Cover Reveal! Heir To The Sun, by Author Jennifer Allis Provost @parthalan

Welcome all!

It is with great excitement that I present to you all, the cover reveal of Heir To The Sun!

Heir To The Sun is a fantasy, romance novel written by not only one of my favorite authors, but one of my best friends! So without further ado….

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Don’t you just LOVE the gold lettering?!!! Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how AWESOME this book cover is!

Heir To The Sun

By Author Jennifer Allis Provost

Cover design by Veronica Jones

Add it to your GoodReads shelf here.

Heir To The Sun Facebook Page

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm… 

When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all. 

Caol’nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion. 

What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.


Jennifer Allis Provost writes stories about faeries, orcs, elves, and the occasional zombie. She’s a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog that thinks she’s a kangaroo, a parrot, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior.

Connect with this Author

Heir To the Sun will be available in ebook format on June 1, with print soon to follow. Check out the links below so you can stay up to date with giveaways, release dates, and upcoming releases!

Twitter: @parthalan 

Website: http://authorjenniferallisprovost.com/

 

 

 

AWRW #WayBackWednesday Book Review: Deadly Innocence, by Scott Burnside and Alan Cairns

Way Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression.

Youwaybackwednesday know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate.

For more information, please visit, here!

This week’s Way Back Wednesday Post is dedicated to the true crime book, Deadly Innocence, by Scott Burnside, and Alan Cairns.

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Karla and Paul seemed like the picture-perfect newlyweds, but were really a pair of vicious killers who abducted, sexually tortured and murdered innocent schoolgirls, videotaping their evil acts in suburban Niagara Falls. Billed as the crime of the century in Canada, this case has received a great deal of media coverage on both sides of the border. Includes eight pages of photos.

Paperback, 584 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Grand Central Publishing
Genre: True Crime, Non-Fiction

My Thoughts

As a teenager, and before Investigation Discovery, I went through a phase when I devoured any and all true crime books. Out of all the crime books I read, there were a few that stuck to me and left a lasting impression… Deadly Innocence was one of those books.

Deadly Innocence is the true story of a Canadian husband and wife serial killing duo. What made them special, was their looks. Nobody would have ever suspected that this preppie looking couple, were savage rapists and torture-murderers. -Not even their own family!

The Victims


The authors take you inside the story, starting with how these disturbed individuals came together, the rapes and murders, (written in graphic detail), and how they were able to compartmentalize their actions from their everyday living. This case is a true study of psychology and the human mind!

And for those who are interested, Karla Homolka is now living free in Canada, due to a sweetheart deal she made with the prosecutor. Bleh…. She barely served any time!

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to self-proclaimed “ID Addicts”, and anyone with an interest in true crime.

Rating

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Purchase

Interested in a Canadian, Barbie & Ken true crime? Purchase Deadly Innocence, here!

Author Katie O’ Rourke’s Book Club #Contest! @KatieORourke78

Hi Bookworms! I have some news that will brighten up your Monday. :) facebook

Do you belong to a book club? Women’s Fiction Author, Katie O’ Rourke, is having a fun contest and whoever wins gets free copies of her latest book, A Long Thaw, for every member of their club!

Here are the details of the book: 

Cousins Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close family. But when Juliet’s parents divorce, it tears the family apart and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child.

As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them, in spite of the years apart.

Told in alternating narrative, A Long Thaw explores how the two women are shaped by the traumas and triumphs of childhood. It’s a story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Does A Long Thaw sound like a book that your club would be interested in reading? If so, let’s proceed and I will give you the contest details! :)

Here is the question you have to answer: Why do you love your book club?

Please comment in the comment section on this post, or leave a comment on Facebook, or Tweet me on Twitter @AprilLWood or the Author @KatieORourke78 .

That’s it! Simple enough! Winners will be chosen by the Author based on her favorite answer, so get creative!

For more information, check out Katie’s blog post, here!

I wish everyone good luck! :)

AWRW *5 Star* Book Review: Angels At The Gate, by Author T.K. Thorne @TKThorne @JWPRInc

23231687Little is known about Lot’s wife, the unnamed biblical figure who was turned into a pillar of salt as she fled the destruction of Sodom. But for writer T.K. Thorne, just one reference was enough to ignite her imagination and form the basis for her dazzling new novel, ANGELS AT THE GATE (Cappuccino Books, March 2015). Like Noah’s Wife, Thorne’s highly praised debut, this book brings the ancient world to life through the eyes of an extraordinary woman.

Based on historical, biblical, and archaeological research, visits to the Middle East, and a large measure of creativity, ANGELS AT THE GATE is the story of Adira, destined to become Lot’s wife. A daughter of Abram’s tribe, Adira is an impetuous young girl whose mother died in childbirth. Secretly raised as a boy in her father’s caravan and schooled in languages and the art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic life and independence.

But with the arrival of two mysterious strangers – Northmen rumored to be holy or possibly even “Angels” – Adira’s world unravels. Raiders invade the caravan, and she loses everything she values most – her father, her freedom, and even the “Angels.”

Caught between her oath to her father to return to her tribe and the “proper life for a woman” and tormented by an impossible love, she abandons all she has known in a dangerous quest to seek revenge and find her kidnapped “Angel.” With only her beloved dog, Nami, at her side, Adira must use the skills she learned in the caravan to survive the perils of the desert, Sodom, and her own heart.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 5th 2015 by Cappuccino Books Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction
nami

Nami, Adira’s faithful companion. A Saluki dog.

What’s It About?

Angangelsatthegateels at the Gate is a historical, biblical fiction about the life of Adira, Zakiti’s daughter, destined to become Lot’s second wife. Author T.K. Thorne tells Adira’s story based on biblical text and her own imagination.

Raised as a boy, “Adir” learned to manage animals, and travel with the caravan, picking up many languages as they went on their travels, as well as the fine art of negotiation.

As she gets older, her father, Zakiti, insists she claim her birthright to be a woman, but Adira is afraid to leave her father and their caravan. It is a dangerous world for women, and she is content with her lie. Besides, she prefers her independent life.

Then, two tall men arrive and seek refuge with Zakiti. Her uncle Abram believes these giants were angels sent from El.

For the first time, Adira has feelings for one of the brothers. But as a “male”, she hasn’t a chance…

When raiders looking for the brothers murder her father, steal her dog, and kidnap one of the brothers, Adira sets off on her quest of revenge, and love.

My Thoughts

This was my first biblical fiction and it won’t be my last. I absolutely loved living vicariously through Adira, and seeing the ancient world BCE through her eyes as told by Author T.K. Thorne!

Angels At The Gate is brimming with action and adventure! There is never a dull moment. Between scorpion bites, cobra venom, raiders, desert journeys, and the horsemen of the North, Adira handled it all and lived to tell about it. She hardly shirked behind the men, instead she fought beside them and took control of dangerous situations. Her upbringing as a boy served her well.

Perhaps the scariest situation was during the Spring Rites, when an angry mob appeared at Lot’s door, wanting to rape the brothers. He then offered his daughters to them…. Can you imagine? That scene will always stick with me. I loved how Adira handled it. Basically, she wasn’t having any of it! Even if her step-daughters were little witches!

Overall, I LOVED this book and I am grateful to Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc for providing me with a paperback copy, in exchange for a thoughtful, honest, and fair book review.

BTW, if ever a book should be turned into a movie, Angels At The Gate has my vote!

Rating

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Recommendation

I would highly recommend this book to people who have an interest in women of the bible.

Purchase

Interested in a historical, biblical fiction about Adira, a woman of the bible? Purchase, here!

About The Author

T.K. Thorne T.K. Thorne’s childhood passion for storytelling deepened when she became a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama. “It was a crash course in life and what motivated and mattered to people.” When she retired as a captain, she took on Birmingham’s business improvement district as the executive director. Both careers provide fodder for her writing, which has garnered several awards, including “Book of the Year for Historical Fiction” (ForeWord Reviews) for her debut novel Noah’s Wife. Her first non-fiction book, Last Chance for Justice, was featured on the New York Post’s “Books You Should Be Reading” list. She loves traveling, especially to research her novels, and speaking about her books and life lessons. She writes at her mountaintop home, often with two dogs by her side and a cat on her lap. —Goodreads Author Bio

AWARDS WON BY T.K. THORNE:
ForeWord Reviews “Book of the Year” for Historical Fiction
Winner of Portland Book Review for Short Fiction
Winner of Chattahoochee Valley Writer’s Contest for Short Fiction
Winner of Eugene Walters Writers Festival Termite Hall for Screenplay
Winner of Magic City Writers’ Contest for Short Fiction

 

Cover Reveal! The Hunt, by Tim J. Lebbon @TimLebbon @TheChargeIsOn @CMWoods1993

Welcome all!

I’m certain you must be curious as to what was called “the best British thriller of 2015″! Wait no more, I present you with The Hunt, one of the latest thrillers by horror and fantasy Author, Tim J. Lebbon!

She will hunHunt Front Covert down the men who took her family. She will have blood.

Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite and secret organisation for bored super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price – when she escaped The Trail murdered her family. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge. Watching, waiting …And now her day has come.

Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen. He’s told to run. If he’s caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die. Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them.

The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris’s corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Chris just wants his family back.

The hunt is on…

Editorial Director, Eleanor Dryden says, ‘THE HUNT is the most pulse-pounding, suspenseful and intense page-turner I’ve read for a long time. It’s a simple, terrifying concept, with action and drama so gripping you have to remind yourself to breathe. I apologise in advance for the sleep you’re likely to miss once you pick up this fresh, top-notch thriller! I am incredibly excited to be publishing Tim and a book that I feel strongly deserves the accolade of best British thriller of 2015.”

The Hunt will be available in digital format on the 18th of June, and the paperback edition will be available on the 16th of July!

About The Author

I was born in London in 1969, lived in Devon until I was eight, and the next twenty years were spent in Newport. My wife Tracey and I then did a Good Thing and moved back to the country, and we now live in the little village of Goytre in Monmouthshire with our kids Ellie and Daniel. It’s a lovely place – pub, shop, chip shop, school – and we’re very happy here. Two minutes’ walk in any direction and we’re in the countryside, and the area has featured, intentionally or not, in much of my writing.

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. The first story I recall actually finishing was when I was nine years old. It involved a train hijacking (yeah, a train has about ten thousand doors and is probably the hardest moving vehicle to hijack … but I was nine years old!), and one of the hijackers being clumsy enough to drop his gun. Naturally my hero found the gun and went on a killing spree. Die Hard on the 10:17 from Paddington.

In my teens I began about nine million novels, and finished none of them. They varied from World War Two action adventures to ’70s style disaster novels. Some had spooky elements, some did not, and it wasn’t until I was twenty that I wrote my first horror story, “Black Heart”. I still have it somewhere … and I suspect it will remain hidden away forever!

My first published story was in the UK indie magazine Psychotrope in 1994, and in 1997 Tanjen published my first novel Mesmer. Since then I’ve had over almost thirty books published in the UK and US by Bantam Spectra, Allison & Busby, Night Shade Books, Simon & Schuster, Leisure Books, PS Publishing, Necessary Evil Press, Cemetery Dance and many others, with many more due soon. Check out the Library section for details.

Quite a few of my novellas and novels have been optioned for the screen, including White (written by Stephen Susco),Exorcising Angels, Until She Sleeps, Face, In Perpetuiry, andThe Nature of Balance. They’re all ‘in development’ right now, which means anything from ‘We’re trying to find a writer’ to ‘We have major studio interest and it’s only a matter of time’.  There are several others projects about to enter such a stage of development.  One day …

Late in 2006 I took the plunge into full-time writing and it’s going well. There’s plenty of exciting news on the horizon – new book deals, film options and other stuff – and you’ll find details posted at this site as and when they happen. —Author Biography

 


					

AWRW #WayBackWednesday Book Review: A Good Yarn, by Debbie Macomber

Wwaybackwednesdayay Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression.

You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate. Further details can be found, here!

143761Today I wanted to return to the shop on Blossom street, :) and revisit  A Good Yarnan old favorite of mine, by one of my favorite authors, Debbie Macomber.

Lydia Hoffman owns the shop on Blossom Street. In the year since it opened, A Good Yarn has thrived-and so has Lydia. A lot of that is due to Brad Goetz.

But when Brad’s ex-wife reappears, Lydia is suddenly afraid to trust her newfound happiness.

Three women join Lydia’s newest class. Elise Beaumont, retired and bitterly divorced, learns that her onetime husband is reentering her life. Bethanne Hamlin is facing the fallout from a much more recent divorce. And Courtney Pulanski is a depressed and overweight teenager, whose grandmother’s idea of helping her is to drag her to seniors’ swim sessions-and to the knitting class at A Good Yarn.

Paperback, 380 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Mira Books (first published 2005)
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Crafts/Knitting, Romance

“Welcome to A Good Yarn,that fictional little shop on Blossom Street in Seattle, where knitters go for yarn, supplies and patterns, and where they form lasting friendships in Lydia Hoffman’s knitting classes. Other businesses have sprung up there, including the French Café, Susannah’s Garden and Blossom Street Books.”

My Thoughts

I find Debbie Macomber’s books to be charming and delightful. You know what you are getting between the pages of a Macomber book; a fun, light read. A Good Yarn is no different.

A Good Yarn is probably my favorite book by Debbie Macomber. I love the characters, specifically Courtney Pulankski, who would have rather been anywhere else but a knitting class. It really isn’t about the knitting though, but if you enjoy knitting you would appreciate the references to knitting.

What it is about are the women students who are taking the knitting classes, their personal lives, and what brings everyone together. Each character is very different from one another, and yet they all become friends, bonding over needles and yarn. :)

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Interesting Fact about A Good Yarn

A Good Yarn is book 2 out of 10 in The Blossom Street Series.

About The Author

Debbie MacomberDebbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide. Macomber brings to life the compelling relationships that embrace family, community and enduring friendships, filling her readers with a sense of love and hope.

http://www.debbiemacomber.com/

 

AWRW Book Review: The Rise Of Chaos, by AnnMarie Stone

All Anastasia has ever wanted was to start a new life, a normal life, a life without her parents. As soon as Anastasia gets that chance however, she discovers quickly that a normal life was never a possibility for someone like her.

Anastasia has always known that she was different, but she has never understood why. Two mysterious strangers, identical t20628748wins, offer answers that she desperately seeks, but can she trust what they tell her? One is evil and a creature of Chaos, the other is Light and a being filled with a Pure soul. Unfortunately for Anastasia, it’s no longer clear which is which.

Chaos had already separated Anastasia from her soul mate, weakening her own purity. With her defenses down, she is a perfect target for Chaos to seep in and take control. Chaos has already corrupted her father, could she be next? Or will her determination to save her true love from the same fate be enough to protect her from corruption?

When Chaos threatens to extinguish Light once and for all, Anastasia will have to decide which side to fight on. The unique abilities that have always made Anastasia different from everyone else are the very same abilities that may save or condemn her.

Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published March 7th 2014 by AnnMarie Stone
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Original Title: Anastasia’s Suffering

What’s It About?

“The universe is powerful, Anastasia. Don’t ever be surprised about anything. Everything happens for a reason. There are no accidents.”

Anastasia Duke is in love with the man of her dreams, literally. She has never met him in waking life, but her connection to him is very strong. Her dreams provide her with an escape from her reality.

Her best friend and roommate Steven is her backbone. He supports her with everything, and is like family to her. Her actual family consists of a drunk, violent father, and her doormat of a mother.

Anastasia has a job opportunity in New York, but it seems too good to be true! She gets the job and is introduced to Lukasz, her guide. Lukasz has a twin brother, Tristan. The identical twins are two pieces to a whole, on opposite sides, created to balance the world. They are light and chaos…. unfortunately, for Anastasia, she doesn’t know who is who.

“Chaos typically wins and light rarely prevails…”

When her mother lets her in on a deep dark secret, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together, and Anastasia vows to give her own life to stop Chaos… if she has to.

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My Thoughts (Contains Some Spoilers, Skip To “Favorite Scene”)

I liked this story. The plot was interesting and it kept me guessing. The pacing was smooth and steady, with a few plot twists that made me gasp. I enjoyed the world building, which is very important, especially in a fantasy novel where you want to feel connected to the characters. I am interested in continuing the series.

Several things made me cringe which affected my rating. For starters, Anastasia mentioned that her mother wasn’t educated, never went to college, and didn’t have a “real job”. However, her mother worked from home, doing medical billing and coding. That is a real job in my book, and it does require training. I found that off-putting.

Next, there were several grammatical errors and misspellings that were a bit distracting.

Also, YES I GET THAT STEVEN AND ANA ARE BEST FRIENDS, AND THAT THEY HAVE A HISTORY! It was reiterated to death. In chapter 11 there was some repeat introspection from Anastasia about her relationship with Steven, which was completely unnecessary, as it was already clear that 1.) yes he is gay, and 2.) yes her father approved of her friendship because he was gay. -(Things the reader learns early on.)

And what, were Steven and Ryan married on the way to the hospital in the ambulance, or what? I get that the reader needs to have a little imagination, but what the heck was that about? One minute there is a wedding brawl, and the next Ryan is riding in the ambulance because he is married to Steven and able to do so. When did they get married?! While he was unconscious?!

Equally important, what was up with the supposed domestic violence scene? Why was her father even let into that apartment? And as far as I comprehended, her father cornered her… how is that grounds for domestic violence? And that restraining order? When did she go to court for that? She didn’t. (I need real life things to be realistic.)

Last, the ending ends where the book began. -I’m not sure what to make of that. It wasn’t exactly a cliff hanger, like I was expecting since this novel is part of a series.

I do however want to continue this series, despite my few problems with book 1. I really did enjoy the story, and the theories about good and evil, auras and souls, and soul-mates. I liked that Ana has a “gift” to read people simply by touching them, and that her colleagues at The Agency have their own special “gifts” too. The astral projection aspect was a neat twist too.

Favorite Scene

Ana’s view from the bridge in her re-occuring dream.

Anastasia’s visits in the magical forest, and later on the bridge next to the pond. The author painted a beautiful, serene picture, and I could imagine myself there.

I enjoyed revisiting this place, vicariously, through Anastasia.

Recommendation

I would recommend The Rise Of Chaos, by AnnMarie Stone, to lovers of paranormal romance.

Rating

***In the interest of full disclosure, an ecopy of The Rise Of Chaos was provided to me in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review. This is no way swayed my rating.

Purchase

Interested in a paranormal new-adult romance? Purchase, here!

Interesting Facts About The Rise Of Chaos20693978

The Rise of Chaos was originally titled, Anastasia’s Suffering. Check out the original cover!

(I like the new cover better, and I think it is a more accurate depiction of the story.)

About The Author

AnnMarie StoneSubscribe to the AnnMarie Stone NEWSLETTER!

The Reborn Series WEBSITE — AnnMarie Stone’s WEBSITE

Facebook – AnnMarie Stone

I was born and raised in Arizona and currently live in Phoenix. The heat can be difficult during the summer, but I try my best to spend most of my time during the hottest months indoors writing. I would love to travel someday and I hope that my writing will take me many places, and hopefully not just in my head. My favorite vacation spot right now is San Diego California, but my dream places to visit are all overseas. Although, since I have only seen a fraction of the United States, I would love to travel the nation someday as well. First on my bucket list however is to explore the historical landmarks in Greece and Italy, and the castles all over Europe.

Up until recently, I have spent most of my adult life in college and working in sales and customer service type positions, while also raising my two incredible kids and serving three years in the Army National Guard. Recently I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published author and I have begun to work on my writing full time. I am currently working on my first book in an eight book series which I have titled Reborn. Writing for me has always seemed like an unattainable dream, but now I realize that some dreams are only unattainable if we do not attempt to reach them.

I completed my Master of Science in Psychology in the spring of 2013 and I have also taken some graduate courses in Ancient and Classical history. I believe that the knowledge I have gathered from my life experiences as well as my education has assisted me in creating some interesting and complex characters. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I have. –Goodreads Author Bio

http://www.annmariestone.me/

AWRW #WayBackWednesday Book Review: Cobain, by Rolling Stone Magazine & Holly George-Warren

Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

waybackwednesday Way Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression.

You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate. Full instructions & details, here!

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Today’s Way Back Wednesday post is dedicated to the non-fiction biography, Cobain, by Rolling Stone Magazine and Holly George-Warren.

Goodreads Book Synopsis

Years after his suicide, aged 27, Kurt Cobain remains a vital force in today’s music scene. This lavishly illustrated tribute to Nirvana draws on Rolling Stone magazine’s coverage of the band’s too-brief history.

Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1994)
Genre: Biography, Memoir, Non-Fiction

My Thoughts

Although listed as a “biography”, some might argue that it reads more like a scrapbook. Composed of pictures, concert fliers, and interviews throughout Nirvana’s career, this book is a must have for fans of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.

I lived, breathed, and slept Nirvana as a pre-teenager and a teen. I devoured this book within one night, and nearly had it memorized cover to cover. The image of Kurt Cobain’s face in black and white on the cover will forever haunt me.

To sum up my thoughts, this book is a great collector’s piece for fans of Nirvana!

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About The Authors

Rolling Stone MagazineRolling Stone is a U.S.-based magazine devoted to music, politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner (who is still editor and publisher) and music critic Ralph J. Gleason.

Holly George-Warren is an award-winning writer, editor, book packager, producer, and music consultant. She is currently working on a biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon and Schuster in 2017. She is also the author of A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man (Viking, March 2014),Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry (Oxford University Press, 2007), The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years (HarperCollins, Sept. 2009), Bonnaroo: What, Which, This, That, the Other (Abrams Image, 2012), Cowboy! How Hollywood Invented the Wild West (Readers Digest Books, 2002), Punk 365 (Abrams, 2007), Grateful Dead 365 (Abrams, 2008); and the children’s books Honky-Tonk Heroes and Hillbilly Angels: The Pioneers of Country & Western Music (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), and The Cowgirl Way (Houghton Mifflin Harcout, July 2010). She has cowritten several books including John Varvatos: Rock In Fashion (with John Varvatos, September 2013),The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang, Ecco 2009), How the West Was Worn (Abrams, 2001), The Working Woman’s Guide to Managing Stress (Prentice-Hall, 1994), and Musicians in Tune: 75 Contemporary Musicians Discuss the Creative Process (Fireside, 1992), which was revised and published as It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity in the UK by John Blake Publishers in 2013. She received her second GRAMMY nomination in 2013 for penning the liner notes to Janis Joplin’s The Pearl Sessions.

Read more at http://www.hollygeorgewarren.com/

 

AWRW Book Review: Nothing To Tell (Campus Crush), by Ashelyn Drake

nothingtotellSome guys have the art of hooking up down to a science.

They know all the right words to say and all the right games to play.

Except…for guys like Mike Hannigan.

The dude has got no game, his pick-up lines never work, and to make matters worse, his wing-man is his female best friend, Mindy.

Until one day, a mysterious raven-haired beauty catches Mike’s eye and he’s determined to have her. He doesn’t care what lengths he has to go to. He’ll do whatever it takes to perfect his game and figure out what to say without sounding like a sleaze.

But…

There’s always something strange about mysterious girls.

They’re usually mysterious for a reason and this girl in particular might be more than Mike bargained for.

ebook, 34 pages
Published April 26th 2014 (first published October 29th 2013)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Campus Romance Series

What’s It About?

Mike Hannigan is falling for a student on campus and wants desperately to impress her. His “wingman”, Mindy, tries to teach him to ditch the cheesy lines, and just talk to her like a normal person.

Fallon is different from the other girls on campus. She is mysterious, and has a take charge attitude. She also has a dark little secret…

Why is Fallon hiding in plain sight? Will Mike ever win over his campus crush?

Nothing To Tell is Mike’s story. It is part of the Campus Crush series.

My Thoughts

Well that was short but sweet!

I enjoy Author Ashelyn Drake’s campus novels. They take you back to a time when life was carefree, and all you had to worry about was your part time job, and getting good grades. Ahhhh, ‘new adult’ life. I feel nostalgic when I read her novels.

I really liked Fallon’s character in Nothing To Tell. Fallon is coy, and her coyness makes her sexy. She kept Mike at an arm’s length, which fueled his interest in her.

I enjoyed Mike and Mindy’s relationship. They were funny together, and related to each other as brother and sister.

The twist threw me for a loop! I did NOT see that coming! I mean, really… WOW! (I challenge you to read this novella, and tell me that you predicted the ending!)

Recommendation

I would recommend Nothing To Tell to readers who enjoy ‘new adult’ stories, and to readers who enjoy college romances.

Rating

fivestars

***In the interest of full disclosure. I received an ecopy of Nothing To Tell, by the Author, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review.

Purchase

Get the Campus Crush Box-set, including Nothing To Tell, Romancing The RA, Behind Closed Doors, and Rushing Into Love for free, here! You will save $14.99 USD!

About The Author

Ashelyn DrakeAshelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. Her debut NA title Campus Crush is now available. She also write YA and MG paranormal under the name Kelly Hashway. Drake is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. For more information about Ashelyn, visit her website at ashelyndrake.wordpress.com. 

AWRW #WAYBACKWEDNESDAY Book Review: When The Wind Blows, by Author John Saul

waybackwednesdayWay Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression.

You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate. Complete instructions, here! :)

Today I would like to talk about an old favorite of mine, When The Wind Blows, by Author John Saul. If you have ever read a book by John Saul, you know that his stories are dark and twisted, and usually involve the murder of children. When The Wind Blows is no different.

6563Out of the night, out of the past, the terror comes...

The children were waiting. Waiting for centuries. Waiting for someone to hear their cries. Now nine-year-old Christine Lyons has come to live in the house on the hill — the house where no children have lived for fifty years. Now little Christie will sleep in the old-fashioned nursery on the third floor. Now Christie’s terror will begin…

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 2nd 1990 by Dell Publishing Company (first published August 1st 1981)
Genre: Horror, Dark, Suspense, Thriller
Purchase, here!

This novel roped my young self in and barely let go! I still, to this day, think of this book! When the wind blows, terrible things happen… stillborn babies cry, dark secrets and a disturbing past come to the present. A terrific example of why one should let sleeping dogs lie.

fivestars

 

AWRW Book Review: Learning The Ropes, Pony Tales #2, by C.P. Mandara

“Horsie-land was becoming all a little bit too much for her…”

In B18454819ook Two of Pony Tales, Jenny finds herself in the capable hands of Mark, her guide and tormentor for the day. She becomes accomplished in the art of crawling, gets an eye-opening tour of the facility and suffers regularly with the pain of orgasm denial. Finding herself at the mercy of his fingertips, when he demonstrates the complexities of breath play, she panics that each gasp of air may be her last.

Displayed, touched, fondled and at the mercy of others, Jenny begins to discover what life as a pony girl might entail, especially when faced with the wicked tongues of several pony boys! Getting acquainted with the rather aptly named Red Room and finding herself subject to a thorough spanking is her first discovery into the delicious world of pain and pleasure that awaits her.

But there are far more devilish torments than spanking to be found at the Albrecht stables…

ebook, 46 pages
Published August 7th 2013 by Chimera Books
Genre: Erotica, BDSM, Adult Fiction ***Warning, this novella contains adult content of a sexual nature.

What’s It About?

They have horse shoes!! WAHAHHAHHAAA!!! How the hell do I catagorize this? Horse, fetish, couture? :-PMaster Mark has a fondness for disobedient ponies, and he gets his fill with new trainee, Jenny. In this installment of Pony Tales, Jenny gets a tour of the hotel, which includes an exercise room, a training room, the red room, and to her horror, the dungeon.

Demeaned and humiliated, Jenny finds herself both wanting revenge, and feeling aroused, but never getting the release she craves…

My Thoughts:

With chapters like, ‘Punished, Displayed and Tormented,’ you know what you are getting into. And like Pony Tales Book I, The Riding School, it bothered me that Jenny was, again (for the most part), an unwilling participant.

What this series boils down to is a rape fantasy. I get that there is a small audience who enjoys this type of book, but for me, I need everyone to be willing. Otherwise, I feel like I am reading a true-crime/non-fiction. –And I’ve read plenty of those! I can’t picture Master Mark as Mr. Sexy Alpha Male… I just, can’t.

In this installment we get Master Mark’s POV, mingled with Jenny’s. In some instances, the author alludes the reader into believing that he might actually be falling for Jenny.

But here is the thing, despite being shelved as an “erotic romance”, and a “romance”, it most definitely is not. Honestly, that is downright laughable. The Pony Tales series is pure kink, 100% erotica, and nothing less.

Recommendation:

This novella is  18+, and not recommended for the prude.

Women who enjoy ‘pony play fetish’, or reading about ‘pony play’ would enjoy the Pony Tales Series.

Rating:

***In the interest of full disclosure, I received an e-copy of Learning The Ropes, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review.

Purchase:

Interested in the Pony Tales Series? Purchase book II, Learning The Ropes, here!

About The Author:

C.P. MandaraChristina Mandara was born in the UK, but has spent most of her life travelling the world. She speaks three languages and has been chiefly employed in the fields of finance and travel. Her favourite city is Sydney and her favourite holiday destination is the south of France.

She loves keeping fit and enjoys running, cycling and water sports. No, not those kinds of water sports; think surfing or sailing. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t enjoy BDSM in all of its glorious forms, be that pony girls, bondage, edge play, orgasm denial or a damn good spanking. Her favourite item in the toy closet (a box simply isn’t big enough) is her riding crop.

In her spare time she’s usually cuddled up with a good book, exploring the countryside or baking in the kitchen. In fact, she loves her kitchen so much she’s one of few woman who wouldn’t mind being tied to it! Her first and foremost love is writing, however, and more often than not you’ll find her on a laptop spinning tales of romance, erotica or dark, paranormal fantasies.

Those in the BDSM world might wonder whether Ms Mandara is a top or a bottom. Is she currently training a herd of pony boys or is she stabled up, in full leather tack, with the pony girls? It’s a good question. Answers on a postcard please or try and figure it out yourself by visiting Ms Mandara’s blog: www.christinamandara.wordpress.com

AWRW Book Review: The Riding School (Pony Tales # 1), by C.P.Mandara

Me18282429et Jenny. She’s rich, spoiled, rude and obnoxious. She’s also just been signed up for the BDSM ride of her life – without her consent. An intensive training course at the Albrecht Stables is not what it appears to be and training to become a human pony was not on Jenny’s to-do list.

The trouble is, how do you escape when you’re tied up, gagged and constantly sexually aroused? Which Master or Mistress do you turn to for rescue? And what do you do if you suspect you might actually be enjoying yourself?

This is Jenny’s adventure into the world of BDSM and pony play. She’s about to find out just how much effort it takes to become a pony girl and that she has no choice but to excel in every aspect of her training or she may never stand a chance of being released from her bondage.

Book One features Jenny’s abrupt induction, where she finds herself being stripped naked, medically examined and intimately measured for her new uniform – as a pony girl.

Kindle Edition, 29 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Chimera Books (first published April 23rd 2013)

Genre: BDSM, Erotica. Adult Fiction

What’s It About?

C.P. MandaraThe Riding School is a novella about a spoiled rich girl unwillingly thrust into the world of human pony play, and medical kink. To her complete surprise, she finds herself enjoying herself, and attracted to her Master. This read is XXX and not recommended for the prude, nor the faint of heart.

My Thoughts:

Her father sent her there? Just…. what?! WHY?!!!!!!!!


I’m not sure what kind of a father would send his daughter off to be trained as a human pony girl, but if you can get past that, there is even more in store for you… I’m talking forced gynecological exams, and “breaking in” sessions.

I hated that Jenny was, at first, an unwilling participant. Had she not have later enjoyed herself, this novella would have been a DNF, (did not finish). I cannot stand rape fantasy erotica!

humanponygirl“This was not a tack room for horses. All of the equipment had been designed with humans in mind!”

The novella, being very brief, didn’t give me a a chance to feel attached to the characters. Although why would I? The Author didn’t exactly paint them in a very favorable light! You’ve got spoiled rich girl Jenny who finds everything intolerably boring, her oil tycoon father who sends his daughter off to a BDSM hotel, Agnes and Henrietta, the old hags who “train” the slaved humans for Master of torture, Mark.

Need I say more?

“As of now you are an animal. There will be no speech, no clothes, and no conscious will of your own.”


Recommendation:

I would recommend this novella to anyone who is interested in BDSM fiction, medical kink, human pony play, and erotica in general.

If you find the above genres titillating, you will enjoy the writing of C.P Mandera. :)

Rating:


***In the interest of full disclosure, an e-copy of this novella was provided to me in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review.

Purchase:

Purchase The Riding School (Pony Tales Book I), here!

About The Author:

C P MandaraChristina Mandara was born in the UK, but has spent most of her life travelling the world. She speaks three languages and has been chiefly employed in the fields of finance and travel. Her favourite city is Sydney and her favourite holiday destination is the south of France.

She loves keeping fit and enjoys running, cycling and water sports. No, not those kinds of water sports; think surfing or sailing. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t enjoy BDSM in all of its glorious forms, be that pony girls, bondage, edge play, orgasm denial or a damn good spanking. Her favourite item in the toy closet (a box simply isn’t big enough) is her riding crop.

In her spare time she’s usually cuddled up with a good book, exploring the countryside or baking in the kitchen. In fact, she loves her kitchen so much she’s one of few woman who wouldn’t mind being tied to it! Her first and foremost love is writing, however, and more often than not you’ll find her on a laptop spinning tales of romance, erotica or dark, paranormal fantasies.

Those in the BDSM world might wonder whether Ms Mandara is a top or a bottom. Is she currently training a herd of pony boys or is she stabled up, in full leather tack, with the pony girls? It’s a good question. Answers on a postcard please or try and figure it out yourself by visiting Ms Mandara’s blog: www.christinamandara.wordpress.com

AWRW Book Review: Red, White & Screwed, by Author Holly Bush @HollyBushBooks

Politics22589075 just got personal…

Political strategist Glenda Nelson is having a meltdown. Her handpicked, very married Congressional candidate was just caught climbing out of the window of the Sleepytown Motel, and her philandering ex-husband seems to have the most to gain from the colossal scandal that follows. As Glenda attempts to salvage the campaign in a hotly contested race, conservative and liberal pundits pounce on the story to further their own agendas.

Glenda’s love life is nonexistent to say the least, that is, until she meets handsome artist Chris Goodwich. Chris’s easy-going, carefree outlook on life couldn’t be more different than the 90-mph crazy train that is Glenda’s, but the more time she spends with him, the more she craves his calming presence, his sexy smile, and his steamy embraces. Is Chris worth taking a chance on?

Between the pressure of full-blown spin control mode, rapidly declining job security, refereeing two teenagers, caring for aging parents, and spending hours on her therapist’s couch trying to get past her ex’s crushing betrayal, Glenda finds love and makes the long trek back to happy.

 

Paperback, 373 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Holly Bush Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

What’s It About?

Glenda, a political strategist for the Lancaster Democratic Committee, knows all too well about political scandals. When her hand picked candidate for U.S. Senate is caught having an affair, Glenda has flashbacks of her ex- husband’s affairs. Do all democrats cheat on their wives?

Amidst the circus, Glenda meets Christopher Goodwich, a painter who painted a 30 ft mural of the Lancaster County Revolutionary War Battle. His easy going attitude is just what she needs when she burns the pre-cooked roast in the oven at a whopping 500 degrees, and bursts into tears like a crazy woman over a pizza… While other men might run for the hills, Christopher barely bats an eyelash.

Glenda doesn’t know if she is ready for love, and more importantly, if the risk is worth the reward.

My Thoughts:

First of all, I love the cover and the title of this book! 

If you think a political romance would be boring and stuffy, you have got it all twisted! This story, like politics, is nothing but exciting! There was never a dull moment, between political scandals, ex-husband and mistress-turned- wife drama, two teenage kids, and an aging father with ailing health. Not to mention a budding romance! <3

I loved Christopher. He is the perfect book boyfriend, ladies! Nothing can ruffle this man’s feathers, and I do mean NOTHING. He personifies the word “hero”.

And Glenda… I loved her! Her and her sidekick Melvin had me in hysterics! They were hilarious together! My favorite scene was from the Democratic Gala; Melvin popping Rolaids, to deal with the stress of the situation, and Glenda calmly asking the lady next to her if the speaker was going to hand out snake oil. LOL! I loved her snarky personality!

There are a lot of laughs between the pages but also some sad parts too that brought tears to my eyes. At her shrink, she recounts the affairs her husband had on her, and the political scandals that followed. Her father also suffers from some health problems, which was sad to read, but also gave Christopher a chance to swoop in and be the hero she needed.

I’d also like to mention that the Author never knocks the Republican party in this novel. :)

Recommendation:

I would recommend Red, White, and Screwed to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction, and romance with a political twist. Whether you are Democratic or Republican, you will enjoy this novel! :)

Purchase:

Fancy a political romance? Purchase, here!

Rating:


***In the interest of full disclosure, the Author gifted me a paperback copy of Red, White and Screwed, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review. This is no way swayed my opinion/rating.


About The Author:

Holly Bush“I grew up in a home where I was surrounded by books. There was not a room that did not hold a bookcase, stack or shelves of books. My father didn’t care what we read, although he did, as long as we read something, even a comic book. His stack of books beside his reading chair that sat next to a sunny window was a strange mix of westerns, political intrigue, current affairs, science fiction and the odd biography. Books made me curious, comforted me, excited me, scared me and gave me glimpses into lives and worlds beyond my reach. What a gift – the written word – what a gift!” —Goodreads Author Bio

http://www.hollybushbooks.com/

 

 

“Fiction Is Always Happening In The Background”: An AWRW Interview of Author Laura Lee

lauraleeAuthor Laura Lee has written a dozen non-fiction books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Running Press, Broadway Books, Lyons Press and Black Dog and Leventhal. Her book, Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation, has sold more than 85,000 copies. She has also written two collections of poetry, and a children’s book, (A Child’s Introduction to Ballet).

I recently read and reviewed, Identity Theft, by Author Laura Lee, which is a novel about a bored employee in a rock star’s office, who catfishes an enamored fan, in the guise of his boss, and sets off a chain of events he cannot control. I absolutely loved Identity Theft, and you can find my review, here!

Today I am interviewing, Author Laura Lee, and I encourage everyone to leave her a supportive comment! Please welcome her to A Well Read Woman Blog!

Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on A Well Read Woman Blog. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I was born in the metro Detroit area. My father was a writer and dreamer so we moved a lot. I spent my junior high years in Bowling Green, Ohio where he was getting his MBA in creative writing. I grew up around writers and I didn’t think of being able to express things in writing as a particular skill. I just assumed everyone did that.

My grandmother, Leonore Allman, was an actress (she played Miss Case on the old radio series The Green Hornet among other things). She encouraged me in my acting ambitions. I have always admired performers, but I have much more of a writer’s temperament. So I didn’t have a lot of success in theater school, but people did start
to take an interest when I would write plays.

That was my first hint. I went to broadcast school after college and worked in radio for a number of years, around the time that everything was changing over to automation. It was while I was working in radio that I first put my toe in the water and started publishing articles here and there. I burned out on radio– quite a drama in itself– and then came back to Michigan for a while, working at Borders Books and Music. I started in books and worked my way up to Music Lead Clerk. (Alanis Morissette was the big record at the time.)

I started focusing much more seriously on writing. Eventually I found my way to upstate New York where I worked at the Albany Times Union as a reporter, which is an experience I would recommend for any writer. While I was doing that I sold my first book. Eventually I ended up working for folksinger Arlo Guthrie’s non-profit and at a coffee shop in the front of his offices. I also became the public relations director for a nationally touring Russian ballet company around this time.

T25010416he last year I was there I was on the road with the company in a big tour bus. That is where I met my current partner, a Russian ballet dancer. After my father passed away, I ended up back here in Michigan again and I now divide my time between writing books and speeches and touring the U.S. with my ballet project half the year. So like Ethan, I have worked in the offices of touring entertainers. Like Ollie I spend a large part of the year on the road and like Candi…

I’m not sure my life resembles Candi’s all that much, actually. But I have had my share of rock star infatuations.

(I’d like to mention to readers who have yet to read Identity Theft, that Ethan, Ollie, and Candi are characters from your book. :) )

What have you written other than Identity Theft?

Identity Theft is my 16th book I think. It is my second novel. The first was called Angel. (They’re working on releasing a second edition of Angel right now.) My biggest seller was The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation, the most quirky and fun was The Elvis Impersonation Kit. My one children’s book is called A Child’s Introduction to Ballet. My most recent non-fiction book was Don’t Screw It Up published by Reader’s Digest last year.

(More books by Author Laura Lee can be found, here!)


I just read the book blurb for The Pocket Encylopedia of Aggravation, and nearly laughed my head off! I love your sense of humor, and how you inject that into your books. :) I’d like to include the blurb in this interview, to give readers an impression of your humorous writing style.

The Pocket Encyclopedia Of AggravationBook Blurb

From airline food, bagpipes and Barney to soggy cereal, telemarketers and warts, here is the first A-to-Z, illustrated compendium of everyday annoyances–complete with truly informative scientific explanations and wry commentary.
184318
When it comes to aggravation, it’s the little things that count. Car alarms, fingernails on a blackboard, having a song stuck in your head, cookie mush at the bottom of your coffee cup, mosquitoes, mimes, chain letters–and those silly curtains between First Class and Coach, what are those about?

The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation is a unique tour through the things that drive us crazy, full of fascinating details about their inner workings, causes, remedies and histories. Deadpan cross-sections, diagrams, and technical drawings bring such things to life as VCRs that flash 12:00-12:00-12:00 and the sound waves created by nails on a chalkboard or crinkly candy wrappers.

Purchase, here!

Are you working on anything presently? If so, would you mind sharing?

I’m always working on a lot of things. My next book will probably be a non-fiction title that is in the works right now. (Not yet under contract, but promised). I’ve also written a stage play. I’ve been working on a biography for a few years when my schedule allows it. Fiction is always happening in the background.

I like that, “Fiction is always happening in the background.”  That means a number of things to me.

25010416In Identity Theft, the main character, Candi, has a celebrity crush on 80’s Rock Star, Blast. Why do you suppose people get wrapped up in and obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous? What is it about celebrities that some people find so fascinating?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve always been someone who became intrigued by certain artists. On the one hand, I’ve never had any interest at all at the kind of gossipy People Magazine stuff–what stars are wearing, who is dating who. The whole Royal Wedding thing leaves me completely cold.

But when I was younger especially I would become intrigued by a particular artist, listening to his music or seeing him perform would spark my imagination. When I was a kid I loved Davy Jones of the Monkees. Then I became fascinated by John Lennon. I went through a Beatles-obsessed phase. My 80s star was Adam Ant. I am older than Candi, I actually grew up in the 80s and I had posters of Adam Ant over every inch of my walls. I liked the fantasy world of MTV videos much more than I liked the reality of junior high school. People tend to be fairly negative on this type of thing– being a fan. It is considered immature. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that this tendency to focus on someone and use him as a jumping off point to imagine a different life is pretty much what I still do. It is the same thing that makes me a writer. I like to daydream and to imagine other possibilities. Most of the musicians I admired gave me some glimpse of another world whether it was The Monkees groovy pad or Adam Ant’s “a new royal family a wild nobility, we are the family” or later Arlo Guthrie and Woodstock and the 60s counter culture. They provided fantasies of different ways the world could be organized–around art and music rather than commerce and status and all the things that make us feel small from day to day.

The initial idea for Identity Theft came back in the 1990s when the internet was fairly new and the idea that fans could interact directly with their favorite stars through fan forums was still novel. (At this time I was working in a musician’s office, sitting under a gold record with a spider in it.) So the main elements of the plot were there. But
I put it aside for a long time until I went to see Adam Ant in concert again last year and I found myself reflecting on my 13 year old self and my current self and what those rock star dreams meant to me at the
time. The technology has come a long way since then too. The virtual is even more real than it was when I first hatched the idea.

I think rock star crushes are a part of growing up. :)

In Identity TheftBlast hands the reigns over to Ethan, the new kid in the office, to take over his social media accounts, with instructions to post updates about his tours, etc.  Did Blast create an atmosphere where it was easy for Ethan to get carried away by chatting with fans in the chat forums, and sending private messages as if he himself was Blast? Do you think, in a way, that this was partly Blast’s fault? Or should Ethan have had more self control, and stuck to his tasks?

Ollie/Blast is of a different generation than Ethan. To a certain extent, I think he gave the social media to the kid because he figured kids know how to do that stuff. It’s what kids do. Not that everyone in his 50s is uninterested in technology, but that is clearly not Ollie’s core competency. He was going through a tough period and didn’t want to deal with stuff and he farmed it out. I’m guessing he didn’t conduct a very thorough interview with the kid before he hired him, but he didn’t think he was going to be doing anything too difficult in the office. I’ll leave it to the reader to make those kinds of moral judgments.

If Identity Theft was adapted for film, who could you see playing Candi? How about Blast, and Ethan?

I saw Demetri Martin in “In a World” and it occurred to me that he would make a great Ethan.

Even though he is the wrong age for the part, I think Tim Minchin would be a great Blast. He definitely has a rock star look.

I would love it if Candi were played by an unknown who was pretty in a unique, real girl way rather than a Hollywood way. I found it annoying when they cast Rene Zellweger in “Bridget Joneses Diary.” If they could bring themselves to cast someone who is more than a size zero to play someone who is self-conscious about her weight, I think it would be a great start.

Someone like Sally Hawkins would be great playing Candi. Candi is someone who is really cute and lovely, who at the same time feels like she comes up short compared to a more model-esque sister.

Great choices!

Is there one subject that you won’t write about as an Author?

I don’t think there is anything I would be afraid to write about or feel that I would like to write about but wouldn’t. I’m more constrained by the kind of writer I am and the kinds of things that work for me. I would be unlikely to write a Hobbit type fantasy because those kinds of stories don’t interest me, for example or a horror book with lots of blood and gore because I don’t like that.
It’s hard enough to get an idea that keeps you going and productive for the long haul of writing a novel without censoring yourself. When the writing gods give me a viable idea, I just say thank you and get to work.

What is your least favorite part of the writing/publishing process?

The pay sucks.

Haha! Yeah, I hear that!

Is there anything that I haven’t asked that you would like your readers and fans to know?

I have fans?

I guess one thing I would say about Identity Theft is that it is not necessarily what it first appears to be. There is a certain romantic comedy trope that the book does resemble in some ways in the beginning. It might be a bit different than what you expect.

That is very true, and yes of course you have fans! :)

How can your readers and fans get in touch with you?

I have a blog: https://lauraleeauthor.wordpress.com/ and I tweet @LauraLeeAuthor

Thanks, Laura! I appreciate your candor!

25010416Identity Theft, Book Blurb

When a bored employee in a rock star’s office decides to flirt with a fan online in the guise of his boss he sets off a chain of events he cannot control.

Paperback, 310 pages
Published February 8th 2015 by Elsewhere Press

Purchase, here!


 

 

 

 

 

 

AWRW Interview of Paranormal Urban Fantasy Author: Marigold Deidre Dicer

Welcome, everyone!

Marigold Deidre Dicer has been reading since she fell in love with Enid Blyton’s mysteries at the tender age of eight years old. She began writing full length stories at fifteen years old, and the novelty hasn’t worn off. :) Please welcome paranormal urban fantasy author, Marigold Deidre Dicer, to A Well Read Woman blog! I encourage everyone to leave her  a supportive comment!

Hi Marigold. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on A Well Read Woman Blog! Please, tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Well, I’ve gone back to uni to become a high school teacher, since my career in geology didn’t… ugh… let’s just say working in a literal hole wasn’t the dream job I hoped it would be. I’ve always loved reading, way, way back to the hungry, hungry caterpillar days, though Enid Blyton was the first author whose books I just ate up.

When I finally came to terms with the knowledge that “globe-trotting adventuring archaeologist” was not a real job, I decided to write a book about an adventuring crime-solving archaeologist. Best fun I ever had, but the book will never see the light of day. It was just good silly fun.

Ha ha! That’s funny, Marigold! What else have you written? :)

I’ve published my debut novel The Black Swan Inheritance, which can be found at all major retailers:

Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo

And I should mention to your readers and fans, that The Black Swan Inheritance is on sale for a limited time, for a bargain $ .99!

Book promotion

I’ve also written a lot of flash fiction and short stories on my blog which you can find here. And poetry (mostly haikus) which you can find, here.

Please tell me about your novel, The Black Swan Inheritance.

What if something extraordinary happens to you, but you’re still messed up from the ordinary?


24783676

I drew on my own experiences with anxiety and panic attacks for Anita’s story, along with some of the self-discovery themes. There the parallels end. Anita’s life and personality are very different from mine.

Anita has inherited the magic of Black Swan, transforming her into a witch who draws on dark powers. Powers that can only be found through carnal needs…

But Anita isn’t a bad person, and she’s determined to use her ill-gotten gains to benefit others. Just as soon as she’s gotten a handle on them, and as soon as the undead cults leave her alone.

Emma Wakeling designed the cover, and she draws some awesomely trippy stuff! Check out her deviantart page, here

I love that you wove your own experiences with anxiety and panic attacks into your story. I too suffer from those, dreadful panic attacks, and I think I can relate a lot to Anita myself, (in that way… at least undead cults aren’t bothering me!) ;)

Please give us some insight into the lead character of The Black Swan Inheritance, Anita. What actress could you see playing her, if your novel was adapted for film?

Anita Bhatnagar is an only child. Her mum died before she can remember, and she was raised by her single working dad (until he remarried a year ago, but she’s on good terms with her stepmum and you’ll find out why when you read the book).

womengossiptheblackswan

 

Anita has difficultly socializing and took solace in her studies, until the pressures she put on herself became too much. Her self-designed isolation got to her, and that led to some bad decisions in high school. I remember when I was in high school and I had this idea of who I had to be, which clashed terribly with who I actually was. It took me a long time to sort through the difference and embrace and accept myself. Anita’s currently going through the same process in this book – she has a lot of regrets, and she deals with it by pushing it from her mind as much as possible. But we can’t deny who we are and what we’ve done. We need to learn to accept ourselves, and work out who we want to be.

 

Pallavi Sharda as Anita in The Black Swan Inheritance

Who could play Anita? She’s only eighteen so that’s very young, but I definitely think Pallavi Sharda could play a grown-up and mature version of Anita.

Great choice!

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

I like anything with magic or monsters, so I mostly write paranormal/urban fantasy, but I’ve also dabbled in steampunk, and I’ve got a few ideas of horror and sci-fi that I want to get down. I’ll be writing until I’m dead to get everything outta my head!

I like mystical things. I like to explore theoretical scenarios, so the people need to be real for that to work. I’m an idealistic realist.

Do you have a trailer for your book? What are your thoughts on book trailers? 

No, I don’t have a trailer for my book! I’ve seen a couple, and to be honest, I’m not sure about them. While I am guilty of clicking on something because it’s got an interesting cover, I’ll always have a quick read of it first to work out if I might like it. I’m just not sure if book trailers provide enough information in the advertisement. If a book trailer incorporated quotes from reviews, then yes, I think that would work.

I noticed in a review of The Black Swan Inheritance, that a reviewer mentioned the story is told in first person. Do you feel this helps the reader connect more with the main character?

 

I decided on first person because it was a very personal story. A lot depended on Anita’s innermost thoughts, fears, and motivations to drive the story. Anita’s very rough around the edges – she can be very isolating so I needed that first person perspective to get that close connection to her.

I use third person when those inner-most thoughts are not so crucial, and I want to place more emphasis on a character’s actions, for instance, when I have a character who’s very physical. Third person for extrovert, first person for introvert. That’s my rough rule of thumb.

Is there anything else that I haven’t asked that you would like your readers and fans to know?

I am so close to finishing the first draft for the sequel but I haven’t been able to work on it as much now I’m back at uni. So disappointing to be so close and yet so far! I delve into witchcraft mythology a lot more in the second book, dissecting the potential of the maiden, mother and the crone version of witches. Real medieval stuff in a modern setting. I’m loving it!

That is great! Glad to hear The Black Swan Inheritance is part of a series!

How can your readers and fans discover more about you and your work?

 

Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads Author Page, Google +

 

And finally, are you interested in blogger reviews for The Black Swan Inheritance? How can bloggers get in touch with you?

Absolutely! Anyone who wants to provide an honest review of my book can email me at nogaku89@gmail.com for a free copy. I can offer epub, mobi, or pdf. Or if you would like a smashwords coupon, I can do that too!

Great! Thanks, Marigold!

theblackswanThe Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to ordered farmland, beautiful bush to battered beach.
Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.
Most…

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido isn’t just hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.
She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a diplomat make.

***WARNING***

This New Adult Paranormal Fantasy includes regular coarse language, violence, sexual references and a sex scene.
There is also reference to rape. Not in any detail, but there is reference to it. ***

 

ebook, New Cover Edition, 235 pages
Published January 26th 2015 (first published November 2014)
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, New Adult

Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo

author-interview-marigold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AWRW Book Review: The Curvy Girls Club, by Michele Gorman #LoveYourself

Where Confide22127973nce is the New Black.

Fed up with always struggling to lose weight, best friends Katie, Ellie, Pixie and Jane start a social club where size doesn’t matter.

It soon grows into London’s most popular club – a place to have fun instead of counting carbs – and the women find their lives changing in ways they never imagined.

But outside the club, life isn’t as rosy.

“This is a delightful book of friendship, acceptance, and belonging for anyone who has ever wondered: “What if?” –Publishers Weekly

Paperback, 386 pages
Published April 24th 2014 by Createspace
Genre: British Literature, Humor, Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit


What’s It About?

The Curvy Girls Club, by Michele Gorman, is a novel about four woman who meet every week at their weight loss club, The Slimming Zone. One day, they make a group decision to skip out on The Slimming Zone, and instead go do something fun. Eventually, it catches on and becomes a business, and the girls are organizing events for 50+ people! The club becomes an escape, not only from dieting, but from their tumultuous personal lives.

My Thoughts:

A happy book reviewer, (me), holding the UK version of The Curvy Girls Club! Thank you, Avon UK!

A happy book reviewer, (me), holding the UK version of The Curvy Girls Club! Thank you, Avon UK!

I was delightfully charmed by Katie, Ellie, Pixie, and Jane and wished they were MY friends! I cannot say enough good things about this splendid story, and the characters within it.

I enjoyed this book because it touched on real issues that women face, and dealt with those issues with humor. Katie, the main character, is hilarious! I enjoyed her point of view.

I love the idea of a “Curvy Girls Club”; a club where women who are plus- sized can feel that they are among friends, and do fun things. I think that Author Michele Gorman had a neat idea to base her women’s fiction on this.

I believe that women of all shapes and sizes can take away something positive from this book. The underlying message of The Curvy Girls Club is to love your body and yourself!

Recommendation:

I would recommend this novel to women who enjoy stories about friendship. loaded with lots of humor.

Rating:

fivestars
***In the interest of full disclosure, I received a paperback copy of The Curvy Girls Club, from Avon UK. in exchange for a thoughtful, fair, and honest book review.

Author Michele Gorman, have your cupcake!!! ;)

Purchase:

Amazon, USA, Amazon, UK

About The Author:

Michele Gorman
“I write romantic comedy, including SINGLE IN THE CITY (the first in The Expat Diaries series) and BELLA SUMMER TAKES A CHANCE. Born and raised in the US, I lost my heart to London 16 years ago, where I’ve lived ever since. I’ve also turned my hand to upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott.”

http://www.michelegorman.co.uk

AWRW Cover Reveal + #Giveaway: Make Me Believe, by Author Karen Ferry @authorkarenferr @BookEmpirePromo

MAKE ME BELIEVE KAREN FERRY AMAZON KINDLE EBOOK COVERTitle: Make Me Believe

Author: Karen Ferry

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: Mid 2015

Cover Designer: LM Creations

Add To Goodreads, here!

SYNOPSIS

Sometimes, a chance meeting is just the push you need in order to break free from the darkness within…

My name is Emma, I’m 23, and I’ve never been kissed. I’m no virgin…But kissing is too intimate, too intense, and I don’t want that – not ever. I like sex, though, and most of my hook-ups don’t seem to mind the no-kissing part. 

But then I meet Daniel, who’s such a geek, and definitely not the kind of guy I’d normally take an interest to. He’s the shy, quiet type, but with such a charming smile, and he makes my heart race – something I’ve never experienced before. 

Daniel has his own issues to work through, and I know my hardened heart shouldn’t melt when he looks at me. I reallyshouldn’t be falling for him, either, but somehow, he manages to tear down my walls, and I’m scared…because once he learns my secrets, he’ll want nothing to do with me.

All I know is that Daniel makes me feel things that I have never felt before – but do I dare let down my walls and confide in him? 

Will I let him be my first kiss? 

This is my story, and I’ll reveal everything in my own sweet time… 

Just don’t expect all the hearts-and-flowers stuff. 

Life is messy, and mine is no different…

MAKE ME BELIEVE KAREN FERRY FULL JACKET FINAL

INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS

***Due to possible ‘triggers’ and adult situations (yes, there is lots of sex in this book) it is not recommended to persons under the age of 18. 

Teaser1


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Pic

Karen Ferry is a thirty-something writer, wife to a quiet, laidback man, and mother to a gorgeous, stubborn, redheaded girl who keeps her parents on their toes.

Karen tends to have a short fuse if she does not get a proper caffeine fix first thing in the mornings, but she is, in fact, a gentle person deep down.

Karen loves Italian food and wine, travelling, and spending time with her family. When she is not writing, she reads – her favourite genres are New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotica and Romantic Suspense. She can never get enough of romance. Or of too many book boyfriends, either.

Even though Karen is Danish, she has always felt more at ease writing stories in English, and she has not read a book in her native tongue in over ten years.

She can be very outspoken and a complete fan girl of other authors online but will, in fact, be very shy once she meets you in person.

SOCIAL LINKS

Website: http://authorkarenferry.com/ 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorkarenferr 

Instagram: @authorkarenferry 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/athorkarenferry/ 

“Karen’s Fairies” – Street Team/Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/763032850451948/ 

Goodreads Author Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12055659.Karen_Ferry

GIVEAWAY! Enter, here!

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Silver necklace with charm – “Believe”

 

AWRW Interview of Contemporary Women’s Fiction Author Katie O’Rourke

Hi everyone!

Author Katie O’ Rourke recently re-leased her formerly traditionally published novel, The Long Thaw, on her own, plunging into the world of self-publishing. To read more on that, check out her insightful guest post, here!

Today, she is being interviewed on A Well Read Woman Blog, and I’m delighted to have her here! I encourage everyone reading this post to leave a supportive comment! And without further ado, please welcome, Author Katie O’ Rourke!

Hi Katie, please tell me a little about yourself and your background.

I grew up in New Hampshire, went to college at a tiny liberal arts school in Massachusetts and moved to Tucson, Arizona shortly thereafter. It is beautiful here and only snows on the top of the mountains a couple times a year.

My parents were high school sweethearts who are still together. I had the kind of happy, simple childhood that is supposed to ruin your chances of being a writer. And yet, both my brother and I are writers.

From New England to Arizona! That is quite the change!

What have you written, Katie?

I have written all my life, but thankfully most of the early stuff was never published.(Unless you count a Thanksgiving story my local paper printed when I was in grade school.) Monsoon Season was published in 2012 and A Long Thaw in 2014, which I’m re-releasing now. I have two and a half books currently awaiting publication.

13578779Monsoon Season

Riley refuses to call herself a battered woman – she doesn’t fit the profile. When her boyfriend Ben hits her, she doesn’t know what to call it. She does know to pack her things and run to the one place that feels safe – home.

Riley discovers she’s pregnant and her emotions become tangled. She can’t shake the fact that she’s still in love with Ben… A horrific accident then turns Riley’s world even more upside down, forcing her to accept help from those around her.

Before she can begin to heal, she must learn the difference between being independent and being alone. A gripping emotional drama, perfect for fans of Anne Tyler and Anita Shreve.

A Long Thaw

A multi-generational story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

A Long Thaw is about two female cousins who were close as children and reconnect as adults. Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close, Catholic family. But the divorce of Juliet’s parents fragments this family and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, on the west coast, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. On the east coast, Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child. As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them in spite of the years apart.

This book has been published traditionally and I’m rereleasing it on my own.

I would love to see that Thanksgiving story. :) I bet it was adorable!

How important are the names of characters to you in your books? And how do you choose character names?

I have looked at baby name books. I really do consider naming a character like naming a child. I also consider what names would have been popular when that character was born and what might be appropriate for their ethnicity. Many of my Irish Catholic characters have names you’d find in the bible. A name has to really feel right too, which is harder to articulate. I rarely change a character’s name after the first draft and if I do, it’s a peripheral character and there’s a really good reason.

Do you read your book reviews? Have you ever responded to a book review, or have you been tempted to? If you’ve ever received a negative review, how did you handle it?

I always read them and I never respond when they’re negative. I think readers are totally entitled to their opinion and I try to remember to be grateful that they’ve spent time reading my work in the first place. I’ve developed a pretty thick skin so it’s unlikely a bad review will hurt my feelings. Reader’s taste is subjective. If I agree with a criticism, I take it to heart and make the next book better.

Is there one subject that you refuse to write about, or have a difficult time with, as an Author?

I don’t think so. I write whatever the story demands and I have occasionally felt a story heading in a direction I didn’t expect. I just go with it. 

How can your readers and fans get in touch with you?

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5806453.Katie_O_Rourke

Thanks, Katie! I wish you all the success in the world with the re-release of A Long Thaw!

And to support this Author’s endeavors, consider purchasing A Long Thawa story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family, today!

BUY LINKS:

Amazon, USA

Amazon, UK

Barnes & Noble

Did Monsoon Season, a gripping emotional drama, strike your fancy?

BUY LINKS:

Amazon, USA

AWRW Book Review: Confessions From A Coffee Shop, by Author T.B. Markinson #LGTB

confessionsCori Tisdale was on top of the world. A basketball star at Harvard and a promising author with a lucrative book deal.

A few years later, Cori’s life is falling apart. Her beautiful girlfriend, Kat Finn, has a shopping addiction. To make ends meet, Cori takes a part-time job at a coffee shop.

Just when Cori thinks her life can’t get any worse, an old crush appears out of the blue. Cori’s friendship with Samantha Clarke pushes Cori further into a dangerous abyss when Sam reveals two secrets to Cori and asks her not to tell a soul, including Kat.

Will this be the end of Cori’s and Kat’s relationship?

Kindle Edition: 227 pages

Published: July 2014

Genre: LGBT, Lesbian Romance, Romance, Contemporary, Humor

What’s It About?

Cori Tisdale, an English University Professor, has to take a part-time job at Beantown Cafe, in an attempt to pay down some of the debt her jobless girlfriend, Kat, continues to rack up every month. One day, Cori’s high school crush, Samantha, turns up at the coffee shop. Kat is intimidated by their friendship, adding to their relationship problems.

“How could I tell a woman I was madly in love with that she was making my life a living hell by spending dimes I hadn’t even made?”

Noteworthy Characters:

Cori Tisdale: University Professor penning her first novel. She suffers from writer’s block but is encouraged by her girlfriend and eccentric family to keep writing.

Kat Finn: Cori’s beautiful, voluptuous girlfriend. She has a shopping addiction and a very rigid, stiff family who is completely opposite of Cori’s family.

“The Finn’s were the coldest people I’d ever meet. Rattlesnakes had more charm.”

Harold: Cori’s co-worker at Beantown Cafe. Bullied by his peers, Cori feels bad for him and she and Kat take him under their wings.

Ness: Cori’s over-dramatic, attention-seeking, sex-crazed, hilarious mother. She is convinced her husband is having an affair, despite any proof.

Aunt Barbara: Cori’s aunt. She owns an art gallery, and is married to a man who cheats on her.

Samantha: Cori’s former high school crush.

My Thoughts:

I liked the characters, specifically Cori’s mother Ness was my favorite, and I liked Kat a lot too. There was a lot of funny banter and dialogue between the characters that kept me interested.

The plot was believable. I can imagine Cori and Kat as real, everyday people. Like I said before, I absolutely loved Ness and Cori’s family as a whole. I enjoyed how accepting they were of Cori and of her relationship with Kat. In some ways, Ness was closer to Kat then she was with her own daughter! I thought that was nice, and I enjoyed their relationship.

The sex scenes between Cori and Kat were written well, and bordering on erotic romance. –Simply because there were so many of them, and they were by no means subtle! :)

However, I never caught what the central focus of the story was. I kept waiting for it to come, but then I reached the end. I felt like there was a lot missing from the story.

In addition, there was too much introspection/day dreaming on Cori’s part, in an attempt to build character.

And why oh why include politics in a book?!?! There was a slight mention of President Bush which made me a little crazy, and I wasn’t sure if that was the Author’s opinion reflected in the novel, or Cori’s opinion. I would advise any Author to steer clear from politics in books. The mention I am referring to is when Cori said something derogatory about President Bush, regarding his stimulus package act of 2008. (P.S. I am a die-hard President Bush fan, so you should have seen my eyes when I read that passage…)

Recommendation:

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys lesbian romance/ LGBT novels that border on the erotic romance spectrum.

Rating:


***In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this novel, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review.

What Other Readers Had To Say:

Purchase:

Interested in a humorous lesbian romance? Purchase, here!

About The Author:

T. B. MarkinsonT. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. T. B. has published five novels: A WOMAN LOST, A WOMAN IGNORED, MARIONETTE, CONFESSIONS FROM A COFFEE SHOP, and CLAUDIA MUST DIE.

Sign up to TB’s New Release Mailing List, here!

AWRW Book Blast: The Black Swan Inheritance, by Author Marigold Deidre Dicer #SALE!

The Black Swan Inheritance, by Author Marigold Deidre Dicer, Now on SALE!!

The Black Swan Inheritance Final Cover

The Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to ordered farmland, beautiful bush to battered beach.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.
The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right?

Well it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido isn’t just hormonal – it’s magical.

Book promotion
The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a diplomat make.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy

Pages: 236

Published: November 2014 by Smashwords Edition

womengossiptheblackswan

What others had to say about The Black Swan Inheritance!

“Marigold Dicer has beautifully woven together a masterpiece that readers won’t want to let go of…The Black Inheritance is a must read novel! I loved following Anita’s journey and growth as a strong character. Her world, thoughts, and actions became my own as I was lured deep into the plot. A well written story that is one readers everywhere won’t want to miss out on reading. A compelling and intriguing novel that will hook readers in from the beginning to the very end. Marigold Dicer has a talent of bringing her characters and new world alive for us readers.” —Danielle Urban

“The Black Swan Inheritance is a great read for paranormal and/or new adult fans. Also an interesting read for those who read their fair share of vampire stories, witches and urban fantasy in general.” — Karen

“It’s a very interesting and entertaining book, it kept me turning the pages, and I couldn’t put it down. The character Anita is telling the story, and I felt like she was telling this story directly to me, like we were close friends. I like this style used by the author, making me directly involved with the story.” —Elizabeth

Treat yourself today to a paranormal fantasy! But hurry, The Black Swan Inheritance is on sale for a limited time!!

Purchase, Amazon USA, here!

Purchase, Amazon UK, here!

Barnes and Noble, here!

Smashwords, here!

Kobo, here!

About The Author of The Black Swan Inheritance:

Marigold Deidre Dicer is my pen name.

Marigold: For all the beautiful things I love.

Deidre: For the old soul who resides within me.

Dicer: For my love of stylized violence. Yep.

I’m an Australian writer living in Brisbane, Queensland. I like to  explore things in my writing that I would, quite frankly, never do in  real life. Some of things my characters say and think I agree with, and some I don’t. Therefore, I try to make them as much into real individuals as possible.

Personal Links:

Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

AWRW Interview & Author Spotlight, Featuring Author Eden Baylee

Hi Eden, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed on A Well Read Woman Blog. Please tell me a little about yourself and your background.

ebHi April, thank you so much for the opportunity to be on your excellent blog. It’s great to be here.

I’m Canadian and was a banker for twenty years before I turned to writing full time five years ago. It was a difficult decision to leave a secure, full-time job to chase a dream, but I am very happy I made the leap. Writing is a tremendously rewarding profession, even though I work harder at it than anything else I have ever done before.

That is incredible. I’m glad everything worked out for you! What have you written?

I’ve written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction—Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter, and Hot Flash, along with contributing to the anthologies: Allegories of the Tarot, Indie Authors Naked, and Triptychs.


edensbooks

All of the novellas in my first two collections are also sold individually as the eroticism and sexual content vary from story to story. Some lean to romance, and others more toward the erotic.

edensbooks2

In 2014, I released a mystery/thriller and suspense novel called Stranger at Sunset, the first of a trilogy with my protagonist, psychiatrist, Dr. Kate Hampton.

 I recently read and enjoyed your psychological thriller, Stranger At Sunset. inspired by your trip to Jamaica. Please tell me a little more about that.

Yes, thank you so much, April for reading and reviewing. I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

 

You’re right that I formulated the idea for the book in January 2013 after a trip to Jamaica. There, I stayed at a small resort next to where author Ian Fleming of James Bond fame once owned a property. A place where such a prolific writer lived and wrote obviously inspired me. I’m a James Bond fan and spent a lot of time gazing in the direction where Fleming lived! Being in the sun and sand helped cultivate my ideas as well. I’m a sun worshipper!

In my book, the story takes place over a week’s time at a holiday resort not unlike where I stayed. Twelve guests, including the owners of the small hotel and their staff make up the characters of the book. What happens during the week is an intricate play of events, mind games, and of course—murder.

In Stranger At Sunset, after a scathing review, the resort owners invite the reviewer back, hoping for a more favorable review. Have you ever received a negative book review? If so, how do you deal with it? eden

Oh yes, I’m sure most authors get them eventually. There are two ways I look at them.

One – if it’s a critical review that touches on any aspect of my book, and I think I can learn from it, then I’m very grateful for it. As a writer, there is a certain amount of detachment required. I cannot take criticism personally, otherwise it would cripple me and I’d never get any work done. I view these types of reviews as an opportunity to improve as a writer.

Two – if it’s a review that is critical but does not offer anything I can learn from, then I simply ignore it. I don’t dwell on the negative. I’ve had one-star reviews because my book was too short, even though it was advertised as a short story. There is not much I can do about this.

I’ve heard authors complain about the reasons they get negative reviews, and I understand that sometimes the motives may seem questionable and/or irrational, but … there really is no point getting upset over it. We need to grow thick skins and realize that readers have diverse tastes and not everyone is going to like what we write. Readers can leave negative reviews for any reason. We cannot stop them.

That’s why it is always such a treat for me to get an honest review, one I can learn from, and that includes the negative ones.

That is an excellent take on book reviews. I think a lot of Authors could learn from you. It annoys me when an Author assumes a negative review must have been from a troll, and then they flail all over Facebook about it.

What are you working on at the moment? Care to share?

Yes! I just completed a novella called A Snake in Paradise as part of a new Kindle Worlds offering, which will launch April 7th.

I’m also writing the second and third books in Kate Hampton’s journey. Book two is called A Fragile Truce, and book three is nameless for now. I really want to get them out this year.
Great! I look forward to Kate Hampton’s next book! I’m glad her journey continues!

How can readers discover more about you, and your work?

I’m very accessible via all my networks, and I’ve included them here (below). One of the great pleasures for me is talking to readers, so always feel free to connect to me. Sign up to my mailing list and blog to receive information firsthand or email me.

My laptop is practically attached to my hip!

Many thanks again April for the interview. I’m so thrilled we are connected! –eden

Thank you, Eden!

 

23276290Vacation can be a killer.

Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show.

 

It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

 

Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers?

 

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate’s own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.

 

 

Available in e-book and print

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon worldwide http://authl.it/B00L7BVDFM

Apple | B&N | Smashwords | Kobo

Also available in Print | iTunes Soundtrack


About The Author:

An image posted by the author. Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to become a full-time writer. She incorporates many of her favorite things into her writing such as: travel; humor; music; poetry; art; and much more.

Stranger at Sunset is her first mystery novel, on the heels of several books of erotic anthologies and short stories. She writes in multiple genres.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!

To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

 

Website | Blog | Amazon Author page US | Amazon Author page UK

Twitter @edenbaylee | Facebook | Goodreads | Youtube | Pinterest | Linkedin

 

 

 

AWRW Book Review: Identity Theft, by Author Laura Lee

25010416

     When a bored employee in a rock star’s office decides to flirt with a fan online in the guise of his boss he sets off a chain of events he cannot control… 


My Spoiler Free Book Synopsis:

Candi Tavris is being harassed by creditors. She has no idea how she got to this place in her life; in debt and living in the only house at a trailer park that is often mistook for a rental office. She wakes up every morning hoping her credit history will be stolen… but so far, no takers!

She loves music by 80’s rocker, Blast. When she listens to his music she almost forgets about the lay offs at her office job, and her capital one bill.

When Ollie isn’t busy performing for the masses as Blast, he is staying at random hotels and touring the country, never quite catching a break. He is stretched thin, and almost can’t believe it when he is served divorce papers. Unable to deal with the massive speculation by his fans over his impending divorce, he hands over his passwords for his social media to the new kid at the office, trusting him to post to his fans as “Blast”.

Ethan lives with his mother in her basement. When given the passwords for Blast’s account, Ethan feels like a superhero with a secret identity! When an attractive woman named Candi posts to Blast in a fan forum, Ethan takes the initiative to message her privately.

Candi can’t believe it… Blast is interested in her! She was starting to form a new image of herself; not as a powerless indebted office worker, but a sexy, fascinating, risk-taking woman! She resolves to keep her doubts to herself about their budding relationship, and enjoy it for what it is!

Ethan is in over his head, and he may not be able to swim out of this one!

Book Details:

Paperback, 310 pages
Published February 8th 2015 by Elsewhere Press
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Women’s Fiction

My Thoughts:

Identity Theft reads like a psychological suspense. There is nothing predictable about this story, and all the twists and turns intrigued me and kept me turning the pages.

Identity Theft had me thinking WHAT IF? I could see how this scenario could play out in real life. I couldn’t imagine being caught up in the drama like Candi, Ethan, and Ollie were. This plot was so incredibly unique, and unlike anything I have read before.

Catfishing people online has been brought to everyone’s attention due to popular TV shows like MTV’s Catfish, and even Dr. Phil has jumped on board! People catfish others for all different reasons; love, financial gain, and fantasy.  Being a relatively new problem, I don’t think there are any laws against impersonating someone else on a computer. Which makes this story all the more interesting; it could really happen!

Characters:

I loved the characters of Identity Theft. Ethan, although a impersonator, an impostor really, was still a sympathetic character. He truly believed he could make things right. He was operating on the notion of fantasy, believing he could emerge in this scenario as Candi’s knight in shining armor. Ethan thought he still had a chance with Candi. He couldn’t have possibly been more wrong.

And Candi, how could I not love Candi? Her communications with “Blast” online were a much needed distraction from her humdrum life. In some ways, it was good for her, (she was happy, and she lost weight,)… that was until reality came crashing down. Then things got bad, fast!

I enjoyed Ollie’s character too. He personified Rock Star on stage, but was a regular guy off stage, dealing with real problems. I’m glad the Author offered his POV throughout the story.

Secondary characters included Ethan’s friend Ale, and their hippy friend Sasha. They added to the story because they humanized Ethan, who otherwise may not have been a sympathetic, likable character.

Favorite Scene:

When Candi met Blast for the first time before Ethan was able to intervene, I couldn’t breathe!!! I was seriously holding my breath as I was reading!

Recommendation:

I can’t think of a person who wouldn’t enjoy Identity Theft, by Laura Lee! Teenagers and adults alike are fascinated by Catfish cases, (my evidence = Dr. Phil shows, and Catfish the TV show on MTV). So, if you enjoy psychological suspense, with a catfish twist, you would enjoy Identity Theft!

Rating:

fivestars
***In the interest of full disclosure, a complimentary copy of this novel was provided in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review. This in no way swayed my rating.

Purchase:

Available in Kindle and Paperback! Purchase, here!

About The Author:

Laura LeeI am the author of more than a dozen books, the novel Angel, and numerous non-fiction titles including The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation (Black Dog and Leventhal), now in its third printing and published in France under the title Le Dictionaire des Contrairites; Arlo, Alice and Anglicans (Berkshire House/W.W. Norton), which tells the story of the church made famous in Arlo Guthrie’s song and movie Alice’s Restaurant; The Name’s Familiar: Mr. Leotard, Barbie and Chef Boyardee (Pelican Publishing), a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection and its sequel The Name’s Familiar II; the 100 Most Dangerous Things in Life (Broadway Books/Random House), which was featured on Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning; Blame it on the Rain (HarperCollins), The Elvis Impersonation Kit and A Child’s Introduction to Ballet (both Black Dog and Leventhal), Schadenfreude, Baby! (Lyons Press), and Broke is Beautiful (Running Press).

The San Francisco Chronicle has said of my work, “Lee’s dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible.”

http://lauraleeauthor.wordpress.com/

 

 

AWRW Guest Post: What They Don’t Tell You About Getting Published, by Author Katie O’ Rourke

What They Don’t Tell You About Getting Published Katie O'Rourke

Guest Post by Author Katie O’Rourke 

My debut novel sold over 10,000 ebooks. Then, for reasons that still remain unclear to me, my publisher did nothing to promote my second book. They provided a professional edit and cover and put it on Amazon very, very quietly. It felt as if they’d gone to the trouble of renovating a house, then simply hoped it sold by word of mouth.

Now tself_publish1hat the rights have reverted to me, I have re-released it on my own, getting my feet wet in self-publishing. I’m learning as I go and so far, I’m finding the experience absolutely freeing.

There’s so much you can’t imagine when you sign a contract with a publisher. Many authors have their titles changed and may have little to no input on cover design. You have no control over whether and how the publishers promote your book. And it can take up to a year for the publisher to let you know how sales went.

Here’s the difference with self-publishing: A Long Thaw is my title and I fell in love with the cover image and worked with the designer to get the font and text just right. I wrote the blurb on Amazon that describes the book, clicked the genre categories it belongs in and approached book bloggers who read and review this kind of book. I get instant feedback on sales, which means I know when I’ve hit a slump and need to work a bit harder and I can see which of my promotional efforts actually pay off.

Of course, the other side of that is that there’s no one working on my behalf, no one else to blame if things go pear -shaped. It’s all on me. It’s still early days, but it’s working okay for now.

Katie O’Rourke was born and raised in New England, growing up along the seacoast of New Hampshire. She went to college in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in gender and sexuality. She lives in Tucson, Arizona where she writes, loves and is happy.

Monsoon Season, her debut novel, was a bestselling e-book. Her second novel, A Long Thaw was released in 2014.

A_LONG_THAW_COMPLETE-200x300A Long Thaw, by Author Katie O’ Rourke

A multi-generational story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

A Long Thaw is about two female cousins who were close as children and reconnect as adults. Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close, Catholic family. But the divorce of Juliet’s parents fragments this family and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, on the west coast, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. On the east coast, Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child. As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them in spite of the years apart.

This book has been published traditionally and I’m rereleasing it on my own.

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 195, (Kindle Edition)

Purchase, here! (Amazon USA)

AWRW Book Blast: Behind The Scenes, by Author Sophie Childs @SophieWritesAlot @SoVainBooks

BTSThings are never quite as they appear.

Bethan Brooks works in London for the ultimate boss from Hell, trying to support her wannabe rockstar boyfriend. But are The Vampire Squirrels really ever going to make it big or is she doomed to be a secretary forever?

Luckily, Bethan finds the perfect escape when going to the cinema. There she loses herself in another world and forgets all about the dreaded filing and monotonous office work. Imagine her surprise when one day she encounters her favourite actor on the Tube.

Suddenly, she finds herself part of the glamorous movie world she only ever dreamed about. With more at stake than she could ever realise, does she really want to know what goes on behind the scenes?

 

Paperback, 306 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by So Vain Books
Genre: Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction

About The Author:

Sophie Childs is a home educating mother of five. Her claims to fame include hosting an open mic night with Ewan McGregor in the audience and winning both The Weakest Link and The Chase. When she’s not running around after her children, puppy and chickens, she writes and writes and writes. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes, is due for publication by So Vain Books in February 2015 and she’s currently hard at work on her second, due out early in 2016.


What others are saying about Behind The Scenes:

“Behind the Scenes was, for me, a really lovely story about chasing dreams and discovering yourself, for lack of a less-clichéd way of putting it. It’s entertaining, quite dramatic and with a few twists that I could kind of see coming but really didn’t care because I still enjoyed reading it. I LOVED the last few chapters and throughout the whole highs and lows seen in this story, I was always reading with a smile on my face thanks to the author’s charming style of writing.” —Sophie

“This was a hugely entertaining, yet heart felt story… This was a book about relationships and discovery. About self doubt and realisation. A very light hearted read with a few strong messages. Ultimately, if you want to live the dream, you have to make it happen. Sometimes in life we have to make choices that benefit others more than ourselves but there comes a time when we should put ourselves first.” —Dawn

Interested? Purchase Behind The Scenes, today!

USA Customers, purchase here!

UK Customers, purchase here!

AWRW Book Review: Meredith With The Waves, by Author Amanda Gale

Meredith’s journe24084853y has brought her far from the buoyant, idealistic girl she was before. But she has grown wiser and more courageous with each experience, never losing her integrity, her kindness, or her spark for life. In Book Four, Meredith With the Waves, she comes to be at peace with the world and with herself as she and her husband begin their life together. Their relationship will blossom and mature as they face trials and share laughter, together finding that life’s imperfections are what make perfection after all.

In this poetic final installment of the Meredith series, Meredith learns of intense love, intense sacrifice, intense sadness, and intense joy. It is a story of birth and death, life and family, and the ways they teach us what is truly important. A poignant tale of reconciliation and the putting to rest of personal demons, it is a truly satisfying conclusion.

About The Meredith Series:

Meredith Beck, a teacher from Philadelphia, must redefine herself after she is shaken by tragedy. The series chronicles the remaking of her life and her relationships with three men, each struggling with his own journey. Carrying her experiences with her, Meredith emerges stronger, wiser, and at peace as she discovers the beauty of an imperfect world.

Book 1: Meredith out of the Darkness
Book 2: Meredith Against the Wind
Book 3: Meredith into the Fire
Book 4: Meredith with the Waves

Paperback Edition: 304 Pages

Published July 3rd 2014 by Brenda & Cobena Books

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

My Thoughts:

*Sighs* I didn’t want to finish this book… and not for the same reasons that other reviewers mark a book DNF, (did not finish). Rather, I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want to part with it. I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Meredith yet.

The book blurb promises a “truly satisfying conclusion”, and I have to agree that it was. As hard as it was for me to finish this series, I am so glad that it ended as a ‘happily ever after’. Meredith deserved that.

Book 4, Meredith With The Waves, was completely different from the first three installments. Meredith finally gains the upper hand, she refuses to submit, nor settle, and she is so happy she doesn’t know what to do with all her happiness! :)

Meredith With The Waves reads like a classic Hallmark romance; a bit of tragedy, and lots of sappy, whirlwind romance, with a happily ever after. And don’t we all just love the sap?! Romance readers, you will thrive on Meredith With The Waves!

Favorite Part:

I’ve been sworn to secrecy to not reveal who Meredith ends up with. :) But I must say that I was pleasantly surprised! My heart absolutely melted with the direction this book turned!

Recommendation:

I would recommend Meredith With The Waves to anyone who read the first three installments of the Meredith series. I’d also extend my recommendation to romance readers who hadn’t read the first three books, because there is a lot of back story in this one that I think the reader would feel caught up. (However, I’d strongly recommend the reader to start with book 1 so they can take the journey along with Meredith).

Rating:

fivestars

***In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with a copy of Meredith With The Waves, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review.

Purchase:

Purchase Meredith With The Waves, here!

About The Author:

A graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction. The four novels of her *Meredith* series explore love, growth, and the flaws that make us human. A lover of history, classic literature, and quiet nights at home, she lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

http://www.amandagalebooks.com


 

 

Guest Post: Building A Hero I Can Believe In, by Author Samantha Bryant

Building a Hero I Can Believe In, by Author Samantha Bryant

 

She stands atop the building, the wind blowing her cape and long, flowing hair out behind her as she scans the horizon. Her perfectly-toned, eternally twenty-three-year-old body is poised to leap (a position that apparently involves torquing your body to accentuate both your breasts and your butt at the same time for the viewing pleasure of anyone who might be watching). She only awaits the call…

 

That could be a description of many a comic book cover or movie poster.

 

I’ve always found it funny. Why in the world would a woman who can bend iron in her bare hands or melt through walls dress like that? Surely, with all that power comes some self-confidence and self-respect. I mean, sure, breasts can be wielded like a weapon, but when you’ve got other, more effective and direct weapons, it seems like overkill.

 

Luckily, this is changing. Like any former all boys’ club, the superhero and comics industry is slow to come around, but change is in the air and it’s exciting. There have always been people trying to write well-rounded female characters in the hero business, but now those characters are going mainstream in a big way.

 

Sure, Gamora was left off the Guardians of the Galaxy lunchboxes and tee shirts. But she was one of the stars of the movie and held her own on the screen even when she shared it with a giant sentient tree. Black Widow, too, was more than window-dressing in the Avengers movies. Neither of these characters was there in the role of victim, hostage, girlfriend, or comic relief. They were heroes alongside the other heroes. And both of them did it wearing pants and practical shoes more often than not.

goingthroughthechange2

It’s an exciting time to be writing in the superhero genre, trying to create characters that speak to grown women.  In Going Through the Change and the rest of my Menopausal Superhero series, I’m writing about women with careers, families, and partners. I wanted heroes that I could connect with; and the older I get, the harder it is to connect with angsty underdressed teenagers. Helen, Patricia, Jessica and Linda are adults, with adult problems and situations in their lives. Of course, they can also throw fire or pianos, transform and fly. That’s the fun part.

***

Going Through The Change: A Menopausal SuperHero Novel

Expected publication: April 23rd 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Speculative and women’s issue fiction with a feminist bent.

goingthroughthechangeGoing through “the change” isn’t easy on any woman. Mood swings, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances, and itchy skin are par for the course. But for these four seemingly unrelated women, menopause brought changes none of them had ever anticipated–super-heroic changes.

Helen discovers a spark within that reignites her fire. Jessica finds that her mood is lighter, and so is her body. Patricia always had a tough hide, but now even bullets bounce off her. Linda doesn’t have trouble opening the pickle jar anymore…now that she’s a man.

When events throw the women together, they find out that they have more in common than they knew–one person has touched all their lives. The hunt for answers is on.

 

author-samantha-bryantSamantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is now available for pre-order and will be released by Curiosity Quills on April 23, 2015. You can find her online on her blog,  Twitter, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on the Curiosity Quills page, or on Google+.

 

AWRW Way Back Wednesday Book Review: Hot Rocks, by Nora Roberts

Way Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on waybackwednesdaybooks read in the past, that left a lasting impression. You know what kind of books I am talking about… the ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate.

hotrocks

Today’s Way Back Wednesday post is dedicated to the romantic suspense, Hot Rocks, by Author Nora Roberts!

When her notorious past catches up with Laine Tavish, proprietor of the antique shop Remember When, it’s up to her and an enigmatic stranger named Max Gannon to find out who’s chasing her-and why. The answer lies in a hidden fortune that will change Laine’s life…

 

Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Jove (first published January 1st 2005)
Genre: Romance/Suspense, Mystery, Thriller”Wait a minute, wait a minute. You’re saying you believe my father was involved in a heist with a take over twenty-eight million? Million? That he had something to do with a murder?”

Nora Roberts is by far one of my favorite Authors. Hot Rocks, in a nutshell, centers around a seemingly normal shopkeeper, whose past comes back to haunt her, via a cheap ceramic pooch. She later falls in love with the man who was hired to investigate her, and together they work to make things right.

I chose this book for a Way Back Wednesday post because I have read it many times, and have nothing but fond memories! I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a thrilling romantic suspense!

Purchase Hot Rocks, here!

Nora Roberts is the number-one New York Times-bestselling author of more than 190 novels, including The Search, Black Hills, Tribute, High Noon, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. Roberts has more than 400 million copies of her books in print.

AWRW Book Review: Meredith Into The Fire, by Author Amanda Gale

They’ve been crossPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00025]ing paths for over a year. Now fate seems to throw Meredith together with Shane Thayer, an aspiring celebrity chef with an odd sense of humor and a volatile temper. Struggling to make a name for himself and to satisfy the ambitions of his overbearing parents, Shane seems a far cry from the security for which Meredith yearns. But she is tired of following the same path, and she is anxious for her search to be over. Against the advice of her friends and family, to whom it is obvious that Shane is all wrong for her, Meredith sprints toward what she convinces herself is stability. Unfortunately, her attempt to take control of her life only brings her more chaos.

With tension at her job mounting and her unstable relationship rushing toward an unknown conclusion, Meredith makes a desperate grasp for control as her life crumbles around her. As her journey culminates in a dramatic explosion, will she settle for Shane or will she find what she is truly looking for?

About Book Three, Meredith Into the Fire:

Ever optimistic, Meredith has never given up hope that she’d recapture perfection. However, experience has taught her how easily her world can fall apart. Having endured enough losses, in Book Three, Meredith Into the Fire, she resolves that it will never happen again.

About The Meredith Series:

Meredith Beck, a teacher from Philadelphia, must redefine herself after she is shaken by tragedy. The series chronicles the remaking of her life and her relationships with three men, each struggling with his own journey. Carrying her experiences with her, Meredith emerges stronger, wiser, and at peace as she discovers the beauty of an imperfect world.

Book 1: Meredith Out of the Darkness
Book 2: Meredith Against the Wind
Book 3: Meredith Into the Fire
Book 4: Meredith With the Waves

Paperback, 218 pages
Published July 4th 2014 by Brenda & Cobena Books (first published July 3rd 2014)
Genre: Women’s Fiction


What’s It About?

“She felt that the universe had thrown her and Shane together for a reason; why else would they have been crossing paths since the beginning of their journey?”

Meredith yearns for the security and stability of a marriage. She believes that her and Chef Shane Thayer continue to cross paths for a reason; It must be fate! Unfortunately, her and Shane are the only ones who believe their relationship can work out.

Grasping at straws to achieve some form of normalcy, Meredith is willing to settle for someone who might not be right for her. Met with warnings from her best friend and both sides of one another’s family, ever headstrong, Meredith goes through with planning her wedding, anyways. She tries her best to impress her fiance’s parents, but they cannot be won over.

Meredith jumps out of the frying pan, and into the fire…

My Thoughts:

If you have read my book reviews for book 1 & 2 of the Meredith series, you know I am a HUGE fan of Meredith. I just couldn’t possibly like her anymore than I do now! And book 3, like the others, gets another 5 star rating!

I felt so bad for Meredith in this installment. She literally is jumping out of the frying pan, and into the fire, which is urban slang for leaving a bad situation, only to get into another bad situation. For instance, she left her controlling boyfriend Wes, and entered into a relationship with Shane, a man she isn’t even sure she’s in love with! Why, you might ask… well that is Meredith, and I think she needs male companionship to feel emotionally secure.

Holy cliff hanger! The ending was just, wow… I was pleasantly surprised! I cannot wait to read what happens next!!

Favorite Scene:

When Meredith compared Wes and Shane to roosters! That was hilarious! :)

I couldn’t breathe when she looked out the window and discovered Shane across the street. He really did have a lot of nerve! As if it wasn’t awkward enough already!

Recommendation:

Anyone who enjoys a story that revolves around a woman’s experiences. The Meredith series is full of drama and excitement! I’d recommend this series to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction!

Rating:

fivestars

***In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of Meredith Into The Flames, in exchange for a fair, honest, and thoughtful book review. This is no way swayed my rating.

Purchase:

Meredith Into The Fire is available in Kindle as well as paperback. I would recommend reading books 1 and 2, first. Purchase book 3, here!

About The Author:

Amanda Gale

A graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction. The four novels of her *Meredith* series explore love, growth, and the flaws that make us human. A lover of history, classic literature, and quiet nights at home, she lives outside Philadelphia with her family. —Amazon Author Bio

http://www.amandagalebooks.com

AWRW Book Review: Meredith Against The Wind, by Author Amanda Gale

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00034]In a Washington, DC suburb of Virginia, Meredith meets Wes Bickhart, a charismatic attorney recovering from a divorce. Wes sweeps her off her feet with his wit, charm, and chivalry, and together they enjoy a passion for intellectual banter and for each other.

Meredith feels safe with Wes, who having been burned himself, is also seeking the perfect love and wants nothing more than to give her a future of comfort and security. She is tempted by the seemingly perfect life Wes offers her. But in the back of her mind, she wonders if this is what she wants anymore. And the longer she takes to decide, the more she realizes that this life might require her to sacrifice more of herself than she is willing.

In Meredith Against the Wind, Meredith is put to the test as she is forced to stand up for herself, even as she redefines who she really is. Harder now but stronger, and with new perspective, she becomes embroiled in a power struggle as she determines how much is worth surrendering for love.

About The Meredith Series:

Meredith Beck, a teacher from Philadelphia, must redefine herself after she is shaken by tragedy. The series chronicles the remaking of her life and her relationships with three men, each struggling with his own journey. Carrying her experiences with her, Meredith emerges stronger, wiser, and at peace as she discovers the beauty of an imperfect world.

Book 1: Meredith Out of the Darkness
Book 2: Meredith Against the Wind
Book 3: Meredith Into the Fire
Book 4: Meredith With the Waves

Paperback, 306 pages
Published July 4th 2014 by Brenda & Cobena Books (first published July 3rd 2014)
Genre: Women’s Fiction

What’s It About?

Meredith moves to Lovelace, Virginia to begin her life anew, and hopefully recover from her breakup with her boyfriend, Nick. Instantly, her neighbors embrace her and play matchmaker, setting her up with a newly divorced attorney, Wes, who lives across the street from her.

Immediately, she is charmed by him, much like everyone else in the neighborhood, but she soon learns that insecurity and a need to control is hidden under his shiny, pristine exterior. Meredith’s future and free will are at stake, all in the name of “love”.

My Thoughts:

Oh my God! I LOVE Meredith! I am going to be seriously depressed when I finish this series!

But anyways, in my last review I pondered whether or not Meredith might have border line personality disorder. I thought this because of how she clung to her boyfriend Nick. I can now definitely say she does not, based on her actions and behavior in the second novel. Her confidence spiked, she stood up for herself against mean spirited teenagers, an undermining boss, and a boyfriend who was interested in a cookie-cutter girlfriend. I even pictured her walking a little straighter in this novel. :)

Wes certainly pushed the boundaries with Meredith. He slowly tested the waters, and continued to push her further and further past her comfort zone. His grip seemed to get tighter and tighter on her. Poor Meredith… she either has a boyfriend who pushes her away, or one who barely gives her any breathing room!

Another thing I really enjoyed in this novel was her interactions with her students and colleagues. I was excited to see what would happen next with Rosalie, and what complaint Nancy would have next. It added a little more drama to the book, and showed her life outside her romantic pursuits.

I loved Meredith Against The Wind, and enjoyed seeing her grow as a woman. I’m super curious to see what book 3 holds in store for Meredith!

Recommendation:

I would gladly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in a story that is based on a woman’s experiences. If you enjoy women’s fiction, you will surely enjoy the Meredith series.

Purchase:

Click here to purchase Meredith Against The Wind, Book 2 of the Meredith series!

Rating:

fivestars
*** In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of Meredith Against The Wind, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review. This is no way swayed my rating.

About The Author:

A graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction. The four novels of her *Meredith* series explore love, growth, and the flaws that make us human. A lover of history, classic literature, and quiet nights at home, she lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

AWRW Way Back Wednesday Book Review: Flowers In The Attic, by V.C Andrews

 

43448

Way Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression.

You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading.waybackwednesday

So grab that old-dusty-yet-loved-book off the shelf, glance it over, write a mini review, and join in with me on Wednesdays! EVERYONE is welcome to participate!

Full instructions, here!

Today’s Way Back Wednesday Post is dedicated to an old favorite, Flowers In The Attic, by V.C. Andrews.

Paperback, 389 pages

Published 1979 by Pocket Books

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Classics
Series: Dollanganger (#1 )

Characters: Cathy Dollanganger, Chris Dollanganger, Cory Dollanganger, Carrie Dollanganger, Corinne Dollanganger

“Such wonderful children. Such a beautiful mother. Such a lovely house. Such endless terror!”

It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake–a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.

So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.

Just for a little while.

But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work–children who–one by one–must be destroyed….

“Way upstairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent struggling to stay alive….”


“I wish the night would end,
I wish the day’d begin,
I wish it would rain or snow,
or the wind would blow,
or the grass would grow,
I wish I had yesterday,
I wish there were games to play…”

Oh to have a peek inside the mind of V.C Andrews. I imagine it was a very dark place.

Flowers in The Attic is an old favorite of mine. I read it a couple times in junior high school, and then again when I was older. Like many of my other faves, this novel fell apart on me and I eventually had to throw it out.

What’s It About?

Flowers In The Attic is a novel about four children who are confined in a dark, dusty attic, by their greedy mother and evil grandmother. They are hidden away because the grandfather isn’t aware of them, and their mother doesn’t want them getting any of the money she is due to inherit.

My Thoughts:

What is up with V.C. Andrews and incestuous relationships? No, seriously, whyyyyy????

V.C. Andrews’ books were a guilty pleasure of mine growing up. They are dark and disturbing, and her ‘writing voice’ is oh so addictive. Someday, I will have all her books on my bookshelf.

Recommendation:

I devoured this series as a pre-teen, but these books may not be appropriate for ALL pre-teens. If you enjoy dark, twisted family dramas, this novel might interest you!

Rating:

fivestars

Purchase:

Click here to purchase Flowers In The Attic, by V.C. Andrews!

About The Author:

V.C. Andrews

Virginia Cleo Andrews (born Cleo Virginia Andrews) was born June 6, 1923 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The youngest child and the only daughter of William Henry Andrews, a career navy man who opened a tool-and-die business after retirement, and Lillian Lilnora Parker Andrews, a telephone operator. She spent her happy childhood years in Portsmouth, Virginia, living briefly in Rochester, New York. The Andrews family returned to Portsmouth while Virginia was in high school.

Her novels were so successful that after her death her estate hired a ghost writer.

Read more about V.C. Andrews, here!

AWRW Book Review: Meredith Out Of The Darkness, by Amanda Gale

Meredith BecPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00028]k is living the perfect life. She has a thriving career she loves and an apartment in New York City with the man of her dreams. But when she is devastated by tragedy, Meredith must rebuild her life in what she discovers is a shockingly less-than-perfect world.

In Book One, Meredith Out of the Darkness, Meredith stumbles through her day-to-day responsibilities without passion or hope. Her mundane routine is pleasantly interrupted when her brother introduces her to Nick Kelly, a quiet painter from a small town in Maine. Meredith is drawn to Nick’s love of nature and is comforted by his purity of heart. They begin a whirlwind romance, and as they plan their future together, she is delighted to have found peace once again, this time in a simple life far removed from the fast-paced life she’s known. But they are haunted by the past, competing with ghosts and desperate to meet unreachable expectations.

Full of colorful characters and leading the reader on an emotional journey from Philadelphia to Maine, Meredith Out of the Darkness is about two people’s awakening to a world of possibilities. But when their different visions of perfection come between them, the question remains: what is true perfection?

About The Meredith Series:

Meredith Beck, a teacher from Philadelphia, must redefine herself after she is shaken by tragedy. The series chronicles the remaking of her life and her relationships with three men, each struggling with his own journey. Carrying her experiences with her, Meredith emerges stronger, wiser, and at peace as she discovers the beauty of an imperfect world.

Book 1: Meredith Out of the Darkness
Book 2: Meredith Against the Wind
Book 3: Meredith Into the Fire
Book 4: Meredith With the Waves

Paperback, 247 pages
Published July 4th 2014 by Brenda & Cobena Books (first published July 3rd 2014)
Genre: Women’s Fiction

What Is It About?

“What did she have to do–what sacrifice did she have to make–to prove to the universe that she was ready to be happy.”

Meredith is a teacher working on her Master’s degree, with high hopes for her future. She has been swept up in a new relationship, and refuses to settle in life. Wide eyed and optimistic, she is going to make her life perfect.

Several years later, tragedy strikes. Grief stricken, Meredith is consumed by darkness. She moves back in with her parents to try to get her life back on track. It’s time for Meredith to reevaluate her future, and redefine “perfection”.

“I don’t think it’s about the perfect life… I think it’s about the perfect peace.”

Meredith’s brother Vince comes home, and with him he brings his buddy and co-worker Nick. Nick’s quiet voice reflects the quietude of his soul. For the first time in a year, Meredith doesn’t cry herself to sleep.

Finally, Meredith wants to move forward, and climb her way out of the darkness…

My Thoughts:

I’m torn between whether or not Meredith’s loneliness stems from her grief, or something deeper. I think I will have a better impression of her with the next Meredith installment. Her behavior reminded me of someone who is afflicted by borderline personality disorder.

I absolutely love Meredith as a character. She couldn’t possibly be any more likeable. And I enjoyed the family element to the story. Big brother Vince was an excellent supporting character, and the brother I wish I could have had for myself.

I loved the subtle, sexy love scenes in this novel. Author Amanda Gale’s subtle seduction was much more powerful than had she have went into full-out overkill by describing a graphic sex scene. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy an erotic romance. However, since her writing wasn’t meant to be erotic, I didn’t feel the need to examine Meredith’s sex life with a flippin’ microscope. In other words, Author Amanda Gale made good choices when she crafted Meredith’s sexual encounters.

I’d also like to mention that the cover art, done by Adara Sanchez Anguiano, is superb! I love having these beautiful books on my shelf!

What I Liked The Most:

The characters were extremely likable.

I enjoyed the pacing of the novel, and I look forward to following Meredith in the next installments.
I enjoyed the Author’s writing voice.
The story itself was extremely appealing, and it held my interest.

What I Disliked:

Oh, Nick! You idiot!!!!!!!!!!

Recommendation:

I would recommend Meredith Out Of The Darkness to fans of romance, and fiction that centers around a woman’s experiences.

Rating:

fivestars
***In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with a copy of Meredith Out Of The Darkness, by the Author, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review. This is no way swayed my rating.

Purchase Meredith Out Of The Darkness, here, and be charmed by Meredith and Author Amanda Gale’s writing like I am! :)

About The Author:

Amanda GaleA graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction. The four novels of her *Meredith* series explore love, growth, and the flaws that make us human.

A lover of history, classic literature, and quiet nights at home, she lives outside Philadelphia with her family. A graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction.

The four novels of her *Meredith* series explore love, growth, and the flaws that make us human.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now… Guest Post by Author Sophie Childs

 

IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW

by Sophie Childs, author of Behind the Scenes

 

If I knew then what I know now…

I wouldn’t have spent 8 years living with someone I didn’t love. It wasn’t that he was a bad person, he just wasn’t the right person for me and I was miserable. Yet a lack of self-confidence and a worry about money meant that it took me a long time to work up the courage to leave.

How different my twenties would have been if I’d just taken that leap of faith into the great unknown sooner. I could have rented a room in a shared house, lived my life the way that I wanted to and not be tied into a suburban lifestyle that really wasn’t me.

If I knew then what I know now…

I wouldn’t have spent 5 years working in offices. I had no idea that there was money to be made in freelance writing, good money. I thought that the only way you could have a career as a writer was if you wrote novels and with bills to pay, I foolishly thought that office work was the only way I could keep a roof over my head.

What fun I could have had if I’d realised that the world of a freelance writer is much more interesting and varied than I could ever have imagined. I could have travelled the world, writing about my experiences, combining ghost writing novels with blogging and providing web copy to businesses, funding a lifestyle that contained a million and one adventures.

If I knew then what I know now…

I would have waited a little longer before starting a family with my husband. The moment I met him, I knew that I’d found the man I was meant to marry and have babies with. Both Virgos, we had a plan. We were going to go on holiday, first for a week, then for a fortnight, and if that went well, move in together. If we were happy living under the same roof, we’d get engaged, then married, maybe starting to try for a family once we were engaged, not caring if there was a baby bump in the wedding photos.

The best laid plans lasted as long as the first holiday. We figured that it would take us at least 6 months to fall pregnant, so we started trying for a baby soon after we met. We’d been dating a mere 4 months when that little blue line appeared and our oldest son was on his way, to be followed by 3 sisters and a brother over the next 7 years.

But then… but then…

If I hadn’t made the decisions I had, I wouldn’t have lived my life. The life that made me who I am. The life that has given me 5 gorgeous children and a husband I adore. The life that has inspired a novel or two and given me endless material to write about for my clients. Much of my freelance work has come out of my parenting experiences and without my children, my career would have taken a very different path.

I look back and think that if I knew then what I know now, maybe I wouldn’t have made decisions that were so very different. I have the life I always dreamed of as a child and even though I might have taken the scenic route to get here, it’s those little diversions that keep things interesting.

All in all, I can’t say that I regret a thing, when I look back and think about what I know now.

Sophie Childs is a happily married mother of five. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes, is due to be released by So Vain Books early in 2015. It combines Sophie’s love of movies with her experiences working in offices to tell an intricate tale of life behind the scenes in the glamorous world of film making. She’s now hard at work on her second novel.

An Oxford Modern History graduate, Sophie set up her own publishing company, Fey Publishing, which she ran for five years before selling it as a going concern in 2013 to focus on her writing. She is the editor of Idol Musings and Idol Meanderings, anthologies based on an online writing competition and a freelance writer who’ll write anything you need, with children’s stories, memoirs, novels from all types of genre and web copy all forming part of her regular work.

After spending five years living in New Zealand, she s now comfortably settled in the beautiful Welsh valleys, where she enjoys exploring the local nature reserves and castles with her children and dog.

“Things are never quite as they appear…”

 

Never wear a pair of high heels on a film set no matter how good they may look!

After stumbling upon her favourite actor, Bethan’s life seems to take a turn for the better. All of a sudden, fabulous parties and mingling with celebs are part of her everyday routine. But she soon finds out that life behind the scenes comes with its own complications…. and Bethan is so not prepared for all this!

Release Date:

26 February 2015

Order on Amazon USA, (Limited Availability)

Order Through So Vain Books, UK (Worldwide Delivery on publication day see rates and charges)

Follow The Blog Tour!!!

Become a So Vain Books Blogger

 

AWRW Book Review: Moody Not Broody, by Author Kathryn Player #WomensFiction

moodynotbroodyEmma is a newly-wed looking forward to some blissful years with her new husband, Mike, but everyone else expects her to have children. Emma is a teacher and so, in everyone’s mind, she MUST want children.

However, Emma has never wanted children and has to convince her husband, her family and her friends that she’s not cut out for motherhood.

Instead, Emma wishes to pursue her teaching career and help children with Special Educational Needs, but her plans are thwarted and she has to make a decision which will affect her and her husband, Mike, forever.

“To breed or not to breed, that is the question!”

Kindle Edition, 1, 218 pages
Published June 15th 2013 by Kathryn Player
Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Chick Lit

What’s It About?

Moody Not Broody is a chick lit novel about a young newly wed/special ed teacher, who is being pressured by her husband, family, and friends to have children. Emma doesn’t feel ready yet, and she doesn’t know if she will EVER feel ready to have children…. that is until her plans are derailed, and she has to make a very important decision that not only affects her, but her husband too.

My Thoughts:

I’d like to thank Holly from Bookaholic Confessions for recommending this novel, which was free for a limited time. I read this novel for my own pleasure, and wasn’t asked by the author for a review.

This was a good story. I enjoyed the author’s voice and found Emma to be a likable, and relatable character. Being a woman in my 30’s myself, I can relate to the feelings of pressure to have children. (Although, I believe Emma was actually in her 20’s.)

The ending was ABRUPT… I’m curious if there will be a sequel, because the story didn’t feel resolved.
***Note, per the Author’s bio, there will be a sequel.

Recommendation:

Anyone who enjoys stories centered around a woman’s experiences, with a special interest in unfair pressure by society to have a baby, mixed with humor.

Purchase:

To buy Moody Not Broody, or not… That is a silly question! ;) Purchase, here!

Rating:

About The Author:

Kathryn PlayerKathryn Player was a teacher for ten years before she decided to have a career break and become a stay-at-home Mum. At the same time, she launched her debut novel, ‘Moody not Broody’, which was written three years earlier. ‘Moody not Broody’ is based on her teaching antics (experiences) over the past ten years.

Kathryn’s second book (a short romantic comedy) will be released on August 14th 2014. It is about two sisters who work in a charity shop and is based on real life stories.

Currently, Kathryn is working on the sequel to ‘Moody not Broody’. —Goodreads Author Bio

AWRW Book Review: God Doesn’t Love Us All The Same, by Author Nina Guilbeau

godJanine Harris never really thought about homeless people. She barely even notices them as she passes them by on her way to work in downtown Washington D.C. All Janine can focus on is the shambles of her own young life, afraid that she will never be able to get past the painful mistakes she has made.

However, all of that changes on a snowy evening in December when Janine unexpectedly finds herself alone with Vera, an old, homeless woman who seems to need her help. Now Janie wants to know what could have possibly happened to Vera to leave her so broken and alone.

As Vera shares her life story with Janine, the two women form an unusual bond and begin a journey that changes both of their lives forever. Reluctantly, they each confront their own past and in the process, discover the true meaning of sacrifice, family and love. Although in the end, they learn that they must face the most difficult challenge of all – forgiving themselves.

Paperback, 254 pages
Published May 5th 2014 by Juania Books LLC
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Social Issues

What’s It About?

God Doesn’t Love Us All The Same
is an emotionally engrossing novel about a young banker who callously steps over a homeless woman every morning on her way to work. One day she takes the time to speak with her. After a few more discussions, she learns her entire life story, and becomes closer to this homeless woman than she ever would’ve thought. Her discussions with this woman change the path of her life, and her attitude towards people in general.

My Thoughts:

Finally the weeping has stopped! I cried throughout most of this novel. Can I please give it 10 stars? Because it was THAT GOOD!

God Doesn’t Love Us All The Same is a story about racism, stigma, familial love and devotion, and the power of forgiveness. It is a story that will have you crying, and then smiling ear to ear. I was very emotional reading this book.

I hated Janine at the beginning of the story. She was self absorbed and unfeeling to others. I couldn’t believe the turnaround she made by the end of the novel. It’s amazing how a chance meeting with someone (Vera, the homeless woman), can influence, and ultimately change your life. –And I think that this is the underlying message of this story.

Noteworthy Characters:

Janine: College drop-out/banker who lives with her sister. She is miserably confused, and just wants a do-over.

Vera: Multi-racial, elderly homeless woman who doesn’t fear death… She fears seeing God disappointed with her.

Robert Tillery Sr: Vera’s wealthy, racist, and influential white grandfather.

Sara Tillery: Vera’s white grandmother.

Vicki: Janine’s sister.

Hattie: Vera’s black mother. She feels helpless under the control of the Tillerys.

Robert Tillery Jr: Vera’s deceased white father.

Clyde Thomas: Hattie accepts a marriage proposal from Clyde, who is 20 years her senior, as a way out from the control of the Tillerys.

Marianne: Vera’s daughter

Recommendation:

Anyone who enjoy stories centered around a woman’s experience, and/or anyone who enjoys the drama of societal issues, (and this book has PLENTY).

Rating:

fivestars
***In interest of full disclosure, I received an e-copy of God Doesn’t Love Us All The Same, by the author, in exchange for a thoughtful, fair, and honest book review.

Purchase:

Did my review pique your interest? Purchase a copy of God Doesn’t Love Us All The Same, on Amazon, here!

About The Author:

 Nina Guilbeau “As a writer I feel as if I walk two distinct paths. On one path, I am drawn in the direction of non-fiction family pieces. I believe that if we can understand our family relationships, we can get a better understanding of who we are as individuals.

On the other path, I enjoy the creativity involved when plotting out different fictional stories. As the characters go through their ups and downs, it’s comforting to know that on some level, it will all work out for them. My central characters always carry the lesson that sometimes to grow, you have to “let go.”

Nina Guilbeau is the Siblings Editor for BellaOnline where she writes weekly parenting articles. She is the winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award and author of Too Many Sisters, Birth Order and Parenting with writing credits in short story anthologies From Our Family to Yours and Chicken Soup for the Soul. —Goodreads Author Bio

AWRW Way Back Wednesday Book Review: Comes The Blind Fury, by Author John Saul

Way Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman with the aim to write mini book reviewwaybackwednesdays on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression. You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading!

EVERYONE is welcome to participate. For instructions, please visit here!

239887Today’s Way Back Wednesday post is dedicated to a favorite of mine, Comes The Blind Fury, by Author John Saul.

“A child cries out… In torment. In terror. From out of the past, from out of the mists, a terrible vengeance is born.”

A century ago, a gentle blind girl walked the cliffs of Paradise Point. Then the children came — taunting, teasing — until she lost her footing and fell, shrieking her rage to the drowning sea… Now Michelle has come from Boston to live in the big house on Paradise Point. She is excited about her new life, ready to make new friends… until a hand reaches out of the swirling mists — the hand of blind child. She is asking for friendship… seeking revenge… whispering her name…

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 2nd 1990 by Dell (first published January 1st 1980)
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Supernatural, Thriller

Gah! I loved this book, and I read it so many times that the book eventually fell apart on me. I was drawn in by Amanda’s (the blind girl) story, and I couldn’t help but feel sad for her and I wanted the revenge she sought.

Then, Michelle is introduced to the story, and she is teased by children, much like Amanda, for being crippled. A ghostly Amanda reaches out to Michelle, and soon the laughter stops…

John Saul can weave a supernatural thriller like nobody else. As a teenager, I read ALL of his books, but Comes The Blind Fury was my favorite by him. (I really need to build my collection of John Saul books back up.) I would recommend this novel to teens and adults like, who enjoy a good supernatural thriller!

Purchase this terrifying bestseller, here!

AWRW Book Review: Layla, by Celine Keating #WomensFiction

laylabook

Layla is the story of a young woman whose journey forward is through the past.

In the 1960s, Layla’s parents were protesting the Vietnam War. Students were burning draft cards. Thousands were marching on Washington. The Weather Underground was taking things further—making statements, making bombs. Now it’s 2005, her mother has died, and her legacy to Layla is an envelope of enigmatic letters and instructions for a cross-country journey that will be as disorienting as a ’60s acid trip.

Traveling from New York City to the Adirondack Mountains and Boston, across the country to Colorado, the Oregon forest, and a hippie outpost in the California desert, Layla falls deeper into danger as she gets closer to the bombshell at the heart of her parents’ past.

Yearning to learn more about the father she’s never known, Layla, apolitical and disaffected, doesn’t take her mother’s warnings seriously – until it is too late. Confronted with a painful, life-changing choice, Layla discovers her own values as she comes to grips with the consequences of her parents’ activism.

Paperback Edition: 247 pages

Published January 13th 2014 by Plain View Press

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Fiction, Political, Suspense

layla_signed

***I would like to thank Celine Keating for providing me with a paperback copy of Layla, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful and honest book review.
laylabycelineWhat Is It About?

Layla is a women’s fiction novel about a young woman’s cross country journey, where every stop unravels a small part of her past, and shocking family secrets are revealed.

Born to left wing politico parents. Layla has been told her entire life how great the ’60s were. She strongly resists this ideology, and resents politics in general. Layla feels politics took her mother’s attention from her growing up.

Layla develops her own point of view, and discovers her true self along the way.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that I may have never picked up/heard of if it wasn’t offered to me in exchange for a review, and I am so glad it was, because I absolutely loved it. The slow winding suspense, and likability of the main character will make this book a memorable one for me.

I loved being along for Layla’s cross country journey, interacting with her parents’ hippy friends, an odd hitchhiker with her son in tow, and of course all the evasive letters that were strategically sent to her along the way. Layla is an empathetic character, and someone who you want to see succeed. I enjoyed watching her grow as a person, and I was proud of the woman she had become because of it all! Layla represents women’s fiction at its finest!

What I Loved:

There were a few gasp worthy moments and plot twists that I didn’t see coming, which propelled the story forward into a direction I wasn’t expecting. I love it when a story can ‘keep me on my toes’!

The suspenseful writing makes this novel hard to put down. I love a story that I can stay immersed in, and doesn’t lose my interest. Layla never lost my interest.

What I Disliked:

Now that I have finished Layla, I miss being along for the ride! I sighed as I closed the book, knowing that Layla’s, (and my), journey was over.

I didn’t understand why Jenny, who was accompanying Layla on her trip, left after one stop. Why was it necessary for her to come at all? However, I think the author made a wise decision in sending her home, because we got to see Layla grow as an individual, and bravely navigate on her own.

Recommendation:

I believe that so many people could enjoy this novel; specifically, anyone who lived through the tumultuous ’60s, political activists, and anyone who enjoys a slow winding suspense.

Purchase:

Purchase Layla on Amazon!

Rating:

fivestars

About The Author:

Celine Keating

Celine Keating is a fiction writer living in New York. Her novel, Layla, published in June, 2011, from Plain View Press, was chosen by both HuffPost and Poets & Writers as a must-read book, and was featured in the summer issues of Poets & Writers in 2011 and 2012. Her short fiction has been published in many literary magazines, including Appearances, Echoes, Emrys Journal, The North Stone Review, Prairie Schooner, and Santa Clara Review. Keating is a board member of The Concerned Citizens of Montauk, an environmental group. She is also a music reviewer and contributor to Acoustic Guitar magazine and Minor7th.com.

 

AWRW Book Review: Stranger At Sunset, by Eden Baylee

Vacation can be a killer.

Dr. strangeratsunsetKate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show.

It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers?

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate’s own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.

Paperback, 348 pages
Published September 14th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published June 22nd 2014)
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

My Thoughts:

Stranger at Sunset was inspired by the Author’s trip to Jamaica. It is the first in a series, yet to be penned/released. After reading this story, I am interested in the rest of the series and look forward to their release!

This story is told by multiple points of view, and while I thought in the beginning that it was Kate’s story, it really wasn’t. Strangers At Sunset is the story of not only Kate, the respected psychiatrist with an eidetic memory, but the story of Anna and Nolan Pearson; the owners of Sunset Villa, and Jessica and Rob; the lucky winners of The Price is Right game show, and Adam; the egocentric businessman who claims he knows the secrets of being an alpha male, and of course Matthew Kane; the reviewer with a host of allergies and endless demands. Other characters worthy of a mention: Harrison; the bartender and loyal employee, Nadine; Anna and Nolan’s friend, Greg and Tom; married and owners of the OMG fashion line, Violet; the resort’s chef extraordinaire.

Multiple narratives tend to be confusing in stories, and at times it was. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t sure whose story Stranger At Sunset was. Even so, I enjoyed spending some time in each character’s head, and I felt I got a better understanding of why each character acted as they did. Even with Matthew Kane, who the Author painted as a very unsympathetic character.

I absolutely loved the prologue. The narrative intrigued me even though I didn’t know what was going on, until the end when it all made sense.  I got through 80% in one sitting and then finally forced myself to put it down till the next day. This novel had me wondering, what is going to happen next? Like I said, it was hard to put down once I got into it.

What Is It About?

Stranger At Sunset is a psychological suspense about two resort owners who invite back a reviewer who slammed their beloved resort, in hopes of changing his mind, and getting him to change his negative review into a positive one. They invite their friends along, for moral support. Included in the group, a troubled psychiatrist. What happens by the end of the week could determine the future of Sunset Villa.

What I Loved:

The characters were amazing, dynamic, and I wanted to get to know them better which was accomplished though multiple POVs. (Even though the multiple narratives made me nutty at times).

There were so many things to love about this novel, including the unique story itself. I haven’t read a novel quite like this before, so it was a refreshing change of pace!

The slow burning suspense made this book hard to put down. Strangers At Sunset is a book that can easily be finished in one sitting.

What I Disliked: (Warning Spoilers)

The author strayed away from the plot a few times, and I was expecting/hoping the loose ends would be tied up in the end regarding Jessica and Rob; whatever happened to them? Also, Kate’s photographic memory and PTSD symptoms (her insane confrontation with her Father in the end made me think SHE should be the one seeing a psychiatrist because she came off as a mental patient), and most importantly and without destroying the mystery, I am asking WHY? What was the motive behind it all?

Based on everything I mentioned above, I’m curious if the story continues in in the next book.

With a setting like Jamaica, I wished I felt transported there. The vacationers spent little time at the beach, and lots of time at the hotel.

Recommendation:

I believe so many people could enjoy this novel, specifically fans of mysteries who enjoy a good psychological suspense! If my review piqued your curiosity, don’t just add this novel to your TBR list and forget about it! Purchase it, today!!

Amazon US / UK Best Seller 
International Mystery and Crime
– Literary Fiction – Psychological
– Crime Fiction – Murder

***I was provided with a complimentary copy of Strangers At Sunset, by the Author, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful and honest book review.

About The Author:

Eden BaEden Bayleeylee left a twenty-year banking career to write. Incorporating some of her favorite things such as travel, culture, and a deep curiosity for what turns people on, her brand of writing is sensual and literary.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

On June 30, 2014, she released her first novel–a psychological mystery/thriller set in Jamaica called STRANGER AT SUNSET.

Eden loves hearing from readers, so connect to her via her website at www.edenbayleebooks.com and all her social networks.
–Goodreads Author Bio

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys thrillers, and psychological suspense.

AWRW #WayBackWednesday Book Review: Ski Weekend, by R.L. Stine

176588

It was a perfect setting –for murder!

Way Back Wednesday is a Book Meme created by A Well Read Woman wwaybackwednesdayith the aim to write mini book reviews on books read in the past, that left a lasting impression. You know what kind of books I am talking about… The ones that you have read multiple times, and they still bring you nostalgia. Books like these are the reason you enjoy reading!

Full rules to participate can be found, here!

Today’s Way Back Wednesday post is dedicated to an old favorite o’ mine: Ski Weekend, by R.L. Stine!

Author R.L. Stine is like the Steven King of YA. Out of all the Fear Street books, Ski Weekend has stuck with me. (In particular, a scene involving a kiss and carrot cake breath… I have no idea why that left such an impression on me, but nevertheless, it did!)

I loved this novel because of the edge-of-your-seat suspense that made the book difficult for me to put down. I don’t know if I would be able to fully lose myself in this series now as an adult, as I did as a pre-teenager, so I don’t want to reread it so I can keep my fanship alive in my heart.

Book Synopsis:
“Red” Porter was a stranger they’d met on their ski weekend. But Ariel Munroe, Doug Mahr and his girlfriend Shannon Harper were grateful he was there when they set out for home on the icy roads. Thank heaven for Red! He spotted the hilltop lodge when they were stranded by the blizzard. He took charge when they stumbled into strange surroundings, scared, tired and looking for refuge. But can he save them when their refuge becomes a trap?

Suddenly their hosts are acting very sinisterly. Doug’s car is gone. The phones are dead. And the house is full of guns. If they steal one, maybe they can escape! Until a shot is fired and the real terror begins…

Paperback, 165 pages
Published September 21st 1996 by Simon Pulse (first published 1991)
Ski Weekend (Fear Street, #10)
Genre: YA, Thriller, Teen Mystery

Do you have a pre-teenager, or young adult in your life who enjoys thrillers? Purchase Ski Weekend for them today!

fivestars

 

AWRW Book Blast + Facebook Launch Party! Dai’s Dark Valentine, by Dariel Raye

Dais Dark Valentine Cover 1400x1960
Dai’s Dark Valentine, by Dariel Raye

 

What happens when a sheltered cat-shifter and a dark fey come together?

Three-hundred years is a long time, but left to its own devices, what began as the vendetta of one man can grow to encompass even more formidable hatred.

Daitre Salons is a beautiful but naïve heiress whose true heritage has been kept secret even from her. Now, her abilities are emerging and her father’s enemies want her dead, but what bothers her most is that her new husband “in name only” insists on treating her like a child.

Joban Beaucoup, professional guard to the Salons family, and dark fey (alternate spelling from Vodouin origin), has chosen to leave the quaint yet suffocating French town of his orphan-childhood and venture to the Americas, but he needs one thing he cannot concoct, despite his magical abilities – a wife.

When Joban agrees to marry Daitre and take her to the Americas with him, he carries her three-thousand miles away, then whisks her three-hundred years into the future to assure her safety, but while Daitre struggles to adjust to this strange new world, manage her newfound powers, and make peace with her feelings for Joban, Joban learns that even here, their enemies have followed them, now more deadly than ever.

Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Stay with us for the entire launch tour. Click the link below to join the Facebook party and view the tour calendar!

Facebook Party

“Dai’s Dark Valentine” Launch Tour Calendar

 

Dariel RayeFor more about Dariel, follow her blog or website.

She also publishes a new release newsletter and daily newspaper.

You can contact with her on Twitter, FacebookGoodreads, & Pinterest.

 

AWRW Book Review: Wolfsong Lullaby, (Wolfsong Trilogy 1), by HD March #Paranormal #EroticRomance

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Lyric discovers nothing is what it seems on Coral island, least of all its inhabitants, one wants to love her, the other destroy her.

Arriving on Coral Island Lyric discovers a world she never knew existed. Between the hot vampire Quest and wicked werelion Chaya she is in sexual heaven. But there is something that intends spoiling her fun. Lyrics presence has awakened an evil entity; the taking of her soul its target.

Only Quest stands in the way, but will his powers be enough to save her. Recalling the words that he’d fall in love, giving his heart, only to have his love snatched from him. That he’d face an eternity of pain, and Quest fears they are about to come true.

Kindle Edition, First, 203 pages

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Erotic Romance

Publication Date: June 20, 2014

Lyric has two goals in life: Become an accomplished sex therapist, and find a man who can keep up with her in bed. When her father remarries, she leaves home to stay in a cottage on Coral Island for a few months to work on her thesis, and to continue her quest for a lover who can satisfy her.

Coral Island is home to shape-shifting vampires, werewolves, and big mangy cats with serious claws. Quest, Draven, And Krish are brother peacekeepers who monitor the werecats and keep mortals safe. They are also vampires who have yet to meet their equals.

Quest swears off love and possessiveness. He wants to enjoy sex without all the distractions of a relationship. And kissing is absolutely out of the question…

On Lyric’s first night in the cottage, she senses something is off. The darkness and solitude of Coral Island frightens her. Claws scratch her door and window, and evil unleashes itself.

Quest meets Lyric, and almost immediately, he possesses her, an emotion he has sworn off his entire 300 year life. Has he met his match?

Lyric is in trouble. She finds herself caught up in a ten generations old curse meant to take her life.

Her time is running out.

Will she meet her destiny?


Noteworthy Characters:

Lyric: Main female character

Dionne: Lyric’s model/singer best friend

Jason: Lyric’s Father

Mercy: Jason’s new wife

Anya: Lyric’s deceased Mother

Chaya: Werecat

Quest: Sexy Peacekeeper/Vampire

Draven: Brother of Quest, Sexy Peacekeeper/Vampire

Krish: Brother of Quest and Draven, Sexy Peacekeeper/Vampire

Marlo: Father of the Peacekeepers

Tienni: Hybrid Wolf Woman, sworn to Quest

Siku: Werecat

Enedi: Werecat

Sicara: Half man/half beast killing machines, sworn to the peacekeeper brothers by allegiance

Lewis: Coral Island’s only cop

First off, I would like to thank HD March’s publicist for providing me with a complimentary copy of Wolfsong Lullaby, in exchange for a fair, honest, and thoughtful book review.

I enjoyed this novel. It is sexxxy and has lots of supernatural elements to it that reminded me of True Blood on steroidsWith Wolfsong Lullaby, you get vampires that shift into werewolves, and men and women that shift into big cats. Thrown in are a black mamba, ages old curses, and lots, and lots of dirty, graphic sex! If your thing is supernatural erotic romance, you NEED to add this novel to your TBR pile!

I got the impression, (and I was right), that this novel would be part of a series, so I am curious as to how the saga will continue! To read more about the series, click here!

If you are interested in a sexy supernatural read, purchase here!

About The Author


Hello and welcome to my corner of the world :)

I live on top of a mountain in Wales ideal in the summer not so in the winter months or when it rains, which is a lot in Wales!

My three children have left home, however my life is still manic. I live with my husband he sadly won’t leave home but I live in hope (joke). I have one suicidal cat that really does have nine lives.

I have five Alaskan Malamutes. They own me literally as I never go anywhere without taking their hair with me, they insist! My hobbies are showing and working them.

My first love though is writing, it’s a total escape for me my selfish time :) Writing my books takes me from the mundane chores of work into another universe.

Since a child I devoured any written word and enjoy acting out my fantasies in print.

My ambition is to pack in my nine to five job and become a full time writer. Another one of my many dreams. I have stockpiled work of various genres, including my first love erotic romance, followed by psychological thrillers and supernatural so be prepared I am making my mark on the world of literature.

H D March is the alter ego of Ellen March. I’m still writing erotic romance, only this time in the paranormal.

Here is the link to my Ellen March Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show…

I love the freedom that writing paranormal gives me, leaving my imagination fly. The research has to be my favourite part and in particular studying mythology and putting my own slant on things.

https://www.facebook.com/ellenmarchau… Facebook


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