Wednesday 28 February 2018

Book Spotlight & Giveaway - Pen & Xander by Laekan Zea Kemp

Pen & Xander
Author: Laekan Zea Kemp
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 21st, 2017

Book Description:
Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father's food in her father's restaurant. It's the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there's something almost magic about her food, her father can't imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.

Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn't stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it's a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil--a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.

Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.

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February Favourites

Welcome to my February Favourites.

Here, you will find a list of the movies and books I watched and read in February and my favourite among them.

Books Read:


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Movies Watched:


Tuesday 27 February 2018

Cover Reveal - Dwarves of Calcus (Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #3) by Katie Hamstead

Dwarves of Calcus
(Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #3) 
Author: Katie Hamstead
Genre: YA Space Opera / Sci-fi/Fantasy
Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Book Description:
When she was thirteen, Snow Sabbia crash landed on the dwarves' home planet of Calcus. After fleeing from her step-mother's huntsman, seven brother dwarves took her in to hide and protect her. She has hidden for years on the peaceful planet, tinkering with old automobiles and pushing papers in the mine office.

Then, Timothy White shows up.

The shy, nervous, nerdy heir captivates Snow before she even knows who he is, and quickly she falls in love. But his high profile in society draws unwanted attention from her vengeful stepmother, who wants Snow dead.

Geneva believed Snow died years earlier and she had consumed her innocent heart. With her late husband's wealth, Snow's inheritance, in tow, she married a young lord, Conrad. Both are using each other--Geneva for his title and to have a child, Conrad for her money and beauty. But when Conrad lays eyes on his boyhood rival's lovely fiance, Snow, his overwhelming desire for her reveals the truth to Geneva, that Snow lives.

Desperate to hold onto her wealth and power, Geneva seeks to kill Snow properly this time. Snow has the power to wield the one thing that can destroy her, so she cannot let the girl claim possession of the family heirloom, the Nevollo Sword.

Snow soon learns her step-mother knows she is alive. But she is a pacifist, so she must outwit Geneva and remain hidden... until Geneva, disguised as a child, presents her with an apple.

Previous Books in the Series (click on images for Goodreads links):


About the Author
Born and raised in Australia, Katie's early years of day dreaming in the "bush", and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.

When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organised by:

Monday 26 February 2018

Book-A-Day Giveaway - Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Book-A-Day Giveaway
Feb 26th - March 28th

Thanks to the wonderful sponsors of CBY's group giveaway.

Sponsors Showcase

Click the names to learn more about the sponsors

Laurisa White Reyes
KJ Waters
Cathrina Constantine


Prize One:
$10 Amazon Gift Card of Paypal Cash.

Prize Two:
$5 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

Ends March 28th, 2018 (11.59 p.m. GMT)

Saturday 24 February 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Reunited by Brittany Nicole Lewis

(The Zion Series, Book 2)
Author: Brittany Nicole Lewis
Genre: YA Christian Fiction
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2018

Book Description:
Just as Katie's life is settling into a new normal after leaving Zion and the birth of her son, she is given news that will forever alter her reality.

Meanwhile, the moment that Michael has so desperately wished for, but never thought would come has finally arrived. He must make the hardest decision of his life, and if he doesn't choose correctly, he could lose everything, forever.

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Reunited concludes this uplifting coming of age story about a brother and sister standing up for what they believe in and fighting to keep their family together. Michael and Katie have always been close, but ever since Katie's departure from Zion, the two have been living worlds apart, both trying to find their place and discover who it is they truly want to be. After discovering the reasons behind Katie's departure and learning the truth about Zion and his own heritage, Michael starts to realise that he and Katie share the same views about Zion. However, he quickly discovers that not everyone shares their views and forcing the community to change isn't as easy as he imagined it would be. When it comes down to choosing between his family and Zion, Michael finds himself at a complete loss. To choose either one would mean abandoning the other for good.

This was a good conclusion to the series. Michael's mood was a lot more controlled than it was when we last saw him, and I thought he handled the difficult choices he had to make as best he could. Although we don't get much interaction between Michael and Katie, when they do get together, you get a good sense of the bond they share, which was nice to see. What I liked most about this series was how it makes you question your own decisions. The characters are really relatable. You find yourself constantly asking what you would do if you were in their situation. It's rather compelling.

If there was something I wanted that I didn't feel there was enough of in this book, it would be a more hightened level of intensity. The ambience was unchanging throughout the book. The only spike came right at the end of the book - an ending I very much liked, mind you. I did struggle yet again with the errors, but they are minor, so nothing a little editing couldn't rectify.

This was a good read and a good ending to the series.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Nominate A Pirate at Pembroke & Enter to Win $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

A Pirate at Pembroke
Author: Danielle Thorne

Book Description:
A Jane Austen-inspired Pirate Romance

Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!

When Sophie’s sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect. Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.

Danielle Thorne's book A Pirate at Pembroke is up for nomination in the Kindle Scout Contest.

Please vote for her book!

If Kindle Scout selects A Pirate at Pembroke for publication you'll get a copy of the book for free!

Monday 19 February 2018

Book-A-Day Giveaway - Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Book-A-Day Giveaway
Feb 19th - March 21st

Thanks to the wonderful sponsors of CBY's group giveaway.

Sponsors Showcase

Click the names to learn more about the sponsors


Prize One:
$10 Amazon Gift Card of Paypal Cash.

Prize Two:
$5 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

Ends March 21st, 2018 (11.59 p.m. GMT)

Sunday 18 February 2018

BOOK REVIEW - Out of the Nest: An Italian Summer by GB Amman

Out of the Nest: An Italian Summer
The Italian Saga Book 2
Author: GB Amman
Genre: MG/YA Coming of Age
Publication Date: 1st February 2016

Book Description:
Puberty: what a hot mess!

Italy, 1990. Leda is a strong-headed bookworm and a tomboy who can't fit anywhere as her world splits into girls and boys. Puberty is nonsensical and irritating until she falls victim to her first crush...

It's the summer of the 14th FIFA World Cup.
It's the summer of Leda's first kiss.
It's the summer that will change her life.

Can tomboy Leda win her fears and learn to stand up for herself? 

From periods to first kisses, pre-teens and adults alike will laugh and cry with this Italian childhood memoir set against the gorgeous backdrop of northern Italy and Tuscany.

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Lee and the gang are back for another wild adventure. Lee is off to middle school and is worried how the change will affect her friendship with the old gang. A lot is changing fast, and Lee isn't sure she likes it. The guys aren't how they were before, nor is she, it appears, as she's starting to prefer hanging out with her new friend, Sonia, as opposed to the boys. Friendships are tested and new romances are formed. Will Lee be able to survive the changes with her mind intact?

I really enjoyed this book. It was a good follow-up to the first book, and while I did like the new set of characters, I have to admit, I missed the old gang. I was hoping to see a bit more of Nico the Thug, particularly since there's a hint of chemistry between him and Lee. Although out of sight throughout most of the book, his influence on Lee was always predominant as many of her decisions were based on his impression of her and how much she's trying to prove him wrong. I don't know if any of the new characters left an impression on me, but what I did like about them was how much they challenged Lee to take risks and how much impact they had on her development, which made her come alive a lot more in this book than the first book.

This was a very hormone-driven tale, which wasn't too surprising given the kids were at that age of curiosity, but some of the topics discussed did surprise me, especially the wealth of information and knowledge some of the kids possessed. Lee often appeared mature for her age, which I did notice in the first book, but in this case, she seemed a little too mature at times, particularly when it came to her giving advice on relationships. Being as young and inexperienced as she is, her maturity sometimes came off feeling a little forced and not altogether authentic. I much preferred when she was confused and clueless as to how to handle her emotions. Take her relationship with Gio, for instance. This soon-to-be seventeen year-old hunk captures her heart at first sight, and she has no idea how to react around him. Her character shines in these moments, and that's when you truly get to connect with her. Gio was a little full on and borderline creepy, mind you. Lee was eleven, after all, so the panic and intimidation brought on by his advances came across as very genuine. I'm really warming to Lee. She's starting to feel very real.

I'm loving this series so far. I imagine there's a lot more drama and romance heading Lee's way as she approaches her teens. I have no idea what's ahead for Lee, but I'm sure it will involve chaos and heartache; what every good coming of age story needs. A jolly good read indeed.


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

Saturday 17 February 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Azalea, Unschooled by Liza Kleinman

Azalea, Unschooled
Author: Liza Kleinman
Genre: Children's Fiction
Publication Date: 25th May 2015

Book Description:
In Pennsylvania, it was a clothing boutique for pets. Then a breakfast buffet in North Carolina. Then an apple orchard in Connecticut. Now, Azalea’s dad says he’s going to drive a tour bus in Portland, Maine. Through all those moves, Azalea and her older sister were homeschooled by their mom. But when they move to Portland, Azalea’s mom asks them to try unschooling—a method of learning that gives children more freedom to direct their own education. As the sisters struggle to find a delicate new balance, their world is rocked when someone sabotages Dad’s tour bus. Azalea decides it is up to her to find the culprit and hold her family together. In her fresh and funny debut middlereader novel, Liza Kleinman deftly explores the new unschooling movement as well as the challenges of moving to a new home, making friends, and finding room for differences within a family.

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Azalea and her family just moved to town and almost immediately she makes an enemy, who she later believes vandalised her Dad's tour bus as a message for Azalea and her family to get out of town. As if trying to make new friends and dealing with a threat wasn't challenging enough, Azalea's parents suggest that her and her sister try unschooling - "a natural, child-driven exploation off the world". As Azalea goes about finding the culprit who's been terrorising her family, she learns that not all is as it seems and that the problem is a lot closer to home than she first realised.

This was a good read. It took me a while to get into it and really enjoy the story. Honestly, I found the first half of the book a little boring, but it picked up in the second half, and the story won me over in the end. Azalea is an engaging and vibrant character who is easy to relate to. I don't think I'll be continuing the series, but I am glad I got the chance to read this book. There ae some good lessons to be learned here, some good themes explored.


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

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Friday 16 February 2018

Cover Reveal - Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced
Author: R.J. Garcia
Publication Date: May 1st, 2018
Genre: YA Suspense

Book Description:
Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with his rebellious neighbor, Finn Wilds.

Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?

About the Author
R.J. Garcia is a wife and proud mom. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short-stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!

Author Links:

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Thursday 15 February 2018

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Visionary X Starlight- Valentine's Day by Yumoyori Wilson

Visionary X Starlight- Valentine’s Day 
Author: Yumoyori Wilson
Publication Date: February 10th, 2018
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Book Description:
Two different worlds – one unique connection – a whole lot of love.

Valentine’s Day – an annual holiday dedicated to love, promoting couples to emphasize their love through gifts and celebration.

Makoto Heart spent her life trapped in a dark cell, never knowing the day existed or experienced love until her star knights. When three of her star knights – Kai, Marcus, and Elias – have the opportunity to bring her to Earthala, she’s given the chance to enjoy a four-day countdown to the celebration.

Scarlet Sinclair has dreaded February 14th. Her feelings stemmed from the reminder that she usually spent the day sitting alone, binge watching chick flicks on Netflix and devouring chocolate she bought for herself. But, this year would be different – Ethan, Junho, and Christian make a promise to prove to her that Valentine’s has more benefits than chocolate, and they’d use the next four days to prove it.

Will they each get more love than they bargained for?

Recommended for 18+ audience, containing mature sexual content, violence and strong language. THERE WILL BE F/F in this book. If that is not your cup of tea, PLEASE do not read it.

NOTE: Visionary X Starlight is written in CANADIAN ENGLISH – meaning both American and British English is used.

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Wednesday 14 February 2018

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Dangerous Moves by Karen Rock

Dangerous Moves 
Author: Karen Rock
Published by: Kensington
Publication Date: February 13th, 2018
Genre: Adult Romance / Suspense

Book Description:
Pounding music. Sculpted men. And a conspiracy that could cost far more than a few dollar bills . . .


Detective Blake Knight has been undercover before. But an assignment to bust a steroid ring running out of Dallas’s elite male strip club means his new cover will be nothing but his own taut muscles and oiled skin. It’s one thing for the tough, by-the-books agent to take down bad guys with his gun. Facing a rowdy crowd in only a G-string is another story . . . especially in front of his new boss, gorgeous, mysterious Reese Landon.

Her father’s club and shady business practices bring back terrible memories for Reese. But when he’s shot and goes into a coma, she vows to protect him the way he never did for her. That means keeping the police at a distance—especially sexy, driven Detective Knight. If she has to give him a cover job, it would be a crime not to put that glorious ass on stage. But no matter how good he looks in a Velcro uniform, she can’t trust him, or give into the undeniable heat between them. They’re both chasing the truth. And it might expose more than either wants to show . . .

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