On My Wishlist #18

Hosted by Book Chick City Cosy Books.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams


I’ve had this one on my radar since Angelya’s review, however, I hadn’t really looked into it since as I just haven’t had the time or inclination for epic fantasy. I will have to admit that it was the cover that peeked my interest again, so bravo to the publishers for that! I like how simple, yet gorgeous it is and the rest of Tad Williams books are equally as gorgeous looking with these shiny new covers.

Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge


This one has been on my wishlist for a little while now but I picked up The Dead Ways the other day and now I have to read the rest of Christopher Edge’s stuff! I’m not usually into middle grade fiction but he writes it so well that it’s most definitely enjoyable for all.

[Review] My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

This review may well contain spoilers for the Soul Screamers series up to book 2.

Author: Rachel Vincent
 Soul Screamers #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk
Pages: 362
Published: 2011 (UK)
Source: Personal copy
Goodreads | Amazon (UK/US) | Book Depository

First sentence:

Addison Page had the world at her feet.

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…


My Soul to Save continues almost two months after where My Soul to Take left off and I found it even more unputdownable. I’m not sure exactly why. Perhaps it’s because we now know Kaylee and Nash, we’ve been through Kaylee’s discovery of her bean sidhe powers, and now we’re able to follow the stories and properly connect with the characters. You don’t just want to know what happens next, you need to know.

We find out a little more about the Netherworld and even see a little of it. This is something I’d been looking forward to and was not disappointed. It’s chilling and entirely nightmarish, and I fell a little bit in love with it. The creatures within are creepy, the landscape is like something from a Salvador Dali painting, and even the plant life is scary! It is not a place to venture into lightly.

There are more interesting characters in My Soul to Save, as well. We met a few in My Soul to Take, such as Tod, but they are built upon further in this book. Tod we know to be Nash’s dead bean sidhe brother, but we start to see his human side which didn’t really show so much before. He becomes a more solid part of the Soul Screamers series as opposed to simply a side character and I really like that. His personality is fun to read as he continually causes mischief to keep himself entertained. We also meet Addy, Tod’s ex girlfriend who happens to have sold her soul for fame and fortune, unknowingly condemning herself to eternal damnation by demand of Dekker media. The thing I loved the most about this particular storyline was how big a pop at Disney it was! It really made me giggle until it was revealed exactly how dark it really was. Libby the 3,000 year old reaper was also pretty awesome. Despite not meeting her too much, she still made quite an impact on me which is definitely something worth mentioning. And I still like Nash.

Considering how difficult it was for me to put this series down for just a little while during March, I am very much looking forward to picking back up with My Soul to Keep!

The Soul Screamers series:

0.5. My Soul to Lose
1. My Soul to Take
2. My Soul to Save
3. My Soul to Keep
3.5. Reaper
4. My Soul to Steal
5. If I Die
5.5. Never to Sleep
6. Before I Wake
7. With All My Soul

Looking For An Associate Reviewer!

Heya. I know every man and his dog are currently seeming to be looking for an associate reviewer but with me starting a new job, getting over a major reading slump, and being so busy with this that and the other I’m getting pretty desperate for some help around here and would love a friendly speculative fiction lover to join me on Once Upon A Time.

What I’m Looking For:
  • A reasonably likeminded individual with a love for speculative fiction of any age group or genre. Some outside genres also welcome.
  • You would need to be willing and able to write at least 1 review every two weeks. As it will be the two of us, this basically gives us both a little leeway to take our time reading what we most enjoy and writing quality reviews for our readers. More would be better but that is the minimum. At the moment I manage 1 review a week.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t think you’d make a very good reviewer. I can help you out with a few tips and you’ll have it down in no time. So long as you have a decent grasp of the English language and a passion for books, I’m happy. I like Once Upon A Time to have a little bit of personality and treat its’ readers more as friends than nameless, faceless numbers.
  • Yes, I’m happy for you to read what you’re in the mood for and review books that I may have already reviewed because at the end of the day we’ll have different viewpoints and writing styles so it’s all good. My readers are varied and I like to give a bit of variety back!
What I’m Not Looking For:
  • Somebody who can’t commit. If you tell me that you can help me out with 1 review every two weeks and I don’t hear from you in three months then I’m going to be a little upset. I’m not asking for you to treat this like a full time job but it would be nice if you could at least treat it seriously.
  • A person who is pretty much after free books. You will need to read your own books. I might be able to send out the odd physical book I don’t have time for if you’re in the UK, I may be happy to forward indie authors to you if their book seems appropriate for my blog, but this is not the point in book blogging. Read your own books, make good use of the library, enter as many giveaways as you can, sign up for NetGalley, whatever you like but please don’t expect this to be a ticket to free books.
  • A book snob. I’m happy for you to prefer one thing over another, but never look down on something else just because you don’t like it.
  • Bad attitude in general. This is a hobby and it is supposed to be fun! Please keep that in mind.
What You’ll Be Able To Do:
  • I would like to read through your reviews and such before they go out just to double check them but I will give you the access you need to write up posts and save draft and format them.
  • Write reviews. These should be fun, constructively critical, and informative. We shall discuss more if you join me, but so long as you stick to a few basic rules, i.e. no tearing a book or author to shreds, I’m pretty easy on reviews.
  • Write posts. Any posts. Have an opinion or enjoy a particular topic? Have an idea for a regular feature? Go for it! I’m happy for you to be a part of this blog which leads on to..
  • Join in with any memes I do. At the moment I only do In My Mailbox regularly, but when the mood takes me I might do On My Wishlist, Follow Friday and the GReads one, and Top Ten Tuesdays. I don’t do all of those in one week because I do not want to overladen my blog with memes, but I’d love you to join in too unless you really don’t want to.
  • Share your ideas with me. If you have an idea for something or think that something could be done better, tell me! I’ll definitely consider it.

Basically, you won’t just be treated as just a guest reviewer but a part of Once Upon A Time. You’ll have a section in the about page, a signature for your posts, and anything you can bring will be a big help. We’ll ease into everything to just see how we feel with reviews and what you want to do. Basically, just have some fun, that’s all I ask! Interacting with readers and book bloggers is a lot of fun and I’d love you to be a part of that.

If you are interested, please please get in touch. I’ve put together a Google form to make it easy for you! If you need or want to email me for any reason, just head over to my contact page. :)

If you could please help me by spreading the word, I will love you to bits!

In My Mailbox #56

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

I’m a little early with IMM this week because I’m working Sunday morning so I figured I may as well post it now. No harm in that! And a great week for me. :D


Squee. Squee. Squee. Yet again! And Dark Parties is signed (see below)! I won that from Book Chick City and can’t wait to read it. *claps* Honestly.. I squeeled when all of these arrived this week, except for The Goddess Test which I already have on my shelf. I am entirely befuddled by this one! I didn’t order it, it didn’t come with a note or any hint towards who may have sent it, it just.. appeared! So I may have to swap that one soon. I love the UK cover for The Iron Duke and so so excited to have a copy and Burn Mark sounds absolutely awesome! Thank you to the publishers who sent these over this week!



  • Chosen By Sin by Virna DePaul | Goodreads
  • Night Marchers by Rebecca Gober & Courtney Nuckels  | Goodreads
  • Across The Galaxy by Heather Hildenbrand | Goodreads
  • Descended By Blood by Angeline Kace | Goodreads
  • Illumine Alivia Anders | Goodreads
  • Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles | Goodreads

Some really great freebies this week!! Chosen By Sin I grabbed because of both Kelly and Amanda and then realised it was book three. *mutters* But that’s a pretty yummy cover. I’ll have to get hold of the first two sometime. And Descended By Blood had me metaphorically bouncing around the flat with glee. I’ve wanted to get hold of a copy for soo long but never did because I didn’t know when I’d have time to read it but maybe now I might actually get around to it. Yay! The rest I hadn’t heard of previously but they sound great as well.

What did you get this week? Have you read any of these? Did anything pique your interest? I love to read your comments!

As The World Dies Untold Tales Blog Tour Guest Post by Rhiannon Frater: Recommended Zombie Reads

Hey guys. Today is Once Upon A Time’s stop for Rhiannon Frater’s Untold Tales book tour and we have a real treat for you. Rhiannon has compiled a list of must read zombie fiction for the beginner zombie reader, or anybody else for that matter.

Recommended Zombie Reads by Rhiannon Frater

I’ve been asked over and over again by fans of the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy (THE FIRST DAYS, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, SIEGE) to recommend another zombie series just like mine.  Honestly, I don’t know of any zombie novels that are in the same vein as ATWD.  I suspect that is why it’s popular, but I do have a list of books I can recommend for the zombie fan.


BREATHERS from S.G. Brown was not only funny, but a story with a great plot, sympathetic characters, and a nice dose of social commentary.  It was so clever and well-written.

THE ZOMBIE-WILSON DIARIES by Timothy W. Long is just all sorts of wrong.  It’s just wrong!  When I read the original online serial, I busted out laughing too many times to count.  Timothy Long does a great job making the obscene, macabre, and profane incredibly funny.


DEAD CITY by Joe McKinney is non-stop action.  Literally. I remember staying up all night flipping pages as fast as I could.  Our poor hero didn’t get a break to take a breath, and neither did I.  I plowed through to the end of the book in record time.  Seriously, the book never lets up.

LAKEWOOD MEMORIAL by Robert R. Best is a return to the slow shambling zombies of the Romero films, but it is fast-paced and full of action.  The story revolves around a single mother, a nurse at the local hospital, and her two kids on the night the zombies rise from their graves.  The kids are home with the sitter since their mom is at work and a good chunk of the story is about the children trying to reach their mother. I stayed up a good chunk of the night reading this book in one fell swoop.  I could not put it down.

HOLLOWLAND & HOLLOWMEN by Amanda Hocking have some really great action sequences. I would say they are the highlight of the books. Remy, the lead character, is a rather unlikable and a bit too much of a badass to be realistic, but the books are a fun read.


THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan is a unique take on the zombie genre.  It takes place a hundred years after the dead took over the world and our young heroine Mary, lives in a fenced in village controlled by a religious order.  The world building in this novel is incredible and I loved the fenced in pathways and villages that inhabit it.  The idea of walking down a long path with zombies on either side of the fence trying to get to you is just terrifying.  The prose is lyrically beautiful at times, but the zombie action is excellent.  The two sequels are also very good reads, building on the foundation of the first.  The third book in the series, THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES, is my favorite of the three.

ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre takes place long after the zombies have risen after some sort of terrible event and humans have retreated to the world below.  A good chunk of the beginning of the book takes place in the tunnels under a major city as pockets of humans struggle to survive against very fast, very scary zombies.  This is the first book in Aguirre’s RAZORLAND series, so it does have that cliffhanger feel to it, but it was definitely a good solid read with lots of action.

Both of these books are Young Adult, but it’s definitely fare adults can enjoy.


EMPIRE is a very different read, but awesome in every way.  Born online (just like my series) Empire was later acquired by Permuted Press (and later reissued by Simon and Schuster). The character of Death is a major character in the novel and it’s full of truly terrifying sequences. I’m not going to lie. David Dunwoody is one of my absolute favorite authors.  He’s amazing.  Every time I read his work, I wish I had written it.  He’s just so good.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest is a fun read. The strange thing about this novel is that you don’t even need the zombies to make this a great book.  They end up like a bonus to an already awesome premise. Just the idea of a toxic gas rising up out of the ground and killing people is terrifying.  So is the concept of the city being encircled by a wall to keep that gas contained.  Add in a woman looking for her teenage son who has gone into that contaminated city to discover the truth about his father, and you have a killer plot to being with.  Add in zombies and the story just gets epic. Cherie Priest does a killer job with this novel and I loved the entire premise.  I’m not a big steampunk person, but she really sold me on this world.


AUTMN the CITY by David Moody is definitely a different take on the zombie apocalypse. This is the second book in the AUTUMN series, but my favorite so far.  The tension, action, and character development are better than the first book.  There are some genuinely unique scenes in this book that gave me the shivers.  The zombies in David Moody’s novels are not traditional Romero zombies.  In fact, they don’t even eat their victims.  They just really, really, really hate the living.  I like how the humans’ greatest enemy is any sound they make, because it will inevitably bring the zombies down on them.

Since I’ve been working on my zombie novels for almost 7 years on and off, I haven’t read as many zombie books as people might assume.  I tend not to read in the genre in which I am writing at the moment.  I usually cram my zombie reading into time periods when I’m writing about other kinds of monsters.  I have a stack of probably twenty or more zombie novels just waiting for me to read them once I’m done with my latest zombie novel.

ROT & RUIN by Jonathan Maberry
SUNRISE by Kody Boye
THE BECOMING by Jessica Meigs

SIEGE (AS THE WORLD DIES BOOK THREE) publication date April 24, 2012



Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other books: the vampire novels PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. The first two books in her zombie trilogy, THE FIRST DAYS and FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, are available now in bookstores. SIEGE will be in bookstores on April 24, 2012.

Get Yours

As The World Dies: Untold Tales Volume 2 is out now! And if you haven’t got hold of volume 1 yet, what are you waiting for? They don’t cost much at all. The details for both are listed below.

THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country.

But theirs is not the only tale to be told.

In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…

On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…

And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Smashwords

In the second volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

In a nearby town Ken and Lenore have started their regular routine at Ken’s Beauty Salon. A terrible accident brings the undead plague to their front door and soon the best friends are scrambling to escape their overrun town…

Katarina is just finishing her shift at a roadside café when a badly injured man stumbles through the front door. She quickly realizes that to survive she must learn to kill…

And finally, a trapped family must face the fearsome truth that sometimes zombies are not the worst monster they have to fear as the world dies…

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Smashwords

Don’t miss your chance to win signed copies of both of these books from Rhiannon. Click here for that particular giveaway!

[Review] Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Author: Deborah Cooke
 The Dragon Diaries #1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Pages: 380
Published: 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher
Goodreads | Amazon (UK/US) | Book Depository

First sentence:

There was a guy in my bedroom.

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she’s been told she’s destined for great things. Zoë’s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she’s sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.


I really enjoyed reading Flying Blind. I adore dragons and shapeshifters alike so a book about dragon shapeshifters was sure to be a recipe for success. It was a joy to read with such a comfortable writing style and I’m sure that if I had had a little more time in the past couple of weeks to read, it would only have taken me a couple of nights to finish. Ooh and I didn’t realise until I was grabbing the blurb from Goodreads that this is actually a series set a little further on from a previous series (Dragonfire) by Deborah Cooke which is an adult series that focuses on the parents (Quinn and Sara) of one of the characters’ around Zoë’s age, I shall definitely be getting hold of those when I can!

Zoë was a pretty well-rounded character, all in all. She’s your typical 15 year old high school girl. Desperate to start puberty, and whilst she would never tell her best friend Meagan, hoping that puberty will finally bring with it her Wyvern powers. She seems to get crushes on any boy who pays her the slightest bit of attention which can be a little odd but not far-fetched for a hormonal teenage girl. And she’s pretty big on protecting her friends and the people she cares for, which in my eyes makes her a loveable character with appropriate flaws. I also have to give an honourable mention to Jared who I particularly liked. He’s good to Zoë and just a little bit yummy.

While I loved the familiar writing style that felt as though Zoë was talking to you, it also came with a couple of flaws. There were a few instances in which something said didn’t make sense to me. Sometimes I can put this down to my own tiredness but not when there are more than one or two. They didn’t take away from the story as a whole but they were a little jarring as I had to go back to re-read and make sure I knew what was going on. I also found the story became fairly linear towards the end. My favourite novels interweave plotlines and side stories with such intricacy that you feel as though the story is happening to you because they feel real, but Flying Blind didn’t really have that and it took away from my enjoyment a little bit as one plot would be unveiled and dealt with, then another, and another..

However, that being said I still loved reading about the Pyr and following their story throughout Flying Blind. Whilst this is definitely a young adult novel that I might not recommend to folk who are exceedingly picky about their young adult fiction, I would definitely recommend it to everybody else, particularly dragon fans because Flying Blind is, as expected, very juicy on the dragons. Love it!

The Dragon Diaries series:

1. Flying Blind
2. Winging It