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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Relic Bounty by Arwen Paris

Relic Bounty
(Relic Legacy Series)
Author: Arwen Paris
Publication Date: December 30th, 2020
Genre: Adult Romance / Science Fiction

Book Description:
Kill the courier, retrieve the relic, collect the money.

Bounty hunter Janis Torzen finally has a chance to free himself from his indentured servitude to the mob. The brutal weather on planet Urrak is as unforgiving as the mob boss Janis Torzen works for, so of course a sudden sandstorm upsets his best laid plans. To make things worse, the courier, Everell, turns out to be a beautiful, smart-mouthed archeologist who has her own plans for the money. Unfortunately, powerful people will kill to possess the relic Everell carries—everyone from government officials to the social elite, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

Now on the run, Janis and Everell are forced to depend on each other to escape from Nadir Space Port. But when Everell and the relic are stolen from Janis, he must go back to the very man he’s trying to get away from and offer a deal with the devil. He’s got nothing to lose but his own life, so he bluffs the mob, willing to sacrifice his future to save the woman he’s fallen in love with—a woman he’s still not sure he can trust.

It’s a crazy plan, one so crazy it just might work. If he succeeds, it will pay out big for his wallet and his heart—if he doesn’t die trying. But with a bounty this high, it’s worth any risk…

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Monday, 28 December 2020

Book Spotlight - The Kiss That Saved Christmas by Elysia Strife


She doesn't want to fall for him. He can't help but fall for her...

The Kiss That Saved Christmas

By Elysia Strife

The Kiss That Saved Christmas
Author: Elysia Strife
Publication Date: 1st November 2020
Genre:
Holiday Romance

Book Description:
Claire’s husband passed away two years ago this Christmas, leaving her alone and in charge of a beautiful and overwhelming cabin venue in the Montana mountains. She’s low on cash, the truck won’t start, and fewer people are calling in event requests.

Every past assistant has been problematic and disappointing. With one final wedding scheduled for the year, Claire is desperate to make a good impression and needs the property in top shape. Only one candidate remains: Zach.

Zach is prior service, down on his luck, and shamed by the town for the actions of his youth. Even after a decade of service, he can’t escape the gossip.

Claire has no option but to entrust him with the future of Briar Ridge—her future. She just wished he didn’t have to remind her so much of her late husband. Yet Zach is different, bringing with his burdens an unexpectedly sweet side.

Zach is full of surprises.

She doesn’t want to fall for him.

He can’t help but fall for her.

A sweet holiday romance with a few curses and some violence.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK

Sunday, 27 December 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Listed by L.J. Kerry

Listed
Author: L.J. Kerry
Genre: YA / NA Dystopian
Publication Date: 1st November 2020

Book Description:
They should have never met. . .

When Judas Wells is ordered to send Nadine Ellis to her execution, he defies orders for the first time in his life by concealing Nadine in The Rebellion. However, once it is revealed that Nadine has actually been kidnapped from a neighboring country, The Rebellion and Judas realise her experience as an outsider could bring down their own country's ruthless regime and restore freedom to the nation.

Yet this proves no simple task when the government starts hunting them all down. As an uprising looms over the country in retaliation, nowhere is safe. With the help of The Rebellion, Judas and Nadine must survive long enough to see freedom restored—or face their demise.
 

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MY REVIEW

In order to survive in the Republic of Denmé, all citizens must be Listed. The barcode tattooed on the right arm of each citizen is a legal requirement. Those who are unlisted risk being executed. Joseph Wells - aka Judas Wells - lives a double life, working both above ground for the Denmé regime while at the same time being a member of a secret underground organisation known as The Rebellion. When Judas and Nadine Ellis's world collide, everything changes for both these characters. Judas defies order and rescues Nadine, taking her to The Rebellion for protection after discovering that she was drugged and kidnapped from the neighbouring country known as Olympia. Judas's and Nadine's lives turn upside down when they join forces to overthrow the Denmé regime and get Nadine back to safety in her homeland of Olympia. Who will survive and who will fall at the hands of Sanchez, the leader of Denmé? Only time will tell.

This story is full of action, adventure and a lot of danger. It's very fast paced, so you end up going through a lot of different emotions in what felt like a short space of time, which isn't a negative thing, it just made it sometimes hard to catch your breath. I loved the characters. I'm actually surprised that I remembered them as there were a lot of characters who all had important roles to play. Thankfully, they had distinct characteristics that made it easy to tell them apart and the fact that they were different and unique with their own morals and principles made them memorable. It was hard to choose a favourite character, but the three that had the most effect on me were Judas, Carlos and, not really surprising, Samhain. What a character he was. Guy wears a black cloak with a goat skull on his head. I mean, really, what's not to like? He flirts with anyone and just says whatever is on his mind. No filter whatsoever. My kind of character. Although I liked Nadine, I didn't fully grasp her motive, not necessarily because it wasn't presented to me, but more so because she herself didn't elaborate on it other than the fact that she wanted to feel more worthy as she felt like a nobody back in Olympia. Perhaps she will come out of her shell more in the sequel and we can delve a little deeper into her character.

What I especially liked about this book was that it didn't attempt to excuse itself in favour of societal norms. It delivered some very important and thought-provoking messages. There was an incident with Judas and a guard that didn't end too well, and I appreciated that none of the characters lingered on morals or questioned Judas's character. Sometimes shit happens and you have to get on with life. Same with the relationship between Judas and Carlos. Despite the punishment that comes with their lifestyle, there is no attempt made to try and justify why they would choose to risk their lives. They're not naive; they know the risk, but at the end of the day, you have to decide how you want to live your life, even if it's a short one. They lived the way one should live in a totalitarian society as the one they live in: as if life was right now.

I must say, I found the threat of Sanchez derived more from the guards than it did from Sanchez, and I wanted to feel the leader's authority a little more than what I experienced. Nonetheless, I did get a sense of the danger posed by the government of Denmé, and it was terrifying. This story made me think of other books I read such as The Handmaid's Tale, Brave New World and The Hunger Games. The world building was great and a very authentic and realistic portrayal of a society on the brink of chaos.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

VERDICT


Award: Platinum
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Own copy

Saturday, 26 December 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Good Day or Bad Day – I Love You Anyway by Sigal Adler

Anna Banana: Anna Finds a New Home
Series: The Goodnight Monsters Bedtime Books
Author: Sigal Adler
Genre: Picture Book
Publication Date: 20 September 2020

Book Description:
♥ Good Day or Bad Day – I Love You Anyway! ♥
The poor little thing, woke up very upset,
thinking: “how much worse can it get?”
But mom was in a hurry, and made it clear:
“We have to go now, there’s no time, my dear.”
That morning, mom had to say everything twice:
“Please brush your teeth and wear something nice.
Where are your shoes, you’re not ready at all…?
Why did you pour so much milk in that bowl?”

Buy Links:



MY REVIEW

Another enjoyable book by Adler with wonderful illustrations and rhyme scheme. In this tale, our young monster isn't having such a good day, so he decides to throw tantrums and just be a tyrant as a means of getting through this long day, all the while not thinking about the effect his behaviour his having on his mother, who tries to keep her cool as she attempts to maintain discipline in her household.

This is one we can all relate to, young and old, as we've all had one of those days we wish would just end so we can get back to a good day. Although we don't know the reason our young monster is having a bad day, we nonetheless see the effect on his mood and how the various emotions he goes through affects his mother's own mood and her feelings. This is a good lesson about unconditional love. It's a relatable story for both children and their parents.

I would definitely recommend it for the whole family.

VERDICT


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

Friday, 25 December 2020

Group Promo - FREE & Discounted eBooks

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!

The Christmas Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and the December eBook Giveaway for an ebook of your choice is still ongoing, so do enter for a chance to win if you haven't already done so.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Cover Reveal - Blane by C.M. Marin

Blane
(The Chaos Chasers MC, #5)
Author: C.M. Marin
Publication Date: TBA
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
BLANE

She’s back home.

My friend from a time that feels so distant is as beautiful and as kind as she was over five years ago, but her eyes now hold a confidence that didn’t use to shine there. Lana has returned as a fully independent woman sporting something hard that’s masking the pain that I know was etched in by her past.

And fuck if she isn’t sexier than I ever remember her being.

But after vanishing from my life without any sort of explanation or a goodbye, she’s come back home, and not for just a few nights of pleasure. She’s on a mission. One that has her diving into a world where danger lurks in its every corner. And even though I wish she wouldn’t keep her distance, I also know it might be for the best. Losing someone I care about again isn’t an option. But as more time passes, more worry creeps into my gut.

And when Lana allows me to get close to her in a way that destroys all boundaries of friendship, it becomes even harder to stay away.

Or rather fucking impossible.

LANA

I’m back home.

Trying to bring justice to my family should have been my hardest challenge once back in Texas. But the hardest part of being back home has been staying away from the friend I left behind all of those years ago.

I expected Blane to hold a massive grudge against me for disappearing without a word, but I should have known he would be there for me.

The grieving college student I met back then has become a brawny biker with a roughness and an intensity that slightly darkens his expression, but he instantly becomes like a rainbow to me, bringing colors to my dull, lonely days. That’s why it’s too bad that I have to keep him at a safe distance. And I was succeeding with flying colors until our chemistry explodes and I let myself crumble under the weight of my craving for him.

Now everything has lost its clarity, and the only part of my mind that’s not blurry with uncertainty is the one reminding me how much I want Blane in my life.

How much I care about him.



About the Author
C.M. Marin is an author of romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

Even though she lived in the crowded and beautiful city of London for a few years, she is now a small-town girl. Quiet and nature are all she really needs now... as long as there are books and a box full of assorted teas within easy reach!

She hasn't found her own happily ever after yet, but she sure loves to write about falling in love and finding forever. With a touch of suspense, just the right amount of sexiness, and plenty of love, she writes books for every lover of romance around the world!

Author Links:
Website ¦ Goodreads ¦ Facebook ¦ Twitter ¦ Instagram ¦ Bookbub


Cover Reveal Organised by:
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Monday, 21 December 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Murder Mittens by R.J. Blain

Murder Mittens
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #13)
Author: R.J. Blain
Publication Date: December 25th, 2020
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Becoming a bounty hunter and taking on the call sign of Murder Mittens wasn’t Harri’s brightest move, but what’s a lynx to do with millions of debt while working a customer service gig? The scars deforming her face won’t remove themselves, and she’ll bag and tag every criminal in the United States to get rid of them if necessary.

Being assigned a handler could make or break her, but did the powers that be really have to toss Sebastian Sumners her way? The lion with a stubborn streak as wide as hers tests her patience on a good day, but nothing makes her purr more than goading him into roaring.

Add in a protective family, a serial killer on the loose, and more trouble than any one cat needs, and it’s going to take a miracle for Harri to get through the most important job of her life.

Warning: contains magic, humor, cranky shapeshifters, cats, murder, and mayhem. Proceed with caution.


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Saturday, 19 December 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Cemetery Songs by Julie Gilbert

Cemetery Songs
Author: Julie Gilbert
Publication Date: December 15th, 2020
Genre: YA Fiction

Book Description:
Poignant and uplifting, Cemetery Songs is a compelling YA about a girl, a ghost, and the graveyard that sends them both on a journey of self-acceptance.

When Polly Stone’s birthmother dies, she feels lost and adrift. How do you mourn someone you never knew? Even the dead, whose final thoughts Polly can hear, offer no advice.

Instead Polly fails her classes, alienates her friends, gets fired from her summer job, and accidentally sets fire to the high school. At a loss, Polly’s parents ground her and insist she volunteer at the local archives.

The dusty boxes are boring, but Polly is intrigued by her assignment: mapping an abandoned Black settlement on the edge of town. At the very least, it gives her time to examine her confused feelings for Billy Meyer, a former classmate who is also blackmailing her.

Amid weedy tombstones, Polly and Billy encounter the charming ghost of Harrison Card, who died in 1924. Sensing there’s more to the story than Harrison can recall, the unlikely trio investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

The discoveries are unnerving, especially since the ugly racist history reflects some of Polly’s own experiences as a biracial teenager. Past and present collide when Polly’s attempts to help Harrison go tragically wrong. As Polly grapples with the consequences of her actions, she must decide if she is brave enough to heed the wisdom of the dead.

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Friday, 18 December 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Ain't She Sweet by Whitney Dineen

Ain’t She Sweet
(Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #2)
Author: Whitney Dineen
Publication Date: December 15th, 2020
Genre: Adult Comedy / Romance

Book Description:
Tara Heinz began her modeling career at the tender age of twelve. After spending fifteen years drooling over forbidden foods, she does the unthinkable. She enrolls in culinary school and becomes a pastry chef.

After a nasty breakup with her rock star boyfriend that leads to tabloid war, Tara takes a job at a rural lodge in Oregon to escape the spotlight she no longer desires.

James Cavanaugh is a farmer in Oregon. His days are spent building his business and his nights are spent sleeping, so he can get up at four in the morning.

Ruby Cavanaugh has plans for her son that involve her new pastry chef. Of course, neither James nor Tara know what’s going on until it’s too late.

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Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - A Sweet, Soft Glow by Joshua Magnotta

A Sweet, Soft Glow
Author: Joshua Magnotta
Publication Date: December 15th, 2020
Genre: Adult Thriller

Book Description:
In the ten years since John Malley lost his wife and daughter, he has slowly faded into obscurity in a rural Pennsylvania town. He spends his days at the local bar and tries to numb the pain of his loss. That is, until Ted’s Dead Rose Tavern becomes the home of the biggest mass killing in the history of the town. John, the lone survivor of the killing-spree, is forced on the run. He heads north where he hopes to hide out at his brother’s house.

Meanwhile, in New York City, young Melanie Parker investigates a disturbing new trend she discovered online. From what she has learned, metallic black bands worn along the forearm are responsible for some form of mind control. Skeptical of this theory, Melanie embarks on a night time excursion that places her in the middle of a riot in the middle of the city. Melanie fights for her life as chaos spreads throughout the city.

As John witnesses the events in New York, he is compelled to take action. But once in the city, John is forced to confront his past.

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Monday, 14 December 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Freak by Leslie Georgeson

Freak
(Something Real #1)
Author: Leslie Georgeson
Publication Date: December 15th, 2020
Genre: Adult Romance / Suspense

Book Desciption:
Jealousy. Betrayal. Family secrets.

Appearances are everything in my family. We are the Strongs. Fame is our birthright. Music flows through our veins in a continuous harmony. Flaws are unacceptable.

When my parents got a good look at the freak they’d created, I was hidden away, my existence wiped out.

Until they discovered my secret.

Now I had something they wanted.

Taking it from me didn’t faze them. They believed they were entitled.

I was just a boy, unable to fight back.

So I did the only thing I could.

I vanished.

That was seven years ago.

Now they are back, and they want something from me again.

They send the sexy and oh-so-tempting Mia Bennett to persuade me, and I’m helpless to resist her.

Mia seems innocent in my family feud, but is she really?

I can’t be sure.

All I know is she makes me feel alive again. She gives me the courage to just be me. She’s the new inspiration behind my music, my heart’s own melody.  

But something dark and twisted lurks close to home, and leaves me questioning who is friend and who is foe.

Now I am forced to make a decision that could well break me.

How far am I willing to go for the woman I love?

Buy Links:
Amazon ¦ UK ¦ Barnes & Noble ¦ iBooks ¦ Kobo

Sunday, 13 December 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

Winter of the Wolf
Author: Martha Hunt Handler
Genre: YA Mystery / Coming of Age
Release Date: 7th July 2020
Publisher: 
Greenleaf Book Group

Book Description:
A tragic mystery blending sleuthing and spirituality

​An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved fifteen-year-old, who is determined to unravel the mystery of her brother Sam’s death. Though all evidence points to a suicide, her heart and intuition compel her to dig deeper. With help from her friend Julie, they retrace Sam’s steps, delve into his Inuit beliefs, and reconnect with their spiritual beliefs to uncover clues beyond material understanding. 

Both tragic and heartwarming, this twisting novel draws you into Bean's world as she struggles with grief, navigates high school dramas, and learns to open her heart in order to see the true nature of the people around her. Winter of the Wolf is about seeking the truth—no matter how painful—in order to see the full picture.

In this novel, environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler, brings together two important pieces of her life—the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Center—to tell an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages.
 

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MY REVIEW

Ooh, this one did not work out for me. Initially, as the story kicked off, I thought it was going to be right up my alley, but as I continued reading, it just settled on the surface instead of digging deeper into certain discussions and topics that were mentioned but just shrugged under the carpet. I was left feeling a little uncomfortable, disappointed and rather unsatisfied. 14-year-old Bean is struggling to deal with the apparent suicide of her older brother, Sam, the only person it appears Bean truly cares about. Bean knows her brother very well, and she’s certain he would never commit suicide. He was full of life and was happy, so why would he suddenly take his life? That’s exactly what Bean intends to find out.

Bean’s family each grieve in their own way and oftentimes don’t operate as a family unit who are all going thought a shared grief. Bean appeared selfish and inconsiderate at times, particularly towards her mother, who she often complained didn’t bother with housework chores such as washing and cooking. Albeit Bean appearing to be quite capable of taking care of her basic needs during these arduous times, she nonetheless has the audacity to disregard her mother’s breakdown and trauma over the loss of her child. After all, everyone grieves in their own way; there’s no right or wrong way to deal with tragedy, and you can’t dictate how a person should or shouldn’t handle a traumatic situation as the loss of a loved one. Bean admitted herself that she didn’t consider just how much Sam meant to Chase and Adam just because they weren’t as close to Sam as she was to him. Seriously? Okay, well, I give her credit for acknowledging her ignorance. She is still young, so I guess I can cut her some slack.

For reasons unknown to me, Bean isn’t close to her two Chase and Adam. The only person Bean cares about, which, at times, can be viewed as slightly obsessive and inappropriate, is Sam, and I still didn’t see why she had such a bond with Sam that she couldn’t have formed with her other two brothers. Chase and Adam didn’t appear to be monsters or mean in the slightest, so I imagine, if she had wanted to, she could have spent more time with them just as she chose to spend time with Sam. I wasn't convinced that Sam was that more caring than the other two, as there’s not much focus on her living brothers as there was on the brother she had loss. I wouldn’t have minded if the focus on Sam reflected more of his belief into the Inuit people and their culture, especially considering the major effect his belief had in relation to his death. Bean claimed to be very close to Sam but knew little to nothing about the thing Sam was most passionate about, that being the Inuit culture. I was trying hard to find out what it was about each other that made Bean and Sam so close, as we never really got to witness their relationship on the account that he died at the onset of the story. I must say, however, that some of the interaction and conversation between Bean and Sam left me feeling uncomfortable, as it didn’t seem the thing to be said between a brother and his sister. At times, their bond appeared sensual rather than protective, which was awkward. I’m all for showcasing love between siblings, but there was something off about this display of affection.

I wanted a lot more than what was offered to me. I wanted to dig a little deeper into the story to get that heart-wrenching tragedy that was promised at the start of the book. I wanted to empathise with the characters, but they lacked motivation and chemistry (I don’t mean romantic, obviously). The reveal behind the cause of Sam’s death was underwhelming, not the actual event and story behind what happened, but the reaction that followed the revelation of how he died. This could have been a lot more than what it was, which was disappointing because I can see a lot of potential here.

This is the second audiobook I have listened to, and I’m still not sold that audiobooks are better than ebooks, but it could just be down to the way it was narrated, which did not win me over. Had it not been for the fact that it was an audiobook, I probably would not have finished it. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t leave me wanting more. By the end, I felt unsatisfied - or, maybe I was just hungry, I don’t know. Either way, it wasn’t a great feeling. 
This was just an okay read for me.

VERDICT


Award: Bronze
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Source: NetGalley

BOOK REVIEW: Mommy, Where do babies come from? by Dr Robert Roper

Mommy, Where do babies come from?
Author: Dr Robert Roper
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Release Date: 7th July 2020
Publisher: 
Yorkshire Publishing

Book Description:
Explaining a child's beginning, is sometimes difficult and considered taboo. This book is an honest, eye opening, and humorous, mother's attempt to satisfy her daughter's curiosity, of where babies come from?

Buy Links:



MY REVIEW

A jolly good read and an insightful explanation into how babies come into the world. I thought the author handled the topic appropriately and in a way that would encourage kids to enquire further and broaden their imagination. This is a topic that kids often enquire about. The author provides answers that satisfies the mind without going into any unsettling or uncomfortable explanations. This book certainly instigates curiosity. Delightful set of illustrations that help to bring the story to life.

It’s an engaging read that people from all walks of life can enjoy and relate to. I would definitely recommend it for young minds.

VERDICT


Award: Platinum
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Source: BookSirens