Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: Defending Rebecca - A Novella




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Title: Defending Rebecca : A Novella
Author: A. K. Bruinn
Genre: Fiction, Family, Domestic Life
Pages: 111


Rating: 4.5/5

I just finished reading this book and sat down to review immediately because I couldn't wait to share my thoughts with all of you! Defending Rebecca is a true story with little fiction thrown in and, might I add, it is absolutely interesting, funny and thoroughly enjoyable. Here's a little something about the story.

Emma's is a Finnish family, complete with a husband and two children, living in Vancouver. She is this happy, domestic woman who enjoys baking and, like any other regular wife, has her share of frustrating moments with her husband. She hires an au pair, Rebecca, for help for a time period of five weeks. Rebecca is actually a part of a reality show. The show records the au pair's experience with Emma's family; moments, interviews et al.  Emma is super excited to have Rebecca as her help but things don't turn out the way she expected and soon the entire family wants this ordeal to end. Frustrated and emotional, this book is about what Emma goes through during those dreaded five weeks.

This is apparently a fiction but the events are true. The author pens the story with flair, precision and down right honesty. But what stood out was the blunt humor that was as refreshing as it was funny. The regular punches of humor makes the book an engaging read. The narrative is impressive, getting straight to the point right from the beginning all the way till the end. 

Writing a story with true events has its own set of benefits, I must say. The characters are clear and emotions that much precise. The same is the case with this book, the events are so relatable. It is a quick read not because of the size of the book, but because of the flowy narrative. 

I would definitely recommend this book especially for its amusing writing. I'm still smiling writing this review, it is that good!



*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Book Review: Shadows Of The Northlands





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Title: Shadows of the Northlands
Author: Vishwesh Desai
Genre: Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 512
Publisher: Estrade Publishers

Rating: 4/5

Shadows of the Northlands is a historical fantasy by Vishwesh Desai. The author is a 14 year old, yes you read that right! I cannot begin to tell you how surprised I was when I read the book and connected the effort to that of a 14 year old. It is just truly exceptional! More on my thoughts later. First, let's get to the summary.

Salisar is a mighty empire, attacks on which have been ceased centuries ago. But recent events of destruction tell a different story. Merin, a bounty hunter and Rikkard, the courtier mage, are given the responsibility to find the root cause of it all. Together they travel the empire and encounter shocking mysteries, not to mention the secret Merin discovers, related to his past. They also have to unravel the mystery of the dark forces that threaten the empire. I am not revealing much here as usual, I need you to maintain your excitement, after all. All in all, the story is a fantastic rendition of magic, humor and suspense.

Time for my thoughts on the book. The author has created an entire fictional empire, complete with its history and eventualities intact. The first thing that caught my attention was the language used in the book. It is delightfully sophisticated. The manner with which the dialog shifts between characters is neat and smooth. The narrative flows oh-so-smoothly and the reader is simply sucked into the plot and its unraveling mysteries. 

The book begins with an interesting foreword by Ashok K. Banker, the famous author and that sets the stage for the story to unveil. Now a little something about the author. Shadows of the Northlands is a good read, no doubt, but what makes it interesting is the fact that the plot, character sketch which are all so intense and deep, are actually penned by a 14 year old! What talent! You've got to read the book to understand what I am talking about. The writing is at par with the other good authors we have today. Way to go, Vishwesh!

A must read for historical fantasy lovers, but even otherwise if you love reading a book with good language skills, then you shouldn't miss this one.


**I won a review copy from Chevus'Read. Follow Chevus'Read blog http://chevusread.blogspot.com or their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fewgoodreads for more updates.***

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Book Review: The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice (Angel Aid Book 1)





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Title: The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice ( Angel Aid Book 1)
Author: Katarina West
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 550


Rating: 4/5


The synopsis of the book is enough to get a reader going. The author, Katarina West, has left no stone unturned to give us a heart touching and a surreal (quite literally!) experience. I can't wait to talk about this book, so let's get started, shall we?

Irene Nylander is a Finnish woman who lives with a husband who ignores her and a mother-in-law who despises her. Always wanting to help people, Irene leaves her job to take care of her mother-in-law and joins the rut of a domesticated life. She is fifty, over weight and is crazy about movies and no matter how much she tries, she never is able to stick to her diet. On the other hand, Mimi Kavanough, a Hollywood celebrity is chilling on a yacht in Florence,Italy. She has it all. A beautiful face and body, fan following, money and, as if that wasn't enough, she is also the next Bond girl. But little does Mimi know that her life is about to do a nasty u-turn. Both Mimi and Irene are watched by Aaron, the mischievous angel, up in the heavens above and he decides to play a prank, that later, would cost him dearly. He switches the women's bodies. When Mimi wakes up with Irene's body, she is furious. Of course, the same cannot be said about Irene who cannot believe her eyes when she looks in the mirror and finds Mimi staring back at her! The book is about the journey of these two women in each others bodies and each other's situations. It is about how they discover their short comings which changes their lives completely. The book is also about Aaron, whose impishness has caused utter disarray up above.

Whoa! What a great story! I simply loved the fact that you wake up one day to find yourself in a completely different body and situation. It is exciting enough. But the author has gone one step further and shown us how we can actually enjoy what we have and begin living, really living. We take so many things for granted each day but without kindness or love, it is all meaningless. The book is a beautiful weave of the stories of the two characters and also of Aaron's. The angel was portrayed just as a human and hence it was relatively simple to relate to. There is a place in the story when Aaron travels through all of the different heavens. Such delightful heaven names! Simplicity in the story, simplicity in the narration. I think this is what makes this book such a fantastic read!

The narrative is smooth and engaging. Nowhere does the story encounter any slack. There is depth in the description of characters, especially with that of Irene and Mimi. Absolutely commendable! The author has tried to put forward a thought - that we always have angels around us, to help and support us. And she does that with total conviction through this book, I must say! I mean, who wouldn't want to have an angel for themselves, right? The thought of having a guardian looking out for you is in itself, quite liberating I believe.

In short, the book gives us enough food for thought and encourages us to enjoy what we love doing. Everyone has priorities but we must never forget to do what we love, and truly live.  The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice is a warm, beautiful story that should not be missed. It is unlike any book that I have read so far.

Need I say more? Definitely recommended!


*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Mention : The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice



The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice 

ANGEL AID BOOK 1 


BOOK SYNOPSIS

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies. Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant - and Hollywood in her sights. On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die. In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies. How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven? What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Katarina West is the author of Witchcraft Couture and Absolute Truth, For Beginners. She was born in Helsinki, Finland, into a bilingual family that in addition to humans consisted of dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, canaries, rabbits and – thanks to her biology teacher mother – stuffed owls and squirrels. She spent time travelling in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and went on to study at Queen Mary and Westfield College in London and the European University Institute in Florence, where she completed a PhD in political science and published a book based on it, Agents of Altruism. During those student years she started work as a journalist, and continued writing for various Finnish magazines and newspapers for over ten years, writing on various topics from current events and humanitarian issues to celebrity interviews and short stories. She also briefly worked as a university lecturer on humanitarian issues in Northern Italy. Katarina lives in an old farmhouse in Chianti with her husband and son and when not writing, she is fully immersed in Tuscan country life, from jam-making and olive-picking to tractor maintenance.


SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE LINKS

Website 
http://katarinawest.com 

Blog 
http://www.katarinawest.com/things_I_know_about_life 

Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/katarinawestwrites?ref=hl 

Twitter 
@WestKatarina 

Goodreads 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1201091.Katarina_West 

Amazon.com Author Page 
http://www.amazon.com/Katarina-West/e/B001KHHKNW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 

Amazon.co.uk Author Page 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Katarina-West/e/B001KHHKNW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 

Instagram 
https://instagram.com/westkatarina/

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Release Day Blitz : Palm Beach Bones

Tom Turner is at it again! His latest book in the Palm Beach series is out and promises to be just as exciting, if not more, than the previous ones.

Take a look.





Detective Charlie Crawford is having a tough week. First, Palm Beach’s ex-police chief washes up dead on the beach behind The Breakers. Then Charlie’s friend’s niece is abducted without a trace. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his brother just checked himself into a clinic for depression and alcoholism.
The good news is Charlie’s love life has never been better…except with the woman he really loves.
  


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Also Available Books 1-3 in the Charlie Crawford series, all books can be read as stand-alone
Palm Beach Nasty

Palm Beach Poison

Palm Beach Deadly


About the Author



A native New Englander, Tom dropped out of college and ran a Vermont bar—straight into the ground. After limping back to college to get his diploma, Tom became an advertising copywriter, first in Boston then New York. After ten years of post-Mad Men life, he made a radical change and got a job in Manhattan commercial real estate. Not long after that he ended up in Palm Beach, buying, renovating and selling houses while collecting a lot of raw material for his novels. On the side, he wrote Palm Beach Nasty and a screenplay called Dead in the Water. While at a wedding a few years back, he fell for the charm of Charleston, South Carolina. He moved there and wrote Palm Beach Poison and a series set in Charleston. Recently, wandering Tom moved again. This time, just down the road to Skidaway Island, outside of Savannah, where he just completed Palm Beach Deadly.
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Where you can find me:

*******************************************************************************

Read my review of Palm Beach Deadly here

Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review: The Echoes of Love




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Title: The Echoes of Love
Author: Hannah Fielding
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Pages: 416

Rating: 4/5


The serene landscape of Italy, the calm waters of Venice, the soft glow of moonlight and the passion of a lover's embrace. The Echoes of Love is all this and much more. This is my second time reading a book by Hannah Fielding and once again, she has won me over!

Venetia Aston-Montagu is an architect, working in her godmother's firm in Venice. She meets Paolo who comes to her rescue one night and is instantly attracted to him but keeps her emotions in check as she is still healing from her lost love. Paolo, on the other hand, displays his feelings for her but Venetia is confused by the sad blue eyes of his. What secrets do they hold? They find themselves coming closer but then Venetia finds that Paolo has a beautiful, young girl living with him in Tuscany. With no other option but to travel to Tuscany for Paolo's project, her heart and head play a tug-of-war. While Paolo professes his love for her, Venetia is still deciding whether to give in to her feelings or to resist. He is a rich and popular womanizer of Italy, after all. Contrary to her belief, will Venetia accept fate as a moderator when she can't seem to ignore her growing love for Paolo?

There are books that outline a destination and then there are those that simply transport you. Hannah Fielding does an absolutely fantastic job of taking you to Venice, showing you around so that her readers can experience the sights, smells and senses of all that is Italian! Imagine a romantic place like Italy and the settings of a passionate tale of two people who can't seem to ignore each other. A dream romance, isn't it?

The narrative and the writing style aptly manages to keep the reader hooked till the twist at the end (yes, there is one!). It moves at a good pace. The story is sophisticated and touching. I fell in love with Venetia and Paolo, their doubts, their fears, their vulnerabilities. Overall, it was a great read with a fantastic background.

I have really come to appreciate books by Hannah Fielding. I had previously reviewed Legacy, her book from the Andalucian Nights series, and loved it as much! Check out my review for Legacy here.

As for this book, I definitely recommend it. It is a beautiful, heart rendering story that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book Review : Forbidden - Better Wear Your Flak Jacket





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Title: Forbidden : Better Wear Your Flak Jacket
Author: Feather Stone
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Romance Under Fire
Pages: 363


Rating: 4.2/5


A suspense, action packed thriller that managed to keep me hooked right from the beginning, Forbidden by Feather Stone is one hell of a book. Feather Stone is a paramedic herself, the experiences of which she has duly referenced in the book. I am super excited to share my review, so here goes!

The year is 2047. Eliza Ramsay is a Canadian paramedic, waiting at an airport in The Republic of Islamic Provinces and Territories (RIPT), an amalgamation of Arabic nations. Her team from the Habitat office hadn't arrived yet. When they finally do, a couple of hours later, they all take a bus to go into the city of Samarra. But things take an ugly turn when all her colleagues are shot dead by a mysterious group who vanish from the spot soon after the massacre. Eliza is the only survivor, the only witness. Captain Hashim Sharif is furious that a massacre has taken place in his station compound and the inability to catch the killers. After the initial interrogation, he decides to keep Eliza under wraps and hides her in his apartment, as revealing her identity would undoubtedly lead to her execution. But Sharif and Eliza constantly face challenges politically and emotionally that pushes them to form a bond. The devout Muslim that he is, Sharif cannot imagine any relationship with the woman, especially  since he is divorced and fathers two children. Eliza, on the other hand, fights her own demons everyday. She is a widower who lost her to children and husband in a car crash. As they fight against the corrupt political establishment, they discover feelings for themselves. Amidst bullets, criminals and inner demons, they decide to take the government head on. But what chance do two common and abandoned people have against the giant, corrupt beast of crime?

I totally loved this book! From the get go, I was hooked because there were no unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. The narrative is to the point, very precise. I love such books that do not waste any time getting into action. The book begins with a short background that is sufficient for an overall idea. The story is fantastic! Loads of action, suspense with romance thrown in always has my vote! The characters of Sharif and Eliza come off as strong and brave but with emotional baggage. I think that's what connects the both of them. All the characters are beautifully written and executed.

Forbidden is a fast paced book that is perfect for a rainy/stormy day when you are stuck inside a room. Actually, even otherwise it is great. The action and suspense will keep the readers on their toes, guaranteed. Overall, it is a fantastic thriller one must not miss, hence the rating!

Do I recommend it? Hell ya!


*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Excerpt : Sin and Cider



Excerpt

Sin and Cider, Copyright © 2017 by K. Reese

Shaking the lust from my mind, I decide to turn my focus to the inside of the barn now that I’ve finished the thankless task of clearing out weeds. I had pulled out some of the rubbish inside already but still have a lot of work to do. I pull one of the doors to the side, the gentle creaking sound washing over me in a wave of nostalgia. I make my way inside and step over dried leaves and debris, each step kicking up a layer of dust. I look ahead and broken slats of wood are on the ground; those must be part of the original roof that was destroyed. I survey the space and take in the old tanks where we used to make cider and the empty jugs, some whole and some broken, lining the walls on shelves covered in cobwebs. When I was a kid this barn was spotless and welcoming, the perfect place to make cider and welcome visitors. Now it looks like an old photograph and not the treasured memory it really is. I take a deep breath and the smells of dust and mold fill my nose instead of crisp apples and warm spices. It’s in this moment I make a promise to myself: I’m going to restore this barn to its former glory.


I pick my way across the worn and dirty hardwood and undo the latch on one of the windows. As soon as it swings open the sweet smell of flowers permeates the air and rays of sunshine filter in, the shafts of light instantly brightening up the room. I open the window on the other side and feel excited about the task at hand. This barn is a dirty penny and just needs to shine again.


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Book Excerpt : Sheets and Secrets

BLOG TOUR
Sheets and Secrets by Liv Moore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Oh So Novel
Release Date: May 30, 2017



SYNOPSIS

Ellie has realized becoming a stay at home writer has proven to be more challenging than rewarding. Living on the outskirts of the city with no potential job on the horizon, Ellie is left with too much time on her hands and not enough money. When a spot opens up at the strip club down the street where her roommate works, she jumps at the opportunity. Plus, she is in desperate need of some writing inspiration. 

What could possibly go wrong?   

Kason has dated the wrong type of women his entire life. Being a cop, he's seen what goes on in the background of the clubs. After what happened years ago, he swore he would never get involved with a stripper ever again.  

Until he meets Ellie.   

Will Ellie be able to keep Kason and her job a secret? Will Kason run away from his past, or accept it and let Ellie in?   Will danger find them tangled between their sheets and secrets?  

*Sheets and Secrets is a STANDALONE novella with some violence, suspense, sexual conduct, and language. As always, a HEA. Ages 18+ only.



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Excerpt

Copyright © 2017 by Liv Moore
Sheets and Secrets

I get to the store, walk inside, and grab a small basket, my skin already feeling nice and cool. I know if everything I get can all fit in the basket it won’t be too much to carry back home. I throw away my coffee and head toward the bread section. As I make my way through the aisles I notice a guy in a cop uniform. Not just any guy, but the guy. The one from last night and now in my notebook. He’s right next to the eggs. Damn it. Eggs were the last item on my list so I decide to wait around the milk section until he leaves. I bet he doesn’t even recognize me. Why would he? He probably sees dozens of people a day being a cop. He finally leaves the aisle without any eggs, which pisses me off a little, and I head straight for the eggs I need so I can get out of here. I quickly make my way to the checkout register and start to lay my items out on the conveyer belt.
“Did you forget the milk?” a deep voice asks behind me.
“Excuse me?” I turn around and it’s him. I immediately blush and don’t know why. I guess it’s because I’ve never been so close to a cop before. Or maybe it’s the way his eyes pierce through me like he knows all my secrets.
Green. His eyes are a delicious shade of green. I make a mental note to put that down in my notebook.
“You spent a lot of time in the milk section and I was just curious.” He looks at me as I continue to put the rest of my items down. Does he remember me? My cheeks flush more red at the thought.
Shit. I did forget the milk.
“Yeah, I actually did! I am so sorry, you can go ahead of me. You only have one item anyway,” I say as I stare at his six-pack of abs…I mean beer.
“No, it’s fine. I can go get it. What kind do you normally get?” He sets his beer down at the end of the belt.
“Non-fat. Just a half-gallon, please. Thank you.” I watch him walk away as I tighten my legs. What is this guy doing to me? Why the hell did I say non-fat? I usually take whole milk but I want him to think I’m a tad bit healthy.
“Now that is the finest ass cop I’ve ever seen,” the cashier hums as she puts away my food.
“I’ll pay for this too.” I hand her his six-pack of beer.
He comes back with the milk just as I’m about to finish paying for everything and notices I already have his beer on the other end of the register.  
“You didn’t need to do that,” he says genuinely.
“It’s my pleasure, really. Take it as a thank you for your service.” I grab all my new items, leave the beer behind, and walk quickly out the door. Do people even thank cops for their service or is that just a military thing? All I know is I need to get out of here because I can’t take this feeling that’s happening in my panties. Thank God I wore jeans.   
I hear footsteps catch up behind me.
“Wait, can I repay you somehow? Maybe a drink sometime?” he says as he lifts his new beer.
“I appreciate the offer but I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Hoping he takes the hint, I turn back around and head home.
“Well, can I at least get your number. Or a name?” He is very persistent.
“Ellie is my name. And…no. I don’t mean to be rude, Officer…Gaines. But I really have to go.” I take my eyes off his chest where his name badge is and change my walk to a slow jog. My heart starts to panic. Knowing his last name gives me sweet shivers. Why the hell did I just say no to giving my number to a hot cop? Ariel would be proud though, she would never want me dating a cop. I don’t need that kind of distraction in my life anyway. I just need to focus on my book. Or looking for a real job. I just got out of a messy relationship and the last thing I need is to get into another one.
Once I get to the apartment, Ariel helps unload the few bags of groceries I set on the counter.
“Are you blushing?” She always gets excited when it comes to my love life.
“No,” I lie. “It’s just hot out there.”
“What is this crap?” She points to the non-fat milk.
“Oh, they were out of whole milk,” I lie, not really wanting to talk about the scene at the grocery store.
I go to my notebook and write down my new notes before I start typing my story.
“I forgot to tell you last night, I’ve got some good news!” Ariel sits on the windowsill next to the desk. “The strip club is hiring and I can put in a good word for you. With your good looks you are pretty much set to get in.”
“I don’t know.” I never thought I would ever be a stripper. I’ve thought about writing a couple stories that involved them but never considered becoming one in real life.
“Trust me, it’s not what you think. You can set your own rules and limitations there. You don’t have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. Plus you make bank. At least let me set you up with an interview,” Ariel pleas.
It would be nice not having to slug around with rent anymore. I would love to have a paying job again. That would take a lot of pressure off of me with writing this damn book.
“Plus, you would have killer inspiration for your book. You could feature a stripper. Maybe even do an entire book about me!” Ariel laughs at the thought and I join her. She would make quite an interesting story. She makes a good point though. Even if I were to work there it’d only be for a little bit, just until I find something more stable. She did say I could make my own rules and limitations. How hard could it be?
“You really think I could dance well on a pole?” I ask timidly.
“You would be a natural. With your body you won’t have to do much to please them. What are you, a D cup?” She pokes around my breasts.
“Okay, okay! Just stop poking me!” I laugh at the thought of how close we’ve become in such a short amount of time, and also her knowledge of my breast size.
“Great! Your interview is tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.
“Wait, you already set up an interview for me?” I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked. This sounds like a typical thing she would do.
“Yup! You can thank me later. Maybe tonight I can show you a few moves the boss likes to see.” Ariel starts to move her legs upwards while shaking her big ass.
“Oh my God. I am so screwed.” She can tell by the horrified look on my face that I will need a lot of prep tonight. She laughs and says I’ll be fine. She goes back into her room and there’s finally hope for getting some writing done.
As I sit staring at my laptop, all my thoughts lead back to the grocery store.
Fuck. I should have given him my number.

Author Bio

Liv Moore is a contemporary romance author with her debut novel to release Summer 2017. She writes books because it's her passion and her outlet when life gets tough. She is very thankful for all her followers and readers supporting her crazy writing! :)
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Giveaway

There is a giveaway to win an ARC of Sheets and Secrets by Liv Moore!

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