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Sunday, 24 May 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Born to be Different by John Ignatius Rigoli

Born to be Different
Author: John Ignatius Rigoli
Genre: Picture Book
Publication Date: 13 December 2018

Book Description:
Ollie didn’t know he was a big weirdo… not until the day other kids made fun of him.

Ollie went home and he put away his costumes. He put away his capes. He closed the door on the special world he created and said goodbye to all the friends only he could see. Ollie was going to be “normal” - no different than all the other kids in the world. No one would ever laugh at him again!

But Ollie had a problem. Ollie wasn’t LIKE all the other kids in the world. Ollie was born to be different!

And so were you.

"Born to be Different" is a love-letter from a doting grandfather to his beloved grandson - and a welcome reminder to all the kids in the world that being different is exactly what makes you so very special!

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MY REVIEW

I picked this book up because of the title. I thought, "there must be something in here that everyone can relate to", so it should be a great book for kids and for the family as a whole. I won't lie. It didn't blow me away or connect with me on an emotional level, but I appreciated the intention and I loved the bright and colourful illustrations. I also loved the message from Ollie's grandfather and the way in which he approached the difficulties Ollie was facing.

The issue I had with this one is that there was no identifiable dilemma. The message may be lost on some children as they are unable to make comparisons and identify with the main character. People make fun of Ollie because he's different, but in what context is he different? He states: "My skin is different" and "My eyes are different", but in relation to whom? What is the actual issue Ollie is facing? Other than his grandfather, there were no verbal interactions between Ollie and anyone, and in the absence of relativity, it's difficult to connect with the story and its characters.

It's a good read, but it could have been better executed.

VERDICT


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Own copy

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Van Birch Incident by Marla Holt

The Van Birch Incident: A Rock Star Romance
(The Incident Series, #1)
Author: Marla Holt
Publication Date: May 21st, 2020
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Van Birch: Pop Star. A-list starlet. Off-limits.

Clay Noble has spent the better part of a decade avoiding his taboo obsession: His stepsister Van. In love with her since the first time he’d heard her sing, even shipping himself off to the army couldn’t stop thoughts of her. Now that he’s lost everything in a tornado, he’s forced to move back in with the only family he has left, Van and her dad. Sleeping down the hall from her is forcing every unwanted impulse back to the surface.

Clay Noble: Gorgeous. Infuriating. Untouchable.

Everything Van touches turns to gold with a side of outrageous. When she accuses her manager of sexual assault, the public thinks it’s just another one of her publicity stunts and the backlash is brutal. Wounded, she dashes home to a tornado-devastated Wellville, Kansas to heal and help rebuild, even though the constant stream of social media doubts and threats won’t let her rest. But there’s another reason for her sleepless nights and fevered dreams. Clay is back, hotter than ever, and his lingering glances and stolen moments have her convinced the feelings she’s fought for so long may not be one sided after all.

******

The Van Birch Incident marries forbidden romance, bordering on taboo with a little danger and a guaranteed happily ever after, while exploring how social media and real life collide in a post #metoo world where the internet never sleeps.

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Cover Reveal & Giveaway - The People We Meet Along The Way by Beth Rinyu


The People We Meet Along The Way
Author: Beth Rinyu
Publication Date: September 17th, 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Designer: Amy Queau at QDesign

Book Description:
Would you be able to grant the same forgiveness to someone else that you’re so desperately seeking yourself?

Jillian O’Rourke’s marriage died long before her husband’s tragic accident. Years of battling with infertility and demanding careers melted their once solid relationship. Bearing the burden of guilt over his death, Jillian gets lost in despair and a series of what ifs. But one chance encounter with a stranger, changes everything. Now being faced with newfound knowledge and a painful decision, Jillian must push past her anger, learn to forgive and open her heart in ways she never could’ve imagined.  As she comes to grips with the devastation of her past, she learns to embrace the possibility of a future she never thought possible.  A bittersweet story of love, forgiveness, and the unexpected destiny that is sometimes handed to us in life from the people we meet along the way.





About the Author
Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen - or in today's world a touch of the keyboard. I love creating deep characters who you will love or love to hate.

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? My happy place is a seat by the ocean with my feet in the sand or on the busy streets of New York City. You will more than likely find one of these places as the setting for most of my books.

Author Links:
Amazon ¦ Blog ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram ¦ Bookbub


***GIVEAWAY***

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Cover Reveal & Giveaway - Calla by Christina Bauer


Calla
(Pixieland Diaries #2)
Author: Christina Bauer
Publication Date: July 28th, 2020
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Book Description:
Book 2 of the Pixieland Diaries

Big news in Pixieland! The Blue Fairy is sending our fave pixie, Calla, and her crush, Dare, on a mini-quest. Unfortunately it’s an adventure that requires a lot of togetherness. We’re talking tons of touching, people.

Blue believes that since Calla and Dare are just friends, this situation shouldn’t be awkward.

It’s totally awkward.

***A 30,000+ word diary written by Calla***

“I absolutely love Christina Bauer’s style, full of action, intense scenes, and characters that will test one’s imaginations to the max!” – Tome Tender Book Blog

PIXIELAND DIARIES
1. Pixieland Diaries
2. Calla
3. Dare

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About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

Author Links:
Blog ¦ Website ¦ Facebook ¦ Twitter ¦ Instagram ¦ LinkedIn


***GIVEAWAY***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, 18 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - All I Wanna Do Is You by Dylann Crush

All I Wanna Do Is You
Author: Dylann Crush
Publication Date: May 14th, 2020
Genre: Adult Comedy / Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Can he keep his hands off her cupcakes?

Reagan Campbell’s flight just got grounded. She’s planned her brother’s perfect wedding weekend down to the minute, but her checklist didn’t include running into the one guy she’s never been able to get over. Only two things stand between her and the Florida Keys: fifteen-hundred miles and the man who broke her heart.

Zach Anderson has a score to settle with Senator Campbell. And running into his daughter, Reagan, gives him just the opportunity he needs. But it’ll take more than planes, trains, and automobiles to get her all the way to Florida in one piece. He might not be able to keep his hands off her cupcakes, but will he be able to keep his heart out of the way long enough to exact his revenge?

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Friday, 15 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Under the Willows by Pamela McCord

Under the Willows
Author: Pamela McCord
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th, 2020
Genre: Adult / Mystery

Book Description:
After her husband is killed by a drunk driver, Kelly Harris and her son TJ move into a sprawling Victorian house in Ohio that her husband inherited from his grandmother. Dealing with her overwhelming grief is a struggle as she adjusts to life in a small town. And, just as she’s beginning to feel more comfortable, life takes another unexpected turn.

The Alexa unit in her son’s bedroom starts to cry, and a little girl’s voice comes out of it asking for help.

At first Kelly is unnerved by the presence of the voice. After ruling out all the other likely possibilities, she begins to put the pieces together, and suspects the girl is a ghost. Unwilling to be uprooted from another home, she decides to find out what the child wants. Maybe she can help.

Kelly isn’t the only one interested in the voice. Detective Rob Porter is investigating the disappearance of a child named Marilee. As the two cross paths, Porter is taken aback when Kelly’s ghost mentions Marilee’s name. In fact, the ghost says “Marilee’s with me.”

Whether that means the child is a ghost as well is a question Rob and Kelly hope to answer.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Grave Humor by R.J. Blain

Grave Humor
(Magical Romantic Comedies #10)
Author: R.J. Blain
Publication Date: May 12th, 2020
Genre: Adult Comedy / Paranormal Romance

Book Description:
Most days, Anwen regrets working at a funeral home despite the good pay. With the residents no longer inclined to stay in their coffins where they belong, she’s got her hands full making sure everyone follows the rules:

In the funeral home, there is no screaming, no murdering, no mutilation, no possessions, no kidnappings, no resurrections, and no cursing of any type. Be quiet and stay polite.

The day Old Man McGregor decides to take a walk and disturbs her peace, Anwen learns there’s a lot more to the basement in the funeral home than a vampire and a handsome gentleman on ice.

If she’s not careful, she’ll learn first-hand why ‘eternally yours’ is the most potent of threats.

Warning: this novel contains romance, humor, bodies, shenanigans, and mythological puppies. Proceed with caution.

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BOOK REVIEW: Revenge of the Elders of Zion by Dan Sofer

Revenge of the Elders of Zion
Author: Dan Sofer
Genre: NA Crime / Thriller / Satire
Publication Date: 12th May 2020

Book Description:
Haters destroyed his life. Will the Elders of Zion deliver vengeance?

"If you are a fan of dark humor, you will thoroughly enjoy this. 5 stars!" - Readers' Favorite

The world you know is a lie. Global events are controlled by the Elders of Zion. And David Zelig wants to join them. There's only one problem. The Elders of Zion doesn't exist. It never did. So David rolls his own secret society. But he's not the only covert vigilante group in town.

Dark forces are closing in on every side. The race for survival launches David and his friends from the skyscrapers of Manhattan through the secrets of Imperial Russia to an embarrassing relic from the dawn of Christianity.

Along the way, David will learn about hatred. He will learn about love. And he will discover a very unusual egg. The web of conspiracy he uncovers will boggle the mind.

As time runs out in this zany, high-octane, and deliciously dark comedy thriller, David will face a shocking possibility. Have his good intentions backfired, triggering the worst anti-Semitic attack on American soil ever?

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MY REVIEW

I must admit, this isn't my usual read, so when the author invited me to read the book, I took a chance on it because I found the blurb inviting, and then I saw the cover a little later, which reignited my intrigue. After reading this book, I think I need to make more of an effort to start delving into this genre. It was not what I was expecting, in a good way.

David Zelig, the last heir of Zelig Pictures is down on his luck after being swindled out of his legacy by Preston Clancy, an anti-semist. Tired of of having to tolerate the misfortune of being jewish in New York City, David decides enough is enough. He wants to send a message to the world, one that will cease the maltreatment of the jewish community. He and his two best friends, Jordan Brody and Mitchell Joffe, start a secret organisation called the Trio. What starts off as an innocent mission to change the mindset of the world turns into a deadly battle between multiple secret societies, and the Trio find themselves in the middle of all the chaos. As if encountering these secret societies wasn't bad enough, the Trio are blackmailed by the FBI into infiltrating an organisation known as the Elders of Zion in order to gather intel. The Trio quickly learn that you can't trust anyone, not even those supposedly on the right side of the law.

This story was definitely interesting, albeit surreal at times, but it was nonetheless exciting. It put me in the mind of a recent show I started watching called Hunters, starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman, about Nazi hunters out for justice, which was a lot more realistic in plot but similar in the overall agenda of the story. Despite the serious nature of the threat, I appreciated the light-hearted moments and the banter between the Trio. I don't usually tolerate nonsensical scenarios, but because I enjoyed the story so much and the adventure it took me on, it was easy to overlook the complete impossibilty of those unbelievable moments. I loved the characters. They were very engaging. The stoy had a more juvenile feel than I think the author had intended but that's what probably added to the nonchalant demeanour preserved by David throughout a majority of the book. I loved the fact that the book didn't take itself too seriously, a total contrast to the characters, which made it even more hilarious.

This book is non-stop action and dilemma from start to finish. A very good read indeed!

VERDICT


Award: Gold
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

Monday, 11 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Outfoxed by R.J. Blain

Outfoxed
(The Fox Witch, #1)
Author: R.J. Blain
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2020
Genre: Adult Paranormal / Urban Fantasy

Book Description:
Death is a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa, and Jade means to keep flipping Mother Nature off until old age claims her. With one eye always on the sky, the last thing she needs is a pack of bounty hunters out for her living head. With no idea of why anyone would want her, her wits might keep her free, assuming she can resist the charming lures of Sandro, one of the men out to claim her as his own.

Left with the choice of being the evening snack of a tornado or taking shelter with the bounty hunter, she does what she does best: she lives on the edge.

Striking a bargain with the handsome bounty hunter buys her another day of life, but it also dumps her into the heart of a sinister plot, one meant to enslave the residents of the storm-tossed city—and the others brave and foolish enough to call the Alley home.

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Sunday, 10 May 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Ara the Star Engineer by Kamal Singh

Ara the Star Engineer
Author: Kamal Singh
Genre: Picture Book
Publication Date: 14 October 2018
Publisher: Page Two Books

Book Description:
This is a STEM book and more! An inspiring, inclusive, whimsical way to learn about computers and technology from real-life trailblazers.

Ara is a young girl who loves BIG numbers. She wants to count all the stars in the sky… but how? This is an upbeat adventure of Ara and her sidekick droid, DeeDee (“Beep!”). They use smarts and grit to solve a BIG problem and discover an amazing algorithm! A quest that takes them through a whirlwind of intriguing locations at Innovation Plex -- Data Centre, Ideas Lab, Coding Pods, and X-Space. Along the way, they encounter real-life women tech trailblazers of diverse backgrounds, including a Tenacious Troubleshooter, an Intrepid Innovator, a Code Commander, and a Prolific Problem Solver. They tinker-and-tailor, build-and-fail, launch-and-iterate, and in the end discover an amazing algorithm of success -- coding, courage, creativity, and collaboration (“Beeeeep!”).

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MY REVIEW

A brave and budding young engineer ventures out to find with her droid, DeeDee, to find the answer for how to count all the stars in the universe. They head to Innovation Plex where Ara finds all the answers to set her on the path to victory.

While this wasn't the most entertaining and adrenaline-pumping read, it was most certainly an informative and fascinating adventure that those interested in engineering will devour with joy. I think the message may get lost with some kids as they try to wade through the techy aspect of the story, but this was a cute story on learning how to problem solve. Ara is a great role model for youths as she is full of determination, confidence and a will to succeed.

VERDICT


Award: Gold
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Source: Own copy

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Silent Daughter by Claire Amarti

The Silent Daughter
Author: Claire Amarti
Publication Date: May 7th, 2020
Genre: Adult Psychological Suspense

Book Description:
Schoolgirl missing, the ticker reads, and the camera cuts to a girl’s face. Blonde hair waterfalling over her shoulders, serious eyes, lips a little parted like she’s about to speak. That’s when I realize I’ve been holding my breath, because the gasp when I inhale almost chokes me.

Sadie Kelly has lost her job. Until last month, she was a teacher at Horton College – the same high school she went to ten years ago along with her best friend, Fiona. But Fiona died in an accident on their graduation night, in circumstances Sadie’s spent the last ten years trying to forget, and since then nothing’s been the same.

Now Sadie’s back where she grew up, jobless, and living temporarily with Fiona’s mother. But when she hears that Devon Hundley, a Horton schoolgirl, has gone missing, everything changes. Devon’s the daughter of Philip Hundley, a man Sadie knows all too well, and Sadie can’t stop thinking about the last time she saw Devon. It was the day Sadie left Horton for good, and heard Devon murmur four little words as she walked away. Four words Sadie prayed she had misheard:

I know your secret.

A gripping page-turner for fans of Kerry Lonsdale, Diane Chamberlain, and Liane Moriarty.

Buy Links:

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Cover Reveal - Break You Hard by Michelle Hercules


Break You Hard
(Rebel Hearts Duet, #1)
Author: Michelle Hercules
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2020
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
He came into my life like a thunderstorm.

Furious.

Devastating.

Loud.

I was lost in the dark until his lightning struck the sky, brightening everything for a split second, but long enough for me to find a way out.

I’m a single mom, trying my best to survive. There’s no room in my life for anything else. Or so I thought. The more time I spend with Jessie, the more I realize he’s not a bad boy who needs saving, he’s the man who has captured my heart.

***

She came into my life like a summer breeze.

Soft.

Warm.

Gentle.

I was spiraling out of control, headed straight for destruction until her kindness removed the barbed wire around my heart.

I was the lost cause, the black sheep in my family. I wanted to hurt everyone to forget my pain. But Riley saw past all my bullshit. She tried to help me even though her own life was in shambles. Now all I want is to prove that I can be the man that she needs even if it could break us hard.

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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series.

Author Links:


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Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Blog Tour - The Marvelous Mechanical Man by Rie Sheridan Rose



The Marvelous Mechanical Man
Author: Rie Sheridan Rose
Genre: Steampunk / Adventure / Romance

Book Description:
The Marvelous Mechanical Man is the first book in a Steampunk series featuring the adventures of Josephine Mann, an independent woman in need of a way to pay her rent. She meets Professor Alistair Conn, in need of a lab assistant, and a partnership is created that proves exciting adventure for both of them.

Alistair’s prize invention is an automaton standing nine feet tall. There’s a bit of a problem though…he can’t quite figure out how to make it move. Jo just might be of help there. Then again, they might not get a chance to find out, as the marvelous mechanical man goes missing.

Jo and Alistair find themselves in the middle of a whirlwind of kidnapping, catnapping, and cross-country chases that involve airships, trains, and a prototype steam car. With a little help from their friends, Herbert Lattimer and Winifred Bond, plots are foiled, inventions are perfected, and a good time is had by all.

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Monday, 4 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Warrior Saints - Creator by Carla Thorne

Warrior Saints – Creator
(Stonehaven Academy Saints, #1)
Author: Carla Thorne
Publication Date: April 17th, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy / Supernatural

Book Description:
“Hello. My name is Mary Antonia Hunter, and I picked up the snake.”

Strange days have come to the halls of Stonehaven Academy.

From brutal fights in the supernatural realm with a demon-like presence, to battling obstacles in the halls at school, Mary knows she’s different.

She just doesn’t understand why.

Then it gets even weirder.

As her supernatural battles increase, she is drawn into friendships with others who seem to be as confused about their bizarre abilities and encounters as she is.

Now that Mary, Deacon, Scout, and Ivy have found each other, what is their purpose and why? And who gifted these newly-named Warriors, and how do they manage their powers and maneuver the confusing maze of school, family, romance—and the occasional demonic force?

Get your FREE preview of Warrior Saints here!

Buy Links:

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Run Around by Bernadette Franklin

The Run Around
Author: Bernadette Franklin
Publication Date: April 28th, 2020
Genre: Adult Comedy / Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Arranging a wedding for her brother and a five-time thoroughbride tests Hope’s skills and patience. She’d believed the vows would be the most dangerous part of the ceremony, but a baseball to the head during the photography session proves her wrong and lands her in the sights of her brother’s best friend, Fredrick.

He wants her to plan his wedding.

She wants to be his bride.

Diving into the treacherous world of wedding planning, Hope keeps her word and arranges the vows for the one man she believes she could love. He doesn’t know how much she cherishes him and his friendship.

What she doesn’t know lands her in the heart of a royal mess.

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