Places to get free bookmarks in your city.

 Heyo Bookaholics!

Help yourself and the community!

I was so stumped and at a loss for inspiration this week in what I should post, but I thought about it and it came to me: What’s better than helping the community?

So, you know how everyone and anyone who reads thinks of a ‘free bookmark’ as a piece of scrap that just holds a page in their current read. Some boring household item like a receipt, tissue, postcard, etc. will not cut it for me, so I compiled this simple list of ways to obtain aesthetic – or at least nice and structural – bookmarks FOR FREE!

This post – or a large majority of it – will be applicable to everyone regardless of your home or location. I am making this as broad as I can, and will be so open to any suggestions that could help improve my list.


You don’t really have to buy anything at bookstores. Sometimes I just walk around the store for twenty minutes to half an hour and make the staff suspicious of my motives. I also scope out the bookmarks that lie on the counter, usually, these are of two categories:

  • Branded: to promote the bookshop, and
  • Promotional: to advertise for books and/or publishers.

It goes without saying that I do get super awkward picking up a bookmark – or approaching the counter no less – from a bookstore if I don’t buy something, but if you’re gutsy then these are the best places to get cute bookmarks AND support your local bookstores.


So libraries are literally the only place where:

  • There are free books (you can even take them home!),
  • It is socially acceptable to walk around/ sit for three to twelve hours,
  • Never feel obliged to purchase anything, and
  • There are always people who are willing to help you.

On top of all of that, libraries are warm and a great place to write and study because more often than not, they are comfortably quiet.

Oh! And they also have free bookmarks! 

I love the bookmarks in libraries because there is such a diverse range of them and they change regularly – at least they do at my library. Like bookstores, I find that libraries have a few different categories of bookmarks, such as:

  • Branded: to promote the library (or library group if it is a council library);
  • Promotional: to advertise local bookshops, publishers, and/or new release books;
  • Competition: these tell you about the books that have been shortlisted or have won awards recently;
  • Fun: colour-in or puzzle bookmarks.

Places like these provide news in a fun new way. A lot of the bookmarks that are provided in libraries are usually always plastered in book covers, so you have the opportunity to discover new books as you are reading because they appear on your bookmark!

Book Launches

In my experience, many book launches are free and to show their appreciation, authors will give out swag like bookmarks, posters and postcards to their readers.

I’ve been to many a book launch in my time and at almost everyone, I have been lucky enough to collect a bookmark related to the novel being launched. At the last book launch, I picked up a signed postcard of the book, and at the one before, I received prints of the characters.

So, not all book launches will have bookmarks, but you have to chance it most of the time and pray that the authors brought some cute swag you can stick inside your new novel! If they have nothing, never fear, because there these events are generally held in a bookstore (see point 1 for more info).

I hope you enjoyed this post!

The list may be small, but it is mighty! Let me know if you have headed to any of these public locations and what bookmarks you’ve found.


Where do you get your bookmarks? x

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx


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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Plot Changes in Novel Writing #Realise (SW#28)

Heyo Bookaholics!

Sometimes the story plans itself!

Realise. If you follow me on social media, you would have seen me hashtag that word in my stories, and sometimes in photo captions. In case you don’t, Realise is the name of the novel that I am writing! You can read more about the story’s origin in various Nanowrimo-themed posts on this blog as linked below:

  • Nanowrimo 2018 – In which I talk about Nano 2018, why I chose to write this story, where the idea for Realise came from, and some Pinterest inspo for the novel!
  • Nanowrimo Update – The first and only Nano update, where I unleash more secrets about the three main characters, and an updated Pinterest board!

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s move on to the real issue here, and the reason why I never finished Nanowrimo last year.

My character is actually being the sh*t that I said she would be…

In other words, I could never figure out her motive in the novel AND keep the original storyline that I wanted.

Well, not it seems that I have. Partially. There is still more work to be done, but after planning out all 23 potential chapters of this bad boi, and filling various pages of my new notebook – which was once an old notebook with all the used pages ripped out – dedicated specifically for Realise, I have come to some sort of peace with what is happening.

A sort of peace.

Sort of.

From other writers that I follow on social media, it seems as if their characters have a mind of their own and don’t like to listen to the plot, creating their own and ultimately making the story still awesome! Jaz (my main protagonist) is doing the exact opposite. She is using that mind of her own to steer the story in a- well there is no direction, that’s where I had to use my brain.

Planning may actually be important. Who knew?

I thought that the basic 24 chapters worth of heartfelt rubbish I had pulled from my 2014 published works on Wattpad would be enough of a plan to carry the novel. Oh, how wrong I was. It wasn’t until a few failed attempts to move the story along, and finally reaching chapter 10 that it hit me.

What makes my novel unique?

None of my characters is LGBT+, they aren’t in space, or going after the Faerie king to retrieve a very dangerous book on dark magic. These humans are literally just every day – mostly insecure – people in a very average situation, living the most hetero lives they can.

So how am I relevant to today’s YA crowd?

I don’t want to make the decision to change the sexual orientation or romantic preference of one of my characters for the sake of relevance because then it defeats the whole purpose, and I do remember Jes Layton said something wonderful on this topic at an event she was speaking at. She said something along the lines, that when she writes a story, the main character will be more than their sexuality. Much like her short story in the Underdog anthology, where the character is non-binary, but that wasn’t anything to do with the decisions they made that drove the plot.

Now I’m still stuck.

With relevance still being the forefront of my mind, but appropriate representation also screaming at me, the next thing I thought about was myself. Not sure if you see where I am going here.

Us as humans go through a lot in our lives, and as a woman writing an average ass female protagonist who is already an insecure shh*t-head, it is really easy to slip some anecdotal moments in there. To add depth to Jaz – the protagonist – and give her more character, I walked down the path of own voices. I decided to put her through councilling and gift her with some mental health battles. Although, where all these mental health dilemmas are cool and well in a contemporary, something I do not want for my character is for her to be “fixed” at the end of the novel, because

this isn’t a fairytale, this is true life.

The only thing I haven’t been able to-

OH SHEIT! I just got it!

I was going to segue into motives but it seems like my train of thought just collided with it. I’m writing this dang post in hopes of finding Jaz’s motives for the entire plot of Realise. Here I am talking on about anecdotes and unruly characters when the only thing unruly is my memory. I just needed to collect all of thoughts and bingo! Motives are solved!

The missing piece of my puzzle – motives – is what that separates Jaz’s experiences from my own. It is an event that I cannot pull an anecdote for, but I may just be able to use aspects of some stories of mine, mould them the right way, and create the perfect piece for my puzzle.

Question: Motives? Answer: More conflict.


and letting me ramble to you. This has helped me plan my story out, finally come to a loving comfortable state of mind, and let out that toxic air that was clogging up my lungs. I legit can breathe clearer. No joke! If you ever need to sort something out, talk it out, and when that doesn’t work, ramble to your audience and you will be rewarded.

I do promise that once I have an established synopsis for this novel I will discuss it here exclusively on Jasper + Spice. You’ll receive the elevator pitch and full character cast. I’m so happy with how it is all coming together, as well as the crazy progress I made on this post.

Here are some well deserved Pinterest inspo photos for Realise:


Are you writing anything?

Do you plan your story before or during the writing process? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx


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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Writer’s Group Meet #4 @TheYAPage

Heyo Bookaholics!

The best day of every month!

I haven’t had much time to write recently and to top it all off, I’ve been stuck at a single roadblock in my story. That was until Friday afternoon! Friday afternoon I somehow managed to fully outline my novel #REALISE, and on Saturday morning while I waited fifteen minutes for the train, I finalised my first chapter!

This is super exciting for me as I’ve been struggling so hard to perfect the plot of this novel and make it relevant to the YA audience I have directed it towards. It is my goal to make this my first finished manuscript and I just want it to be awesome!

The Writer’s Meet

We all met up at Mr Tulk on Swanston St in the city and had a hearty brunch and a wonderful chat about all the bookish things!

We let each other know about the books we are all reading and our feelings about them, as well as our current writing projects and how they’re coming along.

After we ate, we got to writing and I can now finally confirm that my word count is at 16,500 words! This is perfect and right where I want to be at 10 chapters in.

The Crew!

Photo courtesy of @TheYAPage on Instagram

There was a smaller group than usual this month, and it turned out to just be a girls brunch! I had so much fun and as I am going to these meetups I am becoming more comfortable writing with other people around me. Sitting in silence with friends is always a challenge, but when you are all writing and have the opportunity to workshop and discuss your work, it is truly something to be treasured.

As always I am so grateful for these events and I cannot wait to share my first chapter on the Facebook group and be open to feedback that may come my way.

#REALISE has turned into a partially own voices contemporary romantic-ish novel that is still being developed and currently will end at chapter 23 (if all goes to plan).

Comment below if you’re writing anything, or if you have a group that you write and workshop with.


What are you writing? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx


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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Superstitions – Poem (SW#27)

Heyo Bookaholics!

I needed to get this off of my chest!

It’s true, all of it.

I have so many necklaces.

I never used to care much about which one I wore,
they all mean something to me anyway.

The ones my boyfriend bought me,
or the few I received on my various birthdays
and that thing I bought online too;
all tying to memories,
like a ball on a string
I can use to pull the memories up.

I never really cared about which one I wore,
until my accident.
Then there were ones that brought bad luck,
one that I wouldn’t leave home without,
and one I refuse to wear again.

You’d think it’d make sense really,
since the pendant falls so close to your heart,
it’s like something is there
that can change your fate.
Maybe there is some energy flowing from the middle bead,
or running down the spiral charm
on its way to your heart.

That’s not how I see it though.
I never understood energies,
just feelings.

It was just easier to visualise that way.
Energies are funny.
Feelings are easier to identify,
but not to understand.

I wore a different necklace today,
for the first time in months.
It felt strange.


I didn’t know it was there really,
but if I reflect back,
the crushing anxiety,
lack of breath,
loss of motivation, and
how mentally drained I became…

It really makes sense don’t you think?


Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx


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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Underdog Edited by Tobias Madden | Spoiler-Free Book Review

Heyo Bookaholics!

Absolutely Stunning!

Hands down the best anthology I have had the pleasure of reading. I wanted so badly to read a continuation of all of these stories, and I hope so so much, to hear more from these twelve wonderful authors.


Short tales from the Australian writers of tomorrow.

#LoveOzYA celebrates the best of new Australian writing for teenage readers. It has grown from a humble hashtag into a movement, reflecting the important role young-adult fiction plays in shaping our current generation of readers. This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community.

Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris (Risk, Wreck, Black and Found), Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation's culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, from hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any teen reader, proving, yet again, why there is just so much to love about #LoveOzYA.

Stories are written by 12 unpublished authors from all over our wonderful country of Australia. You can find my post on the Underdog Book Launch in the link or by searching it on my blog.


Since this anthology wasn’t centred around a specific theme other than the prompt “your Australia,” which is really really vague, I will briefly review a few stories and talk about the feel of the novel overall. I also want to point out that I will be choosing stories that hit me hard and that I felt the deep urge to read more from. I loved every story I read in this anthology and cherished those few pages I got to spend with each character, knowing it’s probably the last.

Meet and Greet by Michael Earp – This is the cutest meet-cute story that I have ever had the pleasure of reading! It is every book lover’s dream to have a situation where they find love or at least a cute human at a book event. Finding someone who cherishes the same passion that you do is a beautiful passionate connection that ignites something in the heart.

Chemical Expression by Jes Layton – I find it hard to believe that in this day and age of new and wonderful contemporary fiction in the 21st century, that I have yet to read a story with a gender queer main character. To be honest, maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong location but I am so so glad that Jes has been given the chance to shine and put her wonderful human beans out there in the world! You can read my interview with Jes Layton on my blog by clicking this link.

The Bees by Stacey Malacari – These haunting few pages tells us the story of what would happen if we keep ignoring global warming, denying its existence and leading to an earth-shattering event. The results would be catastrophic.

Living Rose by Kaneana May – The last story, and the one I most connected with. I saw so many aspects of myself in the character of Rose. I try to be a carefree woman in a busy world full of expectations. Where there are so many things going on – uni, work, assignments, etc – but people rarely take time to live!

I want to read more of these stories, and if I cannot, then I want more from all of these authors!! So I hope that in the future I see their names on novels displayed on the shelves of book stores like Dymocks, and I get the opportunity to attend their launches and celebrate with them.

Imma go now and fangirl over Lucifer and Chloe as I re-watch the series in time for season four to be on out on Netflix in May!

★ Rating ★

I rated this book a ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) for obvious reasons. It’s beautifully written; it’s Australian; it’s modern; and best of all, it has given new and upcoming writers their chance to shine. This book allowed people to be able to put the label published author on their resume, and opened doors for all 12 of these wonderful people to continue gifting their talent to the world!


What’s your favourite Underdog story? xx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

April TBR!

Heyo Bookaholics!

This feels like a late TBR…

I’ve been so slow in my reading progress lately. So in light of not having finished Underdog edited by Tobias Madden and my little internal crisis of not having put out a TBR for this month,

I am currently 3 stories into Underdog, the 12 short story anthology edited by Tobias Madden.

  • Meet and Greet by Michael Earp
  • Breathe Me In by Sophie L. Macdonald
  • Chemical Expression by Jes Layton

I interviewed Jes Layton on here last Saturday and let me say again that she is amazing to talk to, especially about writing! You can read my interview with Jes by clicking the link 🙂

I also keep misspelling the name of this book as Undergod. -_-

In Reading Order…

After Underdog, I am planning to read the following in the order they appear above (and below).

  • Ida by Alison Evans – This is one I’ve been wanting to read for a very long time, and with the mix of novels I picked out to read last month I feel like it fits the vibe perfectly. According to Goodreads, Alison has 7 books out, with their most recent release being Highway Bodies which sounds very ominous and highly intriguing!
  • Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – ETERNAL SCREEEEEEMING!!! Go watch my unboxing of this book HERE on my YouTube channel. This is the third and final book in the Dark Artifices series, which is the third series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. I cannot form coherent sentences when I think of these books, so yah.
  • Otherearth by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller – I’m only reading this because I read the first novel and I’m a curious bugger who wants answers x

Have you read any of these???

I’d love to know if you have, please give me all your thoughts in the comments below!


What are you planning to read this month??? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // YouTube



With Love Bree xx

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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

An Interview with Author Jes Layton!

Heyo Bookaholics!

A new YA author? Yes, please!!

Okay, so this is probably the best post ever on my blog! I’m not just saying that. I interviewed one of my favourite people in the writing industry who also happens to be a friend of mine and if you haven’t heard her speak about writing you really must!

Jes Layton is a freelance artist and writer and now a published author in a new release anthology titled Underdog edited by Tobias M. She has involved herself in the Australian writing industry for years and works for two Victorian bodies of writing: Melbourne City of Literature and Express Media. You can find her on the socials @ageekwithahat on twitter and Instagram and if you find her on Ao3 keep it hush hush 😉

Jes has a very informative and almost philosophical view on writing and storytelling. She is very dedicated to writing queer characters and crafting stories so that the plot isn’t around the character’s gender/ sexuality but something more. She likes to show that queer characters face the same problems that everyone else does. That’s the beauty of her short story; Chemical Expression.

About her story:

Chemical Expression is a short story Jes wrote especially for the Underdog anthology. During a reading of her story at a First Chapters event on Friday, Jes divulged that when the callouts were announced she had absolutely no clue what to write about. It took her four months before she actually had an idea. Coming from a small town, she used the prompt given for the story; something along the lines of “write about your Australia”, and drew on her own high school experience, adding drugs and changing the protagonist to be unlike her.

Interview Questions:

Did you have a plan to continue the story of Chemical Expression?

Chemical Expression came to me very much as a snapshot into Autumn’s life, and though I don’t have any immediate plans to continue on from Chemical Expression right now, the fact that people have been telling me they’d be interested in reading more of Autumn and Sheridan is really heartening.


Will we ever get to know what happens after the events of Chemical Expression?

I mean, you can always ask what I think? But I come from the school of killing authors. i.e fanfiction, meaning I love it when authors leave space for me, as a reader to continue on the story or fill in the gaps myself. That’s something I like to emulate in my own work. As a writer, I look up to John Green—who spoke about this drive readers have for authors to continue on a story while the authors themselves don’t necessarily know what that continuation would be—in a Lindsay Ellis video [link: ], I highly recommend it for any writers to watch.


What advice can you give to other writers for writing non-binary/ gender queer characters?

If you are not non-binary, trans, gender queer or gender diverse yourself, take the time to invest in a sensitivity reader, and work with the gender diverse people in your life (if they are willing!). There are nuances to being gender diverse that aren’t readily known outside of that experience. Similarly, there are pitfalls that cis and binary people often make when trying to portray gender diverse characters, sensitivity readers can help limit those proverbial LEGO blocks from getting stepped on by unsuspecting queer readers.


Does the multiple uses of “they” cause you any confusion while writing? Alternatively, what hurdles did you yourself face writing a gender queer character?

They pronouns have never been a real issue for me, I’ve written and will continue to write characters with a whole slew of different pronouns. The only issue I’ve really had when it comes to pronouns is when two or more people in a scene use the same pronoun since I write in third person limited! Although I guess this is more of a prescriptivist error rather than grammar issue, and a problem with the structure of my writing itself and not anyone’s pronouns. These things tend to get sorted out in edits/rewriting. Being gender fluid myself and embedded in gender queer communities and discourse, I didn’t really face any issues with writing my queer babies, and more so have faced issues (not with Chemical Expression/Underdog) with readers and in workshopping/editing settings. Some people just find pronouns outside of she/her and he/him confusing, and think it’s fine to take it out on the author.


When did you start writing, and when did you begin to take it seriously?

I’ve always been a writer, a storyteller, but I didn’t start writing fiction seriously until I was 11, where I forced my best friend to spend our lunchtimes workshopping my many ‘debuts’, and dedicated myself to writing fanfiction online. I didn’t see it as a viable career until Year 12 when I got a series of scholarships which allowed me to move to Melbourne and begin studying Creative Writing at RMIT. Tertiary study isn’t the path of every writer but it made ALL of the difference to my craft, accessibility and confidence.


Any writing lessons, you have learnt throughout your career (journey?) that you think all aspiring writers should know/ be aware of?

Shivaun Plozza [ author of Frankie and Tin Heart] gave me some great advice to own the label of a writer. Regardless of whether you have nothing published, publish things yourself or only have one small haiku in your school newsletter, if you write, you are a writer. That frank advice helped me pick up my game and beat down some imposter syndrome demons. Sue Lawson (Allie McGregor’s True Colours, Dragon’s Tear), also, one of the first people to ever read my work, gave 12 year-old-me the advice to just finish things. Finishing a project, I think is the hardest thing for a lot of writers to do, but it is the most important (and most addictive) thing. Once you finish the first draft, that is where the real writing starts.


Are you currently working on something, be it a novel or short story, and can you tell us anything about it?

I’m always working on things! I have my YA spec fic novel, which I can promise is as queer and delightfully Australiana as a thing can be. I have the first draft on an older YA novel completed that is the story of five nerds at a convention (five different POVs), and I also have a younger illustrated fantasy middle grade mapped out! You can find some of those sketches on my Instagram (shameless plug: ). I’m always working on fanfic too!



Can you tell me any behind the scenes or secret insights that you haven’t told anyone, relating to your story Chemical Expression?

The people who know me well will know that there’s a lot of recognisable real-life nuances and influences in Chemical Expression. The high school and town are based on my own, my cousin’s name is Sheridan, my sister’s middle name is Rhiannon. I myself like Autumn did a lot of VCE unit’s in Year Ten (the rules are a little blurred in rural schools), and I love science. My Dad has also had a lot of health issues throughout my life and did duct tape a friend to the traffic lights in our home town for Year Twelve Muck Up Day while in school. I’m not going to say Chemical Expression has been a form of therapy for me, but…at the end of the day, they do say it’s best to write what you know.


Where can you find Jes’ writing?

You can find Jes’ story Chemical Expression in the anthology titled Underdog, sold at all good book retailers. You can also find more works at this link and on her socials as she mentioned above!

You can read about the Underdog launch here, and I will have a review for Underdog up (hopefully) on Monday.


Go follow Jes on social media @ageekwithahat on twitter and Instagram and give her all the praise she deserves for being a wonderful author and human bean xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // YouTube



With Love Bree xx


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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller | Spoiler Free Book Review

Heyo Bookaholics!

The Game But Not As You Know It!

Disclaimer: A big thank you to Bloomsbury publishing who sent me the ARC, and the finished copy upon release.


Otherworld has sat on my shelf for two years; it’s about time it was read and reviewed! Despite it being a middle-grade novel, I really enjoyed the story. It was a different concept to others that I’ve read, despite my constant comparison of it to the Mortality Doctrine Series and Warcross.


The company says Otherworld is amazing — like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive — that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.

Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

You all know I won’t get through this review without mentioning the parallels between Harry Potter. It’s a new middle-grade novel. Many clichés were included, but also many twists on the clichés. So I won’t directly reference Harry Potter, but y’all know that when I discuss the clichés and tropes I’m thinking of the famous series.


I thought this book was average. So in my opinion, to best review it, I will be ‘comparing’ it against a book of similar genre and content as I cannot compare it against the likes of Warcross (not middle-grade) or Harry Potter (too highly rated). The only book/ series that I can think of that is the most similar to this novel is The Mortality Doctrine Series by James Dashner. I loved those books, finding the concept original and compelling. That series is the only middle-grade gamer novel I have read before and therefore sets the standards in my rating of this one.


Right off the bat, we start off with a rich kid whose parents are lawyers and he thinks he can get away with anything because of it. He acts up and thinks it’s okay because his family is protected by whatever life his Grandfather’s had to lead. He has a love interest who is a smart girl – smarter than himself, though not in portrayed in a way that makes him look stupid – and a hacker ‘friend’ who owes him a few favours.

As much as I’ve been giving the “golden trio” trope a bit of a hammering, none of the aforementioned characters is in the “golden trio”, they’re totally different people. Totally irrelevant as per the actual story and their adventure took up the majority of the novel.

In my opinion, this book is really a set up for the next one but creates no anticipation or interest to read the next one, aside from actually wanting to know about the other characters, of whom are integral, though shared little page-time in the novel.

The Main Adventure (which could’ve been told in fewer pages):

Despite all of my complaining above, this section of the novel was enjoyable. I really enjoyed how the characters actively make allegations of the Chosen One trope and denyed it in the same sentence. My first thought was that this was probably done in an attempt to not have the trope in the novel. I’m glad it was funny and that the trope was most certainly avoided aside from the mentions.

There were also some positives, like the fact that the entire ‘Main Adventure’ had two settings – one in Otherworld and the other in the real world – and that one of the most over-powered characters, in terms of knowledge (because that’s the only power that matters in these situations) is a girl with a disability! Honestly, Simon would be dead without her.

Themes such as abusive parents and fatal accidents were prevalent but not expanded on, especially not in a way that teaches a middle-grade audience about anything beneficial. I feel that where themes such as obvious domestic abuse are present, the writer should be teaching the reader something in regards to this situation and showing the impact the situation has on a character, not just having it there for a plot twist!

I don’t have much else to say about this novel. It was a quick, fun read but I wouldn’t be recommending it to the next person I see but I enjoyed it, and I will be picking up the sequel out of curiosity.

★ Rating ★

I rated this book a ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars) because it had elements of generic middle-grade fiction – i.e. this is not a unique book – but has an interesting storyline that differs from the usual magic and fantasy elements of a middle-grade novel. It made the three-star category as there was a lot of poking fun at the ‘Chosen One’ trope, which was heavily shunned upon, with supporting evidence.


What were your thoughts on the conclusion of this series? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // YouTube



With Love Bree xx

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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Four Dead Queens Melbourne Book Launch!

Heyo Bookaholics!

Not Just Another Melbourne Book Launch!

On Thursday (the 28th of March), Astrid Scholte’s first novel, Four Dead Queens, was officially launched at Readings Bookstore in Carlton. The event was hosted by the amazing Amie Kaufman.

A Queen addressing the crowd at the coronation of a fellow Queen (above)

The Interview

As an experienced book event host, Amie has a unique way in which she conducts interviews. She will do all the introductions, and tell the audience to think of questions to ask the author she’s interviewing. Then she does a round of normal questioning, a round of quick-fire questions, and finally allows the audience to ask their questions.

Astrid was asked to sum up the novel in a few words. She went off on a little tangent about the book which could be summed up in a few simple words:

A Slytherin dragging a Hufflepuff on an adventure to solve a murder.

In all, the book, as the title states is about four queens who each govern a single quadrant that have different values and ways of living. Almost like the factions in The Hunger Games novels. The queens die off one by one suddenly, and our main character, a common thief, takes it upon herself to try and solve their murders.

Based on the synopsis, one of the questions asked by the audience was:

“If you were the Queen of a fifth quadrant – which wouldn’t really be a quadrant them – what would that quadrant be themed?”

Of course, the Disney nerd in Astrid answered that her quadrant – which we determined was not called a quadrant – would be Disney Themed.

Two Queens in conversation (above)

Amie asked all the important questions. For instance, we found out what Hogwarts houses each main character is in.

Astrid sorted each of the four queens on the spot and to everyone’s shock, there was not a Gryffindor in sight! From memory, there are two Hufflepuffs, a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin. The queens were identified by the beautiful hand-painted Funko Pop characters on the shelf behind Astrid, which she created herself!

Captured in motion: Astrid telling her loyal readers that Tangled is the best Disney movie of all time (above)

The Competition

After the interview and all the thank yous, including a special announcement from Astrid. Her boyfriend proposed to her! She was hiding the engagement ring on the wrong finger because even her family didn’t know. She switched it over when she announced it and it was the funniest, cutest announcement ever.

I was blissfully ignorant of the competition that was to take place and I just assumed everyone came dressed like queens in crowns to support the launch of her book. There were six people who went up on stage to participate in the best-dressed competition, one of which was Astrid’s young niece. Everyone clapped for the winner and her niece won, like the little queen she is!

You can see this footage in my upcoming Four Dead Queens vlog!

The Signing

I had my copy of Four Dead Queens signed by Astrid, and I was able to sign her own copy of the book! Such a cute idea! She said she got the idea from a Sarah J. Mass book signing, where Sarah has her readers sign a copy of the book.

I hope you enjoyed this post! The lighting wasn’t great in the store, but I did my best with the photos. Keep your eyes peeled for my Four Dead Queens vlog, coming soon!


Have you picked up your copy of FOUR DEAD QUEENS yet? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // YouTube



With Love Bree xx


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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.

Cute OTP Story Prompts (SW#26)

Heyo Bookaholics!

Beating the Writer’s Block!

Inspired by tumblr text posts that are seen all over social networking sites and usually appear unwarranted and when you least expect them. They’re always so cute, angsty, and just overall adorable figments of the writer’s imagination.

I know that reading other people’s OTP story prompts has helped me clear my writer’s block and inspired me to write, so I hope that my little mismatched ideas do the same.

Feel free to use these as story prompts or one-shot ideas, maybe even make them into a story of your own! Please credit me if you do and pretty please link me to your story because I’d love to read it 🙂


* Person A is lying on their back on the bed, holding the phone up to the ceiling and ignoring the pain in their arms. ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ is playing on the screen. Person B is standing at the foot of the bed, out of sight, twirling a ring between their fingers teeth clenched and shoulders tense. “Hey.” Person B scares Person A into dropping the phone onto their nose. “I have a question.” Person A sits up, concerned by the shake in their lover’s voice. B takes a deep breath; “Do you want to pick out a dress too?” “I’m more of a suit kinda person.” A laughs out a reply, which dies out as they watch Person B drop to their knee holding up a simple gold ring with small markings around it.

* Person A bites their fingernails and this bothers Person B, so Person B offers to paint Person A’s nails. They take two hours trying to make it perfect, doing nail art, gradients, watching YouTube videos; yet the nails turn out so so ugly! Person A is so overwhelmed by love and promises to keep the painting in perfect condition for as long as possible, layering on excessive clear coat polish to seal off the artwork. Person A forces themselves to stop nail biting and keeps the polish on for weeks until it begins to crack, and peel, but Person B repaints them.

* Person B hurries out of the rain and into their house to find Person A wrapped in a blanket lying on the couch. Person B creeps up alongside the couch and crawl on top, wrapping their arms around their significant other. The two lie there all night, finally rising when they cannot discern their stomach rumbles from the storm outside.

* Person A is staring lazily into the oven, watching their cake rise and Person B comes up behind, scaring Person A into turning around and thrusting a bunch of wild Daisies in their face. The tiny flowers held ridiculously between Person B’s thumb and forefinger.

* Person B wakes up to Person A tapping their face lightly and singing along to the rhythm alternatively Person B wakes up to Person A softly running a make-up brush up and down their face.

* Person A and B are standing side-by-side brushing their teeth in front of the mirror. That’s it.

* Person A is throwing pillows around the bedroom, mad about something. Person B can hear the noise from the kitchen and goes about lighting all the candles in the vicinity, opening a packet of chips and turning on Harry Potter, listening as Person A makes a different noise: feet pattering across the hallway.

Did you enjoy these? This is my first attempt at this and now my brain is fried. Goodnight xx

If you happen to use any of these ideas, please give me credit xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // YouTube



With Love Bree xx


I'm a Book Depository Affiliate! Get Free Shipping on ALL BOOKS Everywhere!
© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.