(A Belated) Hello to 2023!

Each year I think I should to a ‘first post’ for the year, and without fail, I manage to forget. Then suddenly there is one week left of January and I am back in the swing of, well, life (and all my old forgetful habits), as if the ‘new year‘ is an alien concept that I can’t quite remember.

So here we are – hello 2023!

I have some exciting plans in mind both for this website, and in terms of my publishing goals for the year. This includes a more regular posting schedule for my book reviews and my other writing projects. As well as some new writing projects for the year.

I am also hoping to set up a newsletter later in the year to coincide with a possible hardback re-release of my poetry collection. (So keep an eye out for that, as I will post more about that later!) The newsletter would include more about my writing process as well as updates for future publications with Tea & Books Press.

Let me know if there is anything you’d like to see more of here, or if you have any book recommendations you can use the ‘Contact’ page on the site. To finish, bring on 2023, and I wish you all the best in the new year!

Book Review | Me, Elton John

Goodreads Blurb:

Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.

In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.

My Thoughts:

In all honesty, I don’t read enough autobiographies. Not that one has to read any at all if it isn’t your thing. However, I do find them interesting, and even entertaining, depending on the person the book is about that is. This was one such occasion. Elton John wasn’t really on my radar as a musician until a couple of years ago now, but his music has become something I listen to quite regularly now. So when I saw he had an autobiography coming out I was instantly interested, especially after watching the bio-pic about him – Rocketman.

I ended up both reading the physical copy I have as well as listening to the audiobook. I’d switch between the two rather than read and listen at the same time, so I would like to go back and listen to the whole book at some point too. The audiobook was narrated both by Elton John himself, as well as Taron Egerton, the actor who portrayed him in the film and I think their narration really enhanced my experience with this book. It was so interesting learning more about his life and his thoughts on his own music and music writing process.

This autobiography was highly entertaining while simultaneously being honest, and heartfelt. I found myself chuckling at some things while feeling emotional the next moment. It never felt dry or stodgy to get through, especially as I am a predominant fiction reader and sometimes find it difficult to stick with any non-fiction.

For any Elton John fans, or for anyone who is just curious for more of an insight into such a vibrant human, this is the autobiography for you. I highly recommend the audiobook for this too, if that is something you enjoy.

Book Review | Broken Valley, Owen Lach

Goodreads Blurb:

Adan Testa is on the run. Somehow he can use the centuries-old tech left behind by Neska’s original colonists. And that makes him the target of powerful forces willing to do whatever it takes to learn Adan’s secret for themselves. With relentless Union operatives hot on his heels, Adan and his friends begin a perilous journey along the 500-year-old trail to find the only thing that can give Adan the answers he seeks.

Don’t miss this thrilling new addition to the smash hit Queer YA Sci-Fi series The Neskan Chronicles from best-selling author Owen Lach!

My Thoughts:

I love a good sequel. I feel like book two is always the hardest of a series to get right (book one aside, and other than maybe the last in a series). It’s the one that – as much as book one – convinces the reader that they should keep going. I know I find it much harder to stop reading a series if book two is great. Broken Valley by Owen Lach – second in the Neskan Chronicles – has certainly done just that.

The story picked up pretty much where book one left off which I really liked for this novel. It was nice just settling back in with the characters and their story. Like with book one, I found myself on the edge of my seat for the most part, anxious for the fate of these characters on the run. Though things were a little slow at first, the pacing ramped up quickly enough to make for an exciting read. With some of the intense fight scenes some of my favourites in the book.

The development of the relationship between the protagonist Adan and his boyfriend Garun was really sweet. Especially with how gentle and supportive they were with one another as they dealt with the stress of the events of the last book.

I also really enjoyed the further exploration of the world where this novel is set as well as its history the more the protagonist Adan learned. Lach has created an interesting world with a very in depth history which I think enhances the story.

This was a reality great book for my first read of the year. I recommend this novel for anyone looking for an exciting sci-fi novel, with great characters and an intriguing plot. Just make sure you’ve read book one ‘Founder’s Mercy’ first!


Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for gifting me this ARC (Advanced Review Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 24th January 2023

Book Review | The City of New Aphros, L. B. Benson

Goodreads Blurb:

After eight years in hiding as a prostitute, former priestess Andromeda never thought she would find love. Now she has, in Captain William Lennox, a brash pirate who uncovered more than a few secrets on their journey aboard the Bartered Soul.

Deciding to wait out the winter storms in the mild climate of New Aphros, a little serenity is just what Andromeda is hoping to find. Never having ventured far from her home in Selennia, she is looking forward to exploring a new city and, with any luck, settling into a new life with Lennox at her side.

When she meets the cunning Madame Salome, who holds more knowledge about the Old Ways than Andromeda could have ever imagined, it becomes clear this winter will bring much more than whiskeys by the fire as a respite from the storms. 

When the threat of King Dargan Blackwell and his priests comes knocking even across the sea, Andromeda must choose — live the life of freedom she so craves, even if it means continuing to live in hiding, or face her past and step into the full extent of her power.

The City of New Aphros is the second book in Andromeda’s Account. Fans of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, pirates, and magic will enjoy this sequel to The Bartered Soul.

Content Warning:
The City of New Aphros is an adult fantasy/romance is intended for readers over the age of 18. Please visit the author’s website for detailed content warnings.

My Thoughts:

It has been so good to dive back into L. B. Benson’s ‘Andromeda’s Account’ series with ‘The City of New Aphros’. I really enjoyed this as a sequel, and it brought just as much excitement, heartache, and steamy romance as ‘The Bartered Soul’ (if not more). I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, and it didn’t disappoint.

I really love this world that Benson has created, it has heart but can be cruel, it nurtures it’s characters as much as it challenges them. There is so much support and love between the main characters of this story that it is almost tangible. It makes it so much easier to sink into this world. In a similar train of thought, that romance, so beautiful, and so steamy! I love the support that Lennox and Andromeda give each other, it is so beautiful to read.

It was so lovely to catch up with Andromeda and see how her journey continues. Some pretty big things are revealed for her which further her journey and it was so exciting to see the results of said revelation as her power grows. Especially with that ending! It was wonderfully intense and heart breaking in equal measure. I am really looking forward to book 3!

Pick up this book if you are looking for something action packed with equal amounts of tender and emotional moments, a sweet found family and rich world building you can really sink into.

*Keep in mind there are some content warnings for this novel. You can find them on the author’s website if you want.


Thank you to the author for gifting me this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title was published 20th December 2022.

Book Review | The Voidstalker Extraction, Liv Evans and Jay Thomas

Goodreads Blurb:

The galaxy is a dangerous place. Habitable planets are controlled by powerful factions, and the space between them is fair game for pirates and expansionists alike. The best way to get ahead in the Void is by hiring mercenary companies to use their ships and mechs to claim and defend territory.

Most mercenary groups are run by morally gray upstarts who will do anything for the right price. One company is the exception: the Triple C. Led by former mech pilot Henri Durroguerre, it has gained a reputation for honoring contracts and minimizing collateral damage.

Astera Ramos, a runaway turned mech pilot, is new to the Triple C. Eager to prove herself, she volunteers for a supposedly straight-forward reconnaissance job on Baldalan that quickly turns deadly.

Astera Ramos, a runaway turned mech pilot, is new to the Triple C. Eager to prove herself, she volunteers for a supposedly straight-forward reconnaissance job on Baldalan that quickly turns deadly.

My Thoughts:

It’s been a while since I’ve read any Sci-Fi as I have been on a bit of a Fantasy and Romance kick lately and it was so good to get back into the genre. Especially with a book like this one! ‘The Voidstalker Extraction’ is a great plot driven Sci-Fi that is action packed, full of vibrant characters, and has just the right amount of romance threaded through it (and romance wasn’t something I was completely expecting from this one, so it was a nice surprise, especially as it didn’t take over the plot).

This novel started right in the thick of the action and I love it for that. I was already stressing over the characters within the last pages of Chapter One and from that I knew I was in for a wild ride. I was completely taken in by the language used to create these really intense scenes, helping me to really feel like I was there with them. What came with this though was a lot of technical language which I loved, there wasn’t anything I couldn’t understand within the context, but just take this into consideration when wanting to read this. For me though, it really immersed me in the world.

One thing I did find a little confusing (and only very early on), was some of the naming conventions in this world. Basically most of the characters had their name, and then their callsign (so a code name) used on missions. Once I got my head around it, it was great, and I think, used really well for some plot points later on in the novel. With some of my favourite lines occurring as a result.

The characters in this novel were wonderful! Side characters were given the same amount of care as the main characters so they all felt as vibrant as the other, just the main characters had more story time. I think this is mainly due to the multiple point of views this novel was told in, as each character was seen through different sets of eyes. I loved the main character, Aestera, it was great to follow her story throughout the novel.

Pick this one up if you are looking for an exciting Sci-Fi novel with a gripping plot and memorable characters, and elements of the story that keep you guessing right to the end.


Thank you to the publisher and the authors for gifting me this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 11th December 2022.