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16 May

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I Love the Solitude of Reading

15 May

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Book Review & Giveaway: London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas

15 May

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Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.

The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.

 

Purchase from Amazon UK or Amazon US

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What a great children’s book! When Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth go on an adventure to find magic hats for Mr. Globe’s headache, they go to many historic places in London. At each stop there’s a picture of the place they’re at and the name of the place is in bold letters. And every time they find a hat, there’s a picture of the hat on one of their heads and the name of the hat is in bold.

The children look like cute dolls and the pictures of the places they go are real photographs. Not only is this an interesting and fun book for children, but there’s so much for them to learn! They learn about the diverse cultures in London as well as acceptance of other cultures. There’s also, of course, the lesson about the iconic places found in London and the different kinds of hats. As an adult, I learned some things about London that I didn’t know (I’ve never been). One of my favorite things is the map at the beginning and end of the book.

I definitely recommend London Hat Hunting Mission for children of all ages.

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About the Author

 

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/onedearworld

www.twitter.com/onedearworld

www.instagram.com/onedearworld

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Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions – Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Happy Mother’s Day

13 May

Book Review: Awarded to the Alien (The Euthenian Battle #1) by Ashley L. Hunt

12 May

Awarded to the Alien (The Euthenian Battle, #1)

My dad decided about my future without me. I have to marry an Alien Prince I have never seen before, and I will have to sacrifice my happiness for the rest of humanity. But how can I do that?

Kataline is a curvy, sensitive, lovely woman who has to marry the Alien Prince, Kerr. Her father arranged this marriage to bring peace on Earth without asking her about her feelings! She is the first genetically engineered woman, and she has never had sex before in her life!

Kerr is the Alien Prince of the Planet Euthenia. His mother died while he was very young and he has never met true love. He is the most handsome Alpha male on his planet, and even though he could have any woman he wanted, he arranged this marriage for political reasons. His father is against his decision, but Kerr has to follow his own path as he is to become the future King!

Those two never-loved souls have to make this work. However, one of them has a dark secret. A secret unknown to everyone except for Kataline’s father who will not say anything about it until it is too late. While they are heading back to Planet Euthenia, an Uprising starts there by Earth Colonists.

When Kerr’s father is informed about it, he imprisons Kataline!

Was this Kataline’s father plan all along? Was she a part of the scheme? Will Kerr save her or not? What will happen between those two?

Expect steamy scenes, mysterious aliens, deadly planets and the love story between a curvy woman from Earth and a sensationally hot alpha male!

Kerr is a previously published story under the name Alien Battle.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a long time since I read a book that was difficult to find something positive to review. It’s been awhile since I received this book from the author and I couldn’t find it on Amazon. I did find several other books that she’s written since I received this one and they have decent ratings, so I’m guessing/hoping she took the reviews on this book to heart. 

The way Awarded to the Alien is written makes me think that the author may have been trying too hard. It needs a good edit. But that’s just the beginning. There are several things that don’t make sense, such as Kataline being an advanced human being made from the DNA of scientists, geniuses, and beautiful people, and she has read many romances, but she is clueless. Beyond clueless when dealing with Kerr. It is frustrating for the reader and makes no sense. 

This book was short, thank goodness, so I finished it but I can’t recommend it as it is at this time.

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About the Author

Ashley Hunt gained her Philosophy degree in Denver, Colorado at The University of Colorado. 

She made Denver her permanent home when she married her college sweetheart. Married six years the couple has a five-year-old daughter and a yellow Labrador named Oodles. 

Living in the shadow of Gray’s Peak proves to be inspirational to Ashley as she sits at her desk in her home office where she writes her Romance stories and can merely look out the window to renew her creativity. 

She strives to make stories with beautiful scenery and intriguing plots. Heroes with great strengths, physical and mental, she pairs with strong heroines who test their limits. In the end, finding deep, passionate love. The way she thinks every relationship should be.

Twitter: ashley_lhunt
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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan

11 May

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Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 8 hours 10 minutes

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press

Released: May 1, 2018

Genre: Action-Adventure

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In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Diver’s Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

“The age-old adage of ‘write what you know’ becomes very important when you write about a technical subject like scuba diving. When you get all the details right, and throw in just the right amounts of action, humor, romance, and suspense, you have a novel like this.” – Wayne Stinnett, bestselling author of “Fallen Out”.

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Born in East Tennessee, NICK SULLIVAN has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. Nick has been an avid scuba diver for many years and his travels to numerous Caribbean islands have inspired this series. His first novel, “Zombie Bigfoot”, hit #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.

NICK SULLIVAN has been narrating audiobooks for over twenty years, recording over four hundred titles and receiving numerous AudioFile Earphones and Audie nominations and awards. He has worked extensively on Broadway and at many U.S. theaters. His TV credits include The Good Wife, The Affair, Divorce, Younger, Bull, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, and all three Law and Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother and Private Life. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nick Sullivan. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Boone and Emily work for the same company as divemasters on the island of Bonaire. Deep Shadow begins with their underwater adventures and the excitement of taking visiting divers out to explore. But when an odd looking submarine is sighted, their world is turned upside down.

Some of the chapters are about the terrorists and the sub and what they plan on doing with it. Knowing their plans and wondering if someone was going to figure it out was suspenseful.

I like the author’s writing style. I could visualize the islands and the underwater scenes. The characters are well defined and interesting. He also narrated his own book which doesn’t work out well sometimes but he did a fantastic job and added even more to the story by telling it himself. 

Deep Shadow has it all…action, suspense, humor, and even a little romance. I’m glad I listened to it. I’m sure I would have liked it if I’d read it, but this is one of those books that makes good listening. I also enjoyed listening to the author explain at the end how he came up with the idea of the book, that he’s visited the islands, and the effects of the hurricanes in that area of the world over the past few years.

 

 

Q&A with Author/Narrator Nick Sullivan
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • The interesting thing about my process, having narrated over 400 titles over more than twenty years, is I’ve learned how effective a narrator is at catching typos, clunky sentences, and even plot inconsistencies. My final polishing on the writing occurs in the booth as I record. I have a separate document open where I make notes about what I have decided to change as I narrate; then I go back to the manuscript and apply what I learned in front of the microphone before finalizing it.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I was at an audition and saw a notice on a cork board, asking from actors to narrate books for the blind for charity, for the Jewish Braille Institute. I put the number in my pocket. The next week I was shooting an NYU film, and the actress who was playing my wife said she recorded for Talking Books. I took their number. On lunch break I went to this device that used to exist, a “pay phone” and made two calls. First, to Jewish Braille, offering to narrate that week. Then to Talking Books… letting them know I “had experience narrating audiobooks… although I wasn’t available until the following week. I taught voice and speech at Rutgers and was good at accents, so I was able to convince them to see me. By the end of that next week, I’d made my first money as a narrator, with “A Day No Pigs Would Die”.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • I create a “VoiceScape” for everyone in the book, noting every single thing the author gives me about where a character is from, their physical appearance, personality, speech quirks. Then I just let the information form the voice… though I always go through and make sure I don’t have characters that are going to be too similar side by side.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes. I’ve been diving for twenty years, visiting numerous Caribbean islands. Many things in this book were loosely based on things I experienced (or heard about). I reached out to some folks I’ve dived with, and some authors I’ve narrated for who know the ocean well, for additional inspiration.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Sometimes. It’s interesting, I know so many narrators who have declared “I stopped reading reviews”; and then I narrated a book by a mindfulness guru who sited a psychological study that a “negative occurrence” has about four times the weight as a positive one. And I think that’s true! We all want to be liked… so when you see a negative review, you want to say “Why don’t they like me?” One of the biggest names in the biz (I won’t say who) got all wound up by this incredibly tiny amount of bad reviews. It’s really like everywhere else in life, you can’t please everyone. I just do my best to please the author! I always appreciate “author approval” auditions for title assignment. It’s a good start to know that they chose your voice and performance.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I feel like I hear that less and less every year. It IS a different experience, I’ll give you that. The narrator IS going to influence how you experience the book… and that’s not always going to be a good thing.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Nick the Writer is 30,000 words into “Zombie Bigfoot” sequel… but first I have to narrate a space opera sci-fi, three short romance double headers, and Wayne Stinnett’s upcoming thriller, “Enduring Charity”!
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • The engineers at Talking Books made a “mix tape”: they collected years of actors laughing uncontrollably, narrating extremely steamy sentences, belching impressively, going on a rant about run on sentences. We had no idea they were saving these snippets and it was HYSTERICAL.

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Deep Shadow Giveaway: Signed Book + AudioFile Subscription
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Happily Ever BookWorm

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2 Girls and A Book

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Carolyn M. Walker, Author

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10 May

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Book Review: Frozen by Christine Amsden

10 May

Print Release: July 15, 2018

Audiobook Release: TBA

 

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time. 

Buy Links

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read the complete Cassie Scot series by Christine Amsden and was sorry to see it end, so I was thrilled when I learned that she decided to continue writing about Eagle Rock. First, she wrote about Cassie’s best friends Madison and Kaitlin. And now Cassie is back!

Christine Amsden’s writing style flows well and is easy to read. There are a lot of characters in Frozen but they’re easy to keep track of since I’ve read about them and because they’re all unique. 

Cassie is married to Evan and they have a one-year-old who is already powerful. They’re very much in love but they have a lot on their plates. People are dying by being frozen to death, Cassie’s siblings are in trouble, there are hell hound sightings for the first time in 500 years, and Cassie is having weird dreams. There’s a lot going on in Eagle Rock.

Cassie and Evan are both stubborn and there were times I wished I could tell them both, especially Cassie, to grow up! Her pride gets in her way sometimes.

I have grown fond of the characters and the town of Eagle Rock and I’m looking forward to reading more Cassie Scot books. I definitely recommend Frozen but I suggest reading the books in order to get the most out of the books.

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The Cassie Scot Series

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book One)

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot Book Two)

Mind Games (Cassie Scot Book 3)

Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot Book 4)

Madison’s Song (Cassie Scot Book 5)

Kaitlin’s Tale (Cassie Scot Book 6)

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Guest Post from the Author

Writing a Series

Cassie Scot was supposed to be a four-book series. Each book centered on a self-contained mystery, while the series dealt with some character growth and struggles. I wrote those four books together, even though they were released a few months apart, so that I had at least a solid rough draft of Stolen Dreams (book four) done before the original Cassie Scot went public.

It was an ideal way to write a series. I had a plan, changed the plan a dozen times, and rewrote to accommodate my new plans.

Then Cassie’s two best friends, Kaitlin and Madison, decided they needed stories of their own. I accommodated them, but it wasn’t as easy. The first four books were now set in stone, the rules of the world fixed, meaning that I had a silent partner in my new books: Younger me!

These days, I’m working on other projects, but Cassie still won’t stay quiet. Before I sat down tow rite Frozen, she kept saying, “Hello? Are you there? I’m not dead. I just got married. Not the same thing.”

It’s great that my character is still talking to me. This makes writing new books in her series easy. The hard part, once again, is that silent writing partner of mine. I no longer have the freedom to go back to book one and make little changes to pave the way for new elements I’d like to introduce. For better or for worse, my world is my world. I now find myself taking something of a leap of faith with each new volume I write, armed with only a few vague ideas of what might happen next.

Frozen is once again self-contained, but it definitely sets up the promise of new adventures to come. Maybe even new, deeper explorations of the world around Cassie. I knew some of this all along, but I’m making up a lot as I go along. I trust my future self can handle it. I also trust she’s going to read this and have some choice words for me when she does. 🙂

Honestly, writing a series is fun. It gives me the chance to go deeper into characters and world than any single book can. It also gives me the chance to revisit favorite characters, and it keeps me from having to reinvent a world from the ground up with each new volume. I like reading series too, and for the same reason. I get invested. I can’t wait to read more about Harry Dresden, Charlie Davidson, Mackayla Lane, Katherine “Kitty” Kat Martini, and others. I hope readers feel the same way about Cassie Scot.

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About the Author

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a mom and freelance editor.

Social Media Links:

 

Preposition

7 May

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Book Review: Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

7 May

Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

Publisher:  Create Space (April 27, 2017)
Category: Fantasy, Paranormal, Dragons, Young Adult
Tour dates: Apr/May, 2018
ISBN: 978-1545370308
Available in Print and ebook,342 pages

Goodreads

In the third book in the acclaimed teen fiction, ‘Missing Lake’ series, Luke Houser is approaching his sixteenth birthday as well as summer vacation in the tiny mountain community of Missing Lake. He continues to try to find balance between real life with friends and their social requirements with the secret world of the mystical dragons.

Luke faces challenges with one of his beloved sled dogs as well as with Zagros, the majestic silver dragon, when he has to make choices that could lead to potential disaster. As the summer unfolds, so do more secrets in all aspects of Luke’s life and he tries to make sense of everything happening around him.

This is the third book in the series which shares Luke’s awkward and yet charming journey through adolescence with his beloved team of huskies, his friends near and far, and two dragon eggs that are going to hatch in the middle of nowhere.

 

Praise for Secrets Abound in Missing Lake

“This seems to be a realistic portrayal of coming of age preoccupations and trials–with the added interest of a link with dragons that must be kept secret. Dragons, humans, and sled dogs come to life with equal vividness.”-Margaret, Goodreads Review

“The very talented Dr. Tanya Fyfe does it again. In her latest installment of the Missing Lake saga, we romp through Luke’s adventures with high school, veterinary medicine, and of course, dragons. In this third book of the series, Fyfe intertwines the relationships of a blended family, teenagers, and dragons. There is a great bit of fun and just the right dose of medicine.” Kelly Malinas, DVM, Nevada

 

Praise for Dragons of Missing Lake 

“What fun to read books that are imaginative, well paced, varied, and knowledgeable. I plan to go buy the third in the series tomorrow.”- Margaret, Goodreads Review

“What a fun adventure Luke goes on in this book. I think his life is about to take a very big change in direction and I can’t wait for the next book.”-Cindy C., Amazon Review

“Great escape in the pages of this delightful book. Wonderful sequel. I can’t wait to read more by this imaginative author.”- Kelly N. Maclellan, Amazon Review

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Guest Book Review by Sal

 

Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with the idea of dragons.  I thought they were real creatures that lived in the age of dinosaurs.  I have to admit that I still love stories with dragons as an adult.

‘Secrets Abound Missing Lake’ is the third book in Tanya Fyfe’s ‘Missing Lake’ series.  It centers on Luke who is about to turn 16 years old.  He is a typical teenager.  He wants to get his driving permit, he hangs out with friends, and he likes a girl but doesn’t really want to admit it.  However, he also has a lot of responsibility.  He and his dad have a team of sledding dogs.  In fact, they moved from Bismarck, North Dakota to middle of nowhere Montana to take up dog sledding.

He is mostly responsible for keeping their kennel clean.  He also helps out his step mother at her veterinary clinic after school.  Luke also has a very big secret that only a few people know about.  He is friends to a dragon couple, Zagros and Samantha and they are guardian of two eggs that are going to hatch.  Both his father and Jackie have met the dragon couple.

This is mostly a coming of age story.  It’s fun to follow Luke through his awkward teenage years and how he deals with life.  He is also conflicted because his mother lives far away in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He wants to see her but doesn’t want to leave his dogs and dragon friends, etc. 

The descriptions of North Dakota, Montana, and Vancouver are well written and help the reader sink into the story.  The characters and dialogue keep the pace going and makes for a book that is hard to put down. The ‘Secrets Abound Missing Lake’ is a memorable book that I plan to share with my grandchildren when they are a little older.  I also plan to read the first two books in the series and can hardly wait for book 4.  This book is a must read for those who like coming of age stories and dragons.  Actually animal lovers would love it as well.  I give it 5 stars.

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About the Author

Tanya Fyfe grew up in Canada as a professional figure skater who dreamed of writing books. That dream came true when she wrote and published Lost and Found in Missing Lake in 2014. Now a veterinarian, Dr. Fyfe lives in rural western Montana and is inspired daily by the beauty around her.

She and her husband split time between Montana and North Dakota and enjoy improving their golf games and visiting Hawaii every chance they get. They share their home with charming dogs, inquisitive cats, a herd of horses, and three hilarious ferrets named Phillipa, Calypso, and Luigi.

Website: www.tanyafyfe.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tanyafyfe
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lost-and-Found-in-Missing-Lake-578449102259842/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tanyafyfe/?hl=en

Buy Secrets Abound in Missing Lake 

Amazon
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IndieBound
BookDepository

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Ashley’s Bookshelf May 9 Review

Lora ettria.com May 10 Review & Excerpt

Marion’s Bookshelf May 17 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 23 Review

Janet Teatime and Books May 29 Review & Interview

 

Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

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