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#1 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jennifer's Books

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Please welcome a new blog post series called Follow Friday with book bloggers. Reading and blogging isn't a solo activity that's why we're reaching to you, our lovely community and encouraging you to share your reading life insights.

 

The Follow Friday posts will be published every Friday - surprise, surprise! The new series will be accompanied with the notification announcement, we don't want you to miss anything!

 

We wish you a pleasant reading, and great exploring and discovery time!

 

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Follow Jennifer's Books: http://stellarraven.booklikes.com/

 

What was the book that made you a book lover?

 

I've loved reading pretty much from the moment I learned how. But a couple of books I remember from my childhood that really spurred my love of reading were Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. I read the former so much my book literally fell apart, and the latter I wanted because I was age 8 myself at the time. The edition I owned was a mass market paperback sized book, and I remember feeling so grown up, because to me it looked like the books I saw my parents reading.

 

Chocolate Fever - Robert Kimmel Smith,Gioia Fiammenghi  Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary  

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

I wanted a way to share my love of reading with others, and to find others who were interested in the same types of books that I am.

 

Did blogging have an impact on your reading life?

 

I would definitely say so. I've connected to readers around the world, and instead of just finding others who are interested in the same types of books I am, I've been introduced to other genres I might not have otherwise read.

 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

I like too many genres to list, but I'd have to say my favorites are historical fiction, crime/mystery, and romance (historical romance, romantic suspense, and PNR romance). They're special to me—well, at least as far as the romances go anyway, because I can usually** rest assured that no matter what the main characters go through it will all work out in the end, and I'll get my HEA.

 

      **In my opinion, one of the biggest betrayals there is in a romance novel is no HEA, or at the very least a HFN.

 

On your BookLikes blog you’re regularly sharing weekly art post, can you tell the story behind the concept?

 

I love classic art, and I love reading, and I thought that a Weekly Art Post would be a great way to combine the two. I try to choose paintings (and a few vintage photographs) that feature the subject of the piece reading or ones that at least feature a book in some way. I'm in my second year doing this, and it's been great fun choosing which pictures to feature.

 

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What are your favorite book covers?

 

As I mentioned in #7, I love classic art, so my attention really tends to be attracted by     books that use classic art/paintings or at least have that classic art kind of feel on their covers. I'm also really enjoying the covers for that Harry Potter illustrated editions.       

 

            Here's a few examples:

A Poisoned Season - Tasha Alexander  Silent in the Sanctuary - Deanna Raybourn  

Blood Magick - Nora Roberts

 

On your blog page you write: When I do write reviews, they may be just a few lines or rather lengthy. How does you review process look like?

 

I don't know that I have much of a process. A book has to really affect me—either positively or negatively—for me to write a detailed review these days. When I do decide to review, most of the time I end up just posting a few brief thoughts about the book.

 

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Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I generally don't recommend books all that often. I have this irrational fear of recommending something to someone and they end up utterly hating it.

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

I generally prefer to read in my bed. And since a picture of my bed isn't all that thrilling, here's one of me on my bed, covered up with one of my cozy throw blankets with a book in hand. Not that that's all that thrilling either, but still...

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I enjoy both, but do tend to prefer paper books. E-books are so much easier to take along, though, whether on my phone or my kindle, it's nice to know that I am never without something to read.

 

Three title for a dessert island?

 

Oh man...what a tough question. How about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, (actually any of the HP books would do), And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and this may be a rather unconventional choice, but if I'm stranded on a deserted island I'm going to need at least one romance with me, so how about Lessons From a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes.

 

A book that changed your life?

 

As I mentioned before, I have loved reading for as long as I can remember, but if I had to point to one book that changed that love of reading into a need to read, it would have to be The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. I was in 7th or 8th grade and was allowed to choose a book from the high school section of my school's library, because I read at a higher-than-my-age level. I absolutely fell in love with the book, and used to check it out from my school's library all the time.

 

Favorite quote?

I actually have two I'd like to share, it that's ok:

 

 

      “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” - Charles William Eliot

 

 

      “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” - Ponyboy Curtis (The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton)

 

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

 

Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter books. I am so awed by the entire wizarding world set up by J.K. Rowling, and McGonagall is by far and away one of my favorite characters from the series. I think it would be so fascinating to be able to meet and talk to her. I mean, can you imagine the stories she must have?

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

Ok, this is not the best picture, but my book shelf is located in a awkward spot. I pretty much had to be a contortionist to get a decent shot without too much of the door getting in the way.  And there's a whole shelf on the bottom that I couldn't even get in the picture. I also have a book cabinet which houses the bulk of my books. I didn't take a picture of it, because my organizational plan in there is pretty much “stack them in there in such a way as to fit in as many as humanly possible”.

 

 

I want to thank Kate @ BookLikes for asking me if I'd like to do this! It was fun!

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You can also find Jennifer here:

BookLikes: http://stellarraven.booklikes.com/

 

 

#ReadingNOW: 10 Books From Your Shelves

Reblogged from BookLikes:

We've peeked into your bookshelves and found some nice summer book picks!

 

And guess what, you can do a nice book hunt as well! If you're curious what titles other book bloggers are reading, all you should do is to choose the Book Catalog from the drop down menu and scroll down until the Currently reading section. Click the book covers to go to the book pages where you'll find other editions of the titles and the book reviews.

 

Oh my! Our TBR pile is getting bigger and bigger, luckily, the virtual bookshelf is endless :)

 

 

 

10 BOOKS FROM YOUR CURRENTLY READING SHELVES

 

 

So many books, such little time. is currently reading:

 

A High Mortality of Doves - Kate Ellis A High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis  

1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four terrible years of war, and now, just when the village is coming to terms with the loss of so many of its sons, the brutal murder of a young girl shatters its hard-won tranquillity.
Myrtle Bligh is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth slit to accommodate a dead dove, a bird of peace.
During the war Myrtle worked as a volunteer nurse with Flora Winsmore, the local doctor's daughter, caring for badly wounded soldiers at the nearby big house, Tarnhey Court.
When two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances, Inspector Albert Lincoln is sent up from London, a man not only wounded in war but damaged in peace by the death of his young son and his cold, loveless marriage... read more

 

 

Story of my success is currently reading:

 

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield  

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness... read more

 

 

Debbie's Spurts is currently reading:

 

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel (The Queen of the Tearling Book 3) - Erika JohansenThe Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen  

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies—including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable—she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy—and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne... read more

 

 

~~ Elsbeth ❤❤❤ MM-Romance ~~ is currently reading:

 

Imago - N.R. Walker Imago by N.R. Walker  

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bow ties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books... read more

 

 

Reading For The Heck Of It is currently reading:

 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing: A Novel - Madeleine Thien Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien  

Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations―those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences... read more

 

 

theguywhoreads is currently reading:

 

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger - Stephen King The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King  

A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake. Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,”... read more

 

 

Familiar Diversions is currently reading:

 

No Longer Human, Volume 2 - Osamu Dazai,Usamaru Furuya No Longer Human, Volume 2 - Usamaru Furuya 

Furuya's adaptation of No Longer Human takes place nearly seventy years after Dazai's original. Set in modern day Tokyo, Dazai's tale details the life of a young man originally from a well-off family from Japan's far north. Yozo Oba is a troubled soul incapable of revealing his true self to others. A weak constitution and the lingering trauma from some abuse administered by a relative forces him to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity since high school. The series is composed of three parts, referred to in the novel as "memorandums," which chronicle the life of Oba from his teens to late twenties. The comic is narrated by the artist, Furuya himself playing the role originally held by the author Dazai, who makes appearances at the start of each volume. In many ways, it could be said that Furuya has traveled a path that may be similar to Dazai's. Maybe that is what led these two together after 100 years... read more

 

 

Bookish for life is currently reading:

 

American Gods - Neil Gaiman American Gods by Neil Gaiman  

A storm is coming . . . Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own... read more

 

 

BrokenTune is currently reading:

 

Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson,Wanda McCaddon Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson

England between the wars was a paradise of calm and leisure for the very, very rich. Into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas - La Lucia, as she is known - a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the subdued formality of her class.
With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, Lucia upends the greats of high society: the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and all the rest of the small English town that the British rich call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, fine art, excitement, and intrigue into this cloistered realm
... read more

 

 

AUDIO BOOK JUNKIE is currently reading:

 

Ms. Bixby's Last Day - John David Anderson Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson  

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves... read more

 

And what are you reading now?

 

Book Booty, July 2017

— feeling amazing

 

A dear friend and colleague left the company recently. To us, it meant that we’d be seeing less of her. We decided to surprise her with a trip to The Tent and bought her a bevy of books. She loved it! We all got just a bit teary eyed but that’s life, isn’t it! You meet awesome people, get to know them better, and then become sad when you part ways with them.

Anyway, since I took myself there, I had to sample some of The Tent’s goodies. But you already knew that. So, this is what I got:

The Buried Giant is a book that I have wanted to get for a while now. The delicious controversy surrounding it and the rumor that it is fantasy without being fantasy have only convinced me to get it.

I loved both The Secret Life of Bees book and the movie. Wanting to see if the author’s other books are as magical, I have purchased this one as well. Now, I have two of her books in my collection:

Since people keep pairing the two, I have wanted to read this one ever since I read The Road. Now I can! The book can be used in lieu of a door stopper but if I can survive WoT, I am sure I will live to tell the tale after having read this one!

Read and loved this one, so I wanted it for my collection. I like the cover on this edition even though I have yet to watch the movie!

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I have heard mostly negative things about Memoirs of Geisha and how the author of that book has over-romanticized and out-slutted the role that geishas played in the Japanese society. From trusted sources come recommendations that present a more accurate picture. This author is one from that list and I couldn’t stop myself from getting this book.

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To be honest, I don’t know why I bought this…yet. I might read it or I might give it to someone who will get more use out of it than I would. Haven’t decided!

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This was a wonderful find. This book-cum-RPG thing is why I love going to The Tent. I have found all sorts of amazing things there. If you remember my illustrated Hobbit and LOTR editions, that is where I got them from.

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The empty frame was filled with cards displaying characters from the book. Each card had the picture of a character at the front and some questions (that might help in brainstorming) at the back. Here are the cards:

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A closer look:

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Am I crazy or are they really pretty? Like the book on Rock history, I haven’t decided what I am going to do with these yet. Any ideas?

Blog Tour: The Watson Girl by Leslie Wolfe with Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Leslie Wolfe’s The Watson Girl. We will have info about the book and author, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

 

A GRIPPING SERIAL KILLER THRILLER

An entire family is murdered and, by a quirk, a young girl is left unharmed. For fifteen years, she believed the killer had been caught, and he’s now on death row, awaiting execution. While trying to be content with her adoptive family, she’s living in relentless uncertainty and the fear of remembering what really happened that night when she was five years old. She’s The Watson Girl.  

A therapist has asked her to participate in regression session treatments to attempt to bring back those lost memories. The closer she gets to the truth, however, the less time she has to remain alive. Now, the real killer is going to silence her, before she can remember the details of that horrifying night, when she was an innocent witness.  

Laura Watson is young, she’s beautiful, and she’s a serial killer's loose end.  

Join the smart, relentless, and short-fused FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett and her team in a heart-stopping search for the serial killer who has managed to stay hidden for many years. Explore the inner workings of the murderer’s mind, and find out what motivates such predatory, blood-lusting behavior, while following every twist and turn of an existence spent taking lives.   Laura Watson’s family was murdered fifteen years ago. That was only the beginning. His beginning. If you’re the apple of his eye, you’re already dead. Special Agent Tess Winnett will hold nothing back to stop the killer before he takes another innocent life. She never fails, no matter what’s at stake. Even her own life.  

The best-selling author of Dawn Girl is back with another suspenseful, gripping thriller. If you’re a fan of David Baldacci and James Patterson, you will enjoy Leslie Wolfe.

 

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Bestselling author Leslie Wolfe is passionate about writing fiction, despite spending a significant number of years climbing the corporate ladder. Leaving the coveted world of boardrooms for the blissful peace of the Florida-based "Wolves’ den," Leslie answers one true calling: writing.   Leslie’s novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields, that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.   Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller. Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.

 

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and enter the giveaway!

 

 

Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-watson-girl-leslie-wolfe-giveaway

Blog Tour: Hidden Hearts by Olivia Dade with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

http://amzn.to/2t8hEoP

 

Today’s stop is for Olivia Dade’s Hidden Hearts. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

An Admirer With A Secret . . .   Mary Higgs could be the poster girl for the buttoned-up librarian. She follows the rules. Stays ʼtil closing. Her kindness and dedication to her patrons is legendary. But those patrons have no idea what she’s typing to the mysterious shut-in who emailed the library needing a library card three months ago . . . When the elusive Miles O’Connor shows up, he’s no invalid. A year ago, he was the gleaming, ab-sational star of the small screen. Then came the accident. Now he’s a wounded recluse with a pizza habit and fears so unshakable that only the thought of losing Mary to an online date could lure him out of his cabin. Soon their email rapport has turned into weekends on the couch, watching tearjerkers and driving each other insane with red-hot makeout sessions. But as the desire grows and their horizons expand, the life that brought them together might not be enough for either of them . . .

 

 

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“Angie, if you’re doing what I think you’re doing, please stop.” “Oh, hi, Mary.” Once again, Angie minimized her browser window in one smooth movement. “I have no idea what you mean.” “You want to find me a boyfriend, so you’re attempting to figure out what sort of man I’d prefer. His race. His height. His…um, other qualifications. Since you know I’d object, you’re going about it in a really roundabout and confusing way. And since you’re you, many of your questions have involved”—Mary lowered her voice from a whisper to a mere thread of sound—“personal endowments.” “Personal endowments?” Angie kept her voice low, too. “That’s the most genteel euphemism for penises I’ve ever heard.” With an effort, Mary resisted sharing the other terms she’d used for that area in the past. Such as, well, “that area.” Or “privates.” Or “man parts.” “I’m not looking for anyone. And if I change my mind, I can conduct the search myself.” Pleased with both her restraint and her uncharacteristic assertiveness, she smiled at her boss. “But thank you for thinking of me.” Angie’s eyes widened in appeal. “Come on, Mary. As far as I know, you haven’t been on a second date in months. Maybe a year.” “Umm…” She shifted from foot to foot. “Two years.” “And I know you. You’re not a one-night-stand sort of woman, so that means you’re experiencing an epic dry spell. Under the circumstances, what could a little online dating hurt?” An involuntary flinch drew Mary up against the doorway. “Online dating? No. No online dating. I’ve heard so many horror stories, Angie, I can’t even tell you.” “You’re a sensible woman. And I’d be happy to vet any contenders before you met them. So would all of our friends.” Angie clicked to maximize a window, and a colorful, half-completed form suddenly appeared. “Besides, it would be so easy. You already have a profile.” Mary covered her face again and spoke through her fingers. “Angie. Please tell me you didn’t.” “I thought you needed a little nudge.” A gentle hand patted her arm. “And I was delighted to be the bearer of good nudges. Especially since you’re the sweetest woman I know. You deserve an amazing man in your bed. Or an amazing woman, I suppose.” “Man,” she mumbled. “Oh, good.” Angie sounded pleased. “That’s what I chose for the profile.” “Again, I appreciate your thinking of me.” She dropped her hands and did her best to appear stern. “But I’m not looking for someone in my bed.” “How about someone across a dinner table? Or beside you at a movie theater?” With a sigh, Mary admitted, “That sounds nice.” “I know you’re a strong, independent woman who doesn’t mind being single. If you want me to delete your profile, I will.” Angie met her gaze directly. “But I’d love to see you give this a shot. I promise you, I wouldn’t encourage you to do anything unsafe. You’re my coworker and friend, and I’d never put you in harm’s way.” “I know.” And she did know. Angie had a huge heart and endless reserves of loyalty for the people she loved. Also a strong streak of recklessness, but Mary had grown to love that too. As far as Mary was concerned, her boss should serve as a model for timid women everywhere. “And have you considered the Singles Skydiving event we saw in the paper yesterday?” Well, maybe not a model, exactly. More like inspiration, tempered by common sense. Heavily tempered, until death-defying feats were no longer involved. “I might be willing to try online dating. But if you try to sling a backpack on me and shove me off a plane, I’ll haunt you from beyond the grave.” Mary raised her brows at Angie. “And you know I’m a woman of my word.” Angie snorted. “So dramatic. You’ve been hanging out with Sarah too much.” “Most likely.” A smile spread across her face at the thought of her best friend. “Her mannerisms were bound to rub off sooner or later.” “So you’ll keep this profile?” Angie’s head tilted toward the computer screen. “I’ll keep a profile,” Mary corrected. “Not necessarily yours. Heaven only knows what you said in it.” “Not much. Just that you’re lovely, intelligent, hardworking, and sweeter than any of them deserve. Also that you appreciate men in a rainbow of delicious colors.” She came closer to the monitor, curious what else her boss had entered into the form. “For pity’s sake, Angie. I have never, not once in my life, described myself as ‘Beyoncé’s more beautiful and talented twin.’ I don’t look anything like her!” If only. That sort of effortless glamour and polish had eluded Mary her entire life. Angie shrugged. “Just trying to approximate your babeliness in a way most people would understand.” “What about the ‘more talented’ bit?” Mary gaped at her. “Don’t you remember that program last year? The one where I sang Christmas carols?” A small wince creased Angie’s forehead. “Talent doesn’t have to mean singing. Which is a good thing, in your case. I think we attracted feral cats from miles around that night.” Leaning over Angie, Mary wrestled the mouse from her boss’s grip and exited the form without saving. “I’ll fill one of these profiles out on my break. By myself.” Angie’s lower lip poked out. “But I was enjoying myself.”

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia Dade grew up an undeniable—and proud—nerd, prone to ignoring the world around her as she read any book she could find. Her favorite stories, though, were always romances. As an adult, she earned an M.A. in American history and worked in a variety of jobs that required her to hide her bawdy interior under a demure exterior: Colonial Williamsburg interpreter, high school teacher, academic tutor, and (of course) librarian. Finally, though, she realized the call of the hussy could no longer be denied. So now she writes contemporary romantic comedy with plenty of sex, banter, and nerdery. When not writing, she cooks alongside her husband, dabbles in photography, and tries to hide her collection of throbbing-intensive romances from her curious daughter. Visit her on the web at oliviadade.com.

 

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-hidden-hearts-olivia-dade-excerpt-giveaway

Blog Tour: Not Through Loving You by Patricia Preston with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Patricia Preston’s Not Through Loving You. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

 

 

In the Southern town of Lafayette Falls, a new life brings together a woman with everything to lose and a doctor with everything to prove.   When a sickly infant is surrendered at the Lafayette Falls Medical Center, and orphaned soon after, pediatrician Aaron Kendall arranges to adopt him. After a painful divorce, the busy baby doc is about to realize his own dream of becoming a father when the baby’s beautiful estranged aunt turns up. She doesn't exactly approve of the Kendall bachelor pad, complete with Aaron's cranky dad and wacky brother, forcing Aaron to form a risky alliance with her. Country singer-songwriter Lia Montgomery barely knew her half-sister, but she's determined her tiny nephew goes to a good home. If only she fit the bill herself, but her stressful life on the road is no place for a baby. Yet despite her misgivings, as she gets to know Aaron, she realizes the smart and sexy doctor is everything a child could want in a dad—and more unsettling, everything she's ever hoped for in a man. After all she's put him through, is it too late to form a family—and maybe put a song in the good doctor's heart?

 

 

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Lia looked into Aaron Kendall’s irate blue eyes. She hadn’t expected handsome. She had thought he would be older, bald on top, definitely glasses, reserved with an adoring chubby wife at his side. She had pictured them as a sweet couple who were thrilled by the prospect of having a son and who would give Candace’s unwanted baby the home he deserved. How could she have been so wrong? “All right. Tonight.” She needed time to think through this latest wrinkle in her life. “I’m staying at the Lansdale Hotel. There’s a small restaurant in the hotel. We can meet there.” She glanced at his hand that was still on top of hers. He was the kind of guy who was available because that’s the way he wanted it. Why else would he be single? He was attractive. Tall with the lean, athletic build of a man who was no stranger to physical activity. The deep crow’s feet on the sides of his eyes revealed that he was in his mid to late thirties. He had a little scar on the side of his chin. She wondered how he got it. She wondered why his wife had left him, and when she met his gaze, she wondered if he realized they were close enough to kiss. “I’ll see you at eight.” He released her hand and stepped back. The tension rolled off him in waves. “It would be good if your sister joined us as well.” “Yes, that would be good,” she said before she slipped inside the Jag. She let down the window. “Unfortunately, Candace is dead.” She left Aaron Kendall standing speechless in his driveway. Four days ago, that news had left her speechless, too, when a scruffy girl named Kelly had shown up on her doorstep with a duffel bag containing Candace’s belongings as well as a box holding her ashes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Patricia Preston is a Mississippi author who writes witty mainstream historical and contemporary romance as well as humorous short stories. She won the William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition for Historical Romance, and Harlequin’s World’s Best Romances Short Story Competition. Besides working as a medical office manager, she has also worked as a librarian. She loves the atmosphere of small towns but would love to live in New Orleans or Nashville, her favorite cities. Her other interests include history, cooking, photography, and getting together with friends and family. She is happiest when she is in her writing cave with a glass of sweet iced tea and ideas flowing. Readers can visit her website at patricia-preston.com, fine her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
 
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[Guest post] How I became a travel writer

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Summer time means travels! Have a look at the confessions of a debut travel author, Nicholas Kontis, who encourages readers to focus more on the local experiences and local people when traveling. Maybe this read will inspire you to hit the road and explore something amazing this summer!

 

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A guest post by Nick Kontis

Follow Nicholas Kontis' blog on BookLikes HERE

Nick Kontis' author page on BookLikes is HERE

 

Being a child of Greek immigrant parents, it was important that I learned about my heritage. I was blessed to spend my childhood summers in Greece. I learned the meaning of family and of sharing. I slept on couches in spare rooms, hitched rides, and helped with the preparing of meals. I even learned to bake bread when I was 12 years old.

 

At age 24 I left my native San Francisco, and took a backpack and on what was to be a last trip to the Greek Islands before buckling down and becoming a productive American citizen.

 

On the island of Ios, I met Swen and Maria from Sweden. After many shots of the chalky Greek liquor Ouzo, I forfeited my return ticket home and traveled to Bangladesh and later all throughout the Indian subcontinent.

 

Moving on, I manage to tread lightly all throughout India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and then finally back to California.

 

Without a job prospect in sight, I ended up creating one. I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discount around the world airfares. I was the Lonely Planet guidebooks of travel agencies catering to backpackers. I actually sought out world travelers finding them in various locales of San Francisco. I turned them into productive sellers of around the world airfares. Productive travel agents.

 

I never left the travel industry. In a field where people scoffed and said that I wouldn’t make a dime,  I did extremely well.

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis  Now, as a travel journalist, I wrote my first book on the timely subject matter of experiential travel titled, Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road.

 

Ever since the birth of Airbnb, immersing into local society and the buzz word, "sharing economy," came to fruition. Today's modern day explorers seek a better understanding of people. Going Local details how to implement a local point of learning from local cultures.

 

 

With the assistance of technology, never before has it been so easy to stay in someone's home, share a meal, hitch a ride, and to be guided by a local to gain greater wisdom from a society.

 

"Going Local" delves into the rise in peer-to-peer travel and shows how to use meal sharing apps, and other ways in which a nation's food and cuisine is a glance into a nation's culture.

 

Other subject matter includes: how a trip around the world is a life-changing experience, moving out of your comfort zone and living abroad, why it is of the utmost importance to practice responsible travel, along with choosing responsible tour operators to guide you, volunteering and why we all should give at least a small portion of our journeys to help others.

 

With keynote talks with travel visionaries, icons and explorers in the field of travel, including Tony Wheeler, Richard Bangs, Rick Steves, Don George, Judith Fein, James Dorsey, Tim Leffel, Dr. Harald Goodwin, David Noyes, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Wolf, Larissa & Michael Milne, Tomislav Perko, Tamara Lowe.

 

The great Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler, gives the cover endorsement stating:

 

“Many people - Mark Twain included - have noted how travel is a certain cure for bigotry and narrow-mindedness. I hope Nick’s book may help persuade people to take the treatment.”

 

As some of my luminary travel author colleagues have reminded me, travel books are a breed of their own and not interesting to most readers.

 

The average American reads fewer than two books a year and a paltry 38% of Americans have passports. So there aren't many travel books that are robust blockbusters. Expect slow and steady, not a mad rush.

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Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis You can find the book on BookLikes here: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road by Nicholas Kontis  

 

The author is also willing to e-mail a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

If you're interested, please leave a comment below.

 

Blog Tour: Seducing Mr. Sykes by Maggie Robinson with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Maggie Robinson’s Seducing Mr. Sykes. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

In Maggie Robinson’s sparkling new series, the quaint village in Gloucestershire is where the wayward sons and daughters of Great Britain’s finest families come for some R&R—and good old-fashioned “rehab.” But sometimes they find much more…   No one at Puddling-on-the-Wold ever expected to see Sarah Marchmain enter through its doors. But after the legendary Lady’s eleventh-hour rejection of the man she was slated to marry, she was sent here to restore her reputation . . . and change her mind. It amused Sadie that her father, a duke, would use the last of his funds to lock her up in this fancy facility—she couldn’t be happier to be away from her loathsome family and have some time to herself. The last thing she needs is more romantic distraction… As a local baronet’s son, Tristan Sykes is all too familiar with the spoiled, socialite residents of the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation—no matter how real their problems may be. But all that changes when he encounters Sadie, a brave and brazen beauty who wants nothing more than to escape the life that’s been prescribed for her. If only Tristan could find a way to convince the Puddling powers-that-be that Sadie is unfit for release, he’d have a chance to explore the intense attraction that simmers between them—and prove himself fit to make her his bride…

 

 

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Puddling-on-the-Wold, September 1882

“It’s Lady Maribel all over again,” the grocer Frank Stanchfield muttered to his wife, checking the lock to his back room. “How the girl discovered the telegraph machine is a mystery.” Except it wasn’t such a mystery, really. Lady Sarah Marchmain— “Sadie” to her late mama and very few friends—had eyes, after all, and there it was behind an open alley window, gleaming on a worn oak desk. She had climbed in, her tartan trousers very convenient for hoisting oneself into the building. After being caught trying to send a message to who knows who, she was now unrepentantly inspecting the jars of candy on the shop counter. She might try to steal some of it, if only the shopkeepers would stop hovering over her. “Bite your tongue!” Mrs. Stanchfield whispered, looking over nervously at Sadie. Apparently no one wanted another Lady Maribel de Winter in Puddling. The first had been bad enough. Sadie had heard of her in snatches from the villagers, and the woman’s portrait hung in the parish hall. Her wicked reputation had outlived her, even if her decades of good works once she married had mitigated some of it. She had been a wild young thing who would have made Napoleon quake in his boots. Or take her to bed. Lady Maribel had been, according to gossip, irresistible to men. Fortunately her husband, a local baronet called Sir Colin Sykes, had taken her in hand as best he could once they were married. Sadie was determined never to be taken in hand. Puddling was known as a famous reputation-restorer, a place to rusticate and recalibrate. Prominent British families had sent their difficult relatives here for almost eighty years. Lady Maribel was among the first to be gently incarcerated within its limits in 1807, according to the elderly vicar’s wife, who seemed to know everything about everyone dating back to William the Conqueror. Now it was Sadie’s turn to be gently incarcerated, and she didn’t like it one bit. The village had a spotless reputation. It was a last resort before a harsher hospital, or worse, killing one’s own offspring. Or parent. Lady Sarah Marchmain had angered her father so thoroughly that they’d come to blows. When the Duke of Islesford dropped her off, he had been sporting a significant black eye. Well-deserved, in her opinion. Sadie’s own eyes were unbruised and light green, the color of beryl, or so her numerous suitors had said. Occasionally they threw in jade or jasper—it was all so much nonsense. Right now she was examining the penny candy in a glass jar, lots of shiny, jewel-like drops that looked so very tempting. Sweet, edible rubies and citrine, emeralds and onyx. Frank Stanchfield hustled over to the counter and screwed the lid on tighter. She licked her lips. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a penny to her name. She was entirely dependent on her housekeeper Mrs. Grace to dole out a pitiful allowance every Friday, and Friday was millions of days away. Sadie had spent the last of her money on a cinnamon bun earlier and had reveled in every bite. Her father’s draconian restrictions were designed to sting. Or so he thought. Sadie didn’t really mind being impoverished and hungry in Puddling-on-the-Wold. It meant she was not about to be auctioned off to Lord Roderick Charlton, or any other idiot her idiot father owed money to. The Duke of Islesford’s taste in men and luck at cards was, to put it bluntly, execrable. So far Sadie had overstayed her visit by one week. Originally consigned to her cottage for twenty-eight days, she had somehow not managed to be “cured” in that time. Rehabilitated. Restored. Brought to reason. Knuckle under was more like it. She was not getting married. In fact, she’d like to stay in Puddling forever. It was very restful. Quiet. The little lending library was surprisingly well stocked, and she’d gotten a lot of reading done between lectures from the prosy ancient vicar who instructed her daily. She also helped Mrs. Grace keep the cottage up to a ducal daughter’s snuff. Despite the fact that Sadie had no interest in becoming a wife, she was remarkably domestic. It came of hanging about the kitchens of Marchmain Castle, she supposed. The servants had been her only friends when she was a little girl and she’d been eager to help them. All that had changed after she was presented to the queen at seventeen, wearing those ridiculous hoops and feathers that threatened to put out someone’s eye. Suddenly, Sadie became a commodity, a bargaining chip to improve her father’s ailing finances. A surprising number of gentlemen— if you could call them that, since most men were absolute, avaricious, thoughtless pigs—were interested in acquiring a tall, redheaded, blueblooded, sharp-tongued and two-fisted duke’s daughter as wife. For the past four years, she’d avoided them with alacrity, aplomb, and those aforementioned fists. Needless to say, her reputation was cemented in ruination. It amused Sadie that her father was using the last of his funds to lock her away here in this very expensive Puddling prison, hoping that she would change her mind, acquiesce and marry the one man who remained steadfastly interested. Not bloody likely. She touched the glass jar with longing. “What may we help you with, Lady Sarah?” The poor grocer sounded scared to death. His wife hid behind him. Sadie batted her lashes. Sometimes this feminine trick worked, although these Puddling people seemed remarkably impervious to charm. They were hardened souls, harboring the odd, uncooperative, and unwanted scions of society for a hefty fee, believing that being cruel to be kind was the only way. “Do forgive my transgression, Mr. Stanchfield. I so longed to communicate with my old governess, Miss Mackenzie. Miss Mac, as I so affectionately call her. I found a book on telegraphy in the library and wondered if I had any aptitude for it,” she lied. Science in all its forms confounded her. In truth, she’d read nothing but Gothic romances since her arrival, very much enjoying the fraying sixty-year-old books written by an anonymous baroness. Moreover, Sadie’s old governess had been dead for six years and had been an absolute Tartar in life. There had been little affection on her part, 4 Maggie Robinson Sadie thought ruefully. The woman was at this moment no doubt giving the devil a lesson on evil and grading him harshly. “You know that’s forbidden, miss. No telegrams, no letters. Perhaps when you are r-r-released, you may visit with the lady. A r-reason for your good behavior, what?” Goodness, she was causing the poor fellow to stutter. She stilled her lashes. “Ah.” Sadie gave a dramatic sigh. “But I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Being Puddling-perfect, that is. Every time I get close, something seems to happen.” Like stealing Ham Ross’s wheelbarrow full of pumpkins. It had been very difficult to push her loot uphill, and so many of the bloody orange things chose to roll out and smash along the road. Or turning up in church in her tartan trousers...her stolen tartan trousers. Some poor Puddlingite was foolish enough to hang them on a clothesline to tempt her. After some tailoring—Sadie was handy with a needle—they fit her slender waist and long legs as if they were made for her. Her father had always wanted a son. Instead her horrible cousin George would be the next duke, and Sadie would lose the only home— well, castle—she’d ever known. It wasn’t fair. She sighed again. “Here, now, Lady Sarah. I don’t suppose I’ll miss a few boiled sweets.” Mr. Stanchfield relented and unscrewed the jar, his wife looking disapproving behind him. He filled a paper twist with not nearly enough, and passed them to her. Sadie saw her opportunity for well-deserved drama. Any chance to appear happily unhinged must be seized with two hands, so she might stay here in Puddling just a little longer. Dropping to the floor on her tartan-covered knees, she howled. She had been practicing howling at night once her housekeeper Mrs. Grace went home. Her neighbors were under the impression a stray dog was in heat in the village, perhaps even a pack of them. “Oh! You are too good to me! I shall remember this always!” She snuffled and snorted, slipping a red candy into her mouth. Red always tasted best. “A polite thank you would do just as well.” The voice was chilly. Sadie looked up from her self-inflicted chestpounding and the candy fell from her open mouth. Good heavens. She had never seen this man before in all the walking she was made to do up and down the hills for her daily exercise. Where had he been hiding? He was beautiful. No, not beautiful exactly. His haughty expression was too harsh for beauty. Compelling, perhaps. Arresting. But, she reminded herself, he was a man, and therefore wanting. Lacking. Probably annoying. Not probably—certainly. Lady Sarah Jane Marchmain was twenty-one years old and had more than enough experience with men in her short lifetime to know the truth. The man reached a gloveless hand to her to help her up, but it didn’t look quite clean. Something green was under his fingernails—paint? Plant material? Sadie made a leap of faith and gripped it anyway, crunching her candy underfoot when he lifted her to her full height. He was still taller than she was. Not lacking there. Not lacking physically anywhere that she could see. His hair was brown, curly and unruly, his eyebrows darker and formidable. His nose was strong and straight, his lips full, his face bronzed from the sun. His eyes—oh, his eyes. Blue was an inadequate adjective. Cerulean? Sapphire? Aquamarine? She’d have to consult a thesaurus. But they weren’t kind. She found herself curtseying, her hand still firmly in his. “Thank you, sir, for coming to my rescue.” She fluttered her eyelashes again. “You were in no danger on the floor. Mrs. Stanchfield sweeps it thrice a day. One could eat off it, it’s so immaculate.” He dropped Sadie’s hand and kicked the crushed candy aside. The grocer’s wife pinked. “Thank you, Mr. Sykes.” Sykes. That was the name of the family the infamous Lady Maribel married into. Interesting. “I only speak the truth, madam.” Sadie considered whether she should fall to the floor again. It would be fun to gauge this Mr. Sykes’s strength if she pretended to swoon. Would he pick her up and hold her to his manly chest? Whisper assurances in her ear? Smooth loose tendrils of hair behind her pins? But perhaps he’d just leave her there to rot. He wasn’t even looking at her anymore. Sadie was used to being looked at. For one thing, she was hard to miss. At nearly six feet, she towered over most men. Her flaming hair was another beacon, her skin pearlescent, her ample bosom startling on such a slender frame. She had been chased by men mercilessly, even after she had made it crystal clear she had no interest. These past years had tested her wits and firmed her resolve. She was mistress of her own heart, body, and mind, and determined to remain so. Mr. Sykes probably knew that—apparently everyone in Puddling had received a dossier on her. She’d come across a grease-stained one at the bakeshop under a tray of Bakewell tarts, and had tucked it into her pocket for quiet perusal, along with one delicious raspberry pastry. Theft was apparently in her blood. It had been most informative. The dossier, not the tart. Sadie had been gleeful reading an account of her past recalcitrance. She rather admired the clever ways she’d gone about subverting her father’s plans for her— she’d forgotten half of them. It had meant, however, that she had to exercise creativity in Puddling and not repeat her previous pranks. No sheep in the dining room. No bladder filled with beet juice tossed out the window. No punching fiancés or fathers. There was only the one father, but Sadie had endured several fiancés. The latest, Lord Roderick Charlton, was getting impatient. He’d given her father quite a lot of money to secure her hand. To be fair, he’d tried to woo Sadie with credible effort. There wasn’t anything really wrong with Roderick, she supposed. But there wasn’t anything right about him either. If Sadie could just resist the pressure to marry, she’d come into a substantial fortune when she turned twenty-five. She wouldn’t have to turn it over to some man, and her father wouldn’t be able to touch it. She could live her life just as she liked. She might even buy herself a small castle, if one could be found. One that wouldn’t fall down around her ears. One that had working fireplaces and no rats. However—and this was a huge however—the Duke of Islesford was threatening to have her declared incompetent, seize her funds, and lock her away in a most unpleasant private hospital. Sadie did not think it was an idle threat, and to some, it might look as if she deserved to be there. She was much too old now for the tricks she’d played, and four years was a very, very long time to stall. Sadie was beginning to realize she hadn’t done herself any favors with the pumpkins or the trousers or the howling. But she couldn’t succumb—she just couldn’t. No matter how many times Mr. Fitzmartin, the elderly vicar, reminded her of a proper woman’s place—as helper to her husband, silent in church, subordinate, obedient— she felt her fingers close into a fist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maggie Robinson didn’t know she wanted to write until she woke up in the middle of the night once really annoyed with her husband. Instead of smothering him with a pillow, she decided to get up and write—to create the perfect man—at least on a computer screen. Only to discover that fictional males can be just as resistant to direction as her husband. The upside is that she’s finally using her English degree and is still married to her original, imperfect hero. Since she’s imperfect, too, that makes them a perfect match. Until her midnight keyboarding, she had been a teacher, librarian, newspaper reporter, administrative assistant to two non-profits, community volunteer, and mother of four in seven different states. Now Maggie can call herself a romance writer in Maine. There’s nothing she likes better than writing about people who make mistakes, but don’t let the mistakes make them.

 

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Blog Tour: Perfect Odds by LaShanta Charles with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

Today’s stop is for LaShanta Charles’s Perfect Odds. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

 

 

Callista Brenner refuses to let go of her past. She had her entire life figured out…except, maybe that was only in her mind. Being stood up for her own wedding should be a clue. Regardless, she’s determined to fix this. She just needs a plan and if there’s one thing she’s good at, it’s planning. Her accolades as one of Georgia’s top premiere event planners if proof of that. It doesn’t matter that she’s a whirlwind of clumsy chaos. All she has to do is stay away from the gorgeously irritating Jayce Gilmore and her wedding will be back on track. That’s exactly what she wants. Right? She loves her fiancé. She wants to marry him and start a family. He’s her everything. Or is he? Jayce Gilmore has somehow let himself be bamboozled. One minute he was enjoying his quiet existence in his home in the outskirts of Victory, NY and the next he was facing his best friend’s wife and promising to be the best man at their wedding, which he also agreed to host at his resort & casino, La Bonne Chance. The introvert in him is questioning his sanity. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his partner has decided he’s taking a three-month hiatus, leaving the business solely in Jayce’s hands. Just when he’s ready to curl into a ball and refuse to leave his room, a chance encounter at an airport has him realizing some things are worth venturing out of your comfort zone for. Neither of them could have guessed that Callista’s past would decide it wants to be her future and will stop at nothing to make that a reality. Could she accept that maybe her carefully laid plans weren’t as careful as she thought? Will Jayce be able to show her that he’s worth a chance and, together, their oddities can be perfect?

 

 

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Part of the All in For Love Box Set!

 

 

 

 

Six best selling and award winning authors bring you six Sweet to Sensual stories. [Savings of more than 75% if books are purchased separately].

Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino!  

 

With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart than a hand of poker at La Bonne Chance. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef--when it comes to love, the stakes are high.   Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance... Ready to roll the dice?   All In For Love   PERFECT ODDS by LaShanta Charles Heartbroken and alone, event planner, Callista Brenner believes the only thing she needs in her life is a plan to get her back on track. And to stay away from the devastatingly handsome, Jayce Gilmore, who promises to be exactly what she needs. When her “plan” backfires and threatens her very existence, what will she do to secure her future? A GHOST TO DIE FOR by Keta Diablo Unlike Violet, her psychic sister, Rooney Fontaine doesn't believe in ghosts. Until one shows up in her hotel room begging for help. Headlines in the local newspaper said the man jumped from his seventh story balcony, but Rooney's truth compass is screaming something far more sinister.   RAISING KANE by Kat Henry Doran She's Raisin' Kane, committed to reporting the truth. He's Kieran Pollack, master at spinning the facts in favor of the criminal justice system and those who serve it. Truth or fiction: both could bring them to their knees.   AN INN DECENT PROPOSAL by Sharon Buchbiner Jim Rawlings takes the biggest chance of his life—bidding at auction for a once-grand inn. Genie King attends the hotel auction, never expecting another LBC employee to bid at the sale—much less the guy she had a major crush on in high school. Working together means Jim must share long-hidden secrets. Will Genie reject the man with a past? Or will she love the man he's become?   FOR MONEY OR LOVE by Margo Hoornstra He’s a mega-millionaire who covets wealth She’s a computer genius who covets life Their money or a life together, which will they choose?   TAKE A CHANCE ON ME by M.J. Schiller She’s a dealer on a losing streak with love. He’s a cop who will go all in to save her from the mob. Can she take a chance on him when this could be her final wager?  

 

 

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Cali

I nibble on my thumbnail as I watch the other travelers, clad in the makings of a summer vacation t-shirts and shorts, moving to and fro. Hot pink backpacks and black rolling cases bob and weave in a sea of commuters. Our flight is on the second call of now boarding all passengers and Cameron has yet to show up or answer my calls. Scanning the crowd, I search for his clean-cut, freshly shaved face, but come up empty. He’s still not here. A roiling ball of dread settles into the pit of my stomach. Something must have happened to him. It’s the only explanation I can think of that would lead to him not being here. A toddler wobbles past me, blonde pigtails bouncing as plump legs struggling to support the carefree attempt to run, and stepping aside, I smile down at her as she chants “uh-oh.” How freaking cute is that? I bet she gets into all sorts of shenanigans. A woman, with identical blonde curls and green eyes, rushes after her and scoops her up before giggling ensues. She plants a smacking kiss on the child’s chubby cheeks before pointing and encouraging the child to say “da-da.” A smiling man with unnaturally white teeth approaches with his arms stretched out and the child squeals and squirms as she nearly jumps from the woman’s arms. You can’t witness such a scene and not smile. Two more years and that’ll be me with my own family—number three on my list of priorities. My phone vibrates, startling me out of staring at the trio. Relief envelops me like a warm blanket when I see the picture of Cameron on the screen. “Where are you? They’re boarding everyone now. I’ll go ahead and let them know we’ll make it,” I answer, my phone cradled between my shoulder and ear. “I’m not coming,” he says. I pause in making my way to the attendant station. Surely, I heard him wrong. “Hang on a sec, let me ask them how long we have before they can no longer wait. If you’re here already it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll need to hurry. Like, sprint through the airport or maybe get one of those guys on the carts to give you a ride somehow.” The attendant flashes a smile at me and holds her hand out for my boarding pass. Her two front teeth are chipped and it makes me think of the time Cameron chipped his tooth while playing basketball last year. He got it fixed immediately, so I wonder why she’s chosen to leave hers like that. I move to give her the passes, but hear Cameron speaking again. “Cali, you’re not listening. I’m not there. I’m not coming either.” Pulling my boarding pass away from the chipped tooth attendant, I force a smile and step away for privacy. “What are you talking about, Cameron? I’m here waiting for you.” As if he doesn’t know that. He helped me load our luggage into the car before I left this morning. Is this some sick joke he’s pulling right now? “Didn’t you hear me, Cali? I said I’m not coming,” Cameron repeats, his voice harsh and grating. I stare numbly at the ‘now boarding’ screen above the attendant. I heard him the first two times. It makes as much sense now as it did then—none. “I don’t understand. You can’t not come, we’re getting married. I can see if they’ll schedule us for a different flight. I’m sure it’s not too late. We’re getting there early enough one day won’t really matter,” I tell him. He lets out an exasperated sigh. He’s annoyed? We’re four weeks away from our wedding and I’m at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, sans fiancé. I woke up at some ungodly hour, battled an hour and a half of bumper to bumper traffic to get here and get us both checked in two hours early, lugged all our suitcases—overweight, I might add—only for him to call when it’s time to board the flight to New York and tell me he’s not coming. Yet, he’s the one who’s annoyed? “I don’t know what else to say, Cali. I’m trying to do right by you here. We both knew this wouldn’t end well. This was a mistake. A huge mistake and you’re only making it harder. I can’t do this right now. For once, let something go.” I don’t even know how to respond to that. A mistake? What part of this is the mistake? One of the biggest occasions in my life—number one on the list—is a huge mistake for him? Try as I might, I can no longer speak. ‘We’ didn’t know this wouldn’t end in anything but a marriage. ‘Do right by me?’ How is standing me up for our wedding doing right by me? I didn’t ask to marry myself. I didn’t insist on us having a short engagement or me moving in with him. I watch as the attendant lifts a phone to her mouth and smiles. A few seconds later I hear her disembodied voice over the PA system. “This serves as a final boarding call for Delta Flight 1762 with service to Buffalo New York. All ticketed and confirmed passengers should report to Gate C23 for immediate departure." “Look, I can hear them in the background. You shouldn’t be at the airport alone. Go back to your parents’ place and we’ll talk more about this later. I have to get back to work,” Cameron says. My parents’ place? He’s kicking me out? And why is he at work? We’re supposed to be leaving. Like, right now! I open my mouth to speak, not entirely sure what I’ll say, but I’m cut off by someone roughly bumping my shoulder. Silently, I watch as my phone crashes to the ground and bounces once before landing, screen up. It didn’t shatter, but the screen is dark. Cameron probably thinks I hung up on him. It’s much less than he deserves at this point. “Sorry, didn’t see you there.” Story of my freaking life. Destined to fade into the background where no one sees me. Number two on the list—stand out more. This guy’s apology definitely didn’t sound sincere. I look up to see a startling shade of blue staring down at me. Cold. I don’t like it. Blue is my favorite color, but I like warm blues. Blues that make you think of a tropical oasis. Definitely not blue like this stranger’s eyes. This shade of blue makes me anxious and . . . sad? Scared? Why the hell am I thinking about shades of blue when my life has just ended? Stupid stranger not looking where he’s going. He’s a jerk, like all men in the universe. “I’ll get it,” he declares, grabbing my phone from the floor. Before I can tell him to leave me alone, I hear the attendant speaking again. “Ms. Brenner?” she pauses and looks expectantly at the bearded man standing next to me. “Gilmore,” he supplies as he takes a step away from her. We both turn to give her our attention, although I really don’t want to. I want to stand here and wallow in my misery. I want to reach out and pull this guy’s thick beard, cause him a little pain so I don’t suffer alone. What the hell does Cameron mean by ‘I can’t do this right now’? Was I just . . . dumped? Is Cameron breaking up with me or does he just not want to marry me? Is there really a difference at this point in our relationship? Can we really stay together if he basically rescinds his proposal? I’m a cliché of epic proportions. I want the fairytale wedding with a princess gown and a horse-drawn carriage. I want a wedding that will resemble a forest at dusk with stars twinkling in the sky and a sensual melody playing in the background. I stop my train of thoughts when the attendant speaks again. “We need you to board now if this is your flight. We really need to close the gate now.” “Our apologies for being late,” Mr. Gilmore grumbles before turning to me and gesturing toward the gate. “After you.” I’m slightly pleased his apology to her seemed even less sincere. There was also much more annoyance in his voice. I think. Plus, I wasn’t even late. I was very much so on time. I was where I was supposed to be and checked in like I should have. Just . . . not with whom I’m supposed to be with. Tears well in my eyes fall quicker than I can blink them away. The attendant clears her throat nervously and a horrified look crosses Mr. Gilmore’s face. “Ma’am, we really need to close the gate now,” chipped tooth says. I’m not only crying, but I’ve given them no response this entire time and I’m holding up the flight. Cameron and I were supposed to be going on this trip to New York as a vacation—and pseudo-honeymoon since it came before the ceremony, and end it with our wedding. Except now, he’s not here and he’s not coming. “Allergies,” I lie with a forced smile. I hand over my boarding pass and soon enough, I’m on my way to La Bonne Chance Casino Resort, solo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She's a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they're extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??

 

 

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Blog Tour:Warrior of Fire by Shona Husk with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Shona Husk’s Warrior of Fire. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Emily slipped her phone into her pocket. He hadn’t been lying about

leaving the hospital late. She’d watched him walk out the door. She’d spent

a lot of time watching him and not enough doing anything. The times

they were together they got as close as two people could, yet Julian had

managed to keep the rest of his life completely apart from her. She was

pretty sure that no one even knew they were dating.

She sat in her car without starting it. They weren’t really dating

and she shouldn’t be feeling pissed that he’d blown her off. He was a

mark, not her lover.

He was her kill to get her full membership to the Guardians of Adam.

She closed her eyes and leaned over the steering wheel. So why hadn’t

she done it already? She should’ve done it months ago when they first met.

She’d known that he was Albah from the curl of his ears. But he was also

attractive, educated, and nothing like the egotistical magic-using maniacs

her mother had told tales about. She should’ve questioned him and killed

him two weeks ago while the undead horror was alive and killing. Now

the Albanex had vanished and she knew a Guardian hadn’t killed it. The

Albah were probably protecting it. Hiding and feeding it.

She shuddered.

How could Julian, a well-respected doctor and burns specialist, participate

in something like that? Yet it was in his blood to become an undead, blooddrinking

Albanex. She needed to find out where his father lived—which

was harder than it should have been. She’d tried.

There was a tap on her window. Her heart stopped and she almost died.

What a Guardian she was, jumping at a security guard doing his rounds.

She opened her window a crack. “Yes?”

“Just checking you’re all right, miss.” The security guard looked concerned.

Emily softened her features as though she’d seen a dying relative and

sniffed. “Yeah. Just gathering myself before I drive home.”

“Never wise to linger in the car park. Better safe than sorry.” He smiled.

He looked as though he couldn’t run down a thief even if the thief was

carrying a box full of donuts and a coffee to wash them down.

Emily nodded and obediently started her car. When he didn’t move

away, she pulled out of the bay. She needed to get home. It was late, but

no doubt her mother would want a status update.

No change. Nothing to report.

The only excuse she could give for why the Albah was still alive was

that he could lead them to more…and hopefully the Albanex.

She paid for her parking and headed out of the city. She’d go to Julian’s

place and wait to see if he came home tonight at all. That twinge in her

chest was not jealousy.

He didn’t have another lover.

He barely had time for her.

She knew the real reason Julian was still alive was because she did

fancy him just the tiniest bit. And he saved people. Maybe he wasn’t like

the other Albah.

But all Albah could become Albanex. Albanex were the vampires that

humans thought existed only in myth. Albah were more like the elves or

witches, harmless until they did the magic that would make them drink

blood and live forever. The Guardians should’ve wiped them all out 200

years ago instead of calling for a truce; then she wouldn’t be in this position.

Doctor Julian Ryder, for all his good work, was still only one magic

ritual away from becoming an undead monster.

Leira sat quietly on the bathroom floor—it was the safest place for

her to practice, given the abundance of water and the lack of flammable

items. She’d moved the towels well away as an extra precaution. The tiles

were cold under her butt. She’d been sitting here for half an hour with the

unlit candle. She was running out of time if she wanted to get this done

before she had to get to university. While she could light a candle safely,

if she saw something that shocked her… Well, she didn’t want a repeat of

the crisps incident.

Saba would’ve happily done a reading for her if she’d asked, but Leira

wanted to do this herself, and she didn’t want anyone else to know. She

didn’t want Saba to know if everything had gone wrong. And if it had,

how was she going to fix it?

She didn’t know that either.

Which was why she hadn’t lit the candle yet.

Sitting here wasn’t going to change anything. Maybe nothing had changed

and it would all be okay, but she didn’t believe that for a heartbeat. Last

night every time she’d looked at him she could feel the tracks changing

direction, derailing the future she’d been expecting.

She shook out her hands. Maybe she was being overly dramatic, after

all, if it was one of those meant to be things, why hadn’t she felt more

than a tingle? All she’d gotten—once she’d gotten over the shock—was

the same tingle she got when seeing any hot guy.

A smile formed. Julian was hot, and not just because his magic was

fire. And they had agreed to get together to talk magic. And he’d offered

to let her read his dead mother’s diaries, which was probably a great way

to kill any mood.

There’d been no mood in the car, but there had been an undercurrent

of something. She didn’t know what it was or how to deal with it, or him.

She’d expected fireworks and…and something more. She wasn’t sure he’d

felt anything for her except pity, because she couldn’t control her magic,

and then embarrassment because it was pretty damn clear that everyone

in the room thought they needed smooshing together. Saba had promised

not to interfere, but that had been before, when the vision was still true.

Now it wasn’t. They had met and she needed to find out what had changed.

She drew in a breath and then exhaled.

In her mind she saw a circle form around her, in her next breath it became

real. She waited another couple of heartbeats before visualizing the flame.

If she was lighting a candle for the oil burner, she didn’t bother with the

ritual, but this was about her future. She could’ve used a match and not

worried about the magic, but she refused to use matches and lighters. She

had to be able to do this.

Leira pictured the flame in her mind, then pushed it out of her. The

candle lit with a spark and a crackle. She leaned forward and rested her

hands on her chin so she could stare into its blue center. As she did, the

flame expanded. The blue becoming a ball three inches in diameter.

Her concentration remained steady. How many exercises had she done

just on focusing without even using fire? She’d lost count. She could do

this without burning off her eyebrows now.

The blue started swirling as though filled with currents.

Show me the path I am on.

She expected to see the train, Julian—he had a name now—and herself

giving lectures. Her future still steady even if she didn’t know how to get

there. She’d met him; all they had to do was fall in love. When she thought

of him, that feeling was there even though when she was with him it wasn’t.

Was she getting herself muddled by constantly checking and imagining?

No, she knew the difference between the present and the future.

This time Julian didn’t appear in the flame. The currents grew darker

as though made of thick oily smoke. No, it was smoke. And flames. Her

future was nothing but smoke and flames.

No!

She gasped and dropped the circle, batting the ball of fire away. It

bounced off the wall and into the two inches of water she’d put in the bath

in case of emergency, where it then fizzled and went out.

Her heart beat fast. That didn’t make sense. Just because her initial

meeting with Julian had gone wrong didn’t mean her whole life was going

to go up in smoke.

Did it?

Fire was her element. What was she going to do, spontaneously combust?

A nervous laugh slipped past her lips.

She must have projected her own feelings about the situation. Saba was

better at this than she was. Saba was better at everything, except school

grades. That had been the one place she had bested Saba. Leira had worked

hard to be good at something.

What if Saba saw exactly what she had seen? What did it mean?

It couldn’t be death. There were other paths. There were always other

paths. She knew that. All that she had been shown was the path she

was currently on.

Right. She could fix this. She calmed herself. She just had to

find a new path.

The trouble was, how would she know if she was on the same path or

changing direction? She couldn’t check every decision that she made and

sometimes it was the smallest thing that could create the needed ripple.

Last night had been more than a ripple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. With over forty published stories, ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance.

 

 

Links

 

 

Website *** Twitter *** Facebook *** Amazon *** Goodreads

 

 

 

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tourwarrior-fire-shona-husk-excerpt-giveaway

Blog Tour: Benediction Denied by Elizabeth Engstrom with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Elizabeth Engstrom’s Benediction Denied. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

While hydrologist Adam Swan is engaged in humanitarian efforts to bring water to a small, isolated village in the Congo, he is kidnapped by rebel thugs and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die—or worse—if his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam escapes his brutal captors into an underground labyrinth where reality and sanity no longer rule. Armed with a limited amount of magic which he does not understand, he survives by employing it boldly, recklessly, desperate to return to the village above, homesick for Minnesota and normal life with his wife and daughters. Tested to the extreme limits of his endurance, Adam navigates the labyrinth with only the company of his past behavior, the baffling magic, and the seductive temptation to succumb to the mysterious and merciless gods of the underworld. The consequences of his actions, past present, and future, take him to the brink of death—and beyond. A fun, fast, thrilling ride by veteran author Elizabeth Engstrom, inspired by Matthew Lowes’ Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls card game.

 

 

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Adam Swan struggled up through dark, painful layers of consciousness. Way in the back of his awareness, he knew that full consciousness would mean full pain. He resisted, wishing desperately to sink into blissful sleep, but he didn’t think his sleep had been all that blissful, and he couldn’t find anything to cling to in order to help him get there. His head pounded so hard it actually moved with each heartbeat. He not only saw the red pulses behind his closed eyes, but he heard each heart beat thundering through what surely must be a broken skull. He brought his knees to his chest and cradled his arms over his exploding head. He was lying on his side. He tried to imagine where he was, how he got there, but he had no room for anything but the pounding, the thundering hammering in his head. There was a very real possibility that the top of his head could blow off with the pressure of each raging beat of his pulse. He grabbed his head with both hands and squeezed. The dirt beneath him moved, too. Dirt floor. What the hell? He cracked an eye open, bringing with it harsh, jagged waves of pain. Although there was very little light, he saw walls. At least he was alive. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he moved around to assess the damage. His arms worked. His hands worked. They didn’t seem to be injured. He flexed his shoulders. It was just his head. He reached around with a tentative touch and picked off crusty dried blood above his ear. Probing fingers found a lump the size of a lemon. Slowly, carefully testing, he moved his feet, then his legs. One knee gave him some grief, but nothing like his head. He squinted his eyes, then opened them just a tiny bit, adjusted his glasses, and looked around. A dark room. Dirt floor. Indistinct light coming from above. He pushed on his temples, trying to arrest the pain, scooted to a wall and pushed himself up to a sitting position, leaning against the wall. Wooden wall. He stopped moving and closed his eyes again, seeing red and yellow starbursts of pain emanate from his cracked skull until they seemed to fill the room. The pounding lessened when he was still, quiet, not moving. After a long moment, he carefully opened his eyes again and looked around, gently moving his head, assessing any damage that might have been done to his neck, trying desperately not to start the shattering waves of pain that threatened to shoot his eyeballs right out of their sockets. Dirt floor. Small, square room. Door at one end. Vent in the roof, the source of the light. Hot. Steamy. Jungle. Still in the jungle. Still in Congo. Stench of urine. Bucket in the corner, perhaps the source of the stench. Small table next to the wall. He closed his eyes and tried to relax. Tried to remember.  
 
 
 
 
Elizabeth Engstrom is the author of fourteen books and has over 250 short stories, articles, and essays in print. She is a sought-after teacher and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars around the world. She has a BA in Literature/Creative Writing, and an MA in Applied Theology, both from Marylhurst University. Her most recent nonfiction book is How to Write a Sizzling Sex Scene, and her most recent novel is Baggage Check, a thriller. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her fisherman-husband and their dog where she is on the board of directors for Wordcrafters in Eugene. She teaches the occasional writing class, puts her pen to use for social justice, and is always working on her next book.
 
 Links
 

 

 

 

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and giveaway!

 

Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-benediction-denied-elizabeth-engstrom-excerpt-giveaway

Buddy Read starts today!

Reblogged from BookLikes:
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf

It's July 7th and this means that the buddy reading for "The Invention of Nature" by Andrea Wulf starts today! Everyone wanting to participate in the read is warm welcome!

 

You can read more about the book on the book page HERE (or click the cover on the left) and in Jenn's, the buddy read's initiator, post HERE.

 

Please join the book club hosted by Jenn from Murder by Death to participate in the buddy read and to share your thoughts.

 

Click HERE to take a tour and join the Book Club for The Invention of Nature.

 

If you'd like to add a discussion post, look at the discussion threads created for each chapter of the book - they are HERE. Once you join the Book Club the discussion group will become automatically open for you.

 

Once you're a book club and discussion group member make sure to switch on the notifications on the top of the discussion threads to stay up to date with the book discussions' post.

 

Click HERE to look at the chapter discussions and join the club.

 

 

If you're using Facebook, you can also join the Buddy Read event. Click HERE to view and join the Facebook buddy reading event. To invite more readers, please share the event among your friends and family.

 

 

 

Buddy reading sounds like a lot of fun! Can't wait to see your discussions and reviews!

 

Happy reading!

SPOILER ALERT!

Sadly, the Killer Bees In This Story Didn't Kill It For Me!

— feeling frankenstein
The Colony: A Novella - Craig Anderson

 

 

 

This was a giveaway win that I won on the very awesome group, Apocalypse Whenever as part of their June giveaway. I'd like to thank both the author and the group for the book!

What I Liked:

I liked the males cloned by the AI, Eve, were programmed to reach maturity within a few months. Since the AI had been constructed to figure out the bee problem, it likened the maturity rate to like the one found in bees.

The Melior apis were terrifyingly awesome.

description

I loved the deviousness of the AI i.e. how she figured things out, made the men play poker to learn how to deceive humans, deliberately failed the Turing tests, and her whole plan to clone more men and use them as her army. The last part is problematic though, as you will read below.

What I Didn't Like:

The book started off as YA but that changed by the end of the story.

I almost never notice proofing and editing mistakes but there were quite a few of them so, it was hard to miss. Spelling mistakes etc. are always a big turn off for me!

The events of the story are too predictable. I sighed out loud when the main character, Ben, was pitted against his only friend, Frank, in the final fight.

If the ozone has finally given in and collapsed as the story mentions, then how have humans managed not to become UV-riddled pincushions? If it isn't important to the plot, why mention it?

Another minor quibble, if the Melior Apis is the name of a species, then it should be written like, Melior apis or Melior apis

Say, Eve clones more of Frank-men and sends them to the women for reproduction. How would that work? The women accepted Ben because of his unselfish nature. Why would they treat the Frank-men the same way? Wouldn't Ben tell them what Frank was like? Moreover, why would the army of Franks want to take over the women camp? Wasn't Frank competing and winning all the contests, so he could get out and get with the ladies? I think there are some plot issues that need to be sorted out!

Bye bye June, Hello July!

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Six months checked and six still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers June reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge. Click the blogs' headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers.

 

Scroll down to view more June reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers. 

Happy reading!

Five months checked. Seven still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers May reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge.

 

Click blog's headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers. Scroll down to view more May reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers.

Happy reading!

Five months checked. Seven still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers May reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge.

 

Click blog's headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers. Scroll down to view more May reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers.

Happy reading!

 

 

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. MaasThe Hate U Give - Angie ThomasHim - Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) - Lauren Graham, Lauren Graham

9  books

31 total  

9  audio

2  ebooks 

1   library  book ... read more

 

 

A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart Nightshade for Warning - Bailey Cattrell Storm in a Teacup - Helen Czerski

12 books read in June.  Not my highest month, but respectable by any measure.

5,332 pages read for a total of 37,037 pages read so far this year.  At the halfway mark of the Reading Challenge I've read 144 books out of the 200 slated for the year.  My second half of the year is always a slower reading time, so I feel like I'm actually right on track.

Just the one 4.5 star read this month: Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski... read more

 

 One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus If I Fix You - Abigail Johnson Dodge The Girl from Everywhere - Heidi Heilig Underwater - Marisa Reichardt

This year, June has been a month from hell...It started out with my birthday/Open House for my daughter, then a few days later her graduation ceremony, that all went okay...just very hectic.  Two days after my oldest daughter graduated high school, my youngest daughter and I went up the road a mile to Subway and came home and a car had driven into our house.  Like, seriously, drove through the front porch and the garage...then proceeded to go through the wall of the garage into the woods behind the house, where he hit a tree.  

Anyway, my reading hit a bit of slump (as in I found it hard to concentrate on reading and listening at all), with everything going on lately... read more

 

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig Ghost Box: Voices from Spirits, ETs, Shadow People & Other Astral Beings - Paulette Moon, Chris Moon The Show-Off Monkey and Other Taoist Tales - Mark W. McGinnis The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

I can't believe June is over already! Where does the time go? I must be getting old. Or working too much.

I finished 5 books this month. 4 of them from Netgalley, oops! I seem to have lost control again and have 6 more from them to keep me from my A-list reading, but 3 are cooking and craft books and they go fast... read more

 

June was an excellent month of great books, and my second 5.0 Star read this year!
With all the activity going on this month in real life, I hadn't been sure if I'd have much time to read.  Lots of excitement with relatives visiting and a wedding... life was pretty hectic.  And then, on top of that, I STILL haven't gotten back into my normal sleep schedule.  Everything is off, I'm waking up at weird times, sleeping at weird times... not getting enough sleep...
And it probably doesn't help that I've been reading mysteries before going to bed... read more

 

If you've missed June wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, and feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

June Wrap-Up by Tannat ->

If you've missed May wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

Book Bloggers May Reading

Book Bloggers May Reading->

April in books ->

2017 March Reads ->

Look back at the February books->

January wrap-ups! ->

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:
SPOILER ALERT!

June 2017 — A Wrap-Up

 

 

 

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I dunno how she does it but I never come away from an Agatha Christie novel without enjoying it to the fullest! This one wasn’t an exception even when it was full of racist and sexist characters. I am also happy that I read this one finally and so close to the release of the new movie too!

A favorite funny quote from the book is mentioned below. It shows the circuitutitous way Poirot thinks:

1.jpg

 

It was interesting to see the term, pukka sahib, being used in the book. Even though the person who used it, Colonel Arbuthnot, meant it in a different way i.e. the first meaning in the picture below. Poirot got down to the real meaning really quickly i.e. the second meaning of the word:

 

02.jpg

 

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I was worried that the sequel won’t suck me in as the first book had managed to do. I worried for naught; this book was as much fun and scary as the previous one. One thing that I both love and hate about this book is that Cas doesn’t sound like a teenage boy all the time. In places, he uses such poetic words about Anna. I also loved the gory decriptions that the author uses for when Anna shows up to show Cas how she is suffering.  This part from the book showcases both the gore and the poetic prose:

 

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Cas’s humor is another thing that I have alays had fun reading. Check out this example:

 

Anna 1.jpg

 

 

 

 

There are two ways you could look at this series. You can consider the elements typical to most PNR novels and label it as one. Or, you could look at the humor and the cool references to tv shows and movies and love the series for its wittiness. I chose the latter, which is why I enjoyed reading these books! Here are my favorite parts from the last (so far) book:

 

 
 
Since the guy is known as the Lord of the Ravens, the excerpt below becomes funnier while seeming legit:
 

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The October Faction series is based on a family of monster hunters. The parents who have now retired did their best to hide their past from their kids. However, old enemies kept making that difficult. What I love about this series is how dark and gory it is. The artist doesn’t picture perfect characters and their flaws make them feel more real to me!

 

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While I am equally grossed out and intrigued by the television series, the novel itself had failed to make an impression on me. The graphic novels seem to be going down the same windpipe. The only positive thing I have to say about them is that they stay true to the book. Surprisingly, as I had expected, the art isn’t to die for. It could be that the tv series and its amazing cast has me spoiled. I mean, look at the graphic novel version of Mr. Wednesday!

 

 

 

Saga’s art is so beautiful that it hurts. This series draws you in and forces you to care for its characters! I am also including the covers of two of the single issues. Feast your eyes on their beauty:

 

 

 

 

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Ender’s Image

 

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Some of my favorites quotes:

 

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This quote paints an accurate picture of sustainable methods and their importance in everything that we do! Hunting animals to extinction, deforestation to the point of clearing forests after forests…Only this time, we will all be paying the price!

 

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I loved how “human” Jane was without being a human being. In this quote, her sarcasm comes out beautifully, which is probably as human as it gets!

 

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This elitist attitude has always been the source of our troubles and led to colonialism destroying the national identities of many a people. These words were said by Jane who starts to seem more and more deeply insightful by the minute.

 

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I have mixed feelings about this one. The story seems to make Ender seem like an omniscient deity at times. He might be good at reading people but no one is that good!

 

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This quote is from a part of the book where one of the kids rebelliously pees on Ender when he wouldn’t free the kid. This is how he responds to the incident; it shows how humor is threaded through an otherwise serious book.

 

Look at the exampe below, as well. It talks about religious leaders belonging to a branch of religion that is separate from the religion of the state. Gems such as this one were interspersed throughout the story and made me chuckle every time.

 

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This quote highlights how different two groups of people can be in their beliefs about death and everything else. Leaf-Eater’s people were planted after they died and turned into trees; benefitting the living even after death.

 

For wrap-ups of the previous months, go here.

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[Guest post] Spiritual Writing: the most read genre of all

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

We're happy to welcome Nataša Pantović Nuit, an author of 9 mindfulness books and spiritual researcher and trainer, on BookLikes blog. Nataša introduces the subject of spiritual writings, and we have to confess that we've learned a lot form this short piece. We wish you all inspiring and spiritual reading. And writings!

 

All readers are invited to join Nataša's Giveaways.

 

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A guest pos by Nataša Pantović Nuit.

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Nataša Pantović Nuit's author page ->

 

If you are into “Spiritual writings” you are probably already pre-warned and have experience more than a few expectations and accusations instantly associated with this amazing genre. To be fair, throughout the history this was the most read genre of all. Remember the “eternal” classics such as: Bible, Koran, Baghavagita, to mention just a few, that have earned the reputation of the “best sellers” of all times. Whether in English speaking countries or within the countries of the East, the books that took the attention of the millions were “Spiritual” writings, talking about eternal love, happiness, or damnation.

 

Even within the ancient marketing, it was clearly understood that if a book is written by God, it stands a much better chance to win huge audience. Paradoxically, if you are a believer, all the books are by force written by God or influenced by His or Her Majesty, cause God as an Omni-potent entity must surely encompass the world of writing, yet a claim that the words are directly channeled by Holy Spirit (a messenger of God) is quite a popular one. Yet the competition within the world of Holy Spirit followers is quite tough, surely such experiences must be unique and sacred, so the other people’s assentation of the same, was at times guarded by deathly sword.

 

Within the competition of who is more “enlightened”, and closer to God, only “the best” could possibly survive. Some tradition have decided to keep this “spot” reserved only for the karmic few, by birth given rights, some others chose a complicated hierarchical process that after the completion give their God representatives the full trust.

 

Moving a step away from the Holy Books, and mind you this was not easy, there were times when only Holy Books were readily available for folks around the fire gathered to read, the written word was once “sacred”. If it is “written” then it must be true. Pope Innocent the VIII (we are talking 15the century) embraced a book written by two German Dominican Monks, called the “Malleus Maleficarum”, the Witches' Hammer, the hunting manual and blessed it, giving to the Inquisition all the power and tools needed to act against this so-called evil, called: women, resulting in killing some-say millions.

 

The Malleus Maleficarum - Montague Summers,Jakob Sprenger,Heinrich Kramer All wickedness, is but little to the wickedness of a woman. ... It is written in the manual.

 

What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colors... Women are by nature instruments of Satan - they are by nature carnal, a structural defect rooted in the original creation.

 

A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

This book was printed and re-printed many times in the centuries to follow, “the  Witches' Hammer became the bestseller, the hit amongst different classes, and was passed from hand to hand, read aloud in Churches, and on the village squares, stored in special places, with the Bible, consulted in the dark corridors of the torture chambers. The best Hunters would know it by heart, reciting it as a deepest wisdom against poor women. Printed, reprinted and translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese, it outsold all other books except the Bible!” (a quote from A-Ma Alchemy of Love, my spiritual historical fiction book, that explores the 17th century China).

 

Note: Personally, I have a deep interest for this amazing time: the 16th and 17th century when the printed books became available and we finally entered the era when our ancient scripts are readily available for us to read, compare, and thoroughly research.

 

Back to the modern times, did you know that within the world of our most powerful Internet, the words that still win the most of our “human” interest are: God, sex and love. I bet this does not surprise you!

 

Writing and talking about “enlightenment”, “love” and “God”, we ought to learn our reputation either as an eligible representative of a religious structure or as a “Spirit” filled individual that allows this “Divine “ force to flow within ones life.

 

Detaching the “psychological” tools from the religious connotations is always a difficult process and it risks "charlatans" invading the space of Gurus, Philosophers, Sages, Priests, and Spiritual Researchers promising an "instant happiness", a "curse" or a "pink pill" that cure all the diseases and bring immense wealth.

 

Whether you approach your spiritual writings with the “mind” or with “heart” filled with “Divine” flow, this will not be an easy journey, yet with the "Rightful Effort", under the shade of inspiration, and within the worlds of a constant ever-expanding self-development training, working with Virtues, Creativity, Changing Habits, etc., you might be able to truly “break” into this most amazing market.

 

Giveaways!

 

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Artof4Elements (htttp://www.artof4elements.com) is a Mindfulness Training and self-help Publisher that publish books, audio, and video materials in areas of Mindfulness, Meditation, Self-Help, New Thought, Alternative Health, Nutrition, and Conscious Parenting.

 

In March 2014, Artof4Elements developed and launched the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Series of 9 fiction and non-fiction books, authored by 7 authors, focusing on spiritual growth, creativity and mindfulness.

 

Nataša Pantović Nuit is a Maltese Serbian Author of 9 mindfulness books, a spiritual researcher and trainer, whose work focuses on spirituality, alchemy, conscious parenting, and self-development.

 

You can find Nataša Pantović Nuit on BookLikes:

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