Sequel Wish List…

Welcome back to another Wacky Wednesday. Todays topic is Sequel Wish List. This is a pretty simple topic, I want a sequel for the following books. Some of these books may be getting a sequel in the near future but if it isn’t out yet I have included it on this list. So without further ado, lets jump in…

FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell: I loved this book and I need more. I got excited when I saw Carry On get released but as it wasnt a sequel I was very disappointed. I didn’t want this story to end and would absolutely love to catch up with Cath and Levi again.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This is an interesting one. I would love a sequel to this book but I want it set before the books epilogue. This is one of the best books I have every read and I would do anything for a sequel. Please Please Please give me a sequel.

The Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse: This historical fiction was so perfectly crafted, and delivered. Hanneke was such an amazing character, add that to the haunting setting of World War 2, this book just took my breath away. I would love to see what happens to Hanneke and Co at the conclusion of and after the War. There is so many places this book could go and I for one would love to se a sequel.

The Secret Recipe For Second Chances by J.D. Barrett: Aww Lucy and Frankie. I miss these characters so much, I feel like there is a hole in my life and I need a sequel to fill that hole. This amazing book was so well written. I laughed, I cried and now I want more. I don’t think I will ever get enough of Lucy and Frankie, I need them in my life.

The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett: Zoe was such a fantastic character to journey with, her life, her music and her relationships were fantastically explored in this amazing book, so is it any wonder I want a sequel. Zoe as a character has so much more to give, and I for one would do anything to get to catch up with her again.

Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer: This is an a strange request but I want a sequel that takes place before the epilogue and after. I guess I kind of want two sequels. I loved getting an epilogue in this book but I really want to know what happened in the missing time. I of course also want to know what happens after the epilogue. I can’t help it, I loved this book and I want more.

Leaving Ocean Road by Esther Campion: This book was an absolute roller coaster read. I loved getting to fall in love with Ellen and Gerry and I would absolutely love to see where their lives went after the conclusion of this book. With so many characters to get to develop and so many relationships to explore I think there is definitely room for a sequel with this story.

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry: This is one of my new favourite books. I absolutely fell in love with Braxton and I need more. The journey between Braxton and Jemma was so beautiful and made for a wonderful, emotional reading experience and I would love to see them again, either picking up from where we left off or maybe a few years in the future. I don’t really care as long as I get more Braxton and Jemma.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know if you agree with this list, or if you have any books you want to see a sequel for.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem


Bat vs Poss by Alexa Moses

‘Meek the possum and her sisters three are happy living in the sprawling paperbark tree – until the day Squabbles the bat moves in. 

Meek lives with her three sisters, a gaggle of birds, lizards and other creatures next to a tumbledown terrace house. Everyone shares the space, and life is pretty sweet until the day a rude and messy fruit bat named Squabbles moves in – and demands everyone else move OUT. Will Meek be able to get rid of Squabbles, or is there a way for everyone to get along?’

This book was beautiful.

Alexa Moses has done an amazing job with this book. The story is sweet and warm, with lots of learning situations. Her amazing story has been perfectly complimented by Anil Tortop’s vibrant illustrations.

I love reading stories that are about Australian animals. Animals that young Aussies know and have even seen. Anil Tortop has brough these wonderful animals to life with her bright and colourful illustrations.

This book is going to be much-loved by young readers and their families. With the lyrical, rhyming writing, this book is perfect for read aloud story time. The fun and entertaining story, with the amazing, detailed illustrations will make this book one children will want to read over and over again.

It is books like these that make me wish I had children to share them with. Luckily I have many young readers in my life that will be getting a copy of this amazing book.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. If you have a young reader in your life get them copy of this book. They will thank you for it later.

Bat vs Poss by Alexa Moses is a wonderful story about sharing and making friends that every young reader should have on their bookshelf.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

‘It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.’

This was a lovely book.

I can definitely see why this book is loved and why it has had the longevity that it has. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t love it. I liked it, but that’s about it.

The writing itself was absolutely beautiful. The way in which the writing was almost lyrical in quality and the craftsmanship of the sentences and chapters was truly amazing.

There was an element of this book that I did love. I loved the descriptions; especially during and after each ‘tesser’. These scenes one again really showcased the wonderful writing.

One of the problems I had with this story was the characters. I loved Calvin and I had a love hate relationship with Charles Wallace. I really liked Charles Wallace at the start of the book but that didn’t last. As for Meg, I wasnt able to warm to her at all. My inability to warm to Meg and the fact that I became annoyed with Charles Wallace as the story progressed made it difficult to really care about what happened to either of these characters.

I really wanted to love this book. I am planning on reading it again, I think I may watch the movie first and then try the book again and see if that makes a difference.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle will take the reading on a weird and wacky journey that you may just adore.

Marge And The Secret Tunnel by Isla Fisher

‘Life with Marge is NEVER boring! Even shopping for new shoes turns out to be an amazing adventure, especially when the lights go out and the children are stuck in the shop! And when Jakey decides he’d like to visit Australia, Marge has the best idea ever. She and the children will dig a tunnel and visit a completely different country…’

This book was great.

I am a huge fan of the Marge In Charge books, and Marge And The Secret Tunnel didn’t disappoint.

I love the fact that there are three fantastic stories in this book. I means I can read from start to finish or pick a story and just read the one. Having multiple stories makes this the perfect book for bed time reading. You can read one amazing story each night.

Eglantine Ceulemans’ awesome illustrations perfectly compliment Isla Fisher’s story and add an extra layer to this amazing book. The illustrations really help to bring the characters and the wacky scenes to life.

One of the great things about Isla Fisher’s Marge In Charge books is that they can stand alone. You don’t have to have read the first one in order to have read Marge And The Secret Tunnel.

If you have a young reader in your life, this book would be the perfect addition to their bookshelf. With humor, love and adventure radiating off every page, I can see this book being a favourite of many young readers.

Marge And The Secret Tunnel by Isla Fisher is the perfect book for young readers and their families.

The Ice Monster by David Walliams

‘This is the story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth…

Read all about it! Read all about it!


When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more…

A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic!’

This book was amazing.

In my humble opinion, David Walliams can do no wrong. In his biggest Middle Grade novel yet, David Walliams takes the reader on an epic adventure.

David Walliams has an uncanny knack of not only creating amazing stories but absolutly wonderful, diverse characters. The characters in this story are truly a mixed bag. From sweet and kind, to weird and wacky, there is a character in this story for everyone to relate to.

Unlike his previous books, The Ice Monster takes place in 1899. I wasnt sure how I felt about this when I first started this book, but after a few chapters I absolutly loved it. I loved getting to learn new things about a time and place that was unfamiliar to me.

One of the greatest things about the characters in this book is that they prove that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Adult, Child, Male and Female, these wonderful characters not only entertain the reader but surprise them as well.

The Ice Monster is perfectly Illustrated by Tony Ross. His illustrations perfectly compliment David Walliams’ story and add an extra layer to this already fantastic book.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book and I cannot wait to see what David Walliams comes up with next.

The Ice Monster by David Walliams is a joy to behold and a must have for all Middle Grade readers.

Bookmas 2018 Day 8…

On the eighth day of Bookmas gemsbooknook gave to you…

The 8 Best Picture Books of 2018:

Oscar The Hungry Unicorn by Lou Carter and Nikki Dyson: This was a beautiful little book. With Unicorns all the rage at the moment this book is perfect. The story is strong and sweet and show young readers love and friendship, and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. I don’t have a bad word to say about this book.

The A-Z Of Wonder Women by Yvonne Lin: I loved this book. I was so excited when I got my hands on this book. It was amazing. Great information and wonderful illustrations combine to make a fantastic book that every child especially little girls should read.

When I Was A Child by Andy Stanton and David Litchfield: This book was utterly beautiful. The story was sweet and perfect for reading out loud and the illustrations were absolutely amazing. I cant wait to share this book with all of the young readers in my life.

What’s At The End Of This Piece Of Rope by Tania Cox: This lovely little children’s book is perfect for reading out loud with young children. With a nice array of animals for children to follow along with. This book is amazingly illustrated by Jedda Robaard. If you have young children in your life, this book is the perfect addition for their bookshelf.

Little Whale by Jo Weaver: I can’t get over how beautiful this book was. I would like to say that the illustrations perfectly complimented the story but it was honestly the opposite. The story perfectly complimented the breathtaking illustrations. This book is a must have for every bookshelf.

Aussie Easter Hat Parade by Colin Buchanan: This book was absolutely beautiful. I have never seen an Aussie themed Easter book, so I had to buy this book when I saw it. This beautiful book had a great little story with fantastic Australian Illustrations. I’m so glad I own this book.

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol by Tony Mitton: This book was absolutely beautiful I am a massive fan of A Christmas Carol and this book was the perfect retelling. This is the perfect book to read aloud with children and the amazing illustrations by Mike Redman perfectly compliment the story and give an extra layer to an already wonderful book.

Santa Bruce by Ryan .T. Higgins: This book was beautiful. Written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, this book was absolutely perfect. The illustrations brought to life the wonderful story being told. Every page of this book was stunning and oozing joy. This book is a must have for all young readers.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know your favourite Picture books of 2018.

Untill Next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Dear Santa by Samuel Johnson

‘If you could ask Santa for absolutely anything, what would you ask for?

Samuel Johnson OAM, Australia’s favourite skylarker, brother and determined cancer vanquisher, has asked his friends and supporters (who just happen to be some of Australia’s best writers, comics, actors, artists, musicians and personalities) to share their letters to Santa.

Some letters are naughty.
Some letters are nice.
Some echo a favourite childhood memory.
Some beg forgiveness.
Some are angry.
Some just want something sweet.
Some want to change their own world, others want to change the whole world.

Contributors include Helen Garner, Adam Hills, Deborah Mailman, Rove McManus, Leigh Sales, Grant Denyer, John Williamson, Myf Warhurst, John Paul Young, Mia Freedman, Shaun Micallef, Missy Higgins, and many more.’

This book was wonderful.

Victorian of the Year Samuel Johnson OAM has put together an entertaining, witty and heartwarming collection of letters to Santa written by some of Australia’s most loved personalities.

I was so excited to get my hand on this book and it didn’t disappoint. I was surprised by how mush some of the letters resonated with me. I laughed, I cried and I laughed again whilst reading this book.

This book contains the perfect mix of naughty and nice. Some letter will make you think, some will make you feel and others will make you laugh out loud. I started and finished this book with a smile on my face and a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart.

The weird and wacky Illustrations by Shaun Tan add an extra layer of awesomeness to this amazing book.

This beautiful little book of letters is the perfect gift this Christmas and with every copy sold contributing to cancer research, there really is no reason not to purchase this book.

Dear Santa by Samuel Johnson is an absolute must have for all Australian households.

And So It Is Christmas!

It’s that time of year Christmas. This year has flown by but I am excited to be back in the Holiday Spirit. With that in mind todays post is going to be holiday themed.

I am a massive planner so I have been getting my Christmas gifts together since October. One reason for that is I like to be organised the other is I hate shopping. I hate going to the shops and I really hate how rude people are around Christmas. I love Christmas and going to the shops in Christmas makes me start to dislike it.

In order to avoid this I start shopping early, I plan, I online shop and if I do have to go into the shops I only go for short trips. If I can do short trips to the shops over a few days instead of a full on shopping day that is what I do.

One of the things I do love about going to the shops at Christmas is seeing all of the decorations. If I can just walk around the shops looking at decorations and listening to Christmas carols without the stress of actually have to buy stuff, it’s a good day.

As I have lists already planned, I check things off as I go. I also like to wrap presents as I go. I will put on my Christmas playlist and wrap presents, write christmas cards and update my to do lists almost daily in the lead up to Christmas. I find that by doing things as I go, I don’t feel as overwhelmed by the amount of things that need to be done.

In my house the decorations are already up. We do a room a day for the whole week, and on the sunday we put up and decorate the christmas tree. I feel like the tree is only up for a day before presents find their way under it.

Another big thing for me in December is Christmas Movies. I am a sucker for a Christmas movie, and I really love those cheesy Hallmark and Lifetime movies. I try to watch a Christmas Movies every night in December and multiple on the weekends if I am lucky. We also have our go to movies that we watch as a family usually on a Friday or Saturday night. This has been happening my whole life and I love keeping this tradition going each year.

Given that I am a big reader I also read a lot of Christmas books in December. I always read ‘A Christmas Carol’ and on Christmas Eve I will read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and  ‘My Very Special Christmas Adventure’, a personalised Christmas book that I got off my Nan and Pop for my first Christmas.

Christmas is a time of giving and hope and love and I truly believe that we all need to remember that. I understand that Christmas is stressful and chaotic but as we go into this Holiday season I think we should all try to remember the things we love about Christmas.

Whether its, decorating the tree, watching Christmas movies with your family or your favourite Christmas book, we all have things that we love about Christmas, things that warm our hearts.

So when you are waiting in line at the shops, or stuck in traffic and you feel yourself getting angry, remember the Christmas tradition that puts a smile on your face and try to stay calm.

Let’s use this Christmas to spread joy and happiness. Say Merry Christmas, smile at a stranger, help out the less fortunate, and try to remember the spirit of Christmas.

I truly hope that everyone can find some Christmas spirit this holiday season and help spread the Christmas joy to everyone they encounter.

I guess there is only one thing left to say…

Merry Christmas.



Q&A with Laura Boon

Today I am lucky enough to be hosting a Q&A with Laura Boon. This Q&A is conjunction with the release of Laura Boon’s novel; Millionaire Mountain Climber.

So without further ado, lets jump in…

Where and when can we buy your book?

From 24 October it will be available as an eBook from the usual places such as Amazon, iBooks and Kobo, and as a paperback from Amazon and the publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
Amazon Australia:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
The Wild Rose Press:

Give us an insight into your main character?

Hailey Gordon is in her mid-twenties. She’s worked hard to achieve personal and professional success – a stable job, a solid relationship – and overcome the disadvantages of her chaotic childhood. When it all falls apart, she is left feeling like she’s having a ‘midlife crisis’, not knowing who she is or what she wants. She decides to take a working holiday in France to get away from it all for a couple of months and this changes the direction of her life. I’m interested in the increasing pressure we all face as a result of technology. We have to be available 24/7. There’s never any real downtime. Most of us have our work emails on our personal phones. Young people enter the workplace full of energy, enthusiasm and drive. It’s soaked up by companies, but at what cost to the individual? It impacts negatively on mental health and I believe the ‘midlife crisis’ is going to become a moment of reckoning much earlier in people’s lives.

Was there a particular moment or smell that spark your idea for this book?

I’ve been to the valley of Chamonix-Le Tour in France, and I thought it would be a wonderful setting for a book, glamorous, remote, beautiful. The colours are so vivid – the bright green foliage, the blinding white of the glaciers, hundreds of shades of blue, the stark grey and brown of the mountain rock. And, of course, there is French food and French presentation. Delicious!

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from this book?

Hailey is a young, brunette Jessica Alba. Kit Harrington would be perfect as Matt Hanley.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I always loved reading and writing. Stories have been my escape and my education since I discovered the written word. However, it never occurred to me that I could be one of ‘them’, the storytellers, until I took a class in creative writing at university.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I’ve started and stopped hundreds of times over the years, but I always got stuck in the dreaded middle. Shortly after we emigrated to Australia ten years ago, I discovered the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA). It was a life-changing moment. They offer a combination of support and education that is absolutely amazing. Without them, my desire to write and publish a novel might have remained a dream.

Do you have a special time or place where you like to write?

I have a little red desk in the TV room of our home, looking out over the garden. I like to write with the family around. Quiet makes me nervous. I always claim Jane Austen as my role model! I don’t have a regular routine, unfortunately. I am sure I would be more productive if I did.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Two thousand to three thousand words is a good writing day. However, achieving that depends on a host of things including other work.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I brainstorm and sketch out my plots on paper, in a variety of journals. However, I write the actual story on my computer. I find connecting my fingers to the keyboard helps ideas flow.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas often start with an individual in a difficult situation – in history, on TV or around me. I think about how I would react in that situation. The solutions I seek are emotional, not physical. I’m intrigued by relationships and how different personalities clash and combine. In Hailey’s case, there was a bit of wishful thinking involved. I’ve had several bosses I would love to have fired, but of course, the real question is, once you have done that, once you have stormed out, what then?

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Ha! Interesting question. I always start with an outline, but it changes constantly as I write. I go through at least five plot outlines before I finish a story. My characters don’t seem interested in following my lead.
What is the hardest thing about writing?

Having the courage to keep going when I’m not convinced anyone will be interested in what I’ve written.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Revision. It’s not the most interesting part of the process but it is straight forward.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I think I suffer from writer’s fear more than writer’s block. Sometimes I’ll do just about anything to avoid the keyboard, including housework – and I hate housework. It’s not the fear of not having ideas but the fear that the ideas aren’t good enough.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Trust to process. If you sit down and start typing, something will happen.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I’ve always got a couple of books on the go. I just finished The Pursuit Of by Courtney Milan, which is a wonderful, sensitive same-sex historical romance. Now I’m reading Lionheart by Thea Harrison (amazing fantasy romance combining the contemporary world and Arthurian legend) and I’ve got An Elephant in My Kitchen by Francois Malby-Anthony and Katja Willemsen, a memoir about saving orphaned animals, at the top of my TBR pile.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

I’m actually a big fan of using social media for marketing. A person has to be careful not to spam, and it is important to be clear about what is marketing and what is conversation, in other words be honest. However, social media is where people hang out these days, so it is where you get to talk to them, both personally and professionally. The traditional media is shrinking and becoming more and more niche – politics, news, high-end arts. If your business is retail or commercial, there’s no longer a place for you in the traditional media – unless you are a huge company with a massive advertising budget.

How do you relax?

I like to read. There’s something magical about being able to transport yourself to another world simply by opening up a book. I love playing with my dog. He’s a little Pekingese with the cutest personality. I also enjoy walking and traveling, when I can afford it.

What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is always changing, but I’ll stick with an old favourite. Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer. It’s perfect comedy although it does help to have read These Old Shades beforehand.

Which writers inspire you?

So many. Rhenna Morgan, Lucy Parker, Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, Amy Andrews, Loretta Chase, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. All women. All writers of romance. Romance is the romantic comedy of the writing world. Done well, it’s incredible because to balance light and dark, humour and pathos, is very difficult. Without the dark the light doesn’t shine, but people don’t seem to notice. It’s always the tragedy that wins the Oscar. I’d like to add crime writers Elly Griffiths, Donna Leon, Fred Vargas. And Andre Brink, a man who wrote with emotional sensitivity. He could be dark, but he wasn’t afraid of the light.

What is your favourite quote?

“For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.’ Eudora Welty, American novelist and short story writer, winner of The Pulitzer Prize for The Optimist’s Daughter, 1909-2001

What is your favourite film and why?

LadyHawke – adventure and romance in one wonderful package.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be brave. Chase what you want and don’t let fear of failure and other people’s opinions hold you back.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

I’d like to meet two completely different South Africans, Olive Schreiner, the literary equivalent of Miles Franklin and Nelson Mandela, former president of post-apartheid South African.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It was the first book I read where a female character was front and centre of the story. I love that Jane is regarded with disfavour by the world and yet true to herself. Stubborn and resilient are two characteristics I admire.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Join a supportive writing group and attend as many courses as you can. Keep learning and keep writing even when you think your work is too horrible to see the light of day. And don’t forget to read, your genre, other genres, anything you can lay your hands on.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you and your readers. It’s made me think and taken me down memory lane. A wonderful journey in itself.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website and blog:

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s Q&A. Dont forget to check out Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem


The Vietnam War by Robert Hamilton

‘Vietnam was the battleground for a bloody, attritional conflict playing out at the height of the Cold War, when Southeast Asia was the proxy theatre in the struggle between the superpowers. A Soviet-backed Communist regime held the north of the divided land, while America convinced that the countries of the region would fall domino-style to Communism if left unchecked threw its might behind South Vietnam. For over a decade the US Government provided aid and advisors. In 1965, with defeat looming, American troops poured in. Prosecuting a distant war against guerrilla forces proved beyond even the West’s great superpower. Casualties mounted, support ebbed away, morale slumped. American troops finally departed after a peace deal was signed in 1973, ending a war long deemed unwinnable. Two years later, South Vietnam fell.’

This book was awesome.

I was a little worried about this book before going into it. I was mostly concerned about how graphic the photographs and information was going to be. As a Military History book, I was unsure as to the level of confronting images I was going to be exposed to. It turns out I needn’t have worried.

The photographs in this book were amazing and thankfully non graphic. They showed the Vietnam War from start to finish without using horrific images to shock the reader.

I have read a fair few books about the Vietnam War and Military History in general, and I really believe that this book can hold its own with the others I have read.

This book is a quick read, that is filled with amazing photographs, newspaper articles and great information that informs the reader without overwhelming them.

This book is the perfect starting point to introduce a reader to the Vietnam War or Military History in general. The images are wonderful and not graphic and the information is easy to understand.

The Vietnam War by Robert Hamilton is a must read for everyone.