Author Archives: kirstyes

Geekerella by Ashley Poston – Once Upon a Con Series Book Review/Once Upon a Cosplay


I first read Geekerella back in 2017, and after I had been attending Harry Potter and book conventions for 4 years (I came late to the game). A Cinderella retelling set in the world of convention goers and with a geeky heroine sounded right up my alley and I was right. I loved it.

Now, in the very strange year that is 2020, we are heading towards the release of the third book in the series (now delayed from June to August) so I have extra time to get everyone as excited as I am about this series.


Welcome to my Once Upon a Con Series of blog posts


May 4th – How fitting to be starting this on Star Wars day when the overarching series in the books, Starfield, slots nicely into the Star Wars, Star Trek Dyad (now Triad?!). Review of Book One – Geekerella/Once Upon a Cosplay


June 4th – Review of Book Two – Princess and the Fangirl/Once Upon the Dark Side


July 4th – Review of Book Three – Bookish and the Beast/Once Upon a Retelling


August 4th – Publication Day Starfield Special – Look to the Stars. Aim. Ignite.


Geekerella Synopsis


When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a Cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her step-mother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all – not to mention a fan girl’s dream come true.


Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they are nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.


Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, GEEKERELLA is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.


About the Author


Ashley Poston was born and raised in rural South Carolina, where you can see the stars impossibly well.When she’s not inventing new recipes with peanut butter, having passionate dance-offs with her cat Pepper 🐈 , or geeking out all over the Internet and at comic cons, she writes books and is the author of the Once Upon a Con series and Heart of Iron Duology.


What I Thought


Fresh off a third read and I’m beaming, Geekerella is good for my heart.


There are enough flavours of the original to satisfy those who want to recognise the book as a retelling and plenty of originality for those that want something fresh.


Elle and Darien are well drawn characters and, unlike in Disney’s Cinderella we get to delve much more into the Prince’s story and roles are more balanced. They both have faults and both go on a journey.

There is drama and obstacles galore in this book, parts that made me scowl at the injustice and swoon at the romance. There is also interesting family dynamics and loss is a prominent theme. And there’s a cute dog – what more could you ask for?


Fandom. That’s what. Starfield is a fictionalised TV series but this book draws you into that world. If you’ve ever been a fan of something and been able to share that passion with others this book will make you feel right at home. It explores the tremendous positive side of fandom, and touches on the dark side (more of that in the next post).


A Cosplay ball is the perfect set up for a Cinderella Tale but it’s what happens when hearts and not eyes connect that matter.


Once Upon a Cosplay

My main fandom is Harry Potter and I have partaken in the maybe not so subtle art of Cosplay. Dressing up as, and often becoming, fictional characters. Unfortunately like Elle in the story I also lack sewing skills but don’t let that stop you. My costumes may be bought, or may lack finesse but if you have fun making or wearing them that’s what counts. Below are some pictures of my Harry Potter Cosplays and one from Pierce Brown’s Red Rising.

Thanks to Quirk & Jamie-Lee and Stephen for hooking me up with an ARC of book three and giving me the opportunity to re-read this funtastic series. All opinions are my own.

The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates – Blog Tour Guest Post by author Jenny Pearson

“For now, while most of our adventures are confined to our living rooms, our imaginations are not.” Jenny Pearson, author of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates

About the Book

About the Author

Guest Post

As someone with Welsh heritage myself I was interested to know why Jenny had chosen to set the story in Wales. Read her answer below. 

A Super Miraculous Setting

by Jenny Pearson

Why did you set The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates in Wales?  It’s a question I get asked quite frequently. And the answer is because of the Scottish midges. 

Most years, my family and I spend the summer in our Bongo campervan and the summer before I began writing Freddie Yates, we were considering a journey around Scotland. But when I googled what we might need for our proposed trip a full bee-keeper outfit was a suggestion. I began to think that maybe we should go to Scotland out of midge season and instead camp somewhere else. And that somewhere was Wales. 

Having only been to Cardiff before, I soon discovered that Wales is an exceptionally beautiful country and one I will definitely visit again. That’s not to say Cardiff is without its charms but the Welsh countryside is truly spectacular, as is the coast. I like to go running and the sights I saw have weaved themselves into the book – the fields of sheep and the small track roads, the rocky shorelines and the wonderful old churches. In fact, Three Saints church in Llampha, where Freddie, Ben and Charlie spend a night is based on a church I stopped at when I needed a run-wee. And Freddie’s journey finishes at the most westernest part of Wales, St David’s, which is actually where my family’s camping trip came to an end after our tent was blown away at three in the morning. Fun times. 

Because Freddie loves facts, I thought I might share some facts about Wales which might even make you want to visit yourself. 

FACT 1 – You can see deep stuff!

The deepest cave in the whole of Britain can be found near Abercraf. Ogof Ffynnon Dddu is 1,010ft deep. 

FACT 2 – You can see old stuff! 

The oldest tree in Wales is the Llangernyw Yew in St Digain’schurch yard, Llangernyw, near Conwy. It’s approximately 4,000 years old! 

FACT 3- You can see big stuff! 

The great glasshouse in the National Botanical Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, is the largest single-span glasshouse in the world, measuring 312ft in length and 180ft in width.

FACT 4 – You can see small stuff!

Rhos-on-sea has, in St Trillo’s, the smallest chapel in Britain, measuring only 11ft by 8ft and seating just six people.

FACT 5 – You can see uddery stuff! 

The Mumbles are two little islands in Swansea bay. They get their name from the French word ‘mamelles’, meaning udders. Who wouldn’t want to go and see two islands that look like udders? 

I think you’ll agree that I have provided a very compelling argument as to why you should visit Wales as well as explaining why I set my book there. Maybe one day you’ll enjoy a journey around Wales. If you do, you might want some reading material. Hey! Why don’t you try The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates?

Diolch am ddarllen (thanks for reading)! 

Jenny Pearson 

Authors note: The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates does not HAVE to be read in Wales. You can read it wherever you like. Eg in bed, on the loo even on a trampoline if you are very talented. 

Also, Jenny has created some brilliant videos and challenges that’s she’s keen to get people joining in with so do join her! Her content will be hosted daily on Usborne’s YouTube channel from Monday 27th April – Friday 1st May with accompanying activity sheets – all available to download on Usborne.com/freddieyates. The Illustrator Rob Biddulph will even be doing a special Freddie Yates draw-along on publication day, Thursday 30 April!

Do also check out the other stops on the tour and keep an eye out for my own review coming soon.

The Book of Koli (The Rampart Trilogy) by MR Carey Blog Tour Book Review

MR Carey, author of The Girl with All the Gifts, returns with the first in a post apocalyptic trilogy.

About the Book

The first in a gripping new trilogy,The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.


Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.

What he doesn’t know is — what happens when you aren’t given a choice?

About the Author


Mike Carey is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel’s X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He has also written the screenplay for a movie, Frost Flowers, which is soon to be produced by Hadaly Films and Bluestar Pictures.

He writes as both Mike and MR Carey

Early Thoughts

I’m 56% in and here are my thoughts so far.

Do you remember the children in the film Mad Max beyond Thunderdome, and how they speak? The boy narrator – Koli – from The Book of Koli reminds me of that voice. Because the story is written in “dialect” I think your enjoyment may hinge on whether this is something you like generally. Koli is also one to go off on a tangent when telling his story but he actually brings himself back round to the point, and so the effect is to build tension and keep you reading.

I’m really enjoying it so far and to me the first half very much has the feel of a number of Young Adult dystopians that I have read. Although, this is written from the perspective of a future Koli so there is a certain hindsight that comes with his telling. So far the story has all taken place in his village of Mythen Rood, in Ingland, and has been setting up everyday life. From the somewhat carefree childhood, with friendships and crushes, to the mysterious Waiting year and its culmination in the Rampart ceremony. There are hints of diversity in terms of race, gender and sexual identity.

Ramparts are held in higher esteem in this society. They can command the technology of old and as such are responsible for the village security. The village feels very much like a Walking Dead settlement. Koli wants nothing more than to join their ranks, but it seems that one family above others are destined to become Ramparts – the family of his best friend.

A travelling doctor lets Koli into a secret that throws his life into turmoil – can he control tech too and will it earn him his longed for place? I love the tech and hints at the old times, there seems to be some advances on what we know but then a throwback to a more rural way of living. Koli things his village of just over 200 people is big!

Outside the village we are told lies only danger, with nature fighting back and the danger of shunned or faceless ones and a host of savage beasts keeping them isolated especially in the summer months. The – don’t go outside – message may be a little close to the bone for some readers at the moment although it’s trees rather than a virus that seem to pose the biggest threat. We haven’t seen much of what they can do yet so they are a scary unknown threat so far.

This is where Koli, and us, are about to head now and I’m intrigued to visit the wider world and to see what other secrets get spilled. I’m guessing that we might be left at the end of book one with lots more questions. Book 2 is (was?) due out in September and I already know that I’m going to want to know what happens and if/how Koli comes back home again.

If you enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts and Melanie’s voice this definitely has a similar feel. The Book of Koli is out now. I’ve listened to the sample of the audio version and I think that would be a great way to read this story.

Do check out the rest of the tour stops. Thanks to the publisher and Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the e-ARC for the purposes of an honest review.

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