Book Review: When in Paris by Beverley Kendall

Title: When in Paris (Language of Love #1)
Author: Beverley Kendall
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, New Adult 
Publisher: Season Publishing LLC
Publication Date: 4th January 2013
Pages: 350
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads): College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs–in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia’s newfound peace, and the feelings she’d thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can’t shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile…but has never given her the time of day.

Zach’s good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it’s the star quarterback’s skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where…his present and past collide. And the one girl he’s always wanted but can’t have–and a class trip to Paris–turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.

My Review:

Olivia Montgomery sees college as a chance to reinvent herself – get away from the rumours of high school and make a new start. But when Zach Pearson saunters into her French class, it’s like high school all over again. The gorgeous football player is still as standoffish as ever, pointedly ignoring her and going out of his way to make her feel uncomfortable. But when Liv’s best friend Hope pulls out of the school Paris trip and Zach needs a way to avoid his father over break, the two find themselves walking the Champs Elysees together and the Parisian air works its magic on the two former enemies…

I love books about people travelling to Europe – and that was the main draw-card for me wanting to read this novel. But whilst I came for the travel, I stayed for the romance. The chemistry between Olivia and Zach is clear from first eye contact exchange. Zach is the big man on campus, football star and guy all the girls want. Olivia is no exception – but she is a little more reserved than some of her classmates. I liked that these characters had a history – albeit mostly in each other’s heads – together and their relationship was a gradual progression rather than insta-love.

Hope, Rebecca and Troy are perfect supporting characters. They manage to show off Zach and Olivia in their best light and I’m delighted to see that there’s a novella featuring Rebecca’s story and Hope gets her own novel too!

As in a lot of New Adult novels I’ve read lately there is a huge emphasis in this story on sex. Whilst I acknowledge that it’s a big issue for people (and characters) at this age I wanted there to be a little less on the sex and a bit more on the romance and other facets of their lives. Also – I wanted more Paris. More sightseeing and more about the food (was I the only one disappointed that they were only in Paris for a week and yet they kept eating American food? It’s a travesty!) and more about what makes them who they are. That said, I liked that Olivia had her theatre and Zach is at a crossroads deciding if he’s as passionate about football as his father is.

This is a fun and romantic book about life and love and the pitfalls of ex’s, rumours and family.

Thanks to Beverley for the digital review copy

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Book Blitz: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

The Forgotten Ones
 
The Danaan Trilogy
 
Book One
 
is now available exclusively on Amazon!



And until May 19 it’s only 99 cents!

 



Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.









About Laura Howard




Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

Connect with Laura:

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

I’m going to break this down into a few different categories.

Suicide

Thirteen Reasons WhyThe S-WordSaving June

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher [review]

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher [review]

Saving June by Hannah Harrington [review]

Teen Pregnancy

MeganMegan 2Megan 3

Megan, Megan 2 and Megan 3 by Mary Hooper

Abuse

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)Speak

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cancer

The Fault in Our StarsA Walk to Remember

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [review]

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Sarah Dessen

She gets a category of her very own. She writes such lovely books that sometimes deal with really tough issues. Eating disorders, Teen Pregnancy, suicide, death, divorce – I think she may be the queen when it comes to young adult books that deal with tough issues.

A few of my favourite by her are:

Just ListenSomeone Like YouThe Truth About Forever

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

So I may have cheated and gotten a few more than 10… but I liked coming up with books for this week’s topic. There are so many books out there dealing with serious issues and I can’t wait to check out other people’s lists from this week to see the books they listed!

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Book Review: Name-Given by David McLean

Title: Name-Given (Riddle-Quest #1)
Author: David McLean
Genre: Action, Adventure, Middle School 
Publisher: Delta Psi
Publication Date: 1 April 2013
Pages: 152
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Cast into the night, four young travellers must venture from the comfort of their villages to find their names. Each has a staff, a challenge and a history of riddling to help them on their way. But the press-heavy sounds of animals approaching, the limb-sky of the forest and the fear of the unknown are all about. How will they survive? The answer may just be in the riddle – “What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?”

My Review:

In a world where riddles are a way of life, young people must undergo a quest to find their name – and their position within the village. Meeting up with other young travellers also searching for their names, Stumbler and his new companions riddle their way through the forest and towards their futures.

I love riddles and one of the best things about Name-Given is the way the riddles interspersed throughout the novel are not just entertaining to read but are imperative to the plot. The language used is easy to read and very inventive at the same time – the short hand compound words (like Name-Given, heart-warm and pocket-close) which McLean created for his characters are so simple and yet so clever. The characters evolve throughout the short novel constantly learning more about the world, each other and themselves as they journey on their quest.

This is a quick and fun book which I think would appeal to younger aged readers.

Thanks to Delta Psi for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon


Cover Reveal: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Today I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s new novel – Obsession. Obsession is the first book in a new series set in the same world as Armentrout’s Lux series. Taking place in between Opal (Lux #3) and Origin (Lux #4) however Obsession is a lot more adult in nature and not aimed at the YA audience. So if you’re under 18 I don’t recommend this book for you but I thought I’d bring it to the attention of my followers just in case you want to follow all the adventures of the Arum and the evil Department of Defence (DoD). I have to admit I think the cover is gorgeous and this books is one that I can’t wait to read!

Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsession

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Released: 31st May 2013

Publisher: Entangled Covet

Blurb (link to goodreads):

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something…unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life…or is it Hunter?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer L. Armentrout author photo

 

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.

 

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

 

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

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Book Review: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Galley Books
Publication Date: May 2013
Pages: 320
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
‘First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.
But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie’s looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she’s caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie’s own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

My Review:

In one of the biggest scandals Verity High has ever seen, the preacher’s daughter is found in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. On prom night. And instantly good girl and “untouchable saint” Lizzie Hart is branded the S-word. People have covered her locker, her notebooks, her book bag – and even her car – with a single word. The S-word. Slut.

A week after Lizzie takes her own life the words “Suicide Slut” start appearing all over the school – in Lizzie’s own distinctive handwriting. Lizzie’s former best friend, Angie, sets out to find out the truth. The truth behind prom night, the graffiti on Lizzie’s possessions and Lizzie’s death.
This is a book about the power of labels. As Angie investigates the circumstances Lizzie we get to meet a cast of colour characters. There’s a boy who wears women’s fashion with a certain flair, borderline alcoholic cheerleaders, the straight A students who would do anything for a glowing reference and slightly creepy computer nerds. But they are all so much more than who they first appear at a glance. They have layers and yet most people never get to see beyond the superficial front.
I liked reading about the characters – Angie is a fantastic lead. She’s trying to repent for the apologies she can never make. Like a dog with a bone she won’t give up the search to find out who’s responsible. The mystery angle was an interesting take to a novel that’s about some rather serious issues. Lizzie – who we never get to see in person – makes an impression from her diary entries and memories Angie shares throughout the novel. I found her harder to relate to – in many ways she felt unrealistic. Her diary entries were awkward in their style and took me out of the story slightly. That said – there were lines and passages in this novel that were beautifully written and really got to me. The ones that make you think about how applicable the message in this book is to real life and situations.
Overall I enjoyed reading the S-Word. I found the characters engaging and dynamic. The plot contained so many of those issues that people don’t talk about for whatever reasons – abuse, neglect, racism, bullying and teen suicide – and I felt like most of these were dealt with in an appropriate way.
The S-Word is a novel that deals with the darker side of high school. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a YA contemporary novel that’s a bit edgier than the usual and doesn’t mind touching on serious issues.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an eARC for me to read and review.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Top Ten Tuesday: Books When I Need Something Light and Fun

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books When I Need Something Light and Fun

To be honest – most of what I read is fairly light. When life can get me down I want something to lift me up rather than bog me down emotionally.

These are just a few of my favourites:

TTT Light and Fun

 

Anyone agree with any of my choices? Or have some fantastically different ones? I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

 

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Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopia, Vampires, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 2013
Pages: 428
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
In Allison Sekemoto’s world, there is one one rule left: Blood Calls to blood.
Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire, Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, what she finds there will the change the world forever – and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There’s a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago – deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries. If Allie can get to him in time…

My Review:

Allison Sekemoto is on a quest to save her creator, Kanin, who needs help. What she doesn’t expect is when her blood tie brings her to a blood brother and the town she thought she had left behind in her past to come crashing into her present. The boy she left, the monster who stabbed her and the Fringer whose life she saved – they all play a part in her attempt to save Kanin and the world from the new threat its facing and the slightly unhinged Sarren.

I enjoyed The Immortal Rules but The Eternity Cure has completely sold me on Julie Kagawa. I loved how she brought humanity to the monsters and showed how inhumane the humans can be. That’s not to say the vampires can’t be villainous. Allie is still struggling to deal with her new and eternal life with the pressures and cravings life as a vampire brings. She’s grown since the first book and continues to do so throughout this second instalment of the Blood of Eden series.

Relationships in this book were a strong point. There’s a romantic relationship is heartbreakingly bitter-sweet. I loved seeing how the mentor/mentee dynamic between Allie and Kanin has shifted as Allie grows more comfortable and confident with her place in the vampire world. And then there’s Jackal – he’s surprising in many ways. The humour and banter that Jackal provides is a highlight of this novel.

The Eternity Cure is fairly fast pasted – there is a lot that goes on in a short period of time but the pace is at a speed that feels right. It’s exciting and dramatic at times. The characters are fascinating – flawed but fantastic in their own ways.   I loved the journey Julia Kagawa took me on. I am looking forward to the third book in the series and in the meantime I will definitely be reading Kagawa’s Iron Fey series!

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Queen & Commander by Janine A. Southard

YANR_BlogTour_QC

Title: Queen and Commander

Author: Janine Southard

Summary:

On a world where high school test scores determine your future career, six students rebel.

A pair of star-crossed lovers plot to stay together, rather than be separated by the system’s college plans. A former off-worlder instigates: there’s a ship in orbit, he says. We could take it and run away.

But to take the ship, the three conspirators need more friends. Enter Rhiannon, the girl who set herself up for the ultimate success on this planet. She made sure her test would give the desired result: Queen. But her best friend begs her to take control of this plan to run away. So she drafts a would-be doctor who believes in following his Queen with all his heart. She finds a genius who can’t seem to make the system work for him.

And then she gets them qualified for the ship in orbit. The ship to freedom. Now what will they do with it? And was freedom what they really wanted?

Excerpt

Winning a ship means surpassing the competition.

The three competing Queens swiveled their heads, hare-quick, to home in on new prey. They’d ignored her until she’d made that noise. Now they had the scent of fresh insecurity and would peck away until they laid her meager confidence bare for the massacre.

“What a sweet little girl,” gushed the one in red. “Where’s your mother?”

Dead, actually. Well, if this Queen planned to come after her for her age, she’d show her appreciation in the way only a younger person could. She raised her eye­brows and furrowed them down the middle, then pulled her head back onto her neck as though repulsed or doing a proper sit-up.

From the way the older woman cringed back, Rhiannon knew she’d succeeded in making the derisive Did you seriously just say that to me? face that she’d seen on her more critical peers.

A teenager can out bitch-face you any time, Queenie. Don’t try that tactic with me.

The eldest cocked her head, more curious than cruel. Perhaps she found it as difficult to gauge Rhian­non’s age as the other way around. As far as Rhiannon knew, this woman had been one of Dyfed’s first Queens, self-made and just as untrained as herself. “Why do you think you deserve Ceridwen’s Cauldron?”

Review:

In a world where Queens rule and their Devoted men follow their orders – Rhiannon manages to beat the system. She gets the results from the test that she wants and is now Queen and Commander. So when her best friend comes to her in need help there’s nothing Rhiannon wouldn’t do to assist. Even if it means forming a mismatched group (a Hive) to run a spaceship. Sounds a little kooky? It may be but somehow it just works.

I loved the antics of Rhiannon and her Hive. There’s the forbidden lovers, Victor and Gwyn, who are willing to leave everything they’ve ever known for a chance to be together. Gavin is an off-worlder who grew up in the theatre and is prone to start sprouting play lines at the drop of a hat. Alan is brilliant but can’t make it in proper society. Luciano has risen above his standings and is now set to become a doctor but instead of formally continuing his studies he follows his devotion for Rhiannon and becomes a member of their band of misfits. And then there’s Rhiannon. She’s always dreamed of becoming a Queen and Commander – and she got there. But sometimes dreams never turn out quite as you imagined. But Rhiannon is there for her Hive and determined to be the best she can be.

The Dyfed way of life is somewhat based on Welsh Society and I thought that was a fascinating concept. There are words used that I’d never heard before but thankfully they were translated for me or I’d have spent half this novel googling them and been taken out of the world that the story creates. I thought the Hive idea to be interesting and whilst I loved how much attention was paid to Rhiannon and her Hive – I didn’t quite understand how this society worked. I would have liked to have seen a little more detail regarding how their society actually functions – especially for those without ships.

Queen & Commander has a lot going for it. The characters are ones I wanted to read more about and find out just what was going to happen next. The plot progresses at a great speed with plenty going on both relationship wise and with regards to action and drama. I can only imagine how the characters and plot are going to evolve in the second instalment of the Hive Queen Saga.

About the Author

Untitled

Janine A. Southard writes speculative fiction and videogame dialogue from her home in Seattle, WA. She sings with a Celtic band and is working on the next book in the Hive Queen universe. She’s also been known to read aloud to her cat.

The cat appreciates all of these things. Maybe.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Where to buy Queen & Commander:

Amazon – US |UK

B&N Nook- US | UK

iTunes- US | UK

Kobo- US | UK

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 41-50

It’s Friday again so that means that here on whYAnot it’s time for another watch and review for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

This week I’m discussion episodes 41 through 50.

NOTE: The links below in the episode titles will take you to the video for the episode on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries website so you can watch and join the fun.

In Episode 41, Charlotte decides to help Mr Collins with his pitch (Your Pitch Needs Work). Mr Ricky Collins ends up pitching his proposal… to Charlotte!

Mr Ricky Collins "popping" his pitch to Charlotte Lu

Mr Ricky Collins “popping” his pitch to Charlotte Lu

You may have thought Lizzie and Charlotte were Friends Forever but Lizzie thinks Charlotte is making a big mistake with Mr Collins. Lizzie stoops rather low resulting in some sort of emotional blackmail to get Charlotte to stay but Ms. Lu has packed her bags and is leaving this week.

“My name is Lizzie Bennet and I miss my best friend.” Lizzie is Missing Charlotte in episode 43. With Mrs Bennet still annoyed Lizzie passed on Mr Collins and Jane keeping making sure Lizzie has copious cups of tea and all the hugs she can handle, things could be worse… You could have Lydia applying to replace Charlotte as main side kick… oh wait. That’s happening too.

Tea and cuddles a plenty as Lizzie adjusts to a Charlotte free life...

Tea and cuddles a plenty as Lizzie adjusts to a Charlotte free life..

 

Lizzie can’t stay in her Charlotteless depression for long as George Wickham is back on the scene bring a new kind of Darcy Wickham Drama. Our fearless heroine is almost gleeful with the revelation that dastardly Darcy and spectacular swim coach  G-dubs (the one and only George Wickham) have a history. What could George have on Darcy to make him behave so oddly?

In Wickham Story Time we get to see Wickham in the flesh… but he is no stranger to Lizzie’s vlog as he has apparently been watching them for a while. Which makes him more than acceptable to help Lizzie put on a show and fill us in on just how he and Darcy know each other. Lizzie is somewhat not surprised to learn that Darcy is the villain in Wickham’s tale.

Internet - This is George.

Internet – This is George.

 

Bing Lee has a birthday and everyone is invited! Lizzie has a plan to keep her mother off her back whilst still managing to enjoy the party in Birthday Party Battle Plan (episode 46). And because every social situation Lizzie finds herself invited to also involves Darcy being involved – George Wickham is going to attend as Lizzie’s plus one to protect her from his snarkiness.

It’s About Communicating shows some trouble in Swim Coach paradise. Never one to over estimate the involvement Darcy has on a bad situation – Lizzie decides that it’s all his fault when Wickham stands her up for Bing Lee’s party. Lizzie’s confusion over Wickham has her turning to Lydia for dating advice…. and twitter breaks some news.

After Bing Lee, Caroline and Darcy pack up and move to Los Angeles without any warning, Mrs Bennet manages to make the situation all about her (Snickerdoodles). But it’s Jane who Lizzie is really concern about. Lizzie indulges her sister in some “costume therapy” as they re-enact a Wickham/Lizzie phone call.

At least George Wickham is around to distract Lizzie from her paranoia...

At least George Wickham is around to distract Lizzie from her paranoia…

 

With Charlotte, Caroline and now Jane all departing for greener pastures, Lizzie may or may Not [be] Paranoid. Unsurprisingly she blames Darcy for Bing and in turn Jane leaving but at least she has George around distract her from her own paranoia… that is until G-Dubs announces that he’s going away for a few weeks too!

Moving On has Lizzie considering her options as Lydia shows up with a break up survival kit prepared to be there for Lizzie. Charlotte calls(!) and Lizzie plans on visiting her very best friend for a few weeks before classes start again.

 

It’s episodes like Snickerdoodles that just reiterate to me how much I love the casting of this web-series. The characters are incredible. In the space of a few minutes Jane goes from ecstatic and upbeat to devastated to optimistic over the future – and I was with her the entire way. She is so convincing and I love that I believe her every word and emotion. It also had me googling Snickerdoodles.

There’s quite a bit happening in these ten episodes – Charlotte leaving, Wickham’s story and now Jane and Bing’s relationship issues. I think it’s so clever that even knowing the traditional story I’m on the edge waiting for what I know is happening next and when it happens I adore how everything unfolds.

We’re half way though! Next week I’ll be posting my summary for episodes 51 – 60.

 

Here are a list of the bonus episodes. There’s the first seven Maria of the Lu episodes and a very special Q&A with George helping Lizzie answer questions.