Book Review: The Guidal: Unearthing Secrets by Roxy Eloise

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About the book

My thoughts

Oh my, the steam! This book is a lot more spicy than book one. Although they are closed door scenes, there’s enough detail to fill in the blanks. Aurora’s complicated love life causes her a rollercoaster of turmoil.

Sillah gets matched, which I loved. Aurora introduces Sillah and Sillah’s match to Puracordis magic. The teens start practicing and mastering their powers. This was so much fun to read & learn with them about the different types and spells.

There’s more fun with the competitive tournament. The corruption and cheating makes it more dangerous for Aurora, and her friends. They figure out others are using magic too. The arena and the bounties were so vivid, and their physical training at the Khakidemy is brilliant.

I really like Aurora. The love triangle between bad boy Tayo, and her perfect match Pax, made sense. I like how she stands up for those being mistreated or bullied, and the way she challenges the Boudfell family whenever she can.

Read it for romance, illegal magic and adventure.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it from Amazon

[kofi]

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Preparations for Herts Book Festival!

Early this week, I posted to Ko-Fi about all the steps I’ve taken to prepare for Herts Book Festival. I think you’ll be surprised how much goes into it.

However, there has been more since then…

Monday, the tyre air pump was out of order at the local petrol station so I ordered a pump off Amazon for home. It arrived the next day but was raining so decided to do it on Wednesday after work.

On Wednesday, I was taking the kids to school when a stone hit my front windscreen and it cracked! I was swearing like a trooper. What am I supposed to do!

There was a mobile windscreen repair man at my local supermarket, so I drove on just as he was packing up. The guy said he could fix it but I’d need to come back tomorrow at 8:30am with my insurance details.

In the meantime, we pumped the tyres with my new pump machine, and topped up the coolant.

I arranged for my mum to take the kids to school Thursday morning. Then, I let my manager know I might be late in. I headed to the repair man first thing.

It was just as well I told my manager I might arrive late as someone else had got there before me, so I was second in line. The guy was really nice and we chatted about our jobs, the pandemic, and being happy. My windscreen got fixed – I can still get to Herts – and it turned out to be a great start to a great day. My new manager and team were so nice to me, checking I’d got it sorted and not hung up on me being late.

When I got home, I climbed up into our loft to get the small suitcases down. In one, I packed all my books and I packed a rucksack with things for my stand like the book signing pen, cash tin, SumUp machine, etc. I practiced going back & forth in the front room, as I’ll need to get my stuff from the car to my stand.

I still need to pack my overnight bag (the second suitcase), and make sure I don’t forget essentials like my phone charger or hair brush. I’m hoping to keep my followers updated about my adventure and now I feel more ready, I can relax and get excited about Saturday.

[kofi]

https://allyaldridge.com/events/

This weekend is Herts Book Festival!

A lot goes into attending an event, and as this is my first appearance at a book festival, it was a little more work.

The HERTS BOOK FESTIVAL will be at Herts Castle. You can find me at my author stall from 10am to 3pm, although I will be popping off to be on the Fantasy Panel to chat about the baddies between 2pm and 2:50pm.

I have written a post on Ko-Fi covering some of the things I’ve done to prepare for the event. It’s worth a read if you are an author going to an event, or just interested in knowing more. https://ko-fi.com/post/This-weekend-is-Herts-Book-Fest-N4N5L40D9

Something I didn’t mention in the post was that I wanted to do book reviews on YouTube of some of the authors I know will be attending. This proved more challenging than I expected because I didn’t get much time in April to record anything!

Here are the book reviews for my author friends that I’m excited to be meeting up with this weekend at Herts Book Festival.

Roxy Eloise

If it wasn’t for Roxy, I probably wouldn’t be doing this event. I met her via Instagram when she was launching her debut novel Discovering Puracordis, the first book the The Guidal series.

She’s become a good friend ever since, and inspired me to get in-front of the camera and try YouTube again.

Here’s my review of her debut novel, and I recently finished book two Unearthing Secrets, so I need to find time to record a book tube of that.

April Grace

I originally met April on Wattpad, and posted on Instagram that I was going to YALC. She was going to so we met up. She encouraged me to query agents, and supported me when I decided to self publish.

April also is a BookTuber and encouraged me to try again. She’s been in my corner for a while now. I’m looking forward to her upcoming releases and sharing a stand with her at Herts Book Festival.

J D Groom

I love Jodie’s writing. I met her via Wattpad and my early days on Instagram. She got me involved in World Indie Warriors. Networking with indies opened my eyes to the possibilities of self publishing.

Jodie had shared her self publishing journey on Instagram and her website. I learnt a lot from her, and highly value her advice. As a result, we have used the same editor, Formatter, and cover designer. Without Jodie, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to say yes to myself, and self publish.

Jodie currently has a free prequel available on her website for news letter subscribers. I wanted to do a BookTube review of this but didn’t have time. However, Jodie’s debut novel Sorceress of Truth was one of my first YouTube video reviews, and she participated in my YouTube livestream launch party when my debut novel launched during lockdown.

Cassidy Reyne

I met Cassidy through World Indie Warriors. She has the biggest heart, and makes everyone feel included and valued. She has shared a lot with me about her self publishing that has helped shape my journey.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jodie and Cassidy at the Milton Keynes book festival where we had a tour of the Ingram Sparks book printing factory. Cassidy was actively involved in helping me promote my debut novel, doing a proof read, writing a review, and taking part in live streams.

I ARC read her book AGENT:Undone but this is just one of the many books she has released.

Come join us

Come join us at Herts Book Festival. I’m looking forward to making more author friends and meeting lots of readers.

I will be signing copies of Ocean Heart, and I will have a leaflet with details on how to join my Sky Heart ARC.

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[kofi]

Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

This was an incredible read. I’d no idea what to expect but it was better than anything I could imagine. It is violent and bloody, but the story explores our morals.

Set in the future, death is no longer a problem. If you were to become deadish, you can be revived. To restore the balance a group called Scythes take on the sacred duty of gleaming (killing) life. They have quotas and rules to follow.

Teenagers Roman and Citra both (on seperate occasions) meet Scythe Faraday on a gleaming job. Their interactions with him stand out and he makes them his apprentice. Never before has a Scythe taken on two apprentices and there’s no rule against it. Still, it causes uproar and an edict is agreed that when one of them passes their apprenticeship, their first task will be to kill the other.

Scythe Faraday blames himself for putting Citra & Rowan in this position. He gleams himself to free them from the apprenticeship, but instead two other Scythes step forward to train them.

Rowan is taken on by Scythe Goddard who has a reputation for his blood lust, enjoying massacres to hit his quotas.

Citra is taken on by the famous Grande Madam of Death, Scythe Curie. She shows compassion to the family members of those gleamed.

Now the pair have very different apprenticeship experiences. Citra doesn’t believe Scythe Faraday’s death was an accident, and her inquisitive mind gets her in trouble.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s training involves parties and mass killings as Scythe Goddard tries to encourage him to find joy in kill craft. Goddard’s cruel methods push Rowan too far and he is no longer the boy he started out as.

The story continues to move toward the final conclave where they’ll both have to pass their last test. Passing the test will means one of them gets ordained and must kill the other. Despite all that has happened since Faraday, they still care deeply about each other. Both are plotting for a loop hole in the edict.

This was a brilliant story. There is a lot of death as they are Scythes, but the twists and surprises in the story is what makes you gasp and need to read another chapter!

Read it for a story full of twists and surprises, and to explore ideas of mortality and morals. Don’t read it if you don’t like blood, gore, or sensitive about death.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: Scythe https://amzn.eu/d/3gNXHBB

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[Kofi]