Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Review of Ascension: A Darkest Nights Novel by Lee Ferrier


Book Title: Ascension: A Darkest Nights Novel
Genre: YA Dark Urban Fantasy/Horror
Pages: 137
Author: Lee Ferrier
Date Published: 03 December 2019

Synopsis:

Lucy Beaumont is dead; but in a world of Gods and Monsters, death isn't the end. Passing over into the afterlife, Lucy soon finds out that she and her friends are part of something bigger than any of them could imagine. The legendary Crystal Wand can help Lucy in her mission to find a way back to the world of the living, but only if she can fix her incomplete soul and regain her missing memories...

Ascension -A Darkest Nights Novel- serves as an intermediary between "Darkest Nights -Awakening-" and its follow-up "Darkest Nights -Ashes to Ashes".

Review:


Ascension: A Darkest Nights NovelAscension: A Darkest Nights Novel by Lee Ferrier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ascension is a bridging novel between Darkest Nights - Awakening and the next book in the series. I guess you can call it Book 1.5 in the series.

Disclaimer: I had the great honour of being one of the first people to read this book in its raw form while editing it. This review is my own honest opinion, and I have not received remuneration for it. I pre-ordered a copy of this book as soon as I heard it was available with my own money and read it in my own time. The author did not influence me or my opinion.

Ascension follows Lucy Beaumont's journey into the afterlife. It is told through her point of view. I am glad the author decided to write this story as I was so upset with him for *spoiler alert for those who haven't read Darkest Nights - Awakening yet* killing her off. I felt Lucy was a fantastic character and her shocking death affected me badly. It felt like I had lost a friend, and my heart had shattered.

Ascension sees Lucy coming to grips with her altered reality. She discovers that she is crucial to the fight between good and evil, and is the Dark Totem in a triumvirate destined to defeat an incarnation of the devil. As she struggles with her new powers, her personal life also takes a surprising turn. The reader gets introduced to new and old characters. It was a pleasure to see how Lucy's and Peter's friendship developed, as well as her interaction with the angel, Gabriel, and her girlfriend, Jordana.

This story took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion from beginning to end, which does end in a small cliffhanger, but this just made me want to read the next book as soon as possible.
Please note: This book is written in British English, so some terms and spellings may confuse American readers.

Lee Ferrier has written a fantastic YA dark fantasy/horror story. I love his fast-paced writing style, and the flow was excellent. This is an author who is not afraid to tread into dark places and kill off characters. In this respect, he is similar to George R.R. Martin (so I have heard, as I haven't read his books yet). This is one British author whose career I will follow with interest and would definitely read more books written by him in the future.

There are some scenes of violence (fighting and/or bloodshed) and, on occasion, gore that may upset sensitive readers. There is also mention of sex (F/F), implied in some scenes and explicitly shown in others. Therefore, I do not recommend this book to those who would be upset by this. However, I highly recommend this book to teens aged 15/16 upwards and those adults who love dark young adult supernatural/paranormal horror novels. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



London based urban fantasy writer. Loves Japanese anime and blue hedgehogs. Lifelong goal: to own a husky...and a life-sized Dalek named Jeff. Currently have twenty-one stories stored away in my Mind Palace and will eventually get round to writing them all. Favourite colour: blue. Scared of circus folk. Fan of cheese and noodles. Can't live without my notebook and laptop.

Author Links:


Sunday, December 08, 2019

Book Review of Faking It in the Kitchen: A bully boss romantic comedy by Emily James


Book Title: Faking It in the Kitchen: a bully boss romantic comedy
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Pages: 231
Author: Emily James
Date Published: 21 November 2019

Synopsis:

She’s an accidental chef. He’s her hot-headed A**hole boss. Will they discover the recipe for love or are they heading for disaster?

Unemployed actress, Hannah Brooks, is applying for a waitressing job when her luck changes. Mistaken for a chef, she's offered a position at twice the pay, but there's a slight problem. She can't cook, but she can act.

Tom Hadleigh is determined to make a success of the restaurant he inherited from his father, despite attempted sabotages against it and his reputation. Tom’s a hothead and not looking for love, but when Hannah walks into his restaurant, he can’t help but turn his head. With so many problems in his life, is she the answer?

When their worlds collide, will their passion ignite, or will the heat force them out of the kitchen?

FAKING IT IN THE KITCHEN is a standalone, romantic comedy, suitable for readers aged 18 or over, due to mature content and sexual themes.

Review:


Faking It in the Kitchen: A bully boss romantic comedyFaking It in the Kitchen: A bully boss romantic comedy by Emily James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Faking It in the Kitchen is a fun romantic comedy. I really enjoyed it.

Hannah Brookes is an unemployed actress looking to make it big on the West End in London, England. I liked this character a lot. She has a sunny personality and is optimistic (maybe too much at times) and desperate for work. When she hears of a potential job as a waitress at Hadleigh's, a prestigious restaurant, she heads to the interview and meets Tom Hadleigh, the boss. What she didn't expect was to be hired as a chef. And have to fake it in the kitchen as she can't cook.

Tom Hadleigh is determined to keep his late father's restaurant running after his death. Unfortunately, someone is determined to close it down. I liked him even at his most a**hole-y, especially when he did things that made me want to smack some sense into him. Tom, still grieving, is understandably upset at both his father's death and the sabotage, but when he accidentally knocks Hannah out, he hires her in the mistaken belief she's a chef. As danger stalks ever closer and his attraction to Hannah grows, Tom will have to decide what is more important.

I started to read this book, told through both Tom's and Hannah's viewpoints in alternate chapters. Faking It is a light read with humourous events mixed up with a suspenseful twist. The characters are lifelike and likeable.

I enjoyed the interaction between Hannah and Tom, which is intense, and the heat level between them sizzle on the pages. I also enjoyed Hannah's camaraderie with the other characters in the kitchen, especially Jack. She needed a friend badly, and he acted as one immediately. Tom's nemesis was a surprise twist. I had another person lined up initially, but as soon as the author introduced the character, I went 'Ah!' even though there was no hint of their involvement immediately.

I did feel the scene near the end where Hannah confronted the perpetrator was a little weak and didn't have the punch it could have. However, it resolved the mystery even if unsatisfactorily (my opinion). I do feel that the scene was a little rushed as if the author wanted to get back to the romance, which was understandable. The story ends satisfactorily, with no cliffhanger as it's a stand-alone.

Emily James is a new author to me. I have never read one of her other books before. I like her fast-paced writing style, and the story flowed well. The author's warmth and humour shone through her writing. Her characters are lifelike and likeable. I would consider reading more of her books in the future.

Due to scenes of an explicit nature, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and sassy and sexy main characters. - Lynn Worton

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Purchase Links:



About The Author:



(Taken from the back of the book)

Emily James is a British author who lives on the south coast of England. She loves to travel and enjoys nothing more than a great romance story. On the rare occasions that she hasn't got her nose in a book, Emily likes to spend time with her beautiful family and friends.

Author Links:

You can be notified of Emily's future projects via her mailing list:

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Find her on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/emily.james.author

Or email her at:
emilyjames.author@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Book Review of Sam The Speedy Sloth: An Inspirational Rhyming Bedtime Story about Being Unique, Acceptance and Confident Kids [Illustrated Early Reader for Toddlers, Pre K, Elementary School Children] by Matthew Ralph


Book Title: Sam the Speedy Sloth
Genre: Children's book
Pages: 40
Author: Matthew Ralph
Date Published: 14 September 2019

Synopsis:

Sam’s Mom hugged him and looked at her son. “There’s no one like you. You’re the only one. Comparing yourself to others, won’t get you far. Learn to love how unique you are.”

Packed with colorful rain forest and animal illustrations, this rhyming picture book follows Sam the speedy sloth as he goes on a jungle adventure. Challenging the other rain forest animals to a race, Sam learns some important life lessons along the way about being unique, self-confident and not comparing yourself to others. Children will also find a bunch of fun learning activities, including spot the difference, a word search and even fact files for the jungle animals in this book.

Perfect for ages 3-8, children will love listening to Sam’s adventure, which makes Sam the Speedy Sloth ideal for bedtime stories, group reading, or one-on-one with loving parents or grandparents.

Review:


Sam The Speedy Sloth: A children’s book about acceptance and self-confidenceSam The Speedy Sloth: A children’s book about acceptance and self-confidence by Matthew Ralph
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam, the Speedy Sloth, is a super illustrated children's book. I loved it.

Sam is a sloth, but not a typical one. He likes to race around and is the fastest sloth in the forest. In this story, he challenges several different animals to race with him. I love this sloth. He is super cute and determined.

This storybook is an ideal stocking filler for Christmas if you are still looking for presents. The author has cleverly rhymed the words, so the story flows off the tongue as one reads it. It is also beautifully illustrated by Khansadk. The pictures are bright and vibrant and show the story for those who cannot read yet and need a little help from the parents, and it compliments the author's words entirely. Sam is a superb character who learns a valuable lesson as the story progresses. The child/children reading this book also learn that it is not always essential to be the fastest or the best at everything they do. However, I feel they will enjoy Sam's journey as it also encourages children to be self-confident but not arrogant, kind and humble.

At the end of the book, there are a few puzzles and activities for the children to complete. It may work better with the paper versions rather than the ebook, but they can still be lots of fun to do. Not sure I'd recommend doing this section at bedtime, but it depends on the parents, so I'll leave that decision up to you.

I highly recommend this book to children aged 3 to 8, and to adults who are looking for a fun, educational book for their little ones. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:


Picture from Amazon

Matthew Ralph is a children's book author who lives in London, England.

When he is not busy writing his next book, he enjoys drinking tea, eating fish & chips and waving at The Queen.

If you would like to learn more about him, please visit his Author Profile on Amazon, or contact him on mattralphthewriter@gmail.com.

Matthew always enjoys hearing from his lovely readers as well as reading your comments. If you liked this book, please leave a review :)

Author Links:


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Book Review of Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure by Chris Goodyear



Book Title: Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure
Genre: Children's book
Pages: 14
Author: Chris Goodyear
Date Published: 13 March 2019

Synopsis:

A brightly illustrated book featuring best friends Bodgit bear and Fixit rabbit.
Created and written by Chris Goodyear, these best friends share their amazing
imaginary adventure to the moon and back in a rocket they build together.
Also featured in this book are Bodgit and Fixit's furry facts and 5 interactive
missions for the reader to complete.

Review:


Bodgit and Fixit's Space AdventureBodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure by Chris Goodyear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure is a fantastic illustrated children's book. I loved it!

Bodgit and Fixit are the best of friends. Bodgit (5) is a teddy bear, and Fixit (6) is a rabbit. They both have a vivid imagination, and one day during the holidays they decided to ride a rocket to the moon. But first, they need to build it. Their space adventure is exciting, and they have a lot of fun. However, they have to be home in time for tea (dinner), so they return to Earth.

This book is only fourteen pages long, but there is a lot packed between those pages. I don't know if the author is also the illustrator, but if so, the author did a fantastic job. (Edited to say: the illustrator is Sam Jones). The pictures are beautifully drawn and coloured and complement the story perfectly. At the end of the book, there are five fun activities for children to do: a counting puzzle, a Word Search, a Maze puzzle, a Spot the Difference, and Trace the Line puzzle. Plus there are facts interspersed throughout about various subjects. One thing I can see is the potential for Bodgit and Fixit to become real as plush toys. They are so cute! I'd buy them, so children would love them too.

The story is engaging. I feel that children would love to read this book. It is difficult to say what age range this book would attract. The artwork would appeal to children aged 4 upwards, but the font used and the way the writing is presented would confound a new young reader. In my opinion, I feel that depending on reading ability, this book would be suitable for children aged 4 to look at with parents, but for children to read it on their own, I'd say they would have to be at least 6, 7 or 8 and above.

Chris Goodyear is a debut author and judging by this book, is well on the way to be a fantastic children's book writer. Although I am not the intended audience, I love the intricate details (though simple language) the author uses to tell a story. I will be interested to see what the author comes up with in the future.

I highly recommend this book to children and adults alike. - Lynn Worton

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Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the Author:

Unfortunately, as this is a debut author, there doesn't seem to be any information available.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It's been too long part two

So.  We were talking about me.  OK, OK, I was, am talking about me.  And right now the next pic is perfect to tell you guys where I am at in my life

Not because I am stressed.
Not because I am running against the clock
but because I feel as if I am missing out on a lot of joy I used to have and which is not lost or misplaced but kinda hipbutted to the side to make space for other joyful things. 
It is not as if I want to go back to my roots.  I want to make space for all the joy everything gives me.  So.  While every body else is Marie Kondo'ing their homes.  I am doing the same but inside my head.  I am making place for some extra spark of joy. 

Anything you need to hit pause on/

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

It has been too long.

Yes the pic above says all their is too say about this.

But...

I might have a few things I need to get off of my chest as well.  So for now, I will be telling you what has happened in my life to make me ..... well get a life I guess is the best way to describe it.

When Facebook really hit everything, I joined.  And had NO friends, for months.  I played a game, and at that stage was still rather active on the James Patterson Blog site where, as it happens I met some amazing people.  Denise Jones, Christine Bonner and so many others that still to this day brighten my day and add that little va va voom to my step.  So as the Patterson site started to give problems I convinced more and more of my friends to join Facebook, only to hear that they were (some at least) were on Facebook already. 

Why now, I figured I would have some friends....
And I did. 
Soon I saw these post fly by.  Free....today only..... the first book in XYZ trilogy on Amazon and I recall still replying on those posts asking if it would be alright if I shared those free books... yeah I know.  It luckily did not take me long to figure out that me sharing it etc etc etc was doing the authors a world of good.  But the why behind it all I did not get. 

So there I was.  All these free books, all these reading friends and my game on Facebook.  Could life get any better? Maybe, maybe not.  But for a long time I was as happy as a clam working, signing onto Facebook, going home, watching television, back then the idea of BINGING was not even born since even the DVD rental shops held at most the first two DVD's in a series.... if that.  Then I would go onto Facebook and basically serve for hours with no intent and no discontent.  At that stage of my life that was what I needed.  And thank goodness I had it. 

Then... well, you will have to wait a bit cause this is a rather long story and I will bore you to tears if I dropped it all on you in one go.  And no my friend.  You do not deserve to be bored.  Ever.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review of The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen


Book Title: The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 272
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Date Published: 17 February 2011

Synopsis:

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realises that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life. Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbour, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, offering them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth - but also in the hope of rekindling a love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily's backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

Review:


The Girl Who Chased the MoonThe Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a lovely tale. I enjoyed it a lot.

Emily Benedict is an interesting character. I liked her as soon as she was introduced. After her mom passes away, she arrives in Mullaby, North Carolina, to stay with her grandfather as he's now her legal guardian. Her mother never discussed her childhood, so Emily is eager to learn about it. Unfortunately, many of the residents of Mullaby blame Emily's mother for the death of one of them. As Emily delves into the mystery surrounding her mother's past, she meets the mysterious Win Coffey, whose relative died all those years ago.

This story is told through the eyes of several characters, though Emily is one of the main ones. The other characters involved are her grandfather, Vance Shelby, Julia, a young woman who owns and runs a barbecue house and bakery, Sawyer Alexander, a school mate and old fling of Julia's, and Win Coffey, a teenager with a family secret.

When I first read the synopsis in my local library, I thought that this book would be a young adult paranormal fairy tale, so I borrowed it. However, I was completely wrong - in a good way. It is a story about loss - lost love and opportunities - and love and redemption. There is magic in the pages, not just the wallpaper that changes in Emily's bedroom.

The story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, and once I began reading it, I didn't put it down until I'd finished it; I am finding it difficult to articulate my feelings about this book. Emily's journey to uncover her mother's possible role in the suicide of Wyn's uncle because of a family secret, and the sweet romance between the two teens, touched me deeply. I also loved the subplot of Julia and Sawyer's past, present and future. The author artfully pulled me into the story, and when it ended, I was left with mixed feelings - happy at the way it ended but sad that it had finished. *Spoiler* Though I would have liked to have seen what happened when Maddie met with Julia and Sawyer. Nevertheless, I was left with a bittersweet feeling.

Sarah Addison Allen has written a heart-rending, as well as a heart-warming tale that held me captive from beginning to end. I love her writing style but found the shift in viewpoints a little unsettling at first, though I enjoyed the pacing. The story flowed well too. I would definitely consider reading more of this author's books in the future.

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, there is mention of it. However, I would highly recommend this book to young teens (13 up) and adults who love literary fiction, family sagas or romance novels. - Lynn Worton

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About the Author:

Author photograph credit: Melissa Markis

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon and The Peach Keeper. She lives in North Carolina, where her novels are set.

Author Links:

You can discover more at:


Find Sarah on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sarahaddisonallen

Or follow her on Twitter @SarahAddisonAll.