A totally catastrophic, unmitigated disaster.
What is a totally catastrophic, unmitigated disaster, you might ask?
Let me break it down for you real quick.
My life, my relationship, my job, my plans, my future, and this whole damn trip.
So, basically me.
I am the totally catastrophic unmitigated disaster.
Hamish Kenneally, thirty-one-year-old Australian, who quit his shitty job and sold his shitty apartment and left behind his shitty life in Sydney, packed his said-shitty life into two suitcases, and boarded a plane to spend Christmas with his sister in God-knows-where, Idaho, USA.
Well, Christmas first. Then two years, at least, in America trying to unshitify his life.
And if the trip to said God-knows-where, Idaho, was any indication of just how spectacularly extra-shitified my life was going to get, I should have turned around and stayed right where I was.
Because if the flight from Sydney to LA was bad, which it was, then the second flight, LA to Spokane, made the first flight look like a joy ride.
Because I didn’t get to Spokane, did I?
Oh no, of course I didn’t.
Because you see, Christmastime in America is in winter. Which is weird enough for this Australian. Christmas should be hot summer days at the beach, seafood and salads, beers and watching the bronzed surfers and drunk foreigners at Bondi. That is what Christmas should be.
None of this “sorry folks; to avoid flying into a massive snow blizzard, we’re being diverted to Missoula, Montana” crap the captain of the plane said when we were halfway there. Like the screaming baby in the seat next to me, or the vomiting lady in the row in front of me weren’t bad enough. Like we had any choice about which direction we were flying into.
I had no choice. I was now going to Montana. In a freaking blizzard, of all things. Ever been on a plane that flew into a snowstorm? There is zero joy in that kind of turbulence, believe me. It would also explain the screaming baby and the vomiting woman. And the man behind me saying Hail Mary’s . . . which you’d think might be comforting. But oh boy, is it ever not. Especially when he yelled the prayer every time we hit a particularly large pothole in the sky on the descent. Honestly, if this flight was a scene in a movie, you’d think it was too ridiculous to be real.
After the plane landed—to which I would have clapped and cheered like everyone else if I wasn’t stuck in the brace position after trying to kiss my own arse goodbye—we were kicked off the plane without so much as a good luck in the wrong bloody state.
So there I was, a clueless Aussie, after flying for twenty hellish-hours and now a few hundred kilometres from where I was supposed to be, trying to wrangle two overweight suitcases down the concourse, when one little wheel on my suitcase broke.
Because of course it did.
Frazzled and trying not to cry— Yes, cry. A thirty-one-year-old man can cry; shove your toxic masculinity in your cakehole and stop judging me. I was having a jetlag-fuelled shitastic day meltdown, trying to keep my shit together the best I could, and clearly not doing it very well. I was allowed a little saltwater leakage.
Anyway, getting back to my story. I tried to call my sister.
Because of course there’s not.
So, taking a deep breath and willing myself not to spiral, I found my car rental kiosk. Finally, something is going right. “I have a car booked,” I said, trying to keep my now-broken suitcase upright with my foot while rifling through my backpack for my booking confirmation and driver’s licence. After dropping my passport and half the contents from my backpack all over the floor, then scrambling to collect it all while still trying to keep my suitcase upright, I handed everything over with a flourish of triumph. “Oh, that flight was the worst,” I said, sagging onto the counter. I was about to tell her all about my day from the ninth circle of hell when she looked up at me with that look.
You know the one.
The look of superficial appeasement before they cut you off at the knees. “I’m sorry, sir. But I don’t have a reservation under your name.”
I stared at her. My brain short-circuited and the will to live left my body. It was an actual out-of-body experience, I’m sure of it. I could see myself staring at her, mouth gaping like I’d been lobotomised.
Because of course they didn’t have my booking.
Why would they? My rental car was waiting for me in Spokane. In Washington. Not in freaking Montana.
“Oh,” I whispered, and my left eye twitched. “That’s nice.” I looked around the airport, at the line of annoyed people behind me. “Excellent. I’ve seen that movie where Tom Hanks lives in an airport. It wasn’t so bad. Could be worse. Could’ve been the one where he’s stuck on the island, I guess. Though I didn’t pack a volleyball, so that would’ve sucked.”
She blinked and tap-tap-tapped away at her keyboard. “But sir, we’ve had a lot of cancelled flights today because of the weather. I can arrange a vehicle for you, if you’d like?”
Oh, my sweet baby Jesus in a manger, why didn’t she lead with that?
Note from Kayleigh @MyEndlessShelf:
How adorable does this sound?!?
I am so ready for this meet-cute, soppy and sweet Christmas rom-com! It definitely has a feel-good Hallmark movie vibe to it.
Follow the links above to add it to your Goodreads TBR or check it out on Amazon and let me know what you think!
Please note, the giveaway is international!
Big thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours!
Welcome to my stop on the All Boy blog tour.
Since reading The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick last year, I've been looking forward to reading her next release and I'm so excited to be sharing this review with you!
A very big thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to review the book and participate in the tour.
Keep reading to check out the synopsis, my review and for your chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally!)
Rating: 4 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Seventeen-year-old Callie Canter knows all about screwing up—and being screwed over. After her so-called boyfriend publicly humiliated her senior year, taking a fifth year of high school at Beaufort Hills Academy is her second chance to leave behind a painful past. But her need for social acceptance follows, and going along with the in-crowd is the difference between survival and becoming a target. Staying off the radar is top priority. So, falling for an outsider is the last thing on Callie’s “to-do” list. Too bad her heart didn’t get the memo.
With his strict, religious upbringing and former identity far away in Florida, Jayden Morrissey can finally be true to himself at Beaufort Hills Academy. But life as a trans man means keeping secrets, and keeping secrets means not getting too close to anyone. If he can just get through his fifth year unnoticed, maybe a future living as the person he was born to be is possible. Yet love is love, and when you fall hard enough, intentions crumble, plans detour, and secrets are revealed.
From multi-award-winning author Mia Kerick, comes a powerful, timely, and life-changing novel, which follows two teenagers nursing broken hearts and seeking acceptance, and who together realize running away isn’t always the answer.
TW: Transphobia, sexual abuse, humiliation, mental health, bullying
I have to start by saying that (as you can see from the trigger warnings above) Mia Kerick has written a book that is full of pain and that was very difficult to read - but that's by no means a bad thing. Now, I'm not the best person to say whether this book dealt with the subject matter in the ‘right’ way necessarily but it was a powerful and enlightening read.
One of the reasons I read so many different genres is to find as many different stories and voices as possible and All Boy does not disappoint.
I'd braced myself somewhat for this book after reading The Princess of Baker Street earlier this year but it's still not easy to digest what the characters have to face and overcome.
For the most part, I found Callie’s character really difficult to bear, I almost hated her at times and some of that was due to seeing parts of myself reflected in her (self-hatred is anything but a breeze) but also at her ignorance and self-destructive nature but (without giving too much away) her development arc is something to be admired.
Jayden is a stunning character with so much strength and heart and I would have preferred to read more chapters from his POV. It's Jayden who broke my heart in this book, the truth and reality of his story and his pain bleeding from the pages was almost unbearable at times and my heart ached for him.
Callie and Jayden’s stories, both together and as individuals, are very compelling to read, everything they have to face and overcome and the story as a whole gives a very powerful insight into life as a trans man.
At times I felt that some of the dialogue was a bit too scripted, too formal and not realistic for the age group but the pacing of the story was good and the themes tackled well, at least in my opinion.
One of the shining characters for me in this book was Lauren who's almost the personification of acceptance. She delivers some beautiful truths to Callie and is a great friend and ally.
Overall, this was a really powerful and painful read that deals with sensitive topics and delivers important messages of self-acceptance, doing what's right and above all, that love is love.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card! The giveaway is open internationally so everyone can enter and it's hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Don't forget to click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
And finally, for something a little different, why not check out the book trailer below:
Long time, no see.
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen a few posts from me over the past month or so saying how hectic my life has been lately and that completely coincides with the fact that I haven't posted here in over a month!!
My family have had a pretty rocky start to the new year, suffering losses and illness and then to top it off my daughter really struggled with her mental health which resulted in her needing to be removed from school. So, in short, I'm running a small business, homeschooling my daughter and trying desperately to finish my book. Which, hopefully gives some indication as to why I've been MIA from blogging lately. As much as I love reading and writing, my daughter and my work have to come first.
But, saying that, I have been reading when I can and since my last book review, I've read nine books - I just haven't gotten around to writing reviews for them, but I'm really hoping to try and get back into blogging a little more, especially since I recently earned my 80% badge on NetGalley (something I've been working towards for a year!)
Which brings me to my next topic: My Endless Shelf Turned 1!!!!!
I know, right? You want to hear the best part?
I completely missed it! ? That's right, I completely missed my own bloggerversary!
But, to make it up to you guys for sticking with me, even though I've been completely rubbish lately, I'm holding a giveaway to celebrate (more info below).
Anyhow, I'm going to be posting a few mini reviews of some of the books I've been reading lately as well as what's on my TBR right now.
As mentioned above, I am still working on my first book, a paranormal romance that I'm so, so excited to share with you. It's been my baby for so long now. I finished the first draft over a year ago and I'm currently working on story edits before going back to tidy up those pesky line edits. Eeek! I love these characters and I hope you will too!
If you enjoy teasers, feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I sometimes share snippets on Wednesday's under the #1linewed hashtag.
Thanks for sticking with me! If you'd like the chance to win the book of your choice (under £10), enter below!
Giveaway is open worldwide as long as Book Depository ships to you. Giveaway closes at midnight on 31st May. Winner will be announced here and on social media within 48 hours. Giveaway t's and c's apply! No giveaway accounts!
A big thanks to everyone who enters!
I was lucky enough to receive an additional hardback copy of The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi from Pegasus Books!
This mermaid fantasy looks gorgeous, and sounds fascinating! I can't wait to read my own copy and I'm excited to be able to offer another copy for a giveaway!
Enter below for your chance to win and please note this is open to UK only due to shipping costs!
Welcome to my stop on The Soul Keepers blog tour!!
Big thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate, I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm excited to share my review with you all.
Rating: 3.5 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Death is just the beginning.
After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of the Harbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.
Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything... for both the living and the dead.
This book took me COMPLETELY by surprise!
I admit that I struggled a little to get into it at the beginning but I quickly got caught up in the fantastic mythology.
To sum it up, this book felt like a mixture of Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and a modern spin on Greek mythology.
I loved the writing style, particularly when it came to the action scenes which were fantastic, and also the plot twists which were extremely unexpected.
The characters were varied and interesting, keeping me engaged throughout and the mythology is fascinating, especially the ship itself, and its changing nature.
My only complaint with this book was the ending, I just felt that it left so many unanswered questions. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend The Soul Keepers to mythology and YA fantasy lovers in general.
You can click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a print copy of The Soul Keepers (US/CAN only - giveaway hosted by Xpresso Book Tours).
Finally, you can click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
Thanks for joining me on my stop of the When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn blog tour. Big thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate!
When Life Gives You Demons
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 17th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Some people have school spirit.
Shelby Black has real ones.
Shelby Black has spent the past six months training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy―a Catholic priest―has put her through exorcist boot camp hell, hoping to develop her talent, but ohmygod, he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.
High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity to herself. The last thing she wants is for her crush, Spencer, to find out what she does in her off time.
But Shelby knows how to keep a secret―even a big one. Like the fact that her mom left under mysterious circumstances and it’s all her fault. Shelby is hellbent on finding her mom, no matter what it costs her―even if what it ends up costing her is her soul AND a relationship with Spencer.
Today, I have a fun excerpt from the book to share with you!
What do you think? Intrigued? Keep reading for your chance to win a copy of the book!
Don't forget to add When Life Gives You Demons to your Goodreads TBR!
And, follow along with the rest of the blog tour!
Enter here for your chance to win a print copy of When Life Gives You Demons (giveaway hosted by Xpresso Book Tours and open to US/CAN only) - ends 26th July!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232542/
I am utterly thrilled and, completely shocked to have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by the very generous Bridie - do go and check out her awesome book blog Bridie's Book Abyss.
As I haven't been in the blogger-verse for very long, I hadn't heard of this award before, so here's a little background info to help those of you who, like me, are a little new to all of this!
"It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion."
The rules for the award are as follows:
So, first things first, here are 3 things about me that you might not know:
Here are the 5 questions that Bridie asked me:
1. What book character do you relate to the most?
Is it too much of a cliche to say Hermione? I was always the kid at school with few friends, my head constantly buried in a book - and nothing much has changed. However, I also HUGELY related to Molly in The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. While reading this book I felt like I'd been transported back into my insecure, anxious teenage self, always on the outside and stumbling through my first real relationship.
2. What is your proudest achievement in life so far?
My daughter is, of course, my proudest achievement. She makes me laugh every single day. She's creative, imaginative, bright, confident, considerate, caring, brave and fearless and I love her more than absolutely anything in the world. Also, being a mum is hard.
3. If you were an Animagus, what would your chosen form be?
Probably a horse. My Chinese Zodiac sign is the horse, I've also always had quite long hair, and a deep fascination and awe of horses. I absolutely love Heartland, the TV show. Have you seen it?
4. What song is the theme song to your life?
I found this question really difficult. I tried to enlist the help of my partner who suggested Chunky by Bruno Mars (LOL *insert eye roll here*). I honestly can't decide on this, so I'm just going to say one of my favourite songs which is I'm on Top of the World by Imagine Dragons. This song instantly puts me in a good mood.
On another note, I was named after a song (Kayleigh by Marillion) but I'm not a fan....
5. (The Weird Question) What is a smell you love? And what is a smell you hate?
Sizzling bacon is amazing! However, I have a vehement hatred for chicken soup. Honestly, if you bring that anywhere near me, I will vomit. Or beans. *shudders*
My Best Post(s):
I'm finding this one a little difficult because I'm still so new to blogging, and I'm also British, so I have an inherent inability to be proud of myself. Therefore, I've taken inspiration from Bridie's post and chosen some of the posts that show you a little bit more about how I like to do things. Here goes:
Weekly Blog Memes - I absolutely love taking part in two weekly blog memes, #Friday56 and #TopTenTuesdays as it's a great way to meet and connect with other book bloggers - here's my #TopTenTuesday - Books with the Best Character Names
Book Box Unboxings - I recently subscribed to a few UK book boxes including Book Box Club, FairyLoot and Illumicrate and I LOVE sharing my unboxings - here's my latest FairyLoot unboxing.
LGBT Books - I can't get enough of books with amazing LGBT rep, and what I love even more is chatting with people about them like on my review of They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera!
Book Recommendations - Besides reviewing, I like to quickly recommend a bunch of books that I've loved and that I hope you will too, such as My Favourite LGBT Reads So Far!
Readathon - I recently took part in my first ever 24 hour readathon and had such an amazing time!
Everyone that I've met and chatted with since starting my book blog and #bookstagram accounts have been truly amazing. I've never before experienced a group of people who are so welcoming and kind, so thank you again!
Here are my nominees for the Mystery Blogger Award:
Read It and Weep Girls
Jess Hearts Books
A Kernel of Nonsense
There's Something About KM
A Cat, A Book and A Cup of Tea
Flipping Through The Pages
Insert Bookish Title
There is absolutely no pressure to take part in this if you don't fancy it or if you've already been nominated. It's just something fun and my way of saying thanks for keeping me entertained with your fantastic posts, tweets and #bookstagram photos!
If you would like to take part, here are my five questions:
Please, please, please tag me in your posts as I'd love to know your answers!
Huge thanks again to Bridie for the nomination! I've had so much fun writing this post!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
To everyone who's followed me on Instagram and Twitter, and to those of you who've been reading my blog.
I only started my blog and my bookstagram account recently and the response from the reading and book blogger community has been amazing. Everyone is so nice and welcoming and I really wish that I could get paid for doing this because I love it so much!!
Anyway, as promised, as a thank you for helping me to reach 500 Twitter followers and 200 Instagram followers, and to celebrate that my blog has been up and running now for almost two months, I'm hosting an international book giveaway.
The giveaway is open to anyone, as long as Book Depository ships to your country, and I'm giving away up to £10 worth of books of your choice.
Here's how to enter:
Entries are open until 12:00am Saturday 26th May! Good luck!
Thanks for joining me on my stop of the UK blog tour for The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross. This is my first ever blog tour and I'm so glad that it's to celebrate the release of this amazing book! Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to participate. 😊
I read this book back in December and fell utterly in love with the story. The Beast is phenomenal. The new insight and unique viewpoint blew me away and made this book one of my favourite retellings of all time!
If you haven't already, you can check out my review of The Beast's Heart and scroll down for your chance to win a gorgeous hardback copy of this book. Seriously, look at how pretty it is with all that gold foiling! 😍😍
The lovely folks at Hodder & Stoughton are kindly providing a free book to one lucky winner, so here's your chance to enter (UK only):
- Comment below with your favourite fairytale - don't forget to include a valid email address!
One lucky winner will be chosen at random. Entries open until midnight tonight (08/05/2018) and a winner will be announced tomorrow! Good luck!
Don't forget to check in with the rest of the blog tour:
Head over to Instagram where I'm celebrating my first 100 followers, for your chance to win a £5 Amazon UK gift card!
Entry rules and all that stuff can be found on the post here.
Never miss a post!
About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
THIS BLOG IS SPOILER FREE!
5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
Upcoming Blog Tours: