. This book does lack a bit of world-building at the beginning, with more being diversed further in to the story, but in all honestly, I didn’t need it. I got so infused with Kellen, his witty argosi wanderer and assholish squirrel cat that it wasn’t really necessary. I think it also leaves a lot to your imagination, meaning that everyone can have a different experience with this book. For me, I think this is a great thing!

Another downer is all the different titles and names that just made my head hurt at first. I don’t really like books that make up all these weird names and words and such, but I loved the story and the characters so much that it didn’t matter in the end. I understood who was who and that was enough for me!

Despite all that, it is written beautifully by Sebastien, in a humerous style that had my sides hurting and looks of crazyness from the other people in the room. I haven’t had a book that’s made me laugh this much in a while, so will definitely go on to read Sebastiens Great coat series whilst I wait for Shadowblack to come out in October.

If your looking for a little bit of magic, loads of laughs, some beautifully written characters and a new obsession with squirrel cats, then read this book, use your imagination and fall in love with the world that Sebastien created!

Here’s some links for you to get started on your journey in to a world of magic and tricks!

Look at Sebastiens website here

Buy the book here

Pre-order the second book here (because you’ll want to)

Buy the first in ‘The Greatcoats’ Series Traitors Blade here

A Dogs Purpose (Book VS Movie)

Simply narrated by an extraordinary dog called Bailey (Josh Gad -OMG it’s Olaf!) who enjoys eating bacon, and is reincarnated multiple times over five decades to learn his purpose in life; with the help of the people he loves and the people who love him back, will be one of those stories that stay with you forever!

This post has spoilers galore, so don’t read it unless you’ve watched/read it or have no intentions to. This is a comparison between the book and the movie, and my thoughts on mostly what they should have kept in.

(This post will not comment on the negative press the movie has got. I just suggest that you do a bit of your own research on the matter, and ask yourself why a video taken during filming, a year before, was not released until eleven days before the original release date if the recorder was so worried about the animals in questions welfare)

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The book and the movie both start off as Bailey (or Toby) being a feral puppy who is caught by the dog catchers. The book goes on to show how Bailey is introduced to life with other dogs, and to people (who aren’t as bad as he thought), and he is able to learn an important life hack of opening a gate, which allows him in his second life (after his first life is cruelly cut short by an injury that makes him unadoptable) to escape from the puppy farm and wind up stuck in a hot lorry where Mrs Montgomery comes to his rescue.

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And thus, the love affair between a boy and his dog begins. I felt all the same feels from the Ethan and Bailey I met in the book and the Ethan and Bailey I met on-screen. However, I think it is here that the movie and book go off course a bit. A scene in the book where as Ethan swims to the bottom of his grandparents pond and Bailey jumps in to ‘save’ him, is replaced by trick in the movie where as Bailey just jumps off Ethans back for a football. I think, for the transfer in to his next life, the scene should have been kept in.

I also think that the whole Todd thing should have been explored more. In the book, there are references to Todd having a disability and a lot more events that lead up to his decision to burn the house down, whilst in the movie, I believe they just paint him as this boy with no proper motive.

I think, out of all the lives Bailey lived, the Ellie life was my favourite. I think it was then I realised what a dogs purpose is, even if Bailey hadn’t yet (Although, Ellie’s purpose was to find and show), and I think they skipped out on it. Ellie had this long, amazing life where she continued to save people up until her last day, including Jacob, which isn’t really shown at all in the movie. There’s also a character we never properly meet from the books called Maya who takes on Ellie after Jacob get’s shot and can’t be a police man anymore, and I think they swapped this out for Tino and Maya, but even though Tino sort of acted like an Ellie where as he brought two people together, I think it would have been better if it had stayed with Ellie, because we find that in the long run, even though Jacob is shot, one of the people Ellie saves with Maya is the one who saves Jacob from the sadness of losing his wife.

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So, in his second to last life, in the movie he’s a corgi and in the book, he’s still Ellie and he learns how to bring two people together, and that’s exactly what he has to do when he winds up back in Ethan’s grandparents town. This time, he’s called Buddy and is a black Labrador(in the book) whilst on screen, he’s some sort of mix that looks similar to a golden retriever, which I think is done more for what happens in the movie, than it does for the book.

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There are a lot of things I think they should have mentioned or done in the movie as they had the book. For example, once he gets dumped, he’s a stray for a while, and he uses his feral origins to forage for food and stay away from the dog catchers. It almost feel like it comes full circle, which is referenced in the movie, but I don’t think it’s referenced enough to make it as significant as it should be.

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Once he’s back with Ethan, he needs to find a way to bring him and Hannah back together, and with the help of Hannah’s daughter dog Carley, and his infatuation with her, he does it easily. The book and the movie go off-course here, again. In the book, Ethan passes away at a grand old age and only at the very end does he say Bailey, but there are signs that it’s just the last thoughts of an old man, and not because he realised that Buddy is now Bailey, whilst in the movie, he has a realisation that Buddy is actually Bailey, which I guess is a lovely way to end it really, but does turn it in to a more of a fantasy, than almost like real-life.

The whole thing though, is simple, light-hearted and hilarious, but I love how W. Bruce Cameron adds in all those things people have negative connotations about, such as death, euthanasia, puppy farms, abandonment, murder and disabilities, which I think was skipped upon in the movie in some respects.

If comparisons weren’t made, and the movie had not been adapted from a book, I believe it could be a great movie in it’s own right. However, I think both me and the movie have different views on what a dogs purpose is. Movie Bailey says it’s to be in the here and now, but I think a dogs purpose is to save people. Whether it’s just one person, or a hundred, a dog does it without even knowing.

I can also imagine my Springer Spaniel looking at me and thinking the exact same things as Bailey does, and my Shih tzu being a stuck up snob! Enjoy your dogs, maybe they come back to you every time they pass, just like Bailey does, but just know that even if they don’t, they will love you more than anyone else ever could. Same goes with some cats…

Containment (CW TV Series Review)

‘Containment spoilers(obviously) and Vampire Diaries S8 spoilers included’

I’m not great at reviewing things, but I think this series got to me enough that I felt the need to write about it, even if other reviews on it aren’t great, but each to their own I guess.

So, in a jump to try and pass the time until another Vampire Diaries episode comes out (I’m devestated that we only have two more episodes to go). I’ve been watching the CW limited series event ‘Containment’. I’ll be honest and say the reason I started watching it was because Chris Wood was in it and after being devestated that poor Kai (#KaiForever) is now trapped in yet another prison world (better than hell I guess), I needed another ‘Chrid Wood fix’ quick. What I didn’t know was that siren Seline would be making an appearance, but I guess Julia Plec may have had something to do with that.

For those who know nothing about it; it’s based on the Dutch TV show ‘Cordon’ and is about a deadly flu virus being let loose in Atlanta and a cordon being put up to seperate the infected and the healthy, seperating around 4,000 people from their families. The people on the inside includes a teacher and her kids, an atlanta police officer, a pregnant teenager, a computer genius and a doctor with the means for a cure; on the outside, a police officer and a journalist do what they can to expose the lies they’ve been told.

It’s been described as generic by a lot of people, but atleast the people in this actually die and didn’t turn in to brain eating zombies, right?

This series is 13 episodes long, each at around 50 minutes. A whole day of this would be quite the rollercoaster. In the UK, its available to buy/rent on Amazon Prime and might be available on All 4. In the US, I assume CW have it somewhere.

Firstly, I’ll be honest and say that I was put off by the thought that it had been cancelled, but unlike Reaper – which I’ll never forgive CW for cancelling. If only angel Steve hadn’t broken his hand at the last minute – the finale was satisfying enough for me to go away without the need to know what happened next. It didn’t tie up all the loose ends, and we’ll never know if they’d perfect the cure the doc was working on (although Julia Plec did say that if she’d known it would be a limited series, she would have had them find a cure and return back to the real world), but I think it ended in the best possible place. People had hope, and I think the show showed us that’s what people need to survive and go on. Hope is contagious after all.

It also demonstrated how the little things always matter, that you can make do with what you’ve got and that you need to have a bit of happiness every day.

This show initiated all the feelings, and I grew so fond of the characters over the first couple of episodes that I felt the pain they were feeling. I cried way too much, and that Teddy Bear… Well, you know what I mean if you’ve seen it.

I think a show that can get such raw emotion from a person so quickly is something everyone has to experience. When I wasn’t crying, I enjoyed it, and I think, given the chance, it’s a great series with some great actors.

I find alot of the time, people can get put off by bad reviews and never realise what their missing. Experience it yourself, and if you hate it, you hate it, but you just might feel the way I do, or like it even more.