Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review of Everlasting (Night Watchmen, #1) by Candace Knoebel



Synopsis:

What if your destiny lay on the other side of death? 

The annual Culling ceremony is a day every coming-of-age novice looks forward to within the Primeval Coven. It’s the start to being initiated into the Night Watchmen, humankind’s protectors, and it’s the long-awaited day when novices discover if they’re a Hunter or a Witch.

But this day is not a happy one for Faye Middleton. Not when she’s known her whole life that she’s a Defect and is about to face banishment in front of her fellow novices. She’s forced to attend the Culling with little hope for her future, but what she discovers about herself is far worse than she could've imagined. And far more dangerous.

Thrown into training and separated from her friends, Faye must learn to adjust. She struggles to find her place within the Coven, and with Jaxen Gramm, the darkly handsome and extremely unnerving man assigned to watch and protect her. Emotions run high, and when she discovers a deadly secret about him, her struggles deepen. As corruption within the Coven begins to unravel, Faye pieces together her role in saving the future of her people, and within Jaxen’s life...but will the truth save her, or be her undoing?


Review:


Everlasting (Night Watchmen, #1)Everlasting by Candace Knoebel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in a new series by this author. I loved it!

Faye Middleton is a teenager with some major angst in her life. She is facing the Culling to determine if she is a hunter, witch or defect. However, she discovers a secret about herself that changes her life forever! I didn't like this character at first. Not only is she a bit melodramatic at times, she comes across a bit whiny. I wanted to knock some sense into her! However, she also grows up pretty fast and her bravery and determination does her credit. I enjoyed watching this character grow and blossom into a feisty and decidedly dangerous individual. By the end of the book, I found she had grown on me!

The story is told from Faye's point of view, and takes the reader on an amazing adventure. This story reminds me a little of Divergent, although there is no real similarity between them. What is similar is the ceremony which determines where the individual will end up. This ceremony is called a Culling and uses a crystal to determine whether the characters become "hunters" or "witches" and creates a bond that pairs one of each into couples. The interesting thing about this story is the unique way the author has woven this tale. It starts off slowly, but quickly builds up into an exciting and page turning read.
The characters were also quite interesting. Faye has a best friend, Katie, who is a little on the flighty side, but she is a wonderful friend. Jaxen and his brother, Gavin are polar opposites, but they compliment each other wonderfully. Gavin is fun loving and funny, whereas Jaxen is serious and mysterious. Jezibelle is Jaxen's paired witch, and is a tad jealous of Faye and Jaxen's budding friendship. She is a right witch (substitute the w with a b!) at times and can be downright rude and sulky, but I have a feeling that as the series continues, that her icy demeanor towards Faye may crack. (Well, I'm hoping anyway!).
There is excitement, danger and adventure aplenty in this book, with lots of twists and turns. But, the relationship between Faye and Jaxen is a smoldering cinder that could burst into flame at any moment - the sexual tension between the two is that palpable. The end of the story is not really a cliffhanger, but it does give the reader the feeling that there are some unfinished loose ends that require tying up in the next book in the series. I am most definitely looking forward to reading it as soon as possible!

Candace Knoebel has written a fantastic YA paranormal romance. I loved her writing style, which is fast paced and it flowed wonderfully. I haven't read her other series, Born In Flames Trilogy yet, but having read this book, I will definitely be doing so at the earliest opportunity!

I highly recommend this book if you love YA paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review of Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to you, My Lad (Fantasy and Horror Classics) by M. R. James



Synopsis:

The story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a cemetery on the East Anglian coast. When blown, the whistle unleashes a supernatural force that terrorises its discoverer.

M. R. James was a prolific and hugely successful author, now credited with having redefined the ghost story for the 20th century by abandoning many of the formal Gothic clichés of his predecessors and using more realistic contemporary settings. Originally published in 1904, 'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to you, My Lad' ranks amongst his best and most underrated tales. Many of the earliest ghost stories and tales of hauntings, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.


Review:


Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My LadOh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad by M.R. James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a classic Christmas ghost story. I downloaded an audio copy, which had been specially created by Audible and read by David Suchet (actor of Hercule Perot etc.). I loved it!

Professor Parkins is a young man, who goes on a golfing holiday and finds a strange whistle that when blown, unleashes a horrifying event. As this was a short story, I couldn't get a good enough impression of his character. However, I did like him.

This is a short story, but it was well told and the suspense and mystery was chillingly built. Written in the traditional ghost story manner, the story swept me away and kept me entertained for just under an hour. Narrated by David Suchet, the story was given a creepy feel by his interpretation. I loved the way how he gave the different characters their own voice, and how he paced the tale. Neither too fast nor too slow, the story built until the climax at the end of the book. I was a little disappointed by how it ended, but it did make me feel a little scared! The only thing I have a quibble about was the origin of the whistle and why it called the specter.
Nevertheless, the story was extremely entertaining and I would definitely consider reading/listening to more of the works by this author.

M. R. James may have published this is 1904, but the contemporary feel of the story made it feel as if it had been written this year. His attention to detail brought the characters to life and his writing style flowed wonderfully.

There is no violence or horrific gore, so I recommend this book to younger readers who are looking for a small scare, and to adults who love classic ghost or horror stories. - Lynn Worton

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review of Ting-A-Ling (The Dev Haskell - Private Investigator: Case 7) by Mike Faricy



Synopsis:

Continuing the Dev Haskell - Private Investigator Series with Case 7 

After answering Danielle’s middle of the night phone call, private investigator Dev Haskell offers to help. It’s a simple task. All he has to do is deliver a message to her former business partner. The next thing he knows, Dev is involved in a missing person case and he can’t find his client or her business partner. That turns out to be the least of his problems when he finds himself on the hook for murder and all the evidence points toward him.

Meanwhile, an incident from his childhood continues to haunt Dev. With his very freedom hanging in the balance everything seems to be beyond his control. He’ll need all his skill and a good deal of luck to save himself. In a tale fraught with danger, Mike Faricy, Master of the Bizarre lays one twist on top of another until a murder rap becomes the least of Dev’s problems. 


Review:


Ting-A-Ling (The Dev Haskell - Private Investigator: Case 7)Ting-A-Ling by Mike Faricy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

This is the seventh book in the Dev Haskell Private Investigator series. I loved it!

Dev Haskell is a fantastic character. He may be a bit of a womanizing pervert at times, but he has a good heart. However, even his best intentions seem to get him into trouble! This character has wormed his way into my affections, even though some of his antics have me rolling my eyes at times!

This is another fantastic tale in the Dev Haskell series, and I was completely hooked from the first page. Dev somehow manages to get himself into trouble without trying very hard. However, this time it's because of a phone call in the middle of the night. There are several twists and turns in this story which kept things interesting, but I was a little disappointed with some of the plot. It seemed a bit thin in places and left me with a couple of questions regarding motive and why a certain character (Dev in particular) would do something completely out of character. Yes, he's been through some tough times, and he's emotionally scarred because of it, but the sudden violence didn't feel right somehow. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

I don't know if it's because Dev is maturing, or if the author is becoming a bit weary, but I found the tone of the book to be more dark and subdued; Dev seems to have lost his sparkle somewhat. Although his ogling of the female form is still there, it seems that his heart is not in it anymore and is just going through the motions. He is certainly not the same person I met in the first novel, Russian Roulette. I don't say this lightly because I would love to read another Dev Haskell adventure, but perhaps it's time the dysfunctional P.I. either settled down or retired. I think that it is extremely difficult for an author to keep getting ideas to keep a series going and, although Dev is a great character, and his antics have kept me entertained, an author needs to keep trying new things or face getting stuck in a rut and his characters and stories reflecting this which, sadly, seems to be the case here.

Mike Faricy is a fantastic author. I love his tongue in cheek writing style, but other readers may disagree. His books are fast paced and extremely exciting to read. He is one of my favourite authors, and I am looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.

I highly recommend this book (and the other Dev Haskell books in the series) if you love detective novels that are entertaining and extremely addictive. - Lynn Worton

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cobweb Bride book one in a trilogy!


Click on the pic to get your free copy on Amazon today.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review.

Now, at the start, for most of the first 17% of this book I wanted to give up on the read.
It is slow in starting, it drags on a bit and the story line in total -- even though I adore fantasy -- did not appeal to me. 
However.  Once the self sacrifice part of the story kicks in, I got to be more interested and even though I still cannot say that the story as such appeal to me, I can say that the writing is amazing. 
I am serious.  This is a style that takes some getting used to. Once you are, you find yourself admiring the way the world building is done, the way the characters find their own voice and interspersed between all of this is the fact that the author has a truly unique writing style that in and of itself kept me reading.

I am unsure as to whom I should recommend it to.  The story line is fantasy.  Since it did not really grip me but the writing did, I think I will recommend this to literary fiction fans.  The writing alone is really worth it.

WaAr

The author on Goodreads:

Vera Nazarian is arguably the only Armenian-Russian professional speculative fiction writer working in English today. She is an award-winning artist and a Nebula-nominated writer, active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Her work has been translated into eight languages. Best known works are the novels Dreams of the Compass Rose and Lords of Rainbow.

Ancient myth, moral fables, eclectic philosophy, and her Armenian and Russian ethnic heritage play a strong part in all her work. 





Book Review of Gabby, Angel of God: Guardian and Messenger: Keeper of Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness and Faith ( A Supernatural Romance Thriller ) by Greg Sandora



Synopsis:

Gabby, Angel of God is a Supernatural Romance Thriller that feels like falling i
n love!

The story starts out with a young widower, Bo, raising two small children and the three heartbeats that will change his life. Ride along as stunningly beautiful Gabby, takes this human man on the no-holds barred adventure of a lifetime!

If you've ever lost a loved one this story is for you!

A story of Peace, Love, Hope, Charity and the strength of Faith, you'll love Gabby, Angel of God.


Review:


Gabby, Angel of GodGabby, Angel of God by Greg Sandora
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was recommended this book by a friend, so I decided to try it.

Bo Garrett is a widower and a father of two. He is a man who has lost, not only the love of his life, but his way. I liked this character very much. He is a bit of a doubting Thomas, but when he meets Gabby, he goes on a journey of self discovery.

This is not a book I would typically pick up, nor is it one of the first genre's on my list. However, I try not to judge a book on the cover (or even on the rather long title!), as I like to keep an open mind and try new things. I do love supernatural romance thrillers, so I started to read it and was pleasantly surprised. The tale is one of love, loss, hope and faith. The book is relatively short, but I kept getting interrupted and found that I wasn't able to concentrate on it, which made me a little annoyed. However, once I managed to get rid of all distractions, I found myself turning the pages. Unfortunately, some of the scenes seemed to jump erratically and not have as much fluidity as I would have liked. I got a bit confused at one point, and was unsure if a few of the scenes were real or a dream. Nevertheless, some of the scenes were quite touching and inspirational. I am not the most religious person out there, but I am not a non believer either. Some of the thoughts shared by Gabby are quite deep and meaningful. I don't know why, but as I was reading this book, a song began playing in my head: All You Need Is Love by The Beatles. It sort of summed up my thoughts about this book and it's message. As this is a supernatural thriller, there are some really dark and twisted scenes that made me shudder! However, there is also romance to balance out the evil.
The ending has a huge twist, which I wasn't expecting.
This book has left me with mixed emotions; I still haven't figured out what they are yet!

Greg Sandora has written a most unusual supernatural romantic thriller. His writing style is relatively fast paced and his characters are interesting. I look forward to following his career with interest.

Due to some violence, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I recommend this book if you love supernatural romance thrillers or Christian Fiction. - Lynn Worton

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Via Christoph Fischer!

Review / Release: MJ Magazine – March Edition (via http://www.christophfischerbooks.com)

  “MJ Magazine March – Written by Authors for Authors” by Fran Lewis is yet another amazing collection of information for writers: Tips on how to write, on screen writing, grammar and on research issues are amongst the many useful and well written…

New release!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming soon, very soon -----

Suicide Song. 

Stay tuned for more information.


Yes.  It is mine, all mine.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review of Fae - The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King





Synopsis:

Sometimes the fairy tales are true...

For a hundred generations the Fae have been locked away from the world, in the cold, the Outside. They have faded out of sight and mind into myth and folklore.

A woman fleeing a life of domestic violence in search of a better future for herself and her young son unknowingly set in motion a series of events which will change the lives of mortal man forever.

Now as a new religion spreads across the world sweeping the old ways and beliefs away before it, and a warlike people look hungrily across the frozen ocean for new lands, the Wyrde of the Druids begins to fade. Can the world realise the truth lost in children's tales before it is too late? Will it withstand the Wild Hunt?


Review:


Fae - The Wild HuntFae - The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

This is a fantastic fantasy! I loved it!

I normally do a character breakdown in the reviews I write, but there are quite a few characters in this book to do one for all of them, so I will focus on the two main characters.

Devin is a young boy when we first meet him. He is only 10 years old, but he has a good head on his shoulders. He is bright and inquisitive. I liked him very much.

Klöss is 14 years old when we first meet him, and he is training to be an Oarsman (a kind of soldier). He is a determined young man. I liked this character very much.

I love fantasy novels, so when I was offered the chance to read this book, I grabbed it! I wasn't sure what to expect when I started to read this book, as I had only previously read a children's book written by this author. However, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the story. This book is mainly told from Devin's and Klöss's points of view, but as I said previously, there are also a lot of characters that have their say too. The story felt like two separate stories at first, and I was a bit unsure as to how it would all mesh together. However, as I got further into the story, the threads began to knit together and converge into one. I actually found myself completely hooked by the story and, as I was reading about one character, I was wondering what the other ones were up to. The book covers several years, so we get to see the characters grow up into wonderful men; Devin helping out on the farm and Klöss is an Oarsman and warrior. The story has a Viking vibe going on; there are sword fights, battles and raids. The fight scenes were quite gruesome in places, and the action was intense and exciting. I could picture them very easily, and I felt like I was actually there in the midst of them. Meanwhile, there is trouble brewing and the Fae, who have been kept at bay by a magical ward called the Wyrde, are starting to break through. These Fae are not exactly the nice and fluffy kind! They are vicious killers, who love to hunt humans.
The story ends on one heck of a cliffhanger and, although I normally get frustrated by these kinds of endings, I am looking forward to find out what happens next!

Graham Austin-King has written an exciting fantasy novel that kept me turning the pages! I really enjoyed the story, but felt some of the scenes ended a bit too abruptly for my liking. However, the story flowed wonderfully and was fast paced when it needed to be. The characters came alive on the page, and I could imagine the scenes in my mind like a movie.

Warning: This is NOT a children's fairy tale! I do not recommend this book to young children or those of a nervous disposition, as there are scenes of violence and abuse that could be very disturbing to some readers. However, I highly recommend this book to older teens and adults alike if you love dark fantasy novels. - Lynn Worton

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Purchase Links:

              


About the Author:


Graham Austin-King began his writing with children's stories to entertain his children when walking them to and from school. When he started getting demands to repeat the same story over and over again he decided to write them down.

Liam and the Grump was soon followed by Captain Pegleg and the Greatest Treasure.

Fantasy is the genre which has always appealed to him, a result of reading too many books and playing too many roleplaying games and computer games. Having weaned himself on Tolkein he cut his teeth on David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist.

Finally the keyboard beckoned, there were worlds to create.

Graham lives in Kent in England with his wife and three younger children. 


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Review of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


Synopsis:

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first bestselling book in Rick Riordan's phenomenally successful Percy Jackson series - now with a new cover look.

Half boy
. Half God. ALL Hero.

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I've stolen his lightning bolt - and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.


Review:


The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Percy Jackson series. I loved it!

Percy Jackson is a fantastic character. He is a normal young boy with a learning disability. Or is he? He finds out that he is really a demi-god and the son of Poseidon, but his life is about to get even more complicated when he is accused of stealing Zeus's lightning bolt. I really liked this young man. He is not necessarily the strongest person, but when faced with a God's wrath, he certainly is the bravest!

I have watched the movie, but had not read the book, so I decided to get a copy to read. I downloaded a copy in audio format so that I could listen to it whilst doing chores.

I started listening to it and was quickly pulled into the story. I began to really enjoy the tale, but it was a little strange to note all the differences between the movie and the actual book. I understand that making a movie out of a book is not necessarily the easiest thing to do - logistics and time etc., but there were whole scenes that were chopped out in the movie, and others written in that were not in the book. The narrator of the story, Jesse Bernstein, did a wonderful job reading the story and bringing the characters to life. I couldn't help but envision the characters as portrayed by the actors in the movie; it made it easier to imagine.
However, I may be the only one to say this, but I think I preferred the movie to the book. This is not my usual finding after watching a movie, and then reading the book the movie is based on. The book is a lot darker than the movie, and I liked the feeling the movie had. Nevertheless, the story was really engaging and I found myself listening intently. I am looking forward to continuing the series.

Rick Riordan has written a wonderful and exciting novel (and series) for children that brings the old Gods to life. The mythology has been well researched and presented in such a way as to be educational, but have a modern take that will appeal to today's young readers. His writing style is fast paced, but not rushed, and is easy for young readers to follow.

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 12 to 16 and to adults who love reading Young Adult novels. - Lynn Worton

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Done Deal by Rene D Schultz

Click on the pic to get your copy today!

Wow, I am an avid fan of medical mysteries.  

This book is less focused on the medical side and has little if any mystery to it and still it reminds me of the genre.
We meet a woman of 49.  She is happily divorced.  She is gainfully employed and she loves what she does and she does it well.  Her two grown son's are both active contributing members of society.  She has a few very good friends and a bunch of quintessences.  
She also has cancer.

And so our story begins. With her coming to face her own mortality, having to deal with her family and friends and the treatment ....
It is via her friends and son that she finds an online community where she meets up with people within a chat room.  Hackers, mostly black hat some white hat hackers, all closely associated with cancer and it's effects.  She connects with them and one in particular...
Ok so that is enough of the plot.  Not really, but I hate spoilers and I need you to read this yourself.  

As for character development - a 4* read.  Sometimes I found the dialogue somewhat forced to be funny.  That said.  These are strong characters. People I would not mind to call friends.  And knowing a bunch of real life cancer sufferers I also know that to relieve the tension they often do engage in somewhat forced dialogue.
World building - 5*.  No graphic details but enough to not make me feel as if the author glossed and romanticized a killer disease.
Plot - 5*. Read it and you will know why.  It is fresh, new, old, comfortable and it flows naturally.  Don't believe me? Read it.
Theme - 5*.  Sometimes we find a legacy in places we never before knew where to look.  
Editing, cover and general writing style.  5*.

So why do you NEED to read it?  None of us is unaffected by Cancer.  This is not a pity party book.  It showcases some reality on a subject we would all rather avoid.  

Did I enjoy it? I read it in one sitting.  I could not put it down.  It did not immediately grab me but it did so soon enough that I simply could not put the book down.

WaAr 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Raven by Kimberly Brockman

Raven by Kimberly Brockman

Click on the pic to go to Amazon to get your copy today!

The name Raven had me thinking of the Raven boys before I started to read the book.  I tried to get rid of that as soon as possible.  
I loved the Raven Boys.  Want to read book II asap.  So I figured having that book in my head maybe judging this one against that one would be unfair.

I need not have worried.  We are introduced to Rayne, a normal girl with a tragic past.  She lost her sister in a fire.  She lost her best friend when he moved.  

So enters our second main protagonist, and all is not well.  Rayne is like a moth to a flame.  He is everything she needs and soon it becomes apparent that he is more than he should be.  He is a Raven, son of a Shadow, and they are coming for him.  

Rayne knows she should not get involved.  She knows she should turn away...though she cannot.

I am not in the habit anymore of giving 5* ratings.  I used to give them left, right and center but the more I read the more I have decided that I should let a 5* be what it is supposed to be.  And this book, this original plot line, these characters.  They deserve no less than a 5*.

Pick up your copy today.  

WaAr

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Book Review of Leaving Green Island by Em Barrett



Synopsis:

** "If you enjoy Emily Giffin or Jennifer Weiner, then add Em Barret to your list!" ~The Indie Bookshelf ** 

** Honorable Mention ~ Beach Book Festival 2013 ** 

More than simply a modern love story, Leaving Green Island is a poignant yet lighthearted tale of friendship, family and the search for a place to belong in the complex world of today's twenty-something women.

With a new job at a prestigious Chicago law firm and an engagement ring on her finger, everything seems to be falling into place for Brecken Pereira these days. However, all this perfection quickly unravels when Reed Whalen, Brecken’s first love, unexpectedly resurfaces. The complicated history of the enigmatic Reed unfolds as the two summers that Brecken spent as a teenager on posh, exclusive Green Island in northern Michigan are interspersed with her relatable and humorous modern day trials and tribulations.

After Reed's reappearance, Brecken is torn between her longing for the past and the life she has carefully built for herself since Reed vanished years before. Her true-to-life and complex relationships with her two best friends provide the backbone that supports Brecken, both as the life she knows quickly dissolves around her and as she struggles to pick up the pieces.

This unputdownable novel is certain to pull on the heartstrings of anyone who ever had a first love.

{This book contains underage drinking and a bit of explicit language and sexual content.}


Review:


Leaving Green IslandLeaving Green Island by Em Barrett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a wonderful contemporary romance that I really enjoyed.

Brecken Pereira is a wonderful character. She is an Associate in a law firm, and engaged to a doctor. I liked her very much, but wanted to shake her every so often, because she made some questionable decisions. She has some wonderful friends and roommates that keep her grounded, but the sudden return of an ex has her completely confused.

Reed Whalen is a jerk! Sorry, but that's my opinion. He may be gorgeous, rich and charming, and have an excuse for his terrible behaviour, but still, if I was Brecken, I don't think I would have been as forgiving. However, he does have a few redeeming qualities.

This is a book that I would not normally have picked up if I had seen it on the bookshelf in a store; not that I've got anything against the cover, or even the blurb for that matter. However, when the author offered me the chance to read this book, I thought it would be a nice change from my usual choice of paranormal romances. I'm glad I took the chance, because this story was a delight to read. The story is told from Brecken's point of view and has several flash backs to her teen's, when she spent two magical summers on Green Island, with her best friend Lizzy.
This is not only a romance, but a story of friendship. I loved seeing Brecken and Lizzy's friendship blossom and grow. They are both lucky to still be friends into adulthood. Not many friendships survive beyond school, but these two are more like sisters than friends. I also liked the dynamics between Brecken and her other friends too, especially her other roommate, Nevada, who comes across as a bit ditzy at times, but she is actually very shrewd and insightful.
However, it is the relationship between Brecken and Reed that intrigued me. I was a little disappointed not to get to know Reed a little more. He was certainly enigmatic as a teenager, which added to his charm, but I wanted to get to know the older version better. Sadly, this was not to be. However, the author did a fantastic job in bringing their story, and all the characters to life. The only problem is that I cannot relate to this book as others may do. I was not exactly the most popular child, nor the most social party animal (and I'm still not), so I never really had a "first love" experience as such. Sad, but true. Nevertheless, I felt for Brecken when her heart was broken. The end of the story left me feeling very happy.

Em Barrett has written a heart-warming coming of age tale full of romance, love and friendship that touched me deeply. I loved her writing style which, although not as fast paced as some books I have read in the past, flowed wonderfully from scene to scene. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I don't think it will be the last.

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the mention of underage drinking and smoking, as well as some bad language and scenes of a sexual nature (not explicit). I do, however, recommend this book if you love Chick Lit or contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

We write CAUSE we care!

Morning, peeps.  

So blogging and me...not the best of friends.  At all.  Although I follow quite a few blogs, I myself rarely post apart from a review or some such.

If I post, it is a rant, cause somebody somewhere did somebody wrong.

This time, that is and is not the case.

This is about what we do -- we writers.  It is about why we do any of this.  And trust me.  It might seem like a breeze, I keep hearing I would like to write a novel one day when I have the time...or oh I would love to support other authors by reading and reviewing their books, but I am employed full time.  I have a household, 2.5 children, sometimes 1.8 children.  I have a side line business, a demanding partner and I write.  Right.  Guess what, all of the above is true for all of us.  Some of us take the time, make the time to help.  This however is not about books, well not only about books.  This is about passion.
Authors, poets, lyric writers, painters, sculptures all have one thing in common.  No not that all female artist's do not shave their leg hair.  No not that we all walk around high as a kite blaming our muses on the fact that we live in a closed off life, it is the exact opposite.  

Our passion for writing, creating, for making an impact and praying it is positive, informative, that it will mean something is passion.  We all share that.  We all share passion.  This passion does not close us down to the life around us.  It makes us open to it.  Open to so much more than people think we are aware off.  

This passion often finds a home in something like....

http://bigcathabitat.org/ or click on the pic to go to this amazing site.

This is a cause that is close to the heart to one of my best friends in the Indie writing world Kelly Accinni.  She has a passion for animals and we both agree, people take a second place, maybe third to our earth and that which we were supposed to be looking after not force into extinction.


A click on this lovely pic will take you to Kelly's Facebook page.

Note. We are a bunch of passionate people involved in this ...our mission, not to take money from you.  No, our mission is to raise awareness, to share our passion and to perhaps educate.  That is why we are all doing this.  If you want to join us.  Click on the pic below.  



Now go have a look at the books J K Accinni has written, some of the revenue she makes goes towards her passion thus our name, We write CAUSE we care.

Click to go to Amazon.


This will take you to her Amazon author page.  This is not book one in her amazing series but it is the one most appropriate with this cause.

What in this world makes you passionate?
Share with us.  



Monday, March 03, 2014

Book Promo & Author Interview: The Baby & The Bride (The Debt & The Doormat #2) by Laura Barnard

Please welcome Laura Barnard, author of The Debt & The Doormat on the blog today, sharing her new release of the second book in the series, The Baby & The Bride. Check out the book and the author interview below! The first book in the series is currently FREE!! Get your copy here: Amazon US Amazon UK - Lynn

The Baby & The Bride (The Debt & The Doormat #2)



Synopsis:

Sequel to the #1 Amazon Best-Seller, The Debt & the Doormat (available for FREE) 
Poppy and Jazz’s lives sound perfect on paper. Jazz has a new baby and Poppy’s getting married. But their realities are very different. 

Poppy must strive to keep her cool new job with crazy hours, while trying to keep Ryan happy. Before she knows it her wedding has got out of control, thanks to her mother, the runners at work are bullying her, her parents are in financial difficulty and she’s doubting everything and everyone she ever knew. 

Meanwhile Jazz is struggling with motherhood, something a credit card won’t fix. Why won’t this baby give her a break? Will Jazz be able to cope before she loses it? 

And will Poppy make it down the aisle? Will Ryan even be waiting?


Add to Goodreads Here!

Purchase Links:




               

Author Interview:

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
When I was a teenager.  I’ve always adored books and thought it would be cool to one day write one myself.  One year I just thought, I’m going to give it a try. 

2. How long does it take you to write a book? 
I don’t think there’s any science to it yet!  The Debt & the Doormat took two and a half years, but there was a lot of stopping and starting.  The Baby & the Bride took nine months start to finish, but it was hard going!   

3. What do you think makes a great story?
I think if you can relate to the characters and feel like you’re rooting for them to have a happy ending. 

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I do all of my writing at night as my eighteen month old daughter is so full on I can't get a thing done during the day!  So I generally work from about 7.30pm to at least midnight.

5. How do you balance family and writing?
I dedicate my day time to my daughter.  That way I don’t feel like I’m compromising our time.  I’m actually so lucky to be able to do that.  My husband and my Mum however do help out massively in regards to cooking and cleaning – skills I wasn’t blessed with!

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Everywhere!  Stories from friends, newspaper articles, TV storylines.  I basically like to find an initial idea but then change it around and think ‘what if this happened?  And then what if that happened?’

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book/s? 
I didn’t realise how lovely the book community is!  At first I was a bit embarrassed to contact book bloggers and reviewers, but I quickly learnt that everyone is lovely and genuinely wants to help you in achieving your dream.  It's a really lovely place to be.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? 
I’ve now written two books; The Debt & the Doormat and the sequel, The Baby & the Bride.  It's hard to say which one was my favourite as they are so different.  The Baby & the Bride concentrates more on the aftershock from decisions made in the first book and how it's going to end up.

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Personality traits are definitely taken from people I know, but no one person is a specific character.  It wouldn’t really be my imagination then, plus my friends would kill me!

10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?
At home.  I have a desk squeezed into the corner of my sitting room, but a lot of the time I’m on the sofa, half watching TV at the same time.  I love a crime drama in the background!

11. How hard is it to get published?
I’m self-published so I’d say very hard!  However, what I didn’t realise was that you could have massive success just doing it yourself.  The Debt & the Doormat was number one best seller in Amazon free humour for a month and it's won Best Laugh Out Loud Book of 2013.  I never imagined that kind of success.

12. What do your family and friends think about your books?
They love them!  Although my Mum and husband haven’t actually read them, as they’re not really readers.  I personally prefer that anyway, as if they critiqued it, it would hurt the most.  I still hold my breath when friends read it and I don’t relax until they’ve finished.  I realise that everyone reads a book differently so I’m never sure they’ll enjoy it.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love reading, having movie nights with mates and sleeping!  Pretty boring really, but I’m normally too tired to do much else!

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they? 
I would just tell them to force themselves to write something every day, no matter how small or irrelevant.  I think the more you do it the more of a habit it becomes and things start to flow.  I also think there’s a lot to be said about not piling pressure on yourself – don’t set out to write a book, just write a funny story.  Something might come from that.

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 
I originally wanted to be a journalist, but as I got older I realised how much stiff competition there would be and that it was a lot of unpredictability about where you would be every day.  I wanted something a bit more stable and you don’t get anything more relaxed than writing books in your pyjamas!

16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?
I have so many favourite books that it would be unfair to name just a few.  I love Sophie Kinsella and Lindsay Kelk as they write hilarious chick-lit, but I’m still finding new authors that I adore.  Belle Aurora is amazing, I’ve just discovered Mia Sheridan and I’m currently reading This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas.  Being in touch with all of these book bloggers is great as I get fantastic recommendations that I wouldn’t have heard about before.

17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?
Don’t worry too much about a publisher recognising your talent.
Do look into self-publishing.
Don’t give up.
Do respect book bloggers/reviewers and remember they are crazy busy
Don’t be embarrassed to make a fool of yourself and put yourself out there. I’ve been known to give my card to people in shops – no shame!


18. What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new stand-alone book, which is currently un-titled.  It's about a party girl who is sent to live with her cousin in the Yorkshire countryside.  All she wants to do is join her friends in Mexico as a club rep.  She hears about a volunteering incentive being run by the local council.  The volunteer with the most clocked hours in the local care home in a month wins flights of their choice.  She makes it her mission to win this, but in her desperate need to escape she discovers a lot about herself and what she really wants from life.


About The Author:


My name is Laura Barnard and I am an author from Hertfordshire, UK. My first chick-lit novel, The Debt & the Doormat was an Amazon number 1 best-seller and won Best Laugh Out Loud Book of 2013. It is available via Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks. Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository and many more. 

In my spare time I enjoy drinking my body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of my face, drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio...oh and my husband of course! I like wearing yoga clothes and reading fitness magazines while I sit on the sofa and eat chocolate. I'm a real fan of the power nap and of course, READING!

I write not to get rich or famous, but because I LOVE writing. Even if one person tells me they enjoyed my book it makes the midnight typing worth it!


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Book Review of Robyn's Egg (A Futuristic Thriller) by Mark Souza



Synopsis:

2013 Indie Reader Discovery Award Winner for Best Science Fiction 

In a dismal future driven by corporations, where most citizens are human billboards focused on status and entertainment, Moyer and Robyn Winfield struggle to attain a baby. Moyer doubts he will make a good father. His wife Robyn, however, is frantic for a child, and Moyer wonders how long his marriage will survive without one. In an age when babies must be cloned and purchased, the high cost almost makes the point moot.

When his wife learns their friends negotiated the price of their baby, she sends Moyer to Hogan-Perko, a corporation with a monopoly on human cloning, to negotiate for their child, and Moyer finds himself face to face with Viktor Perko - The Father of Mankind. The cost for their baby, all of their savings and the promise of a favor. Moyer agrees and is soon asked to spy on Perko's enemies.


Review:


Robyn's Egg - A Futuristic ThrillerRobyn's Egg - A Futuristic Thriller by Mark Souza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

I love Science Fiction and Dystopian genres, so when I was offered the chance to read this book, I snatched at it. I loved it!

Moyer Winfield is a wonderful character. I liked him very much. He is a hardworking computer programmer/analyst in a huge corporation. He is not particularly the bravest person to have as a lead character, but I found this made him more human and lifelike to me. Living in a future where children are a commodity due to a disaster of biblical proportions, he finds himself thrown into a dangerous game that could get him and his family killed.

I started reading this book, and I was catapulted into a possible future that frankly scared me to death! I love a good science fiction novel, but this is so much more than that. It is also a great thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat! This story is not easy to put down once started, because there are several twists that keep the reader hooked and wanting to find out what would happen next. The story is told from both Moyer and his wife, Robyn's point of view; this made it very interesting. Some scenes reminded me a bit of the movie "The Minority Report", especially the shopping ones, which I loved, but I wouldn't want to live in this world for any money in the world! The frightening thing is, I could see this present world we live in evolving into Moyer's world in no time at all, and this thought terrifies me!
There are some truly scary characters in this book, but I have got to say that Viktor Perko is one of the scariest, not to mention the creepiest! However, there are also some wonderful characters too, which gives the book some balance. Robyn is a woman with a ticking biological clock, which can, in some cases in real life, make people do some crazy things to get a child. I felt sorry for Moyer, because I think he was not ready to be a father and felt pressured. However, I think Robyn is so blinded by her desire to be a mother that she becomes a bit selfish. I must admit that, although I am a woman, I have never had the urge or desire to be a mother; perhaps my biological clock is broken! Nevertheless, I can understand to some degree the desperation these characters feel to have a child, when there is no way to have a family the old fashioned way. Or is there? The story has a lot of twists, as I have said previously, but there were also a few surprises too. There is a lot of action and danger, which kept my anxiety levels high, but there is also some lighter moments that brought a smile to my face. I loved some of the "parenting class" scenes, although I felt for Robyn, as she seemed to have a really hard time with the teaching instructor. When I reached the end of the book, I had a few mixed emotions. I was happy for both Moyer and Robyn, but sad the story ended. I was also left wondering if Moyer managed to find Pandora, but perhaps that will be another story. Who knows? I think this would make an intriguing movie or mini-series.

Mark Souza has written a fantastic futuristic thriller. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and flowed wonderfully. This is the author's first full novel and, although I haven't read anything else by this author, he has several anthologies and short stories which I am seriously thinking of reading in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you love Science Fiction, Thrillers or Dystopian genres. - Lynn Worton



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