These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Review: At Last

At Last At Last by Cynthia Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At Last is the fifth song in the Love Sing Standards series, and as with the prior books it was a wonderful read. I’m going to be honest and say it is not my favourite read – Can’t Help Falling In Love holds that title – but it is certainly up there in my top three reads of this series. Now the series is really flowing, it has reached a high that I believe shall remain consistent throughout the books.

Note, although this is book five, it is perfectly fine to read this book as a standalone novel. Each book is a standalone read, there is no reason for you to read them in order, but I would suggest you do so. You can really see how the series develops, you get to experience how the series is growing and finding its footing with each book that is added. Whatever your views on jumping into a series of standalone books, I certainly recommend you jump into this series.

Cant’s Help Falling In Love, book four, had a rather romantic suspense feel to the story. Whilst At Last has some of these elements, it much more in line with the prior books in the series. There is still the suspense and dire situations, yet we tone back somewhat on the horrors our characters face. With this one, we’re once again given a true to life romance. There is hardship, yes, but there are many positive emotions to be found throughout the day-to-day rituals of the characters.

What I really love about this series is how real the characters and storylines are. You do not need a dire situation to find true love – you just need to find that special someone, and that is what this series shows. There are difficulties to face, things will not always run smoothly, yet it is worth it in the end. Such is what this book shows: the fear to be found in everyday life, the troubles face through job choices, and yet there is love shining throughout.

It really is refreshing to see relationships dealt with in this way, especially considering our male lead has a high stress job. Most of the time such a job will lead to over the top events bringing the characters together, but this story simply shows life as it truly is.

Another wonderful addition to the series. Again, I became truly invested in the characters and story, unable to tear myself away until I got to see how everything played out. I cannot wait to see what book six brings.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Blog Tour: Scandal.

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Scandal by Athena Grayson. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 12 till 25 June. See the tour schedule here.

ScandalScandal (Scions of the Star Empire #1)
By Athena Grayson
Genre: Sci-fi dystopian with romantic elements
Age category: New Adult/ Adult
Release Date: 23 March 2017

Blurb:
They can have anything they want...except a future.

Nothing infuriates Princess Ione Ra more than having someone else take control of her reputation from her, and her old nemesis--gossip journalist Jaris Pulne--is poised to do just that with pilfered pics of her caught in a compromising position with her power-couple partner. As someone who's no stranger to manipulating the markets on her own social life, Ione knows the wrong scandal means social suicide.

For the other half of the power couple, Den Hades, his survival has depended on staying in his powerful father's shadow in order to protect his secrets. But on the very night of his one chance to earn a shot at becoming a Scion--and freedom from his father's ambitions, scandal threatens to tear him from Ione, or worse--force them together before their time.

Damage control turns into danger when their attempts to retrieve the images lead them both into the dark underbelly of the glittering city-planet, exposing secrets of both friends and foes that could lead to more than just social suicide.


You can find Scandal on Goodreads

You can buy Scandal here:
- Amazon
- B&N
- Kobo
- iTunes
- Google Play
- Smashwords
- Books2Read

You can also find all the buy links for this book here on the author's website.


About the Author:
Athena Grayson likes kickass heroines, big-brained and sexy beta heroes who aren't afraid of strong women or their own feelings, and stories that turn the genre tropes sideways. If you're looking for something a little unexpected, a little more, and a lot of fun...this is your kinda place.

You can find and contact Athena here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Amazon
- Goodreads
- Bookbub

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Scandal. These are the prizes you can win:
- 2 paperback copies of Scandal by Athena Grayson (US Only)
- 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards (International)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Opaque

Opaque Opaque by Calix Leigh-Reign
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going to be completely honest – I was unsure about this one at first. The synopsis grabbed me, but when I started reading the book, I feared I was not going to enjoy it. To put it simply, I wasn’t pulled in. I wasn’t enjoying the characters, the story wasn’t moving at the rate I had been expected, and I just wanted more.

Then that ‘more’ hit me – and damn did it hit hard.

I cannot give you an exact page number, an exact sentence, when the change happened – but once the change happened, I could not put the story down. It went from a possible three star rating to a solid four star rating in the blink of the eye, from a story that felt like it would take forever to finish to a single sitting read. In other words, what I’m saying is that you need to give this one a chance. It may not grab you straight away, but I assure you, the story is wonderful once it gets moving.

There’s a lot to take in with this one, the story being extremely rich. We have complex characters – they’re multidimensional, we watch them develop, and they’re more than simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’. We have wonderful world building – a variety of powers, a rich history, and a story that merges in multiple ways. We have a storyline that holds you attention – the individual character storylines, the overall story arc, and the way everything comes together to leave you experiencing a wide mix of emotions throughout.

I honestly cannot begin to express how much my view of this story changed as I continued to read. My love for each new element grew stronger and stronger, leaving me thoroughly addicted to the story. I cannot wait to see where the series heads from here – there are so many possibilities, so many things I wish to find out more about, and I’m positive I will love the future books even more than I came to love this one.

Without a doubt, this one is well worth the read.

View all my reviews

Review: Dark Warrior

Dark Warrior Dark Warrior by Denna Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dark Warrior is a super quick, super fun, read. I’m usually tentative when it comes to stories of this length, yet I adored this one. I really was pulled in, and I would love to see this story result in an amazing series.

In all honesty, I’m not quite sure whether to label this story as science fiction or fantasy. It’s one of those wonderful stories where the line blurs in the most wonderful of ways. We’re given fantasy creatures – vampires and werewolves – yet their existence is due to a science fiction element – another planet. It truly is a wonderful merge of the two. It made for a very interesting story, giving us the kind of wonderful world building that pulls you in deep. I could say so much about this alone; just know it’s a great way to mix the two elements together. Admittedly, I would have liked a little more depth to it, yet I feel as though such a thing will come should future stories be released in this world.

From the start, this story has action. It feels like a bit much as you’re unsure about the world, but once you’re a couple of chapters in everything comes together so well. The confusion is lifted, the characters wiggle into your heart, and the story moves at a rapid pace. It really is a wonderful story – my biggest complaint being that I wished the story were longed. I would have loved to spend even more time in this world, with the characters and their story. I really do hope there is a sequel – if not with these characters, at the very least I hope they make a cameo appearance so that we get a glimpse as to how their life progressed.

If you’re looking for a shapeshifter story with a refreshing twist, one that will pull you into the world and leave you unwilling to put the story down, then Dark Warrior is for you.

View all my reviews

Review: The Girl from the Woods

The Girl from the Woods The Girl from the Woods by Chris Keane
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Girl from the Woods is a book I expected to really enjoy. The synopsis grabbed me and the reviews were great. Unfortunately, I’m part of the minority, as I did not enjoy this one.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate this book. There were some good moments to be found. However, the book was not at all what I had been hoping for. I wanted to be pulled into the story from the very beginning, yet I wasn’t. I wanted a romance I would adore, yet I never really cared much for the romance. I wanted a paranormal read that would leave me with all kind of crazy emotions, yet the paranormal element seemed to take a backseat. All in all, I wanted more from this one.

I think a large part of my issue with the story is that I expected more depth from this one. It’s a very quick read, but even for a quick read, there isn’t quite the depth I would have liked. Things hit you one after the other – they just are, without much by way of explanation. I found myself questioning too much, I found myself unable to buy into a number of aspects of the story, which in turn prevented me from enjoying the way things came together.

It had potential, but for me it didn’t quite deliver.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 24 June 2017

MASHED Interview with Cobalt Jade.

MASHED is an anthology of 17 sensually sinister stories curated from over 200 submissions from around the world.

Each story is a unique blend of horror, humor, food and sex, resulting in tales that will leave you both scared and slightly turned on, while laughing out loud and contemplating whether or not you should have your next meal.

Stories including:

“A Woman’s Corn” – By J. Donnait
“Charlie’s Chunky Munching Meat” – By Stephen McQuiggan
“Halloween Nosh” – By Brandon Ketchum
“Biscuit: A Love Story” – By Grivante
“Burnt Scrambled Eggs” – By Devon Widmer
“The Disagreeable Dinner” – By Mark Daponte
“Sugar” – By Darla Dimmelle
“The Henry Problem” – By John Grey
“Nibble, Nibble, My Wolf” By – J.L. Boekestein
“The Wrath of the Buttery Bastard-Taters” – By Alex Colvin
“Sauce” – By Steven Carr
“The Care and Feeding of your Personal Demon” – By Maxine Kollar
“P.A.C.D. : The Kitchen of Tomorrow, Today!” – By R.A. Goli
“Arabica” – By Cobalt Jade
“Toilet Manners” – By Eddie Generous
“The Stray” – By Calypso Kane
“The Tall Man in the Hat” – By Nicholas Paschall

Do you like food? Sex? Horror? Humor? Then this book is for you! Guaranteed to leave you scared, aroused and possibly a little hungry.


From the twelfth to the twenty-fourth of June, get inside the minds of twelve of the authors from the anthology. Find out what inspired the stories, what other projects the authors are involved with, and generally get to know the authors better.

Today, get to know more about Cobalt Jade and Arabica.


In the age-old first date manner, tell me a bit about yourself. 
I am a writer, landlady, and former graphic artist living in Seattle, but I spent my formative years on the east coast, in a decaying industrial city. The combination of early urban blight and later beauty and social progression has influenced me strongly. Generation-wise, ethically speaking that is, I’m more of a Gen X than a Baby Boomer. I’m very changeable in my interests. For a span of months I will be very into a certain topic, like Killer Whales, and research the hell out of it, then get into something else. Right now I’m obsessed with writing horror and have a nascent interest in pulp magazine covers. 

Who has influenced you most as a writer?
I had an uncle who was involved in First Fandom through the 1950s to the 70s, and he generously gave me some books, which I treasure to this day. Among them was Jack Vance, Philip Jose Farmer, and Ray Bradbury, my first love. I fell in love with his use of language. On my own I discovered writers like Ursula K. LeGuin, Tanith Lee, and Anne McCaffrey. All were big influences. 

What are your favourite books and why?
I’ve got a lot of faves, and they change from time to time. In a re-reading sense, I do The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Left Hand of Darkness, and Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour every few years. I think the former is the penultimate ghost story.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
Around age 10 when I started my first science fiction opus, inspired by no less a luminary than Ziggy Stardust!

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I am a big fan of word generators. There’s a product I use by Gammadyne called Random Word Generator that I program to create the various languages I use in my work. I also use it to generate phrases for story prompts, like “The Walking Coffin.” Which is a magic item that carries the body of a deceased person back to their homeland for a proper burial, while keeping the body pristine and odor-free.

How did you become interested in writing this particular genre?
Erotic horror? I wrote a lot on the newsgroups in the late 1990s, like alt.sex.stories.moderated. I started for a lark. It was a guaranteed readership and I did fetish stuff that no one else was doing well.

What was the inspiration behind your MASHED story?
I like the combination of the erotic and the machine, also the sense of bondage in being, or acting like, an inanimate object. It was based on an idea from my fetish-writing days. I was also having a problem in drinking coffee, it was irritating my bladder, so I thought what if someone underwent a kind of hypnosis to cure their caffeine addiction, but their mind came up with something their body didn’t like (or maybe did, but too much?)

With over two hundred submissions, what was your reaction upon finding out your story had made the cut?
I expected it, who else could write a story about a human espresso machine?

Each story is a mix of horror, humour, food, and sex; what kind of reaction should a reader expect to have upon finishing your story – will they be more turned on or terrified?
Probably turned on in a reluctant way.

Do you have another writing project in mind or in the making? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I have ideas for a lot of stuff, some straight horror, some erotic horror. Currently I am working on a story involving Seattle’s grunge years and a crime in present-day Florida. It will be psychological horror and (non-explicitly) erotic.

Excluding your own, which of the MASHED stories is your favourite?
The Wrath of the Butty Bastard Taters, I could relate to it.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Cover Reveal: Bound For Life.

Bound to the Bad Boy: Book 1
Published: August 1, 2017
Cover Reveal: June 23
Pre-order on iTunes: June 20 - July 7
Pre-order on other sites: Sign up on http://alexabbottauthor.com/newsletter for release info
Mafia Romantic Suspense

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Blurb:

Bruno:

I gave up everything for her, and she never even knew it. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe.

I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.

Serena:

It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them.

But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.

Links:

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Amazon: Coming soon! Sign up here for notification: http://bit.ly/2tqeTzN
Kobo: Coming soon! Sign up here for notification: http://bit.ly/2rS5Ple
Nook: Coming soon! Sign up here for notification: http://bit.ly/2rS5Ple
Google Play: Coming soon! Sign up here for notification: http://bit.ly/2rS5Ple

Giveaway:

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Win a Signed copy of Bound for Life, a $20 gift card to LUSH, and a $20 gift card to your favourite ebook store! From June 20 - July 31!

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Link:


Teasers:

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Excerpt:


The orange afternoon sun is on my back when I bring my car to a stop about a block away from the well-to-do little store on the corner of the street. When I turn my ignition off, I lean back and just stare at it, letting out a deep breath.

How long has it been?

The light playing off the glass window panes make it impossible to see inside the shop, but the sign outside is clear as ever: Bathing Beauty. I feel a smile on my face. As many mixed memories as it stirs up in me, there’s something comforting about knowing it’s still there, unchanged as ever. Maybe even a little nicer.

All thanks to her.

I catch a glimpse of myself in the car mirror. I’ve changed so much over the years. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was just a teenager, freshly landed in America. I kept my hair cut short back then, and my face was clean-shaven. I run a hand through the long locks that hang nearly to my shoulders now. It’s grown out thick and wavy. Even I have to admit it’s unkempt, and the short, coarse black beard on my face matches.

My voice sounds different, too. I think back to the thick accent I had in those years that I was still learning English, fresh from the old country. I’m so used to it now that English almost sounds as natural as my native Italian on my tongue. I might as well be a different person.

Better that way, I think. When I look into that mirror, I’m not sure I even see myself anymore. What I do see is the face of a man who’s done terrible things. A “made man,” they call us in this country. Mafioso.

What are you really doing here, Bruno?

My mind flashes back to her face, that gorgeous face that’s kept me going all this time. A bright candle in the darkness.

That face doesn’t need to know fear ever again. It doesn’t need to know me.

So why am I here, coming to risk dragging the past back? I don’t dare turn the ignition and drive off. I’ve made my decision, and I’m a man of my word.

After all, I tell myself, I’m not here just to see her, to remind myself that she’s alive and living happily, that what I did for her was all worth it. I’m here to make sure she’s safe.

Author Biography:

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Alexis Abbott is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes about bad boys protecting their girls! Pick up her books today and find yourself transported with super steamy sex, gritty suspense, and lots of romance.

She also writes as Alex Abbott for her erotic thrillers and contemporary romance.

She lives in beautiful St. John's, NL, Canada with her amazing husband.


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