Thursday, 23 November 2017

Blog Tour / Book Review - Hunger Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff


Hunger Moon
Alexandra Sokoloff
(The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #5)
Publication date: October 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Revenge has no limits.
Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.
Hiding from the law, avenging angel Cara Lindstrom is on her own ruthless quest. She plans to stay as far away from Roarke as possible—until an old enemy comes after both her and the FBI, forcing her back into Roarke’s orbit. This time, the huntress has become the hunted . . .

Previous books in the Huntress/FBI Thrillers Series:

My Musings :

First thing I would say about this book is that it can be read out of sequence. I have read only this book in the series so far and I could understand it good. Of course, there was a slight adjustment period in the beginning. But the author made it easy to follow with sufficient backtracking at times.

There's only one word to describe the book - Chilling. When I finished the book, it took me a few hours to digest it. The subject it focuses on and the way the people, male and female, react to it in tangent directions had me feeling disturbed and frightened. The way the author has penned the story had me going through the emotions of the characters alongside them. 

The language used and the descriptive way in some scenes had me biting my tongue and hissing in anger and fear. This series isn't for the faint of the heart and it's also not for the people who tend to overlook things either. What has been written about is true in this current modern society and talks to the heart of the reader in a way. 

The characters are realistic with real emotions and feelings especially Roarke and his team. I could understand Jade's plan and Cara's journey. There were places where I felt like throwing stuff at the frat boys' heads. It was frustrating and had me nervous with my own reactions. The writing is evocative and strong!

Now I am reading the previous books and I can't wait to read the next book and see where it is heading. 

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't impact the review in any way.

My one line review : Chilling thriller!

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5



Author Bio:
"Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre." - The New York Times
ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON, BITTER MOON, HUNGER MOON - now in active development as a TV series), and the supernatural HAUNTED thrillers (THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, THE SPACE BETWEEN). The New York Times Book Review called her a "daughter of Mary Shelley," and her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre."
As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written three non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS, STEALING HOLLYWOOD, and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA West and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.
Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with The Slice Girls and Heather Graham's all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But not an addict. Seriously, it's under control.

GIVEAWAY!

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Book Blitz - The Duke Who Came to Town by Sophie Barnes

The Duke Who Came to Town

The Honorable Scoundrels
by Sophie Barnes
  Publication Date: November 21, 2017 
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance


Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

She doesn’t want to be a kept woman… Josephine Potter knows she must retain her employment to provide for her younger sisters and to maintain the house. While a young woman working as an accountant – at a hotel no less – could be frowned upon by some, it’s still a respectable way to earn a living. No matter what a certain duke might think. Besides, Josephine has a few rules she lives by: Don’t rely on others, don’t accept money from someone you don’t know, and never allow a man to control your life. But when she is fired from her job, Josephine may have to bend a few rules… Devon, the Duke of Snowdon, has never met a more bull-headed woman than Josephine Potter! The Potter sisters are granddaughters of a Viscount and should not have to work for a living. So despite Josephine’s arguments, Devon insists she end her employee status immediately and accept a stipend for her and her sisters. When she is then fired, she accuses him of meddling in her life…and things are about to heat up despite the cold winter weather. As they work together to figure out why Devon’s hotel is losing money, a mutual attraction that won’t be denied, grows between them. But when rumors of impropriety abound, can Josephine’s reputation be saved…or will her life be destroyed by scandal?

 About Sophie Barnes


Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses. While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing. When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.



Friday, 17 November 2017

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Spell Book & Scandal by Jen McConnel


Spell Book & Scandal
Jen McConnel
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Shelby King is tired of living in her sister’s shadow. Just because Christina is the most powerful caster in school doesn’t mean Shelby’s any good at magic; she’s a scribe, like her mom, and everyone expects her to write spells for her sister, the way her mom always has for her dad. But Shelby’s spells fail spectacularly, and by the time she’s a sophomore, Christina won’t touch them with a ten-foot-pole; their parents aren’t much better. Shelby is fed up, and she decides to show the world she doesn’t care if she isn’t as good as her stuck-up sister, or as talented as their powerful parents. In fact, she decides it’s time to break all the rules, magical and otherwise, and she starts sneaking out to meet Jeremiah Smallwood, the second-best caster in school at illegal pop-up spell battles around town. She may not be able to scribe for him, but she doesn’t mind letting him think that she could; Shelby’s been half in love with Miah as long as she can remember, but he’s never paid attention to her until now, and she’s not going to risk her chances worrying about a pesky thing like the truth. But when Christina rats her out to their parents, Shelby can’t control her anger, and words come pouring out of her that she can’t take back even if she wanted to, threatening Christina’s future…and Shelby’s own chances with Jeremiah. It’ll take more magic than Shelby’s ever dreamed of to set things right, but no scribe has that much magic…right?

My Musings :

At first glance, the implied conflict between siblings is what caught my attention. Then I was in the mood for some YA so everything together got me reading this book. When I started the book, the school part felt a bit routine inspite of the concept of normies and casters and scribes. But as the book went on, I got caught up in the life of Shelby and her family. I believe if you can get through the first few pages, you will enjoy the tale as much I did. 

The familial problems especially with Christina had me frowning a lot because it was outright favouritism. It all adds to the "flavour" of the book. Shelby grows in characters quite a bit according to me. In the beginning she is so unsure of her and towards the end, she comes into her ability. Miah had me suspicious from the starting because of his emphasis on Shelby scribing for him. His attitude at the end felt rather abrupt and quite a about turn change. 

The world building is an alternate reality with the base being our normal world with paranormal races like scribes and casters which form an unique and intriguing community. I felt that it wasn't fully explained for the readers. There's lot more to it and for that alone I look forward to the next book. Add to it that the ending had me asking a few questions inspite of being  a non cliffhanger end, I am eager for the sequel.

The pace rather picks up as I follow Shelby's challenges and the flow also is in sync with the writing. All in all, I enjoyed the fast read a lot and I recommend this to those who like YA with magic.

I received a copy for reviewing purposes which doesn't impact my review in any way.

My one line review : A cool magical system with a heroine who grows with the story.

My rating : 4/5

My reread factor : 3/5


Author Bio:
Award-winning author Jen McConnel writes NA, YA, and nonfiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Visit www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!


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Book Blitz - The Jupiter Chronicles The Orb of Terra by Leonardo Ramirez


Steampunk
Date Published: November 17, 2017
Publisher: Leonardoverse Books

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In the tradition of “City of Ember” "Chronicles of Narnia" and "A Wrinkle in Time", this family adventure is a high stakes space race to save our world from an invading force before it is too late.

-Book 3-

Will Ian’s quest to find his destiny away from Jupiter lead to Earth's untimely demise?

As he struggles with his identity, Ian Castillo helps one of Earth’s greatest scientific minds, Dr. Nikola Tesla, make the scientific discovery of a lifetime: a strange mineral that can perhaps power our world for years to come! They discover it is not just an energy source, but something much more! When the device powered by the mineral is activated, it awakens a sleeping giant buried under the Earth by the Martians generations before. The beast known as “Gigantes” leaves behind a trail of destruction and calls out to a deadly enemy headed for Earth.

And the secret inside the mineral will change everything for Earth and the entire Jovian Realm…forever.

FIND YOUR DESTINY.

Cover by Eve Milady and Ben Fosselman with Magnetic Dreams Animation Studios (Iron Man:Extremis, Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, Sesame Street)


About the Author


Leonardo Ramirez is an author, husband, a father, and a Karate instructor with a 4th degree black belt. His first novel, "Haven of Dante", is a supernatural Young Adult story centered on an ancient war between the Dante family and the nine circles of hell. "Haven of Dante: The Staff of Moshe" takes readers much deeper into the world of the family line with a prologue that begins with the plight of Dante Alighieri himself!

His follow up is a Science Fiction book called "The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot". It follows the adventure of two children as they are transported to the steam-powered cities of Jupiter where they find the secret of their long-lost father in the midst of a Martian attack.
Leonardo Ramirez lives with his wife Kristen, their daughter Mackenzy and their two dogs, Duchess and Tinkerbell in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.

Contact Links


Purchase Links



Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Blog Tour / Excerpt - Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti





TWISTED TRUTHS by Rebecca Zanetti


Part of the BLOOD BROTHERS series.



November 14, 2017 | Trade paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $5.99 | ISBN: 978145559431



"TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars! Zanetti proves that when it comes to RS, she is in a class by herself!"
―RT Book Reviews


DESCRIPTION

One year ago, Denver Jones blew up his life and left everything behind. To stay alive, he had no other choice. But now, when video footage of the woman he could never forget goes viral, begging for his help, he has no choice but to go to her. Her niece has been kidnapped and Denver and his blood brothers are the only people she can trust.

But Denver isn't the only one watching that video. The deadly forces from his past see it too-and they'll use anything--and anyone--they can to lure Denver out of hiding to exact their revenge.

BUY THE BOOK
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zjXVoC

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2xPyMG4

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/2zyPRS3

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2gPLWIQ

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Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/2l02mmb

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yspj7k

Excerpt :


Slowly, numbly, she shrugged. “I knew you were dangerous and relentless in pursuing somebody,” she whispered. But a killer? Her search for him had held a romantic element, and she knew it. This guy was all edge—no romance. “Am I in danger?” Her voice quivered, but she had to know.

“Yes.” He didn’t move. Didn’t even seem to breathe.

She blinked. Rapidly. “From you?”

His eyes darkened. “No. The only thing I’m capable of breaking is your heart.”

Cold swam through her. The arrogance. “You think you broke my heart?”

His lip twisted. “I know I did.” His tone was low with what seemed like self-hatred. Dark and raw. “I’m sorry.”

Those words. She’d needed those words and hadn’t realized how badly. “Thank you,” she said, going on instinct. “Then how am I in danger?”

“I’m in danger, and anybody close to me is free game for an enemy who will keep coming until I’m dead. Until everything I care about, everything I dream about, is taken away and I want death.” He looked back down at the computer, intensity pouring from him.

Whoa. Okay. Denver didn’t have one bit of hysteria in him. His words scared her, but curiosity still rose up. “Who?”

“Irrelevant. As soon as we get Talia back, you have to forget me. Now. Back to Richie.”

She could live forever, and she’d never forget him. Not for one second had she been able to pretend he didn’t exist. But he was right. They had to find Talia, but he still needed to explain more. She had a right to know everything. “I have files on everything.” She threw her pack at Denver, and he easily caught it before it smashed him in the face.

He didn’t so much as frown. “Thank you.”

She swallowed. They were in the same room. After a year of hurting for him, he was right there in solid form. More than solid. She hadn’t imagined his hard body or intense charisma. He owned every room he walked into with no effort. She’d never met anybody like him, and here he was. Her body tingled, her heart ached, and her mind spun. Yeah. Denver was definitely there. “What now?” she asked, her eyes gritty and her throat scratchy.

“I’ll do some research.” Slowly, numbly, she shrugged. “I knew you were dangerous and relentless in pursuing somebody,” she whispered. But a killer? Her search for him had held a romantic element, and she knew it. This guy was all edge—no romance. “Am I in danger?” Her voice quivered, but she had to know.

“Yes.” He didn’t move. Didn’t even seem to breathe.

She blinked. Rapidly. “From you?”

His eyes darkened. “No. The only thing I’m capable of breaking is your heart.”

Cold swam through her. The arrogance. “You think you broke my heart?”

His lip twisted. “I know I did.” His tone was low with what seemed like self-hatred. Dark and raw. “I’m sorry.”

Those words. She’d needed those words and hadn’t realized how badly. “Thank you,” she said, going on instinct. “Then how am I in danger?”

“I’m in danger, and anybody close to me is free game for an enemy who will keep coming until I’m dead. Until everything I care about, everything I dream about, is taken away and I want death.” He looked back down at the computer, intensity pouring from him.

Whoa. Okay. Denver didn’t have one bit of hysteria in him. His words scared her, but curiosity still rose up. “Who?”

“Irrelevant. As soon as we get Talia back, you have to forget me. Now. Back to Richie.”

She could live forever, and she’d never forget him. Not for one second had she been able to pretend he didn’t exist. But he was right. They had to find Talia, but he still needed to explain more. She had a right to know everything. “I have files on everything.” She threw her pack at Denver, and he easily caught it before it smashed him in the face.

He didn’t so much as frown. “Thank you.”

She swallowed. They were in the same room. After a year of hurting for him, he was right there in solid form. More than solid. She hadn’t imagined his hard body or intense charisma. He owned every room he walked into with no effort. She’d never met anybody like him, and here he was. Her body tingled, her heart ached, and her mind spun. Yeah. Denver was definitely there. “What now?” she asked, her eyes gritty and her throat scratchy.

“I’ll do some research.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccazanetti.com

The Series
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Win 1 of 10 paperback copies of Twisted Truths.



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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer



AVISHI
by
Saiswaroopa Iyer



Blurb

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.

Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read!

Read an excerpt here:
The structure under the outcast control looked like an autonomous garrison. It was on the Southwestern corner of Vrishabhavati hidden by wild growth and as heavily guarded as the city square. Avishi counted two doors as Vyala carried her inside. From the inside, it did not look as dilapidated as from outside. The guards here were the ‘out-casts’ as the world called them. Unlike the guards of the city, they did not cover themselves with leather torso. Instead they wore loin cloth in various darker shades. Small and big weapons, strings made up of various animal teeth, tusk work and beads made up their ‘jewellery’. To Avishi, it looked atrociously out of proportion. But she also noticed the level of coordination with which the ‘out-casts’ functioned. Like they were trained to fight in an army.
“Untie her.” Vyala instructed Manduka, his forehead revealing wrinkles of dilemma. Manduka was happy to comply. Except for a few scars on his shoulder, the man had an enviable physique. But it was his nose that Avishi felt was the pronounced feature of his face. It was as though it was abruptly turned crooked by his right nostril. She could see that the Outcast Lord made no attempt to hide his displeasure about the predicament she presented him. What worried her more was that she found herself incapable of even walking to the closest stone seat and had to limp leaning on Manduka. The wound seemed deeper than she had imagined it.
“We don’t kill women.” He began and paused noticing her unimpressed glare.
“Is that supposed to impress me? Is that supposed to cover up the other crimes you commit for that monster Khela?”
Vyala shook his head, a resentful smile appearing on his lips, but for only a moment. “Whatever we, the outcasts do would be a crime in the eyes of others…you are?”
“Avishi, the Ganamukhyaa of Ashtagani.”
“But he said that you are a traitor’s...”
Avishi glared back at him showing no inclination to explain. She saw Vyala sit on the stone seat next to where she sat.
“If Khela does not find a proof of your death soon, we would have to incur his wrath! An atrocity against the outcasts would not even be seen as a transgression by anyone.” His lips pursed for a long moment.
Avishi wondered if he expected a solution from her. Something she would have to help him out if she had to escape alive. But before she or Vyala could speak, a sound of heavy anklets was heard. Avishi turned to her right and saw a young woman, not older than seventeen autumns scurry and then clutch at her bulging belly. Her arrival only seemed to increase the gloom on the faces of both the men.
“Brother Vyala, did he not come with you?” Her shrill voice made Avishi think she was even younger than she looked. And impregnated at this age?
“Go back to your room, Majjari.” Vyala hissed.
But Majjari was in no mood to heed her brother’s words. She eyed Avishi, her head tilted to left and brows knitting. Her eyes then brightened.
“So, he sent me a slave!”
“Majjari!”
“Slave, do you know how to groom my hair the way Queens do?” Majjari approached Avishi taking her arm. “And mind you, slaves don’t sit when their mistress stands!”
Avishi had decided that her patience was at its tail end when she saw Vyala hurry and pull Majjari away, making her wince at his grip.
“Listen, you disgrace! Nobody is going to slave for you! Scurry back to your room and dare not show that inauspicious face of yours again!”
Majjari shook his arm away with a hiss. “Wait till I become the Queen, you, worthless dog!” Her tone broke. “I shall make Khela punish you! I bear his prince! Mind you!” The fierce frown stayed on her forehead long after she countered her brother. Avishi saw Manduka intervene and lead Majjari away with endearments that one would use with a toddler.
Vyala’s shoulders slumped.
“You let Khela impregnate your own sister.” Avishi shook her head at Vyala. “Lord Vyala, where do I even begin?”
“You are nobody to judge us Ganamukhyaa. Khela promised us a slow integration with his military if…”
“You loot and kill for him? He gets the spoils hiding behind the dread of Dandaka?”
Vyala’s jaw clenched. “You’ve never been to Dandaka, Ganamukhyaa Avishi. If you did, you would… Why in the name of Mother earth am I even justifying myself to you.” Vyala gathered himself signalling at two other outcast followers. “Take her inside and treat her wound.” Turning to Avishi for a brief moment, he added with a tone of finality. “I shall do my best to not kill you, but I can’t afford Khela’s wrath on my people. Not now, Ganamukhyaa.”
Future still hung in balance. Avishi had to come to terms with the fact that any attempt to escape from here will only complicate things for her. And she truly needed her wound to be tended. The knife that wounded her might have rusted. Tears of frustration threatened to flow out of her eyes. She told herself to bide her time and regain her lost energy.

Grab your copy @

Amazon.com | Amazon.in | Amazon.co.uk

Pinterest 

My Musings :

This is the first book I have read by the author. I haven't read her first book. So I wasn't sure how it would be when I started reading. And I am a lover of Mythology but I confess I am more in love with Greek Mythology than Indian. This book has made me reconsider my stand. It has made me look deeply within our own mythology.

The cover was what caught my attention at the beginning and then the blurb had me thinking of reading of this book. This blog tour has only accelerated my reading the book. If not, I would have accessed it on KU.

From the starting, Avishi's strength shines through, from her training to her subsequent heading of Ashtagani to the finale. At the same time her character has the necessary courage to look beyond herself and see the bigger picture and this is what makes her a good ruler. Satya is sometimes shadowed by Avishi but he also is important since without him there would be no iron legged Queen.

The romance between the two is treated right with the correct balance and doesn't overwhelm the story. While it might take a while to orient oneself with the characters and the places, it all makes for a rather engaging read. The amount of research the author has put into it shines through. The language is simple enough to read fast and the pace doesn't let go till the end. One thing I was afraid of  before starting the book was that the language would be more poetic since it deals with a long forgotten era. But it was just my paranoia!

The author has a way of bringing life to the story and the feelings evoked are equal to that of the characters, from passion to fearlessness in fighting. I was carried along with the flow of the story and I find the book a resoundingly 5 star read. I am eager to sample the author's works further in the coming days.

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't affect my review in any way.

My one line review : An engrossing mythological read with a strong heroine.

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5

About the author


Saiswaroopa Iyer is an IITian and Venture Capital professional turned author. Her debut novel Abhaya, published in 2015, was a tale set in the Mahabharata period, exploring the legend of Narakasura Vadha. She likes to focus and expand on ancient Indian stories with strong female characters.

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Book Blitz - The Earl who Loved Her by Sophie Barnes

The Earl Who Loved Her

The Honorable Scoundrels
by Sophie Barnes 
Publication Date: November 14, 2017 
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance



Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

A chance meeting… Eve Potter can hardly wait to arrive at Amberly Hall for the Christmas season! The hope is that she will make a match with an eligible gentleman. But as fate would have it, she misses the coach that is sent to collect her from her point of arrival and starts out on foot…only to go in the wrong direction. Nearly frozen, she arrives at BlackHall, where she is invited inside and introduced to the master of the house, the Earl of Ravenworth. Eve is smitten, for he is beyond handsome, which makes him a temptation she must avoid. But can she…? Bryce Harlowe lives as a recluse, shunned by Society and even his own family after being accused of a scandalous transgression. The young woman at his door cannot stay at Blackhall less her reputation be ruined. And yet, when the pesky winter climate leaves them snowed in together at Blackhall, Bryce and Eve grow closer, each discovering a mutual respect and longing for the other. Until Bryce’s past is revealed, threatening to rip apart their newfound love…

 About Sophie Barnes

 

 Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses. While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing. When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Book Spotlight - The Painter's Apprentice by Laura Morelli



Book Details:

Book Title: The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author: Laura Morelli
Category: Adult Fiction, 482 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: November 15, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.

Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.
Pre-Order Campaign:
Laura Morelli's new book, The Painter’s Apprentice, is out on November 15, and she is offering a set of great bonuses exclusively to her readers. If you like to delve deeper into the “story behind the story,” you’ll want to take advantage of Laura’s pre-order package (ends Oct 31st), which takes readers behind the scenes of The Painter’s Apprentice with videos, pictures, commentary about Renaissance Venice, and other exclusive content. Learn more here and order your copy today!


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Meet the Author:




LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Friday, 10 November 2017

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Sugarplum Way by Debbie Mason



SUGARPLUM WAY by Debbie Mason

Part of the Harmony Harbor series

published on October 31, 2017 by Forever.
Goodreads | Mass Market: $7.99 | eBook: $5.99 | ISBN: 9781538744154



"Heartfelt and delightful!" -RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author
Romance writer Julia Landon knows how to write a happily-ever-after. Creating one for herself is a whole different story. But after a surprising--and surprisingly passionate--kiss under the mistletoe at Harmony Harbor's holiday party last year, Julia thought she might have finally found her very own chance at true love. Until she learns her Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broodingly Handsome has sworn off relationships. Well, if she can't have him in real life, Julia knows just how to get the next best thing....

Aidan's only priority is to be the best single dad ever. And this year, he plans to make the holidays magical for his little girl, Ella Rose. But visions of stolen kisses under the mistletoe keep dancing in his head, and when he finds out Julia has written him into her latest novel, he can't help imagining the possibilities of a future together. Little does he know, though, Julia has been keeping a secret that threatens all their dreams. Luckily, 'tis the season for a little Christmas magic.

Buy The Book Here
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vVuJGW

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2wAUXLN

Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/sugarplumBAM

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2vWKrB1

iBooks: http://apple.co/2vWCsnk

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2wOTn8B

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uN1WPI

The Series

Series Page on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2dEusLY


My Musings :

I have read the earlier books in the series. So it was easier for me to remember the characters. But sometimes I did get lost, here and there. It definitely can't be read as a standalone if you want to enjoy it. This is one negative aspect of reading the author's books!

When I started the book, I was sure I was going to enjoy it as much as the others. In a way, I did. But there was a slight pace problem. Actually this is the only problem I could find with the story. The romantic aspect of the story seemed to go so slow. There was attraction between the protagonists but they weren't quick to act on it. They took it slow and steady which had me frustrated. But this point actually built up for a good ending. I believe if it was any other way, the ending wouldn't have packed quite the punch!

The characters, as usual, were  memorable. Some were familiar and some were new but all of them added to the charm of the small town romance. Speaking of the heroine, Julie had me falling for her from the starting. But the one who really stole my was the grumbly hero, Aidan. They make the perfect pair!!

The ghost's antics and the secrets involved in the characters' lives added to the intrigue involved in the story and Julie's secret was a tiny bit easy to guess. But it didn't detract from my eagerness to know how it all ended.

The author's writing has everything in it to make an enjoyable read - intrigue, romance and family sentiment. I am now waiting to see what will follow this book.

I received a copy for reviewing purposes which doesn't impact my musings in any way.

My one line review : A mix of family sentiment, romance and intrigue.

My rating : 4.5/5

My reread factor : 4/5


About the author: 



Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella in Ontario, Canada.

Author Information
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GIVEAWAY INFO
Win 1 out of 10 finished copies of Sugarplum Way.


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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Book Musings - A Pearl for my Mistress by Annabel Fielding

Title : A Pearl for my Mistress
Author : Annabel Fielding
Genre : Historical Fiction
Source : ARC from Netgalley

Blurb :

A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.
England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…



My Musings :

I have always loved fiction set during the Regency times. They have always been romances. When this book was brought to my attention, I thought I would read it because I was curious how I would respond to a book set in the cusp of the after-lavish lives of the higher society.

When I started reading the book, I felt it was a read about the forbidden love affair between a maid and her mistress. But as I continued, I realised there were so much more hidden between the pages. The story is set in times where war, within and without was imminent and the general public was hungry - for work and better lives and divided in their views. Hester joins as Lady Lucy's maid and gets to know her mistress better in personal and worldly lives.

The world is painstakingly described in broad strokes. Though I wasn't much familiar with the time period, I was able to get the tenseness of the situation, the reality of the public and the high handedness of the higher society from the story. Maybe this is why the pace felt a bit slow for me. It meandered between the chapters and it portrayed how the scenes flowed with the characters' actions.

The book showcases the issues of class and social caste and race distinction. The author has well developed characters with Lucy being the most intricate of them all. She changes hue as the story progresses and the political scene comes into play. The way she manipulates Hester through her emotions shows the unfathomable divide between master and servant. I enjoyed the richness of the history as much as the political mapping.

I enjoyed the book with the precise writing and the intrigue involving politics. The romance was well done but it was only a branch of the main plot. The ending had me upset for a bit but then smoothed out with Abby's reaction. All in all, it was a well spent few hours reading the tale.

I received an ARC for reviewing purposes. This doesn't impact my review in any way.

My one line review : A historical fiction delineating class distinction and racial differences. 

My rating : 4.5/5

My reread factor : 3.5/5

Book Links 

AMAZON.CO.UK           AMAZON.COM

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Book Blitz - No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes


No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

(part of the Windham Brides series)
will be published on November 7, 2017 from Forever.

| Mass market: $7.99 | eBook: $6.99 | ISBN: 9781455570003



One of Amazon’s Top Romance Picks for November
"Compelling, sympathetic characters and a rare blend of passion and humor result in another exquisite gem from a master of the genre. Gorgeously done."―Library Journal, starred review

SUMMARY
Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford, is barely keeping his head above water in a sea of inherited debts. Though he has a long-term plan to restore the family finances, his sister has a much faster solution: host a house party for London's single young ladies and find Julian a wealthy bride.

Elizabeth Windham has no interest in marriage, but a recent scandal has forced her hand. As much as she'd rather be reading Shakespeare than husband-hunting, she has to admit she's impressed by Julian's protective instincts, broad shoulders, and, of course, his vast library.

As the two spend more time together, their attraction is overwhelming, unexpected... and absolutely impossible. With meddling siblings, the threat of financial ruin, and gossips lurking behind every potted palm, will they find true love or true disaster?



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Amazon: http://amzn.to/2A4nNG6

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/nootherdukeBN

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Google Play: http://bit.ly/2yjB28Z

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IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2gQ7CUF

EXCERPT :

“I still want to kiss you, Elizabeth. Rather a lot.”

“That sentiment is mutual,” she said, setting off at a brisk pace. “But where is it written that friends can never kiss, or otherwise express their attraction to each other?”

“It ought to be written somewhere,” Haverford said, “in great bold copperplate. Kissing leads to—”

“I know where it leads, Your Grace, in the general case. The destination has been sadly unimpressive on past visits. I’d like to explore where kissing leads with you.”

“You are—”

“I am lonely too.” And doubtless bound for marriage to some charming, boring viscount with clammy hands.

“—quite fierce about this friendship business.” His gaze was on the castle, and Elizabeth suspected he was trying not to smile.

“I’m quite fierce about everything.” And only now coming to admit it.

“We shall be fierce friends then, for the duration of a house party. One shudders to think what mischief… What the devil is he doing here?”

A coach and four was rattling up the drive a quarter of a mile away. The horses were all white, exactly matched for gait and height, and pulling a black coach with red wheels. A single trunk was affixed to the back, though no crest adorned the door.

“It appears you’ve a late arriving guest.” Or a bad fairy calling on the party, based on Haverford’s expression.

“Not a guest, a problem. A most unwelcome problem.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Grace Burrowes grew up in central Pennsylvania and is the sixth out of seven children. She discovered romance novels when in junior high (back when there was such a thing), and has been reading them voraciously ever since. Grace has a bachelor's degree in political science, a bachelor of music in music history, (both from Pennsylvania State University); a master's degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University; and a juris doctor from the National Law Center at the George Washington University.

Grace writes Georgian, Regency, Scottish Victorian, and contemporary romances in both novella and novel lengths. She's a member of Romance Writers of America, and enjoys giving workshops and speaking at writers' conferences. She also loves to hear from her readers, and can be reached through her website, www.graceburrowes.com.

Author Information

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Giveaway
Win 1 of 10 paperbacks.



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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Book Blitz - The Governess Who Captured His Heart by Sophie Barnes

The Governess Who Captured His Heart

The Honorable Scoundrels
by Sophie Barnes 
Publication Date: November 7, 2017 
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Temptations or Priorities…? Determined to help her oldest sister make ends meet, Louise Potter accepts a governess position in the northern part of England. If this means accompanying an older gentleman on his travels, then she will. There’s only one problem: Louise is about to discover that her travelling companion is not the elderly man she expected, but rather seduction itself… Alistair Langley has no desire to share his carriage with his niece’s newly hired employee. But the matron he expected to find at his door is instead a beautiful young woman, one he knows he can’t travel alone with. After all, he’s going to visit his brother who is pressuring him to marry and produce a Langley heir–or be cut off from inheritance. When he confides in Louise, together they form a plan. But the closer they become, the more temptation beckons… Until finally a choice must be made: Love or money? Or is it possible to have both?

About Sophie Barnes

 

 Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses. While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing. When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.



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