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Wednesday, 27 January 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Ékleipsis by Tamel Wino

Ékleipsis
Author: Tamel Who
Genre: Short Story / Horror / Crime / Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: 18th December 2020

Book Description:
The sun has finally set on humanity…

What happens when we give in to the darkness?

Ékleipsis is a debut short story collection written by Canadian author Tamel Wino, with hints of Chuck Palahniuk’s and Cormac McCarthy’s stripped, vivid writing styles. This gripping book explores the havoc wreaked when ordinary people abandon their humanity to pursue their darkest desires, and questions just how far people will go to follow their baser instincts.

Each story takes a version of a person we’ve known in our own lives and transforms them into something completely unnerving—yet all too familiar.

These dark, complex characters and twisted tales of the once ordinary will change your perception of humanity forever.

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MY REVIEW

Ékleipsis is a collection of short stories that explores the characters' inner most desires to the extent where it proves to be detrimental to society. I enjoyed all five stories, but I think my favourite was All-In, about a down-on-his-luck gambling addict who is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to clear all his debts. These stories are very thought-provoking and insightful. They really do make you wonder whether you truly know what you're capable of and whether or not you can predict your reaction in a given situation. There are some serious topics at hand that make Ékleipsis feel all too familiar at times, which I am certain will be able to resonate with many readers. The collection explores topics such as alcoholism, PTSD, gambling addiction etc.

Due to the length and lack of thoroughness of short stories, I usually find it hard to connect with the stories and characters, but that wasn't a problem with this collection. I found the execution of the characterisation and plot cleverly done and very in depth. It was certainly a collection marked by thoroughness and accuracy. It's a pity the plot was so predictable as I would have enjoyed it so much more if I wasn't able to foretell what was around the corner. I was waiting to be surprised, but that didn't happen for me. Despite the lack of surprise, I found it exciting to delve into the minds of these characters and the world they inhabit.

There were a few sentences in the collection that were well put, but there was one line in All-In that jumped out at me that just loved. It goes: "Even a broken clock is right twice a day; it's a fact."

It's a well-written collection full of excitement and intrigue.

VERDICT


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

Monday, 25 January 2021

Cover Reveal - Buried Beneath by Kelly Hopkins

Buried Beneath
Author: Kelly Ann Hopkins
Publication Date: August 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary

Book Description:
Shelly Frank lives a lie inside a beautifully landscaped New Jersey home. Her mother suffers from hoarding disorder, turning the inside of the house into a vile nest of cast offs, books, and old pizza boxes. Depressed by the secret life she leads, Shelly lives for the moments she gets to spend with her boyfriend, Joshua, the only person who knows about her hidden secret life.

The summer of her senior year, her father confesses the truth about why he left and sends her a lifeline: a one-way plane ticket to his home in Florida. Shelly is terrified to leave her agoraphobic mother home alone but knows her father’s gift might be the only way to save herself. With Joshua’s promise to attend college in Florida that fall, Shelly leaves for her father’s house.

There she attempts to resurrect her relationship with her father, learning he left Shelly behind when her mother threatened suicide if he fought for custody. Shelly and her father gradually come to terms with the past and her mother’s declining mental state, but Shelly’s health spirals until she lands in the hospital for emergency surgery. As she recovers with Joshua by her side, Shelly decides the only way to survive her illness and help her mother overcome her condition is to expose the terrible secrets about her childhood. Will her father’s support and Joshua’s love be enough to help Shelly save her mother and survive the life that nearly buried her alive?


About the Author
Kelly Ann Hopkins is the author of Misled (coming 2021) and Buried Beneath (coming 2022). She spends her days as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher, where she challenges her students to read with abandon. When she’s not creating perilous adventures for her characters, she is dreaming of her next trip to the Florida Gulf Coast. Kelly lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and too many books.

Author Links:




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Sunday, 24 January 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Enemies To Lovers by Brittni Chenelle

Enemies To Lovers: Series Starters Set
Author: Brittni Chenelle
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2021
Genre: NA / YA / Adult Fantasy / Paranormal

Book Description:
Their most dreaded rivals might be their greatest need. But with peril dogging their every encounter, will they give into dangerous desires?

Box set: 750+ pages of angsty enemies-to-lovers adventures with daring heroines and their foes destined to become forever partners.

Princess Charlotte’s whole world changed one morning over breakfast. With her mother announcing a rushed arranged marriage to a humorless prince, she’ll do anything to stop the wedding – including shooting him with an arrow. But after the kingdom is invaded and a sinister plot to capture her discovered, can she convince her unwanted suitor to help keep her out of enemy hands?

Reina Bennet won’t stop believing that she’ll eventually get her abilities. But when her childhood champion grows up into a smug superpowered bully, her escalating rivalry with her ex-friend gets them both kicked out of school. And after he ends up in a rebel group at their new academy, can she put aside her grudges for a chance at a fresh beginning?

Princess Sinna of the Shadow Court fears her fated mate means certain death. So when a magical ceremony reveals him as the powerful vampire king, she’s eager to prove she can be a worthy Hunter by killing him. But can she stop herself from falling hard as she tries to seduce him into a fatal embrace?

Enemies To Lovers: Series Starters Set is a kickass collection that includes the YA fantasy Kingdom Cold, the new adult fantasy The Fae & The Fallen, and the adult paranormal romance Chaste Blood. If you like strong women, diverse characters, and emotionally-charged conflicts, then you’ll adore Brittni Chenelle’s bestselling sensations.

Buy Enemies To Lovers: Series Starters Set to turn animosity into passion today!

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BOOK REVIEW: The Hidden Key by Sheldon Peart

The Hidden Key
Author: Sheldon Peart
Genre: Crime / Thriller / Suspense
Publication Date: 14th December 2020

Book Description:
Karine Woodbine scrambles out of bed, upset that her husband has left the bedroom without waking her. Fuming, she storms out of the house to catch her flight to Atlanta.

Four hours later, Valerie Samuels turns up for work, only to find that her key to the Woodbine's house is missing from where she hid it. A stroke of luck backfires when she stumbles upon the mutilated body of Allan Woodbine. Panic-stricken, how does Valerie react?

Detective Inspector Jack Lilly receives the nod to lead the investigation into the murder of his best friend. But why is he getting the jitters about Valerie? And is Karine as innocent as she insists?

As the search intensifies, a slew of criminality threatens to divert the focus. However, Inspector Lilly is determined that nothing will stand in his way... be it friendship, blackmail, kidnapping or more murders.

The race is on in earnest and the stakes are very high. Fasten your seatbelts, you're in for a shocking ride.

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MY REVIEW

I could tell from the get-go that this was going to be my type of read. Just the right amount of chaos and adventure to satisfy my appetite. After the death of his best-friend and fellow law enforcement officer, Allen Woodbine, Detective Inspector Jack Lilly faces a race against time to unravel the identity of the person who killed his childhood friend. His investigation leads him down a path that makes him question the people closest to him, including the wife of his best-friend, Karen Woodbine, who claims she was none the wiser of her husband's murder even though she was asleep in their bedroom at the time of his death. Could the answer Jack seeks be right in front of him?

This book has everything one requires from a crime thriller and more. I thought the characters were well portrayed and the interaction and dialogue between them felt authentic. I especially liked Valerie. She's a kick-ass mother who would do anything to protect her daughter. I liked the themes that run throughout the book and the consistency of the tone prevented any form of confusion and helped to keep me focused on the heart of the story. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and sometimes you push a good person hard enough and they'll push back even harder. Valerie is one of those people whose button should never be pushed, because once you set her off, there's no telling what she will do, and more importantly, there's no stopping her. As Jack digs deeper into the case, he learns there's a greater connection between Valerie and the Woodbine's than meets the eye, and the clue Allen left behind to help him solve the case appears to unravel more than just Allen's murder.

I really enjoyed the book. I liked the fact that the reader knew certain information that Jack had no clue about, yet we were still able to journey with him as he hunted Allen's killer. We felt his frustration and desperate need to get justice for his dear friend. Good characterisation and good plot that had you sitting on the edge of your seat the entire journey.

A good crime thriller set on the tropical island of Jamaica. It's a definite must read for all those who like a good murder mystery.

VERDICT


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

Friday, 22 January 2021

January Group Promo - FREE & Discounted eBooks

Welcome!

Congrats to the winner of the Christmas Giveaway:
Freda M.

The January Giveaway is ongoing, so enter now for a chance to win.

Check out all the free and discounted ebooks and giveaways on offer below. Sharing is caring. I truly appreciate your support. Have a great weekend!

Happy Reading!

FREE & DISCOUNTED EBOOKS


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ONGOING GIVEAWAY

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Trust Me by Candace Hutton

Trust Me
(A Manhattan Marriage Novella)
Author: Candace Hutton
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2021
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Brooke Anderson never pictured herself as a divorcee at twenty-eight. But when she mentions getting a post-nup to her husband Garrett after one deliciously sex-filled year, he promptly serves her with divorce papers. Admittedly, she could’ve told him about how her father left her and her mother homeless when she was young, and how she’s never been wired to trust anyone. Especially those closest to her. Now, all she wants to do is avoid anywhere he might be so she won’t have to face him again.

But she’s not the only one who can’t seem to trust.

Garrett Call grew up with parents who married for money and wants no part of a life that puts material possessions above love. He reinvented himself in college, complete with a new last name so he couldn’t be tied to his family’s lucrative business. He never even told Brooke the truth. Admittedly, he could’ve handled the issue of a post-nup better with his ex-wife. Maybe he didn’t count on how much he was going to miss having her in his life.

When their best friends’ wedding forces the exes to see each other again, a dangerous man from Garrett’s world threatens Brooke’s life. And they realize the only way to save themselves is to finally learn to trust each other.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway - Banewind by M.B. Chapman


I've kissed a boy.
I've been to another world.
I've seen death.

By M.B. Chapman

Banewind
Author: M.B. Chapman
Publisher: Light Messages / Torchflame Books
Pages: 268
Genre: YA Fantasy / Fiction

Book Description:
Almost two weeks ago I was just a normal girl getting ready to start my senior year of high school, deciding where I wanted my life to go. And now?
 
I’ve kissed a boy. I’ve been to another world. I’ve seen death.
 
And I don’t know what my life’s become.

Banewind tells the spellbinding story of 18-year-old Genevieve DeWinter, a typical high school girl who finds herself entangled in the throes of adventure, romance, and survival after discovering the existence of a group of magical beings known as Formulists and their co-existing world, Banewind.

With the arrival of several mages in her hometown of Parma, Ohio, Genevieve soon learns that these extraordinary secrets are rooted deep within her family’s history when it is revealed her deceased mother was a heroic warrior in a long lineage of female protectors called the Holy Guardian. Now, a vengeful group of Formulists known as the Voidweavers have returned and set their sights on Genevieve, believing she might be the next Holy Guardian and the key to awakening their fallen leader, the Void King, who had been destroyed by Genevieve’s mother when she sacrificed herself a decade earlier to save Banewind and all of humanity from an unthinkable evil.

With the help of new allies, Genevieve must fight to stay alive as she unravels the mystery and danger that have shattered the stability of the life she once knew before the Voidweavers succeed in shadowing the world in chaos and darkness once again.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N ¦ Kobo

Monday, 18 January 2021

Book Spotlight - New Yorkers: A Feisty People Who Will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse and Astonish You by Clifford Browder

A quirky memoir by a longtime resident with bits of history and travel lore thrown in...



By Clifford Browder


A quirky memoir by a longtime resident, with glances at his city’s history and bits of travel lore all rolled into one.

Readers will learn how the Statue of Liberty almost didn’t happen; how the author found the sacred in the city, and learned the Charleston on You Tube; how  mobsters shared the corridors of the legendary Waldorf Astoria hotel with the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor and an ex-president; and how the author had an affair with a Broadway chorus boy (if the Cardinal Archbishop of New York could do it, so could he).

Plus Mohawks, hustlers, scams and cons, wigmakers and crematory managers, racoons in Central Park, Trump Tower, cholera, and the Beatles.  A fun book, but with some serious moments.

New York is the most exciting city in the world.  The author wants to share it with everyone.

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Saturday, 16 January 2021

Cover Reveal - The Worlds That Separated Us by Megan Jayne


The Worlds That Separated Us
Author: Megan Jayne
Publication Date: May 1st, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:
University graduate Rosie is from Earth. At least she’s never had cause to question that before now. After a car accident and an oddly familiar stranger turn her world upside down, she is forced to question everything she thought she once knew. Thrust into a world of betrayal, loss, and love. Rosie faces an impossible choice between the two worlds she’s grown to love, or risk losing everything she’s ever cared about. All while an impending war is on the horizon.


About the Author
Megan Jayne is a debut author with her first YA Fantasy novel ‘The Worlds That Separated Us,’ due for release in Spring 2021. She was born in Northern Ireland and still resides there in a small picturesque village with her husband, two young children, and beagle Holly.

When Megan isn’t writing you can usually find her; playing with her two children, in the kitchen baking delicious cakes, deep into a novel, or settling down to a good movie with her husband.

Author Links:
Website ¦ Goodreads ¦ Instagram ¦ Newsletter



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Friday, 15 January 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection

Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection
Authors: Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Faith Hunter, R.J. Blain
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Book Description:
When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R.J. Blain, and National Bestselling authors Diana Pharaoh Francis and Devon Monk on a wild romp where the damsels bring the distress and what can go wrong will go wrong.

Venture into a thrilling spinoff tale from the world of Jane Yellowrock; join vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

In this collection of all-new urban fantasy novellas and other stories, no job is too big or too small — if the price is right.

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Cover Reveal - Immortals by Carissa Andrews


Immortals
(A Diana Hawthorne Supernatural Mystery, #3)
Author: Carissa Andrews
Publication date: TBD
Genre: Adult Mystery / Urban Fantasy

Book Description:
The World of Windhaven Crashes into the World of Diana Hawthorne!

Diana Hawthorne has practically been a one-woman show for more than two-thousand years. 

That all ended the day a set of supernatural Gemini Twins disrupted the sleepy town of Windhaven. With both of them on the verge of self-destructing, Diana has decided to take in the Twins, in hopes of giving them the kind of guidance she knows they won’t find anywhere else.  

You see, she’s immortal. 

And now, so are they. 

But controlling the growing power inside them both proves to be more than she anticipated. Plus, there are forces at work behind the scenes that would like nothing more than to tip the scales in their own personal favor. 

Having never had children of her own, can Diana learn how to get through to them? 

Or will the draw to the dark side prove more compelling than the world’s most powerful psychic?



About the Author
“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God!

Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

She lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: http://bit.ly/UpworkCarissaAndrews

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


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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Book Blitz & Giveway - The Winter Heals by Marie McGrath

The Winter Heals
(Honey Cove, #2)
Author: Marie McGrath
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
It was almost impossible to heal when everyone was out to get you.

Shelby Rowe was stuck between two worlds—the one she wanted and the one everyone else wanted for her. As the daughter of a prominent family in Honey Cove, Shelby’s life was out of her control. Her friends, interests, and even her love life was controlled by others.

When a new girl moves to town, Shelby’s life was turned upside down as she gets a glimpse of what life could be like—no obligations, no pressure. As the Christmas break begins, Shelby is left stuck between what is expected and what she feels is right. Split in half, Shelby has to make decisions to correct her life and heal her spirit.

Will she allow others to control who she is? Or will she finally go out on her own?

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Sunday, 10 January 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas, Mistletoe and You by Maggie Anderson

Christmas, Mistletoe and You
Author: Maggie Anderson
Genre: Holiday Romance Novella
Publication Date: 29th November 2017

Book Description:
Casey Munroe is certain Peter Taylor has no Christmas spirit... With Christmas right around the corner, Casey is in search of that special tree and just when she thinks she's found it, a very handsome man buys it right out from under her nose and drives away with it on the roof of his sleek, black BMW. ONE YEAR LATER On the way home to spend the holidays with her family, Casey is forced to make an unexpected detour and runs into the same man who stole her Christmas tree the year before. After spending time together, Casey realizes he has stolen her heart as well. But nothing is ever smooth sailing when it comes to love.

Buy Links:



MY REVIEW

A very quick and simple story about fate with a little twinkle of Christmas joy. Although the book didn’t have me jumping out of my seat, I did find it to be an enjoyable read with likeable characters.

Peter and Casey are two singletons whose fate keep intertwining ever since they ran into each other while shopping for the perfect Christmas Tree, but something just keeps getting in the way of them getting together. Where romance is involved, Peter has let a bad breakup get in the way of him meeting other people, but that hasn’t stopped him from constantly thinking about Casey, who thinks Peter is out of her league and isn’t sure he feels the same way about her as she does about him. The problem is that both Peter and Casey are afraid to take the leap in fear of having their hearts broken.

I hadn't expected the book to end the way it did due to the numerous missed opportunities of getting these characters together, but I did like how it ended. I did feel as though Casey was portrayed a little younger than she is. Sometimes, she came across as a teenager in her mannerism when she and Peter would interact. It wasn't a problem, it was just something that was very noticeable to me.

It was a good holiday romance novel with a simple storyline.

VERDICT


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Own copy