Monday 29 August 2022

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway - The Urban Boys by K.N. Smith

A thrill-ride through the senses of five friends on a mysterious adventure…

By K.N. Smith

Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0989474757
Pages: 340
Price: $12.95
E-Book: $2.99

Book Description:
Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!”
5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, can the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

“Brilliantly crafted and written!” – Megan King, Indie Book Reviewers

“An energetic adventure debut with stellar action sequences. Smith’s writing is intelligent and often lyrical. Her exuberant prose never fails to dazzle.” – Kirkus Media

“Author K.N. Smith uses her mastery of the written word to weave an entrancing, yet powerful tale of adventure that keeps you turning pages in an unquenchable desire to find out what happens next.” – Publishers Daily Reviews

Available for Purchase in Paperback & Kindle

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Friday 26 August 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Autumn Chaos by Olena Nikitin

Autumn Chaos
(Season’s War, #1)
Author: Olena Nikitin
Publication Date: September 1st, 2022
Genre: Adult Fantasy / Romance

Book Description:
A mystery of a monster on the rampage ignites the passionate love triangle between a witch and two warriors with a help of a mysterious cat.

After ten years of peaceful solitude, exiled-mage-turned-village-witch, Lady Inanuan of Thorn, has her life turned upside down when a half-dead warrior is dumped on her doorstep. Soon she learns that no good deed goes unpunished in the Black Forest—not even if your friend is Leshy, the Forest God himself.

Expelled from her position as a court mage for her sharp tongue, Ina’s had ten years to learn how to survive in a harsh environment. The forbidden healing she performs links her life energy with her unexpected guest Marcach, captain of the guards, and Ren, his best friend, a traveller from lands so far away that many consider them a myth.

With unnatural monsters on the loose and unrest in the capital, everything points toward rebellion, and clues that both men discover indicate Ina’s involvement. Ina learns her magic is not what it seems, and her past comes back to haunt her.

An old mistake will see her dragged back to the court and thrown right into the middle of the political struggle. To make things worse, her heart succumbs not to just one man but two, and each expects the worst of her.

Will the woman who does not believe in love be able to choose? And can she clear her name and learn to control the Chaos before it burns the kingdom down?

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Monday 22 August 2022

Book Spotlight - The Reluctant Bridegroom by Arabella Sheraton

When the feisty Miranda Lavenham is introduced to the charming and handsome Earl of Wenham, neither wishes to get married, and certainly not to each other…

By Arabella Sheraton

The Reluctant Bridegroom
Author: Arabella Sheraton
Publisher: Bublish
Pages: 208; $2.99
Release Date: April 10, 2015
Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Book Description:
A traditional Regency romance about the vagaries of the heart in a delightful romantic comedy! The handsome Earl of Wenham has no intention of marrying any time soon. His sister Almeria points out to Hugo that he owes it to the title and the estates to marry and produce an heir. Failure to do so means the entire lot devolves upon his second cousin, the Honourable Felix Barstowe. She also reminds him that their father had promised an old friend, Lord Lavenham, that his son should marry Lord Lavenham’s daughter, Miranda. Out of respect for his father’s dying promise (which he had never taken seriously), the earl sets off for Lavenham House. He is stranded by snow a few miles away from his destination and takes refuge in a local inn. He meets up with a heavily veiled, mysterious young woman, who, by her confidences to him, he realises is the elusive Miranda. To his shocking surprise, the feisty Miranda declares she will not have anything to do with someone whom she declares, “is possibly so fat and gouty, that he needs to have a wife found for him.” In fact, she would rather run away with a childhood friend. Intrigued, the earl makes it his business to get to know Miranda better by inviting her to stay in London with his sister. Unfortunately, this strategy annoys his dandyish cousin Felix Barstowe who is determined that the young and healthy earl should not marry and cheat him out of his birthright. Will Felix succeed in a dastardly plan to murder his cousin? A must-read for fans of Regency romance!

“Arabella Sheraton gifts her readers with a beautiful traditional Regency romance when she introduces the feisty Miranda Lavenham and the charming Earl of Wenham. The chemistry between the lead couple in this story is sparkling. Ihave seldom enjoyed witnessing the banter of two people as much as I have between these two, and they seem to bring out the best in one another. I loved watching the self-assured young earl deal with self-doubts and jealousy; it was definitely fun for me and his sister was a puppet-master without emasculating him. I lost myself in the traditional plot and could not have asked for better descriptions or settings. The supporting characters were well developed and entertaining and added depth and value to the story. I’d love to see Miranda’sbest friend get his own adventure as I believe he deserves to find himself a stunning match. I’ve come to expect a good solid read from this author and this story lived up to my expectations. If you are a fan of sweet historical romance,then this is a fabulous choice.”–Pauline Michael, Night Owl Reviews

“The Reluctant Bridegroom starts us off on the right foot as soon as you pick the book up! I absolutely adored this story. It was a quick read, but fun and containing both witty and situational comedy that had me grinning like an idiot on my train. Arabella Sheraton gets full marks from me for her Reluctant Bridegroom!”–Katelyn Hensel, Readers Favorite Book Reviews

“From the very first Arabella Sheraton novel I read, I was forever lost in a world of romance. These novels are absolutely captivating and keep one spellbound from beginning to end. Arabella Sheraton is an exceptionally talented writer.” — Lizette Nolan, romance reader

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Sunday 21 August 2022

BOOK REVIEW: The Hills Be Shaken by Michael Stewart

The Hills Be Shaken
Author: Michael Stewart
Genre: Thriller / Action / Crime / Mystery
Publication Date: 13th April 2022

Book Description:
Mose Haley was an engineer, but in a few short months, he will have his FBI badge . . . and his revenge.

Two weeks ago, Mose was designing highway curves that safely carry minivans loaded with three kids and a dog doing 70 miles per hour. Now he is standing next to hot ammunition casings holding a standard issue Glock 23 handgun with the slide locked back and the barrel smoking. Two weeks ago—before the people he loved died—was a lifetime ago.

The attack on Manhattan, Kansas, dubbed Little 9/11 was the first. Officer Sam McGuire was there when it happened, shaken like everyone else on that day. The day he witnessed the collapse of a two-mile dam. Also, the day Sam saw the blonde in the park. The fit woman, jogging with an AR-15 and a pistol. He has questioned her and questioned her again. He has gone to ground zero and rummaged through the debris. Sam is a good cop, but he cannot piece it all together. He needs help. He needs an engineer.

Mose wants to believe he has the grit for the job, but he is a rookie. He has never had to face rooftop gunfire or defuse a bomb in a playground with sweaty hands and a paperclip. Mose Haley has never been tested . . . until now.

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The dam at Tuttle Creek Lake had a major failure on the 4th of July weekend, taking the lives of thousands who were on the lake at the time of the collapse. Experts think it's a natural disaster, probably caused by an earthquake. But can the cause be something more sinister? Like the work of terrorists?

The only eye witness is a young boy who can't remember anything. Can engineer turned FBI agent Mose Haley find the culprit before they strike again?


The plot was very intriguing. I always like when there's something to solve, and there was definitely suspicious activities happening around Mose that required the reader to put their thinking caps on. Being a big fan of McGyver, I loved the moments where Mose got to put his engineering skills to work and when he got really technical in his explanations - just like McGyver does. Clearly, Mose isn't only an expert in this field, but he also has great passion for his work. I liked that we got to see Mose in both his home and work environments, which gave more depth to his character. Mose doesn't have everything figured out in life; there's a disconnect in his family life. I liked the fact that Mose wasn't a perfect character who had everything in his life figured out. His home life and relationship with his family is not something he can easily solve with his engineering skills. Being an engineer is what he's great at, and while it helps him solve many things in his life, it's not a solution for every problem, which we get to also see in his work life when he's offered the opportunity to become an FBI agent where he has to use all his skills to figure out whether the lake incident was deliberate, and if so, who was behind it.

The pacing was great. The story didn't lag nor were there any dull moments to contend with. There was always something happening to keep you interested and keen. Loved the suspense and mystery throughout. It kept me on my toes. There are some good surprises and twists in store for the readers.

Very visual form of storytelling. I could picture everything as the story unfolded.


I didn't mind the religious aspects of the book as Mose's family are very religious, so I did expect a few mention here and there in reference to his family, but I didn't expect the heavy references throughout from people outside his family. It wasn't distracting and did not cause me to deviate from the story, however, it didn't always seem necessary or relevant in certain scenes, so it didn't always add much in the way of advancing the story.

It was a little hard to engage with the story at first due to the vast characters we were introduced to. Personally, I thought there were too many characters, and I think the characterisation suffered a little due to this. We didn't get much insights into certain characters and their background in order to get a well developed ensemble of characters that we could fully engage with. I would have liked some more insights into certain characters so I could better understand their decisions and the reasons behind their actions and reactions. Many characters met their demise, but it was hard to feel the loss of these characters when you don't really know much about them. I felt they were somewhat underdeveloped, but that may have been due to the fact that there were so many characters.


A solid read with a fascinating plot that will keep you on your toes. Mose carries the story well, and I think readers who like fast-paced action thrillers will enjoy this book.


Source: Author

Friday 19 August 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Reckless Union by Monica Murphy

The Reckless Union
(Arranged Marriage, #3)
Author: Monica Murphy
Publication Date: August 16th, 2022
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Our marriage may look like a fairytale, but outside forces threaten to tear us apart. Don’t they realize that nothing will keep me apart from Charlotte? Not my family. Not hers either.

What started out as a relationship in name only has evolved into something much more. Something deeper. And when Charlotte is taken from me, I launch into action, determined to rescue her.

She’s mine. Nothing is going to stop me from being with her.

Not a damn thing.

Welcome to the Midnight Dynasty… The warring Morelli and Constantine families have enough bad blood to fill an ocean, and their brand new stories will be told by your favorite dangerous romance authors.

WARNING: This book is intended for readers eighteen years old and over. It contains material that some readers could find disturbing. Enter at your own risk…

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Monday 15 August 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Acadian Secret by Tammy Lowe

The Acadian Secret
(The Acadian Secret, #1)
Author: Tammy Lowe
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: August 10th, 2022
Genre: YA Action / Adventure / Time-Travel

Book Description:
Nova Scotia has kept an incredible secret for centuries. In 1795, sixteen-year-old John Smith, convinced he’s found buried treasure, digs down into a mysterious pit on a small island.

​In present day Nova Scotia, twelve-year-old Elisabeth London knows there’s no such thing as magic, but when she finds herself in 17th century Scotland, she no longer knows what to think. While under the guardianship of a kind-hearted Highlander, Elisabeth discovers his ancestral home holds a mystery of its own.

​As John continues to dig the strange pit, he inadvertently begins the longest running, most expensive, and deadliest treasure hunt in history. Now, Elisabeth London and John Smith each try to unravel the secrets consuming them, unaware that a tormented young man holds the string weaving all of their lives together.

​For Elisabeth, the adventure is just beginning. Unless her parents discover she’s time-travelling. Then…she is so grounded.

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Sunday 14 August 2022

Talisman Of El is FREE on Amazon

 Talisman Of El FREE on Amazon

In honour of Charlie’s birthday, we are offerring readers a chance to grab a FREE copy of Talisman Of El (Arcadia, Book 1) on Amazon between August 12 – 16.

Already have a copy? Great. Why not gift a copy to your family and friends and enjoy the celebration together?

One Planet. Two Worlds.
Population: Human… 7 Billion.
Others… Unknown.

Mankind's only hope is not human!

Check out the updated character profiles over at the Official Website for the Arcadia Saga

Saturday 13 August 2022

Guest Post with Brett Salter - The Talisman Series

CBY Book Club is pleased to welcome Brett Salter, who is here to introduce his YA Fantasy books, The Talisman Series.

The Talisman Series
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date:  May, 2017 - February 2022

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Ah, the bright lights of Hollywood!  La-La Land!  Tinseltown!  The place where stars live, and dreams come true.  Producer of that world-beloved media called motion pictures.  Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, the movies have a historic, symbiotic relationship with books.  The two mediums have always intertwined and amassed diehard audiences ready to delve into their near limitless potential.  They work together in tandem to entertain us, to cull out our emotions, and to keep our imaginations percolating.  This relationship has created some of the best and worst discrepancies between the two artistic forms, and even spawned the curious phrase “the book was better”.  

Why am I mentioning this at all?  Well, because when a book is turned into a movie, it takes some of the allure away from the book, right?  The magic of books is that everything is dependent on the reader’s own imagination.  Once a movie tags an actor to a character or a studio stage to a specific setting or even a soundtrack to a book’s particular ambience, that freedom of vision gets stricken from us as viewers.  And we sacrifice our own creativity for convenience.  We are entertained in much less time and with much less labor.  These all sound negative, right?  However, it seems that when a piece of fiction gets a cinematic push, it is usually considered worthy to be broadcast on a massive scale.  To a massive audience.

As fan of movies and a constant reader, I struggle with this debacle when I want to consume a book or a movie.  And as an author, I sometimes entertain ideas of grandeur like my series making the jump from written word to the movie theaters.  So, naturally, that brings up the question, who would be my dream cast to play the characters in my series if it ever made it to blockbuster levels?  And I refuse to lie; this is something that my fanboy head has contemplated more times than I would care to admit.  Now, since you’ve made it this far, just sit back and enjoy my ideas for who would play the cast of The Talisman Series if it ever made it to the big screen.

Starting off with one of our main characters, we need to cast for Rome Lockheed.  Rome is my fire dragon stuck in the body of a teenager who gets caught up in a whirlwind of worlds in the first book.  The obvious choice to me is Marvel’s own Spiderman, Tom Holland.  He has the mindset, the physical appearance, and the ability to play a character who steps into a world much bigger than he ever knew.  I foresee him playing Rome exactly as I have on my pages.  Starting out somewhat reluctant and confused, but soon developing into a leader with doing the right thing always at the heart of his decisions.  Tom’s boyish good looks and willingness to do stunt-involved acting make him an excellent Rome Lockheed, in my opinion.  

So, who should play everyone’s favorite rulebreaker, Julian Rider?  Okay, cast your mind with me.  Close your eyes and imagine a younger, much blonder Zac Efron!  I’m talking High School Musical days, okay?  Way before he got ripped and became one of Hollywood’s elite.  I think an adolescent Zac would do a stupendous job as my sarcastic, devil-may-care, rebellious Synergist Knight, adding a certain pizzazz that only he could pull off.  He could bring a youthful energy to the character and give him a little snark that Julian so emphatically personifies.  I believe he would seal the deal the first time we saw Mr. Efron give one of Julian’s patented, sideways smirks setting the viewer to wonder just what he’s got up his sleeve.

Since I am limiting myself to only characters from the first book in the series, “The Search For Synergy”, we quickly run out of characters to portray.  The first book really only has a small handful of characters.  And only a slight portion of those mentioned even speak.  So, casting for the lesser role of Mr. Rider, I would be absolutely wonderstruck to get someone like Jude Law for that extra snarkiness.  I feel like Jude would be abloe to pull off that “better than you” air very well.  Add in a dash of Tim Curry from the movie “Clue” as Wadsworth, the butler, and I think you’ve got an arrogant and pompous character that would definitely look down on someone like Rome from his “ivory tower”.

And now, to cast the Earth realm’s resident Merlin character.  The one destined to lead Rome and Julian to their inevitable battle with the Darkbrands and their heinous leader, The Tyrant King.  The man whose sole mission is to mold these young and na├»ve boys into Earth’s greatest defense against the things that slink out of The Void.  A majestic wizard who is responsible for most of the magic on Earth and whose shoulders carry the future and continuance of our very planet…Yeah, he’s a combination of Johnny Depp’s, Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Christopher Lloyd’s, Dr. Emmett Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy.

Last but not least, we need to find someone to play the role of Mrs. Case.  She’s the principal of the boys’ school.  For Mrs. Case, we need someone in her late 30’s to 40s with classic beauty and a side of mysteriousness to her.  So, I have come up with a few names.  Please let me know if this is how you envision the somewhat peculiar faculty member.  I was thinking of either Jennifer Connelly or Natalie Portman.  I think Portman can play mysterious well, but Connelly just seems to simply ooze enigma in some of her roles.  So, I think either actress would do a stellar job portraying Mrs. Case and her dedication to constantly keeping an eye on the boys.

So, there’s my cast!  No doubt, it would be a huge blockbuster the likes of Avatar, and Harry Potter, and anything from the MCU.  We’re talking breaking box office records!  It’s fun to dream about a work making it to Hollywood, and speculating which stars may play your characters, but at the end of the day, I like giving my audience the freedom to envision whoever they want as the characters.  The idea of how characters foirm in the reader’s head and everything from how they look to the way they speak is part of what keeps us coming back for more book, right?  It’s your own imagination tying into an author’s imagination.  And that, my friends, is the whole reason I write.  To create that magical bond between author and audience.  Kinda like The Great Synergy.

Thank you for reading my post.  I hope you enjoyed it or, at least didn’t fall asleep.  Feel free to reach out to me with your own casts of my books.  Or if you are looking to collaborate, find me on social media.  Or, if you just wanna theorize about dragons or my series, don’t hesitate to contact me.  An EXTRA special thank you to the CBY Book Club for letting me be a part of their creative genius as well!  Everyone stay safe and keep a wary eye out for portals!

About the Author
My background in writing stems mostly from the inspiration I found as a kid when I read Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. These include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Xanth Novels, The Time Quintet, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and everything from Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss. In my formative years, I joined several punk rock bands and wrote songs, poetry, and short stories aplenty. As an adult (?) I took on a dare and wrote the first book in my Talisman Series. I loved the feeling it gave me and the idea of inspiring others so much that I kept writing until I had an entire series.

I am currently working to finish The Talisman Series. I have self-published 4 of the books which can be found on Amazon. At this very moment, I am on book 11 of the 12 I have planned.

Author Links:

Monday 8 August 2022

BOOK REVIEW: The Parting Mirror by C.C. Crimefighter

The Parting Mirror
Author: C.C. Crimefighter
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publication Date: 7th December 2021

Book Description:
Would you ever take a dare,
to face the mirror without a care,
and with a bold determined stare,
wonder if you're really there?

To fix your gaze upon the twin,
reflecting back with equal grin,
and in a stance, straight as a tree,
speak both in perfect harmony...

Could it be the one I see,
Is not the me I think to be?

In this thoughtfully composed story, written by acclaimed writer, C.C. Crimefighter, a young girl stares into a mirror, and with her attention fixed upon her reflection, wonders how much of what she sees is actually her.

Allowing this new conviction to guide her, she begins to identify each of her 5 senses, and in a playful array of imaginative expressions, explores whether these are merely functions of the body or aspects of her “true self.”

Should these physical qualities fade away, would she be a different self, or would the ‘inner self” express its nature in new and exciting ways?

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This is definitely a picture book that should be read with adult assistance for the mere fact that it's for an advanced level (9+ perhaps) and there will be a lot of questions asked, which I think is the fun part, being able to explore the meanings behind each segment. It's definitely a conversation starter that poses some very thought-provoking concepts and questions that makes you look deeper at yourself.


It's very colourful and loved the illustrations. Quite a magical display from start to finish. I wouldn't say I was thoroughly excited throughout, however, I did enjoy the read and the creative and clever vocabulary.


Source: Own copy

Friday 5 August 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - A Coup of Tea by Casey Blair

A Coup of Tea
(Tea Princess Chronicles, #1)
Author: Casey Blair
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2022
Genre: Adult Fantasy

Book Description:
When the fourth princess of Istalam is due to dedicate herself to a path serving the crown, she makes a choice that shocks everyone, herself most of all: She leaves.

In hiding and exiled from power, Miyara finds her place running a tea shop in a struggling community that sits on the edge of a magical disaster zone. But there’s more brewing under the surface of this city—hidden magic, and hidden machinations—that threaten all the people who’ve helped her make her own way.

Miyara may not be a princess anymore, but with a teapot in hand she’ll risk her newfound freedom to discover a more meaningful kind of power.

A Coup of Tea is the first book of the Tea Princess Chronicles, a cozy fantasy series full of magic tea, friendship, and lifting people up even when the odds seem impossible.

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Monday 1 August 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - It Started with a Dance by Tinia Montford

It Started with a Dance
(Pacific Grove University, #2)
Author: Tinia Montford
Publication Date: July 28th, 2022
Genre: NA / Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:

It’s double time for Cami Clinton…

Dance is in Cami’s blood, but a bombshell diagnosis puts her on the sidelines. Now returning for her senior year of college, she’s determined to prove she is the dancer she once was. Each year, at the end of the semester, the campus hosts a dance festival. Cami knows this is her shot at redemption, but while at a party, things go horribly wrong and Cami suddenly has a new boyfriend: Marsh Lincoln.

Marsh Lincoln has two left feet…

He doesn’t dance. A nasty accident haunts Marsh and he’s just ready to graduate. Until he’s told he’s missing credits. The only class left to fill his missing credits? Ballroom dancing. To make matters worse, his girlfriend breaks-up with him in front of everyone at a party, leaving him with a new girlfriend he’s never met before…

It takes two to tango…

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy when you’ve just met. When the lines between what’s real and pretend blurs, they have to ask themselves: Can you catch feelings for something that’s all pretend?

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