Friday, 23 April 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Sips & Strokes by Sarah Skye

Sips & Strokes
Author: Sarah Skye
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Genre: Adult Comedy / Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Lily Maldonado is screwed. The people-pleasing art professor has been roped into attending her ex’s wedding by her overbearing, image-obsessed parents. Even worse? The woman her ex is marrying is Lily’s childhood bully. She can’t back out, but she’s not sure she can face this nightmare solo.

Enter Calder Ross. The sexy Scot’s abs have graced the cover of many romance novel bestsellers, but the reformed playboy needs a more serious image if he wants to land his dream job as the spokesman for Sonce Whisky. Modeling for Lily’s figure drawing class is step one in the right direction.

After their very adorable—and very naked—meet-cute, Lily and Calder realize that they can be each other’s saving grace. Lily can bring Calder to the wedding as her fake boyfriend to ward off pitying stares. Calder can bring Lily to Sonce events as his fake girlfriend to show he’s the responsible, relationship-minded guy that execs want as the face of their brand.

But the longer Lily and Calder play pretend, the harder it becomes to deny the very real chemistry between them. Will they play it safe and stick to their fake roles? Or will they throw out the playbook completely and risk it all for love?

Buy Links:

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Absolution by Marla Holt

(Lightning Crashes #2)
Author: Marla Holt
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Lightning crashes.

The tower falls.

Rachel Ferrer thinks she’s already hit rock bottom, but then the ground crumbles beneath her feet. Alone, she is finally forced to face the darkness she’s been avoiding. Rachel doesn’t dare hope the spark of light in the distance might include Nicolas, even when she can’t forget the feel of his lips on hers.

Nicolas Rivera has always been the stable one. He is who others come to when their worlds shatter, but suddenly his life is the one in ruins. He doesn’t hope to connect with Rachel in the aftermath, but he discovers her in the last place he expected to. Uninhibited at last, the electricity between them finally ignites.

Is their flame enough for Rachel and Nicolas sift through the rubble, rebuild, and finally emerge, together, into the light?

Absolution is Volume 2 of the Lightning Crashes Duet and should be read after Temptation. Melt into this forbidden, slow-burn duet with a guaranteed happily ever after today.

Buy Links:

Monday, 19 April 2021

Blog Tour Spotlight - Flynn and Miranda: Your Right to Remain Silent by Joseph B. Wallenstein

Two men from opposite ends of the human social spectrum who came together in one blazing moment of legal history and how that moment changed their lives and the lives of all Americans… 

By Joseph B. Wallenstein

Flynn and Miranda: Your Right to Remain Silent
Author: Joseph B. Wallenstein
Publisher: Trine Day Publishing
Pages: 180
Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Description:
“Mirandize” is now a common verb, it will soon be an uncommon book.  “Flynn and Miranda: Your Right to Remain Silent,” an historical novel written by Joseph B. Wallenstein debuts on Amazon and other outlets on March 13. Published by TrineDay Publishing, the book is a fictional account of a true story. The release date coincides with the 58th anniversary of Ernesto Miranda’s arrest in 1963 for kidnapping and rape. The criminal case, Miranda v. Arizona (1966), would make his name a household word.

This case arose following the arrest of Ernest Miranda, who was accused of kidnapping and raping a young woman near Phoenix.  The victim identified Miranda in a lineup, and law enforcement questioned him. No one told him he could refuse to answer questions or seek assistance from a lawyer. Under police questioning, Miranda confessed to the crime of which he had been accused.

In his instruction to the jury at trial, the judge said he had allowed Miranda’s confession as evidence despite the objections of the defendant’s court-appointed attorney, who claimed that his client had been forced to admit guilt. The judge emphasized that the jury was free to decide whether Miranda’s confession had been voluntary or coerced. Significantly, the judge ‘s final words of instruction raised the constitutional issue that eventually brought Miranda’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Constitutional issues inevitably arise when government efforts to prevent crime clash with the need to protect those accused of the crime. Convicted of kidnapping and rape and sentenced to twenty to thirty years, Miranda petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court from his prison cell. Although an earlier court had upheld the conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted his case in 1966 because it realized unresolved issues existed about the constitutional rights of an accused person that the Court wanted to clarify and settle. Resulting from the legal community’s confusion over a previous decision, there was disagreement among law enforcement officers and trial judges across the country on how to apply the decision.

In this historical saga, “Flynn” is John Flynn, the constitutional attorney who was enlisted to take up Ernesto Miranda’s conviction for kidnapping and rape in Phoenix. A highly regarded defense lawyer, who was recruited for his case by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Flynn argued that the Arizona police had behaved unconstitutionally because they did not inform the suspect, Miranda, of his right to remain silent – rather than assume the risk of providing incriminating evidence to his police questioners.

The Supreme Court agreed with John Flynn’s arguments for Miranda and struck down the lower court’s decision. Writing of the Court’s decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren said that the Miranda case raised issues that “go to the roots of our concepts of American criminal jurisprudence,” and the restraint society must observe to be consistent with the true U.S. Constitution in criminal prosecution. The Warren Court’s ruling was a reaffirmation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

In his novel, writer Joseph B. Wallenstein invigorates and amplifies the legal interpretation of Miranda; he puts it in the context of a human story. Thus, with his insightful human dimension, Wallenstein’s book makes it accessible to intelligent mainstream readers. In that fuller dimension, “Flynn and Miranda” illuminates the decision beyond the legal-ese explanation. “It is the telling of the last, great, true story of the 20th century,” Wallenstein says.  When I interviewed Mr. Flynn, he said to me, ‘I have been asked about the cause a thousand times. You are the only one who ever asked me about the price I paid for my involvement.’”

Wallenstein crystallizes the magnitude and breath of the decision: “Everyone has heard of the right but not one in a thousand, even lawyers, knows how those rights came to be or who paid the price to achieve them. Two men from opposite ends of the human social spectrum who came together in one blazing moment of legal history and how that moment changed their lives and the lives of all Americans. At its core, Flynn and Miranda is about fairness and how much that matters in America.”

Author Wallenstein was interested from the beginning — the night Miranda was killed. The author has a track record in storytelling, having produced two highly-successful TV series, Knots Landing and 7th Heaven. He has also written two previous books about film production and safety in professional filming:  Practical Filmmaking: A Handbook few the Real World and Nothing Dies for Film and currently serves as Director of Physical Production in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

“Research only made me more determined to tell the story. To be frank, in the wake of Miranda, some patently guilty individuals did go free. The great effects of the decision forced police work into the scientific era and resulted in the creation of the Criminal Code, now in place in all fifty states,” Wallenstein says.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has been controversial and criticized in law-enforcement quarters and has inevitably entered the mainstream: “You have the right to remain silent” has become embedded in the English language because it has been stated in all 456 episodes of ‘Law and Order’ and every other show or movie involving police action,” Wallenstein notes.

In “Flynn and Miranda,” author Wallenstein unveils the persona side of the momentous precedent, strips away the legal jargon and fleshes out the decision in understandable human terms.  John Flynn and Ernesto Miranda, we find, possess commonalities: Flynn had been married five times, Miranda was a convicted sexual predator.  Wallenstein’s book presents the profound personal tolls it took on Flynn, delving deeper into the fiber of what went into the ultimate ruling and the legal precedent it set. Accordingly, “Flynn and Miranda” is approachable for mainstream readers; it can reach and enrich the layman’s view.

“’Flynn and Miranda’ was born to be a movie. All my books are designed to translate to either a film or TV series,” Wallenstein says, acknowledging his NYU background where he earned a Bachelor of Business Science degree in Motion Pictures, Television and Radio Production and Direction. “With so much political turmoil currently in our country and the notion of the 5th Amendment tossed around so casually, I felt this might be the time to tell the story…at no time is your liberty more precious than when it is unpopular,” Wallenstein quotes from a page in his book, his personal favorite: “It cries out to the public to take their liberty seriously, embrace it, and protect it.”

Wallenstein envisions a readership that goes beyond lawyers, or constitutional scholars. “I believe my readers will be aspiring law students, people generally curious about the origin of the phrase they have heard their whole lives, police officers and women who can rise above their distaste for Miranda and appreciate the magnitude of the Supreme Court decision.”

Buy Links:

Prior to his role as start-up producer of the hit CW series, 7th HeavenJoe Wallenstein was the first producer, as well a writer and director of multiple episodes of the long-running hit series, Knots Landing (1979-1983). He was supervising producer of Jake and the Fat Man, in Hawaii (1987-1988.) In addition, he produced The Clinic, shot in New York City. Wallenstein has produced numerous television movies, pilots, and mini-series. Throughout his more than 40 years in the industry, Wallenstein has been an assistant director, associate producer, and producer. He is a Director member of the Directors Guild of America as well as a member of the Writers Guild of America West. Joe is expert in all aspects of physical production, scheduling, budgeting, location filming, stage work, union, and non-union shows. He has worked in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and most of the major cities of the United States. Joe has worked in production capacities on such feature films as the Godfather, The Paper Chase, A new Leaf, Paper Lion, For Love of Ivy, and American Hot Wax. Currently, Wallenstein oversees and administers all aspects of filming by the more than 700 students making over 1500 films each year at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His tri-annual safety seminars are a unique and highly sought after facet of Cinematic Arts education. Joe is known for consulting, lectures, seminars, and personal appearances.

Find out more about Joe at IMDb.

Blog Tour Organised by:

Friday, 16 April 2021

Author Interview, Book Review & Giveaway: Kennedy's Awakening by Perri Forrest

Kennedy's Awakening
Book Series: Love's Awakening
Author: Perri Forrest
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Novlette
Publication Date: 12th November 2017

Book Description:
Kennedy Daniels is young, beautiful and successful. But she’s like a lot of women who have been hurt in love. She is guarded, angry, and dead set on not repeating the same mistakes again. But if the way she treats men is the way she intends to continue through life, she won’t have to worry about attracting a man to have a relationship with, at all. Her sharp tongue and her trigger-happy attitude is a turn off, and not something she expected to ever be confronted about.

But then she meets him...

Javier Zamora is a man’s man who is very much a straight shooter. He’s not here for the games or the bullshit. When he ends up calling Kennedy out on her behavior, sparks fly--but not in a good way; and what was supposed to be a blind date, set up by good friends, ends in a bitter battle of words.

After the exchange, Kennedy and Javier part ways, but the sting of Javier’s words remain. This chain of events, forces Kennedy to take a long hard look at herself, and what she sees, she doesn't quite like.

On the heels of her epiphany, Kennedy decides that a getaway is what she needs. She wants to take that time to reconnect, soul-search, check the areas of her life that need work. But then the unexpected happens... hers and Javier's paths cross once again.

Just like the first time they met, sparks fly. However, whether or not they fly in the same direction as before, remains to be seen.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ CA

Author Interview with Perri Forrest

1. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Reading. I’ve been an avid reader since I was pre-teen. The stories I loved were paranormal stories, and then as I got older, it was psychological thrillers. And go figure, they’re both genres that I want to write in, but don’t dare! They’re both extremely intense, and both have very insightful readers—like myself, that are waiting to see the flaws. Sorry, I’m just not that bold. Maybe one day. But yes, reading is what made me want to write. I’ve been penning short stories for years that will never see the light of day. When I finally decided to jump in, it was a feeling like no other, and now it’s a very huge part of me. I write even when I don’t want to. I write when I’m happy or sad. It’s like the best friend that’s always there.

2. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The most rewarding experience was the very first piece of “fan” mail that I received. I touched me that my story actually touched someone. You want to be impactful, but you never know if that will be the case. When I started to see that there were women who felt that what my characters had to say… mattered… it meant something. And still does. I keep all of the emails that I receive and refer to them often. A lot of times wondering if they still feel the same. Does my work still touch them as it once did.

3. If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
Chances, by Jackie Collins. I would have loved to have a signed copy of that book. The way that Jackie wrote Lucky Santangelo made me admire that “Boss” mentality in a woman. I forget how old I was when I read it, but I believe I was a teenager. Jackie, on a whole, wrote stories that allowed me to be taken away. It wasn’t about what the characters looked like, it wasn’t about over embellished love stories, it was THE STORY. I love a good story that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Chances did that. I would also want one of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Shaneska Jackson’s Caught up in the Rapture.

4. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Awww, man! I dream of healing. I would love to be able to touch a person’s temple and heal them of illness, of hurt, of unwanted energy. Healing, for sure.

5. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
You didn’t specify a book, so I’ll go off of a book that’s close to my heart and answer for that one. I’d say that it could be for all readers. From male to female, I think there’s something for every reader in the book. There’s the lessons that I try to drop in small doses—as much for me as my reader. There’s the conversations that my characters involve themselves in. And there’s always going to be a woman who holds her own, even with flaws and vulnerability present.

6. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Absolutely! I released a title in February, Promise Me You Won’t Let Me Fall, and it did really well with readers. It was a novella and meant to be a standalone. However, after feedback I received, I penned a part 2, that went to the editor last night, and releases on April 20. I’m already at work on the next novel and I’m keeping that a secret. But I will say that I’m having a lot of fun mapping out the key players, and hope to have it done in time for a June release.

7. Do you write as you go or do you have the book planned before you start the first draft?
My characters are always on standby and tagging me in once they know I’m done with another character. So there’s never down time. And since I write as I go, I really just need a character name and first sentence and then me and that character initialize everything until other characters are tagged in.

8. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
Unfortunately, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like to! My ideal kickback would be a glass of red Moscato, and a thick hardcover novel! But since I can’t, ummm… let’s see. With the movies, I’ve been really disappointed with a lot of movies lately. So, I’ll stick to TV shows and say that I’m eagerly anticipating the return of The Chi. That’s all I got for now.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

10. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Funny you ask. I’m in all of them. They’re born from pieces of me.

A big thank you to Perri Forrest for dropping by to answer a few questions for readers and fans. Check out my review of Kennedy's Awakening below and the giveaway on offer for books 1 & 2 of Promise Me You Won’t Let Me Fall by Perri Forest.


Kennedy Daniels' previous relationship has had such a negative effect on her love life and relationships to the extent where her heart is always on fight or flight mode. She refuses to let her guard down, so much so, she fails to acknowledge that her biggest problem is her inability to let loose and drop her guard, which in effect has made her bitter and judgemental. On a night out with two of her closest friends, Kennedy meets Javier, the charming fella who stepped in to help her ward off a guy who just won't take a hint. Things turn south, however, when Kennedy finds out that Javier is her blind date, and he has a few honest words for Kennedy that end up bruising her ego. Despite her resentment towards Javier, Kennedy can't help but wonder if it's time to take a long hard look at her life and maybe make a few changes. But will she be able to push her pride aside and give love another chance?

I'm still new to contemporary romance, so I'm always on guard whenever I pick up a book, but I quickly dropped my guard when I started reading this book. I think there's a little bit of Kennedy Daniels in each and every one of us, even if we're not completely aware of it. The character is one a lot of people will be able to relate to. She guards her heart well, but sometimes it becomes a detriment to her relationships, or rather it's the one thing interfering with her love life, propelling her into a life of loneliness. When she meets Javier, she realises that she might just have met her match, and she doesn't like it one bit. Kennedy is a fierce character who from the outside appear to be invincible, but on the inside, she's terrified of letting someone in, in fear she may lose herself as she did in her previous relationship. Javier is a man who knows exactly what he wants and isn't afraid to express his desires and feelings. Kennedy and Javier's interaction exudes passion and sexual tension. I thought the intimate scenes were tasteful and not too graphic to digest. I loved both Kennedy and Javier. They were so different yet managed to complement each other well.

I would have liked to get the sense of Kennedy having more purpose outside of her love life as it felt as if she didn't exist outside of her own interpretation of herself, predominantly focused on the male perspective, which was of a primarily sexual context. It would have been nice to see how she interacted with co-workers, family or just other men who didn't particularly have a romantic interest in her to see how she perceived the situation and the world around her to weigh up how much time she spent thinking about her love life, or lack thereof. She is described as a successful independent woman but not so much presented as such as the focus of the story was purely on her sexuality. I would have liked to have seen Kennedy Daniels, the strong, successful, independent woman we were informed of, even if only for a scene or two. Having said that, I still liked the Kennedy Daniels portrayed throughout the story. She was a likeable and relatable character. And of course, Javier was quite the charmer.

This was a very raw and real portrayal about the the bittersweet nature of love and how it can both make and break you. It was an enjoyable read.


Rating: 4 Star
Source: Author

About the Author
Perri Forrest is a California based author. She has produced numerous outstanding titles including having reached number one in Interracial Romance, as well as African American Romance on the Amazon Best Sellers list. The fan favorite series, "Rapture", was an international hit debuting at number two in Women’s Fiction for three consecutive weeks on the Amazon Best Sellers list in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Having studied psychology, Perri delves into the intrinsic elements that make her characters tick. She consistently creates strong female leads weaving in the complexities of fiction and real life. This dynamic writer, who has penned stories since a preteen, ensures that each novel is mixed with insight, passion and love.

An unintentional venture into blogging allowed Perri to express her raw emotion, break down her personal barriers and explore her gift of writing. Ultimately Perri’s blogs resulted in fans adoring her work and clamoring to read more. Writing quickly became her sole driving force, and her goal is to nurture the minds and hearts of the readers who trust her to feed their literary appetites.

When not creating her own captivating characters, Perri can be found enjoying a good suspense thriller.

Author Links:


1 Winner will receive an ecopy of Books 1 & 2 of Promise Me You Won’t Let Me Fall by Perri Forest

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Pre-Release Blitz - Adult Supervision Required by Sarah Peis

She wants a better life for her kids. He wants the money her ex owns his club. When their worlds collide, this broody hot boy might just realize how well the single mom fits into his life…

By Sarah Peis

Adult Supervision Required
Author: Sarah Peis
Publisher: Hexatorial
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Book Description:
“We don’t lick people.”
“Don’t we?”

Nora Lindberg doesn’t let life get her down. Disowned by her family and left by the man who was supposed to love her for the rest of their lives, she packs up her kids and goes in search of a second chance.

The small town she lands in was supposed to be her fresh start, her chance at a better life. But instead, she’s a broke single mom who spends her nights looking for the chocolate she hid from her kids.

When her ex lands on the local Motorcycle Club’s most wanted list and leads them straight to her door, her life is once again turned upside down.

But maybe a broody hot guy on a motorcycle is just the thing she never asked for but got anyway.

Now the only question is: Will he be her saviour or her downfall?

This is a standalone romantic comedy. It releases on May 6.

Pre-Order Links:

“Why are you looking under the table? Your kids are still fast asleep upstairs,” Talon asked, watching me stick my head under the table.

“Just checking,” I muttered, my face feeling numb.

I’d had too much to drink. Five shots were too much for me. I hated tequila. But the guys looked so hopeful when I came back down. And then they offered me alcohol, and it felt rude to say no.

“Checking for what?” he asked, looking under the table as well.

“The orgies?” I said and slapped a hand over my mouth. That thought was supposed to stay in my head.

“Orgies? We don’t have orgies in the main room. And definitely not under the table. Not enough space,” Talon said and then broke out into roaring laughter.

I pushed him, his tall frame not moving an inch. “That’s not… I meant… it was just…”

“I think you’ve got bad reception. You’re cutting out,” Talon said, watching me with a twinkle in his eyes.

“You really thought we’d just all get down to business right here?” Gears asked, amusement evident on his face.

“I read books,” I said, blinking to clear my vision.

“Books of what? Orgies?”


Talon shook his head, his eyes still beaming with mirth. “You might see someone’s naked ass by the end of the night, but we keep the rest in our rooms. Sorry to disappoint.”

I’d come to realize that everyone was really easygoing. They all seemed to care about each other, liked to joke around, and welcomed me like I was their long-lost sister.

Being part of something meant a lot to me. Being part of a family, even if it wasn’t by blood, meant even more, especially since my own had discarded me so easily.

“I love you guys,” I declared, throwing my arms around Talon’s shoulders and my body into his arms, orgies forgotten.

He caught me, squeezing me around my middle. “How are you this drunk already?”

After hugging the other guys in the group that consisted of Gears, Grim, and a man they called Smoke, I settled back in my seat. I had a permanent smile attached to my face, my cheeks aching.

“I’m not drunk, you are,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.

“You’ve had five shots over three hours and you can’t even figure out how to cross your arms. That’s the definition of a lightweight,” Gears said, taking a drink of his beer.

I looked down and noticed I hadn’t crossed my arms but instead was holding my own hand over my chest. Huh, I really thought I’d crossed them.

I squinted at the monitor sitting on the table. The image was grainy, but when I saw Luca and Lena still fast asleep, I relaxed back into the couch.

“So how did you meet Ace?” Gears asked. “You don’t seem like his type.”

“You mean he doesn’t like a woman with a brain? Or is it the kids? The half-Asian thing? You gotta be more specific here, dude.”

Grim smacked Gears over the head and murmured something to him, causing his face to blanch.

“Sorry, Nora, that’s not what I meant. Forget I said anything,” Gears said, his eyes shifting from me to Grim and back.

I waved him off, too drunk and happy to be offended by the comment. “Don’t worry about it. I know I’m not exactly a catch.”

Grim heaved himself up and squeezed in next to me. “Girl, if I was twenty years younger, I’d ask you to marry me today. You are the full package. You can cook, you’re gorgeous, you’re funny and smart, and did I mention you’re gorgeous?”

I leaned my head on his shoulder. “Thanks, Grim. That’s a really nice thing to say.”

“Don’t let Ace hear you,” Talon said from Grim’s other side. “He’ll make you disappear faster than you can say ‘wedding.’”

Grim grunted in agreement and patted my hand that was holding on to his bicep. “I don’t fear many things, but that man’s wrath is one of them. Sorry, girly, no marriage for us.”

“Shame. I was looking forward to it. I’ve never been married before.”

There was silence on the table and I sat up, brushing my hair out of my eyes. “What? I bet none of you have been either.”

“You didn’t marry the kids’ father?” Talon asked.

“Nope. We were together eight years, had two kids, and he always said it wasn’t the right time. Should have known something was up. But I guess I like to learn my life lessons the hard way. Anyway, it all worked out for the best, because there’s no way I could afford an attorney to get a divorce.”

“That deserves another drink,” Grim announced and got up.


About the Author
Supporter of all things written, defender of the e-book revolution and master of the take out order – Sarah Peis is not afraid to admit she can’t cook, go a week without breaking something, read labels correctly or park cars in a straight line.

She loves the written word in all forms and shapes and if she’s not glued to a book, she’s attempting to write one. Sarah is a frequent blonde moment sufferer and still trying to figure out how to adult. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her two little humans, the holder of her heart and two furry demons. She loves to hear from readers so feel free to get in touch.

Author Links:

Book Blitz Organised by:

Monday, 12 April 2021

Book Blitz & Giveway - The Devil You Hate by C. Hallman & J.L. Beck

The Devil You Hate
(The Devil Duet #1)
Author: C. Hallman & J.L. Beck
Publication Date: April 16th, 2021
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Dark Romance

Book Description:
They call me “The Devil.”

Deranged and violent.
Gorgeous but frightening.

I’m a businessman so when one of my debtors offers me his fiancĂ© in exchange for a debt settled I figure why not.

Repayment comes in the form of a beautiful but haunted young woman.

The light in her tempts the darkness inside of me.
Teases it, tortures it.

I want to hurt her.
I want to break her.
I want to keep her.

Luckily for Celia she fails to see that there is no goodness in me and when she attempts to draw me in with her innocence, and sweet naive heart I thrive to show her the cruel monster I am.

Buy Links:

Cover Reveal & Giveaway - Worn Out Places by R.H. McMahan

Worn Out Places
Author: R.H. McMahan
Publication Date: September 1st, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary

Book Description:
I can’t answer that question. I can’t tell him I’ve spent my whole life trying to disappear. I can’t tell him that I was born a drug addict. Or that I’ve been in foster homes so terrible I wished I didn’t exist. And I can’t tell him that last year ended any ambition I had to make it somewhere better in this world.

Drug addict parents. The foster care system. Living on the streets of New York City.

Zoie Cruz is used to an unflinching world that takes without giving back. But at seventeen she isn’t used to Northern Michigan, a family that wants her to succeed, and sobriety.

Everything changed on Christmas morning last year. Her social worker calls it a tragedy and her weekly Narcotics Anonymous meeting wants her to open up. All Zoie wants is to be left alone to get high.

When she meets local golden boy Dean, he’s determined to pull Zoie out of her darkness. And she’s determined to keep her walls sealed shut.

In a whirlwind struggle to stay clean, Zoie’s secrets can only stay hidden for so long.

About the Author
R.H. McMahan a.k.a. Mickie is a Puerto Rican and Irish YA/NA author. She was born and raised in Chicago - and yes she thinks it's important that you know that. In June of 2020, she graduated with a BA in English Lit and Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing.

Mickie dreamt of becoming an author since she started telling stories on the playground in first grade. Ever since then it is rare to find her without a notebook and a pen. Her book baby, Worn Out Places, debuts on September 1st and she cannot wait to share it with the world.

If she's not writing she's doing other creative things like singing, dancing, and drawing.

Author Links:


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Sunday, 11 April 2021

BOOK REVIEW - 'Twas Just Before Bedtime by Jessie L. Best and Annabelle & Aiden: Sapiens: Our Human Evolution by J.R. Becker

'Twas Just Before Bedtime
Author: Jessie L. Best
Publication Date: TBA
Genre: Children's Picture Book / Chapter Book

Book Description:
'Twas Just Before Bedtime is a book of short stories (about 1000 words each.) Each is followed by a poem. This is juvenile fiction and the characters range in age from 6-10 years. They can be read to younger children as bedtime stories; older kids can read the stories independently. Each magical adventure story and poem has a corresponding illustration created by Cillyart4u. (Cindy Bowles)

The enchanting illustrations are charming and tell the story as intended. Pure fantasy, these stories and rhymes will stimulate and entertain children from 6-12 years and create fond memories to look back on and keep as a favorite.


Bring on the magic and fun. Best never disappoints when it comes to taking readers on a magical adventure, and this book does not disappoint. 'Twas Just Before Bedtime is a collection of short stories and poems with lots of lessons to learn about the consequences of one's actions and to remind us all to think carefully before embarking on certain adventures.

Good illustrations. I would have preferred illustrations in colour, but these also worked well in black and white. I noticed there were many familiar stories that were similar to a lot of the fairytales I grew up on, which was nice to see and rather nostalgic. The story Pirate Gold, an adventure story about a young boy and his brother trying to escape from pirates who want to devour them for Breakfast, reminded me a little of Peter Pan. Genie Bean, a story about a young girl called Marnie, who becomes the master of a genie. This story made me think back to Aladdin's adventure on a magic carpet. I thoroughly enjoyed Fairy Wings, about a young child abandoned and found by fairies, who take her home and raise her. The child, Taralin, feels out of place in her new environment as she's unlike the people who raised her, and so, every night, she prays to the stars, hoping to one day become a real fairy. This definitely had Pinocchio vibes, and I'm a big fan of Pinocchio, so this was a very fun read.

There are a lot of stories and poems to enjoy, but I definitely had my favourites. The poem Sandi's Shadow was a wonderful poem that reminds us to pay attention to the little things we often forget about.

This is a wonderful collection of short stories and poems filled with magic and wonder that all children would enjoy. It's a great bedtime treat, bound to inspire children to broaden their imagination.


Rating: 5 Star
Source: Author

Annabelle & Aiden: Sapiens: Our Human Evolution
Author: J.R. Becker
Publication Date: 4th March 2019
Genre: Children's Picture Book

Book Description:
Join Annabelle & Aiden as their friend Lucy retraces our first steps in Africa. We fan across the globe, encountering the strangest human (and nonhuman) creatures: from twenty-foot sloths to tiny dwarves in faraway lands. We learn to cook. Express ourselves. Farm, build empires, and fall in love. We dream of kings, gods, and monsters, and light our world with a scientific revolution. Discover how our shared story can overcome our differences. How it's etched deep into our genes: we're all children of Lucy, and have far more in common than we think.

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As a huge science geek, I love stories on human evolution, so this was a treat to read. I haven't come across many picture books like this one, which is very science oriented, that allows your mind to explore and prompts the reader to ask many questions. The origin story is one of familiarity, but it was a joy to go on this adventure with Annabelle and Aiden.

I loved the illustrations and the fact that author explored different timelines and continents. Although it was hard to read the fine text dotted around the edges of the pages, I found them very useful and educational. I must admit, I was a little surprised by the display of the world at the end, the fact that it wasn't very inclusive of other cultures, considering the story implied a connected and linked history/origin throughout, so it wasn't the image I had conjured in my mind. The image of the world undermined the diaspora and multiculturalism that played an important role in the plot. This was somewhat disappointing as it limits identification among children and families who are not identified as white.

Despite the world image, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was a refreshing read and so much fun to delve back into the past. I highly recommend this book for the entire family.


Rating: 5 Star
Source: Own copy