Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Posted on 7 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh


Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Leopard at the Door blog tour and I’m here with a review of the book.

Here’s more info on the book first!

Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.

But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.

Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

Goodreads. Amazon UK.

My Review

As soon as I heard about this book, I was drawn to it and couldn’t wait to read it. It sounded different and interesting and I was certain that I would love it. Upon opening the first page and starting to read, I realised that my premonitions on this book were correct. It hooked me from the very beginning and transported me to Africa with relative ease. Within moments I found myself engulfed by the words. Which is always what I love about reading. On this feeling alone, I would definitely recommend this book.

Jennifer has done a fantastic job with the narration and plot of this book. Everything moved smoothly and she planted background information from the main protagonists point of view into the story so subtly and it worked incredibly well. There were also little hints along the way of things to come which was great to read. But incidentally it was her attention to detail that made me love this book so much. Knowing how the atmosphere in the room felt or how a character was moving their hands really strung the emotion out of the book.

I’m sure I almost always tell you that my favourite character is the protagonist and this book is no different. Jennifer has written Rachel as a very relatable character who made me really feel so many emotions. She was strong but vulnerable, fierce but scared. The perfect balance of what humans are actually like. I was fascinated by her and she compelled me to continue reading.

This is a brilliant book to read. Immersive and interesting. It made my skin boil at points over the historical way natives of Africa were treated but that also just made the story that much more powerful. An emotional and moving story, this is a book that you won’t forget for a long time. I would highly recommend it and I am also very excited to read more work from Jennifer.

Follow the tour



Posted on 7 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Hello All!
Today is my stop on the Gender Games blog tour! I am here today to review this book but I have to be honest with you – I actually haven’t finished the book (shhh!). I planned to finish it yesterday but then I got caught up in #OneLoveManchester and I couldn’t look away. Thus, I will be writing a part-review today but as it’s non-fiction, I think it shows a good deal of how wonderful this book is, so I hope that’s okay with you all!

About the Book

Why we are all being messed up by gender, and what we can do about it.

‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes – before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we’ve been getting it.

Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can’t be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men. From men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender – and what we can do about it.

Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, The Gender Games is a frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what’s in your head is more important than what’s between your legs.

Goodreads. Amazon UK.

My Review

I’ve been waiting to read this book ever since I first heard about it and I’m really pleased to report that it has lived up to its expectations. Juno Dawson has a real knack for writing non-fiction books and this has come to its head with The Gender Games. I’m not usually the biggest fan of non-fiction titles – but I’m trying to come around to the idea of them, slowly but surely – as I often find them boring and pointless. This is definitely not the case with Gender Games. Right from the very beginning this book had me hooked and intrigued.

One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book is that within the first few pages it really made me think. Not just about the world and how we all think about gender but also about myself and how I feel about myself. It was enlightening and I am just so thrilled that I have managed to take something away from this book that may change my entire attitude to myself.

This book is written in a very easy way. It’s all about Juno’s life but interspersed with references and very intellectual discussions which breaks up what I would coin – the difficult and boring parts of non-fiction – which is what I love about this book. It’s not a memoir or really an autobiography but it also is. It’s just a very entertaining, informative and society-breaking book that I would very much love for lots of people to read.

In my opinion, the world needs more books like this. Books that make those of us who are a little bit different feel more included but also further understood. If it allows the rest of the population to have empathy with us, to open their minds and stop thinking so rigidly then I definitely think it’s worth it. And I personally believe that The Gender Games is a book that has the power to do all of those things. In this day and age, it is time to stop focusing on the “normal” and to start celebrating the different.

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **


Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

#LGBTQIARead is back!

Posted on 4 June, 2017 by Faye - 4 Comments

#LGBTQIARead is back!


Hello All!
You may remember that for Pride last year, the wonderful George Lester and I hosted the #LGBTRead-a-thon. Well, this year we’re doing it again! Aren’t you all super excited?

As you can see the first thing that’s changed is the hashtag! We wanted to be a bit more inclusive so it is now…


And now for all the important information you’re dying to hear!

The Dates

This years readathon is running from 25th June – 1st July! One whole week of LGBTQIA reading goodness.

Aren’t you excited?

What A Readathon Is

Maybe I should have explained this at the beginning but I was just too excited by everything else. So, it’s here instead.

A readathon is just a period of time whereby a lot of people all read “together”. What I mean by this is that we all read similar books (in this case with an LGBTQIA theme) over a period of time (a week) and we use a hashtag (#LGBTQIA) to share what we’re reading with everyone else who is reading. It’s a fantastic way to share recs, to buddy read and ultimately to gush over books!

Sounds like great fun, right?

How to Sign Up

Signing up is super simple (I hope!). All you have to do is add your name or twitter handle to the below linky and link to your blog or twitter URL.

You do not have to shout that you’re joining us but of course if you do then more people will know about the event and more people will join in and there will be EVEN MORE GUSHING about awesome books.


Here’s the linky:

What Happens Now?

Now that you’re all signed up (yay!), you can start compiling a TBR for the week which can either be for yourself or you can share it on twitter or on your blog!

We’ll start using the #LGBTQIARead hashtag from now so do make sure to add it to any tweets you make about the readathon.

Then on Sunday 25th June we all start reading!

Awesome, right?

See you then!


Posted on 4 June, 2017 by Faye - 4 Comments

Giveaway: Defender of the Realm; Dark Age

Posted on 3 June, 2017 by Faye - 3 Comments

Defender of the Realm; Dark Age

Hi All!

Today I am here with some exciting news! I have the first two books in the Defender of the Realm series to giveaway to one lucky UK winner!

You can read my review of the first book here.

And more information about the second book is below!

About the Book

Dark Age high-res

After the great battle at King Alfie’s coronation, the nation thinks it’s seen the last of the Black Dragon, and Alfie gets busy learning what it means to fill his father’s shoes. But when a band of undead Vikings appears, Alfie, Hayley and the rest of the Yeoman Warders fear that Professor Lock is back to finish what he’s started. For the epic battle that’s brewing, Alfie will need to enlist help from abroad, as well as from a mysterious new friend who seems to be watching over him…

Goodreads. Amazon.


To be in with a chance to win the first two books in this trilogy you have to do ONE thing. It’s REALLY easy.

You just need to comment below.

Finish this sentence: I would like to win this trilogy because…

It doesn’t have to be an AMAZING answer. The winner will be selected AT RANDOM. But you do need to make sure you respond to the sentence or you will be disqualified!

The competition ends on 10th June and the winner will be notified by e-mail.


Follow the Tour

DefenderDarkAgeBlogBanner FINAL


Posted on 3 June, 2017 by Faye - 3 Comments

Sita Brahmachari on Racism

Posted on 2 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Sita Brahmachari on Racism

Hi All!
I’m here today to introduce you to the ever wonderful Sita Brahmachari who is here today with a very powerful guest post on Racism. This is all to help share the news about her new book which released yesterday! More information about it below.

About the Book

Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it’s changing… can the reappearance of Nana Josie’s Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in?

A powerful chime rings through Laila’s mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


by Sita Brahmachari

Tender Earth by Sita Brahmachari
‘A coming of age story for young protesters everywhere.’

Tender Earth is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because ‘it illuminates the importance of equality, friendship and solidarity, and upholds our right to protest against injustice.’




I began writing Tender Earth three years ago because I began to see the rise of racism, and hear racially-orientated language spoken more often in public places. Following the terror attacks in Paris I wrote an article about how young people are coping with the fear and distrust that is created following these and more recent attacks, and by the language we hear in the media around immigration and the treatment of refugee people. I was so saddened to hear recently of the attack on a young refugee boy, Reker Ahmed, in Croydon, London, who was attacked by thirteen people in a suspected hate crime, leaving him horribly injured.

Since the EU referendum vote police have reported a 57% increase in hate crimes related to race and religion.

For my own children and their generation, I had hoped that racially and religiously motivated crime would be a thing of the past, sadly this is not the case for any of us today and so Laila and her friends are having to face the ugly truth about racism in Tender Earth. In this excerpt Pari Pashaei, who is the child of an Iraqi refugee family, speaks of her fears:

Pari leans in close. ‘You know what Stella was saying about people not saying what they’re really thinking? She’s right. Sometimes I get this look from strangers like they’re suspicious of me or just don’t like the look of me because I’m a Muslim. Mum thinks I should stop wearing my headscarf and she doesn’t like these,’ she points to her sparkly scarf clips, ‘- she says I’m drawing attention to myself.’
‘That’s not right! Why don’t you tell Mrs Latif?’
‘What could she do about what goes on out there? She can’t have a word with strangers like she did with Stella. People outside of school don’t have to say sorry, do they? Anyway, it’s just a feeling. No one actually says anything. But Mum thinks everything’s getting much worse for us here now. No one trusts anyone else.’

Sadly, the events that take place in Tender Earth require the characters to decide if they will take a stand against racially and religiously motivated crimes or stay silent.

Does seeing, reading about and experiencing racism and religious intolerance in this country and throughout the world trouble you as much as it does Laila, Pari and her friends? If it does, click on these links that I used during my research… and consider converting thought into action and, as soon as you are legally able, VOTE for what you believe in.

What can you do?

More books to read that stand up for human rights

The inspiration that is Malala Yousafzai

How can a symbol be such a powerful force?

Youth Against Racism In Europe

Where do you stand against Racism?


Posted on 2 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments