Tag Archives: Books

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions

Greg Marcus’s immensely informative book, The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions, is written with a purpose—to help people learn how to feel in their heart what the mind understands.

In it the author points out, “When we practice Mussar we are adjusting and correcting our soul.” Undeniably, that is what this book will do for you! It is nothing short of a workout for the soul.

Learning how to achieve better balance within your soul is not an easy task. It can take time to develop and patient endurance to perfect. In the book Dr. Marcus guides you gently and teaches you thoroughly on how to do just that. The wide array of subjects discussed, humility, patience, gratitude, silence, to name a few, are addressed in a concise manner to not bog down the flow of the book, yet are thought-provoking enough to give contemplative pause.

I enthusiastically recommend this book. It was a blessing to have received this book to read and review. It is a book for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning how to approach life with greater balance and more insight. It is a wealth of concentrated nuggets of wisdom.

4.5 star book review by Jason E. Royle

Spiritual Practice review by Jason E. Royle

Free Books to celebrate Halloween!

Celebrate Halloween early with a free copy of my book, Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling!

Click HERE to get it for Kindle NOW!

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling Image

Also get the rest of the Pirate Tales series FREE by clicking HERE!

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Holiday and seasonal #BookMarketing. Some tips.

Hi all:

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I tend to find articles, books, podcasts, etc, that sound interesting in my day to day life, or in my visits through the internet and social media (much the same thing these days) and although I don’t have time, I decide to save them for later, for that perfect occasion when I’ll need just that piece of advice or tip. Yes, that perfect day rarely arrives.

Thanks to Unsplash.com for another great royalty free image
Thanks to Unsplash.com for another great royalty free image

Over a year ago (towards the end of 2015), having subscribed to Sandra Beckwith‘s newsletter (here is her website in case you’re interested. She has plenty of free content on marketing and promotions, and although she works more in non-fiction, it’s well-worth having a look), I saw that she was offering a service throughout the following year. For a very small fee (I’m not sure what it was but I think it was $1) she would send daily tips to your mailbox. I couldn’t resist and I signed for it. And I’ve been getting these tips. I decided to save them all in a document to make sure I could access them easily. Although I read them as they arrive, I haven’t done much organising and have not looked at them in depth, but now that we’re coming to a time when there are a lot of promotional campaigns being organised related to holidays and events (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year), I decided to check her advice and share it with you. Here are some of her tips, related to the subject:

  • Remember to pitch seasonal magazine articles or news items related to your book or its topic four to five months in advance of the season or holiday. Pitch four weeks out for newspapers. (We might already be late, but worth keeping in mind for next year).
  • Identify perennial seasonal topics you can link your book to – e.g., grief at the holidays or June weddings – and pitch yourself to the press as an expert available for interviews. Write a blog post about them. http://buildbookbuzz.com/8-ways-to-pitch-media-outlets/ This sounds like a pretty good idea, and although on the surface it might seem more relevant to non-fiction writers, personal circumstances vary, and if you think about it, you might find relevant topics you hadn’t thought about.
  • Use Chase’s Calendar of Events or the quirky monthly holidays listed at the Holiday Insights website to create a promotion around a relevant holiday or special occasion. http://www.holidayinsights.com/ In this global times, when we’re pitching to an ever increasing and larger market, it’s good to be able to localize our efforts and make them more relevant.
  • This is a personal suggestion, but I can’t say if it works or not. Just because you don’t have a book in a genre specifically relevant or suited to the holiday or season (a romance for San Valentine’s day or a Christmas tale for Xmas) that does not mean you can promote  your books. Try and be quirky and appeal at other interests… ‘Can’t take any more happy ever after? Why not check my horror story? (For San Valentine’s, for example). Or, ‘Thinking about murdering somebody during the family reunions? Read a crime thriller instead’ (for Christmas). See what you think, and if you decide to try it, let me know how it goes.
  • Unsplash.com
    Unsplash.com

Thanks very much to Sandra Beckwith for her suggestions, to all of your for reading, and do like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#Book #Review by @RobertHughes05 Of ‘The House Next Door’ by @macmillanjones

The House Next Door - Will MacMillan Jones

Title: The House Next Door

Author: Will MacMillan Jones

Published: 10 January 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Genre: Paranormal

Language: English

Pages: 262 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 1523344008

ISBN-13: 978-1523344000

Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6cm

Price: £9.99 (Kindle – £2.60)

Sold By: Amazon UK  Amazon USA

When Shiela finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette. Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal, this time via The House Next Door.

I purchased the paperback version of this book at the Llandeilo Book Fair.

The House Next Door is the third in the series of the Mister Jones collection of paranormal mysteries. I wasn’t put off by the fact that I had not read the first two books in the series and quickly fell into getting to know the characters.

The opening chapters of the book build nicely into what is coming up. They gripped me and I was soon engrossed in what was going on. What I really did like was the way MacMillan Jones jumped ahead in the story from the point of view of the characters before going back again to pick up why certain characters found themselves where they were. It’s clever writing which I admire very much and he did it in such a way that I never once lost my way in any of the story plots.

For some reason, I was expecting a lot of gore in this book, but there was little of it. Don’t be put off by the front cover if you don’t usually read paranormal. It may look frightening, but I wasn’t frightened once by what was going on inside the book. The story is told well in wanting to make the reader know what is going to happen next and, like all great authors, MacMillan Jones ends some of the chapters with some great cliffhangers. I find this is always a guarantee in making the reader read on instead of putting the book down and perhaps never coming back to it.

I was expecting the story to be creepy and that is what disappointed me most of all. I felt the sparks were there to ignite the story, but they never actually got going. For me, it was as if seasoning had not been added to what could have been a great meal. The story of a strange antique statuette that comes with an evil presence grabbed me, but what the nightmare transpired into didn’t have me hiding behind the cushions. Nevertheless, this book will certainly appeal to those who don’t like being scared witless!

Did it make me want to read the first two books in the Mister Jones series? I’m neutral on this because, whilst I enjoyed the story much, I didn’t take to Mister Jones. He rather irritated me in parts, but maybe that is what the author intended? I felt I wanted to rough him up a little and to make him not know all the answers all of the time. On the other hand, one of the other characters, Ian Evans, was far more likable and, throughout the book, I was willing him on to be the real hero.

Ratings

Realistic Characterisation: 4/5

Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

Hugh Roberts

Twitter: @RobertHughes05 (https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05)

Blog: hughsviewsandnews.com (http://hughsviewsandnews.com/about/)

Facebook: Hugh W. Roberts (https://www.facebook.com/HughsViewsAndNews05)

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An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell – #BookReview

An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell
An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell

An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell is an imaginative, wholesome story with a surprise ending.

James, the main character, meets a 150 year old lady with a mystery-filled reputation.  To add to the suspense, James discovers the two of them have something in common—something found in the woods.

They’re wonderful, and if only you could tell your human loved ones of the bond you can share with one of those strange creatures, perhaps humans could learn from them, the 150 year old lady said to James.

The story moves along at a good pace and keeps you guessing, what happens next? An interesting, unique story filled with enough suspense to hold your attention. I enjoyed it. Our ten-year old daughter really enjoyed it. She can’t wait to get the next two books in the trilogy to see what happens next.

A  charming story for young readers. A great find.

5 stars.

#Book #Review by @RobertHughes05 of “Davey & Derek – Junior Detectives: The Case Of The Missing Cell Phone” by @janice_spina

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Title: Davey & Derek – Junior Detectives: The Case Of The Missing Cell Phone

Author: Janice Spina

Published: 5 May 2015 by Janice Spina

Genre: Children’s Books

Language: English

Pages: 158 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 0692433279

ISBN-13: 978-0692433270

Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.9 x 20.3cm

Price: £6.78 (Paperback)

Sold By: Amazon UK Amazon USA

Twin brothers, Davey & Derek, are up for an adventure. They want to become junior detectives and solve their first case. With the help of their friend Mickey, they soon have their first case to solve after overhearing a conversation their mother has on the phone.

It’s not long before the three boys are on the case to find a missing cell phone. However, the case is not going to be that easy to solve for the Fifth graders, given that the suspects are all in the Sixth grade at their school. When the police get involved, the whole school can talk about nothing else and the three junior detectives become even more determined to solve the case of the missing cell phone.

It’s been a long time since I read a book that has been written for children, but from the opening chapter I was engrossed in this story and could not put it down. Okay, it only took me two hours to read, but for the entire time I was willing on the main characters to quickly find the culprit(s) so they could be brought to justice.

The main characters are very likable and you can’t but want them to succeed in their first case as junior detectives. For me, the Author’s characters remind me of the works of the great Children’s Author, Enid Blyton. Even the villains are written in a way that you can’t not feel for them and, when you read the book, you’ll get exactly what I mean.

The story moves along at a fast pace and there’s nothing in it that will make the reader wonder if they’ve missed anything. Sure, there is a red-herring, but what’s an excellent detective mystery without the odd red herring thrown in? Given who the Author has written the book for, I firmly believe she’s done an excellent job. It’s a no wonder, then, that the book has already won an award.

I was delighted to hear that there is a second book in the series. Janice Spina is on to a real winner here and I can only see that Davey & Derek are going to become characters that children of all ages are going to love. Now, if only she could introduce a pet dog into the stories like Enid Blyton did with The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, then I think the character selection would be complete.

If you’re looking for a book that has the very real prospects of becoming a great series of stories for Junior School children, then look no further than this book.

Ratings

Realistic Characterisation: 5/5

Overall Enjoyment: 5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

Hugh Roberts

@RobertHughes05 (https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05)

hughsviewsandnews.com (http://hughsviewsandnews.com/about/)

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New Book Fanfare – Repent at Leisure by Stevie Turner

Thanks to Sally Cronin for the promotion today.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

New book fanfare

Today’s featured book is Repent at Leisure by Stevie Turner.. What happens when you wake up with a strange girl in your bed?

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About the book

Paul McAdam wakes up with a strange girl in his bed, with no idea who she is or where she came from.

Cat Taylor worms her way into Paul’s life, eventually moving into his flat. The arrangement suits Paul quite well until he meets Anita Fairfax, the love of his life and the girl he wishes to marry. Cat has to go, but Paul finds that she is not interested in moving out.

When Cat is found dead in Paul’s flat, he’s the #1 suspect, even though there’s not a shred of evidence. Anita and Paul are happily married, but she soon begins to wonder whether her new husband could have been Cat’s killer all along…

A selection of other books by Stevie Turner

View original post 364 more words

#Easypromo. Sharing the preview of a book directly in your blog or page

Hi all:

I suspect many of you will have come across this already, but just in case you haven’t, or you want to see exactly how it works, I thought I’d bring it to you.

You know that Amazon offers readers (and window-shoppers) de option of looking inside a book or getting a sample of the book sent to their own reader or computer (wherever they access their Kindle reader, that is a free app). But before, if you wanted to share that with your readers in your blog, or one of your pages, you’d have to include the link, and they’ll be redirected to Amazon from there and then they’ll have to proceed from there.

Now, there’s the option of sharing it directly in your site.

It’s easy, as I show you in this video:

I leave you the link here (by the way, I think it might depend on the theme of the blog, as I’ve tried it in my page and it appears directly there but it doesn’t seem to here):

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B010QBV1LY&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_pUFRwb1AEBE17

Go on, try it!
By the way, I’ve read that novel and love it! I hope to bring you the review soon.
Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

3 FOR #FREE #FRIDAYREADS!

Design on a Crime
Ginna Aiken
“Sometimes decorating can be deadly serious

Haley Farrell is taking a chance on herself. After earning her interior Desing on a Crimedesign certificate, she quits her retail job and opens a decorating business. But starting her own company may be tougher than she first thought. Just as Haley’s first assignment gets underway, she suddenly finds herself as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. What’s worse, the victim is Haley’s best friend and mentor, Marge Norwalk.

Reeling from Marge’s death, Haley soon realizes that the only way to prove her innocence is to find the real murderer. Before long, Haley is collecting clues and suspects like other designers collect paint chips and fabric samples. But will contractor Dutch Merrill and detective Lila Tsu be swayed by her investigative talents? Or will she be the one punished for this perfectly designed crime?”`-Amazon

Forbidden Mind
Karpov Kinrade
“From USA Today bestselling author Karpov Kinrade comes an award-winning series full of romance and page-turning suspense.
She reads minds. He controls minds. Together, they might get out alive.
Forbidden MindI’ve seen into the minds of killers and have crawled into the darkest mental corners of humanity, but even I wasn’t prepared for this.
I thought that when I turned 18 I would be released from my secret school of paranormal spies and free to follow my dreams and make my own life. That’s what we all thought. Until I met Drake.
Everything changed when I linked minds with the blond-haired boy strapped to that gurney. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined the dangerous truth behind my life.
And now time is running out. We must work together to save ourselves and everyone we love. Before it’s too late.
“…a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment.” ~ Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews
Winner of 2011 Forward National Literature Award”-Amazon

Samson’s Deal
Shelley Singer
“Library Journal said: “Great bar scenes, a wonderfully wry narrative, and the obvious affection between Jake and Rosie will have readers clamoring for more.”
Samson's DealMURDER, POLITICS, AND STRANGE BEDFELLOWS…
Samson’s Deal is the FIRST cozy mystery in the Jake Samson and Rosie Vicente detective series by award-winning author Shelley Singer.

“Singer has a good ear for dialogue among the witless … It’s fun to watch [Jake and Rosie] work together, and the bad guys eventually get their satisfying comeuppance, after an interesting plot twist that keeps things hopping till the very end.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

Ex-Chicago-cop Jake Samson is tired of the rat race. He’s living in laid back Oakland, California with a couple of cats and just enough savings to eat canned oysters and accept collect calls from his bemused parents, when an old friend–a progressive political science professor–calls with an enticing offer. Seems the professor’s wife was found dead in the backyard of their Berkeley home, and he wants to pay Jake ten thousand dollars (plus expenses) to figure out whodunit.

The police pick up the usual leads; jealousy, dirty politics, and an estate worth killing for. Naturally, since the professor is the dead woman’s spouse, he’s the primary suspect. Samson doesn’t like the guy much, but the case heats up—quite literally—when the professor’s office is set afire by a radical right wing activist group, of which, it turns out, the wife was a member.

With his good friend Rosie, and her justice-dispensing two-by-four, Samson follows a twisted trail that leads through the Bay Area’s bizarre cultural labyrinth, from pop meditation ashrams to neo-Nazi rallies, to the startling but all too human truth.

“A fast-paced and often frightening look at the insidious attraction of the extreme right. Even though most of those drawn to the group may be on the lower end of any IQ chart, their sense of dedication to the mistaken idea that they possess a genetic and racial superiority is enough to make them very dangerous. This Shelley Singer novel is recommended.” -Bookbrowser

“…one of the nicer guys in the private eye business, who operates in a relaxed, casual style without need for macho posturing.” -Washington Post

WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Parnell Hall’s Stanley Hastings series, Tony Dunbar’s Tubby Dubonnet series, Bill Pronzini’s “Nameless” Detective series, Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series, Susan Dunlap’s Jill Smith series, Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz series … and vintage TV series like COLUMBO, THE ROCKFORD FILES, HARRY O, MAGNUM, and HAWAII FIVE-O.

Shelley Singer is the author of ten mysteries, two science fiction novels, one mainstream fiction, and many short stories.”-Amazon

 

#NEW #BOOK PROMO SITE! Check out the #FREE opportunity NOW!

THE FREE SPACES HAVE BEEN FILLED!

Thank you to those that participated.
Authors, do you want to get in on the ground floor of a NEW BOOK ADVERTISING SITE about to launch?

 

eBook Site

 

LWI’s own Dr. Jason Royle contacted me with this proposal;

 

Email and offer removed due to spots filled.

 

There is also a “Author in the Spotlight” spots.  To be featured simply email me an “author photo” and “title of book” on Amazon and they will be listed on the site, (with a link to their book) permanently.

 

The title of the site is eBook Christian, but you do not have to be Christian to submit a book.  The only requirement is that your book does not contain vulgar language, graphic violence, or sexual/erotic content.  

 

Children’s books, poetry, self-help, fiction, non-fiction, suspense, romance, etc. all genres welcome.



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@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2016

10 #Books for #Christmas from my #Reviews.

Looking for a last minute present for Christmas?

Want a great book?

Need a gift to put you into that FREE Shipping range?

Here are my suggestions from my reviews this year. Click the links for the reviews. Or click the book image to go to Amazon.

10 Book Ideas for Christmas

Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire FullertonLiterary Fiction, Ireland, Contemporary

#Book Review of Dancing to an Irish Reel by @cfullerton3

“You might at times want to hit Liam over the head with something, like his accordion, but then, he is a man, it’s love, and he’s young, so what else would you expect? And that is one thing that makes this book real and allows the reader to connect with it. No one is perfect in the book. “

The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeilHistorical Fiction, Adventure, Archaeology, WWII

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 “At times his encounters are humorous, deadly, and explosive.”

“He’s been referred to as the new Dan on the block of historical fiction conspiracy theories. I don’t agree. Dan McNeil handles his subject with a better hand than Brown ever has. Yeah, sure, you want to knock him across the room at times but who doesn’t want to read something that gets them on an emotional level at times? If you want a fluff read, skip this review. McNeil isn’t about fluff.”

Sex and Samosas book cover by Author Jasmine AzizMarriage, Relationships, Humor, Self Discovery

#Book Review by @RonovanWrites of Sex & Samosas by Author @JasmineAziz

“Nothing is perfect. Sex isn’t perfect like a scripted movie. Things happen, and man, I am still dying over the what I call ‘on fire’ part of the book.”

Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood by Jason E. RoyleChristian, Inspiration, and Parenting.

Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood by @JERoyle #Book Review by @RonovanWrites

“You’ll learn where the answer to how we handle the issue of Santa with our kids begins. A great deal of what you find in Jesus vs. Santa you can use in everyday life with not only your children, but yourself as well.”jason royle

Judas: Hero Misunderstood by @JERoyle

“The style he chose to use is contemporary in the use of language and symbolism in order for anyone today to relate and connect to the story. Unlike many other takes that are similar to what Royle has done you don’t get a preachy style. At the very end, after the story is all done and over with, you receive a look at passages from the Bible to show you what may or may not bring credence to what Royle has written.”

alesha escobarFantasy, Vampires, WWII, Magic, Wizards, Adult

#Book #Review of The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower

“Isabella George is not your typical spy. For one she’s a female spy in WWII sneaking in to German occupied France. Yes, there were female spies but not the norm in literature of this type. And for another thing, she’s a wizard. Her mission in this first book of the Gray Tower  Trilogy is to find and bring home the wizard creating a chemical weapon for the Nazis. But would it be a book worth a Trilogy if it were that simple?”

Levant Mirage by Oliver F. ChaseAction, Adventure, Terroists

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

“Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.”

Close Up on Murder by Linda TownsdinMystery, Suspense

Close Up on Murder by Linda Townsdin @ltownsdin. A #BookReview.

“Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.”

ali isaac jane doughertyIrish Mythology, Folklore, Short Story Collection

#BookWorm @RonovanWrites Review Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth @aliisaac_ & @MJDougherty33

“The stories are of love and tragedy and more. I felt while reading the stories I was reading not about people in a book, or about love between two people and what befalls them but the love of a people for their homeland and their culture and the tragedies they faced throughout the ages. Yes, it hit me where it hurt, or it felt. Got me in the heart. “

A Haiku Perspective by Annette Rochelle AbenPoetry, Haiku

New Book! A Haiku Perspective by Annette Rochelle Aben @YouAreTheExpert

“Welcome to my haiku perspective on life. It is easy to enjoy this book because haiku flows, which means it can be experienced effortlessly. Perhaps reading this book will open up some creative energy within you and if so, you will share your haiku as well. Those who live to express themselves with words, craft a world using the alphabet, are giving life to imagination and thought.”

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.com 2015

Book Launch – Tales from the Garden – Fairy Stories by Sally Cronin

Tales From the Garden small- Cover

Lit World Interviews is delighted to announce that Tales from the Garden, by Sally Cronin, is now available in Ebook versions with the print copies available shortly.

Sally and husband, David, will be leaving their house and garden at some point in the future and when they put the house on the market, Sally realised that it was not only the sunshine that she would miss. She already had many photographs taken over the last sixteen years and she decided to capture as many aspects of the garden as she could to take with them digitally at least.

As Sally photographed the statues, most far too heavy to take with them, it came to her that some of them had been there at least for 60 years and had seen many changes over that time. Also there was the mystery surrounding the missing dwarves? Just exactly where did they disappear to some nights; when the garden seems to be alive with excitement and you can hear the fluttering of many wings in the air?

Sally wrote the stories weekly on her blog but was so delighted by the response from those who read them, that this became her surprise book of the year. Those that were planned will be released in the New Year.

The Ebook is available now, and the print version will be available in the next week. Both are discounted on her publisher’s website, as there are no additional charges as on other online bookstores.

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About the book.

Fairy Stories for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five, that will change the way you look at your garden, forever….

With over 80 photos/illustrations, “Tales from the Garden” by Sally Cronin, reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees.

You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.

The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

Meet Queen Filigree of the Kingdom of Magia, The Last Emperor and The Lost Boy who live in the sanctuary on the Spanish mountain. Ten stories of adventure, magic and love.

 Book Trailer.

Find out more about Tales from the Garden and buy the Ebook in Mobi for Kindle Format and Epub at a special 50% discount via the website – £2.48. Print copies are discounted by 23% at £8.42. The photographs in the print copy are in black and white and will be available in the next week to ten days.

Secure payment through the Moyhill Publisher sitehttp://moyhill.com/tales

Or through Amazon at the recommended retail prices.

Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0180Q6CKM

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0180Q6CKM

About Sally Cronin

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Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.

She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.

For the last two years Smorgasbord Invitation has offered a legitimate excuse to write daily, meet amazing people from around the world and provide a platform to assist any artist, musician or writer to showcase their work.

Connect to Sally on social media.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
https://twitter.com/sgc58
https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
https://www.facebook.com/sallygeorginacronin
https://plus.google.com/+SallyCronin/about

Book launch

Any help that you can provide in promoting the book would be most welcome and you can contact Sally on sally.cronin@moyhill.com. She will be doing a series of guest posts on various aspects of the book. Behind the scene stories of the statues, parts of the garden etc. and will of course share any posts on your blog across by social media.

 

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So Just What Does Make A Good Book Good? by @RobertHughes05

I’m guessing everyone will have an answer to this question, but what do you think makes a good book good?  After all, we have all started reading a book which we never finish, usually because we don’t particularly like the story, but what is it that makes us read a book right to its end?

As writers and authors we could all put a list together and, I’m pretty sure, we’d all have lists where many of the answers would match up.   Without a doubt answers such as the cover, the opening paragraph, the way it is written, and the genre would appear, but if I were to ask you to choose just one answer, what would it be?

Eighteen months ago I would have given you a completely different answer to that I am going to give you today, because eighteen months ago I was hardly writing anything apart from the occasional greetings card, shopping list, or message. Back then I would most definitely have given my answer as the genre of the book, because just about every book that was Science Fiction and included time-travel would, in my opinion, be good.  Then, just over twelve months ago, I began writing my own short stories and, over time, my answer has changed.

Simply by putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and writing short stories, I now find myself not considering some books good unless they have cliffhangers at the end of some of the chapters.  The cliffhanger spurs me to read on.  I’ll look at the clock and it may be well beyond midnight and I have an upcoming early appointment in the morning, but if I’ve just finished reading a chapter and there’s a cliffhanger involved, then I’ll read on.

I also like to come away from a book or short story where the author has given me the choice to decide for myself what may have really happened.  Some authors have a wonderful way of letting the reader decide for themselves and I have always been interested with the answers given back by the readers.  They are often very varied with maybe a few crossing paths.  As authors and writers we all have incredible imaginations and most of us will come up with some wonderful imaginative answers, but I wonder how many of us would come up with exactly the same answer?

Hugh Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “IF ONLY” @NORMABUDDEN

Title:  “If Only”if-only-norma-budden-review-colleen-cheseboro

Author:  Norma Budden

ASIN:  B00S4GV7OU

Website:  normasbooks.com

Published:  February 14th 2015 by Smashwords Edition

Pages:  204 pages

Genre:  Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance,

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Demi and David first meet in high school, where they fell in love at a young age.  In no time, Demi is pregnant and decides to hide the truth from David about their child, because she does not want to influence his decision to go to college to become a private investigator.  Instead, Demi takes it upon herself to have the child and give her up for adoption.  This decision comes at a price to Demi’s psyche.  Years later, she begins to have visions of her daughter, and feels an unexplainable need to find her child now, at any cost.

Compromising matters further, Demi is married to another man and has two children with him.  Searching for her daughter has brought no leads from the current investigators, so Demi turns to the only man she knows will help her find their daughter – David, her lost love from long ago, who is now a successful private investigator.

Demi finally tells David about their daughter.  David is also married to someone else with two children of his own.  Breaking the news to their spouses creates a story of intrigue and suspense with more twists and turns along the way.

Sharing in the story, is the child herself, Renee who feels she cannot connect with her parents, and never has.  Always the outsider, Renee wonders as an only child, if she was adopted.  Before long, Rene starts having dreams and experiences an uncontrollable urge to meet a strange man – her father, David.  As events unravel, Demi and David tumble through a maze of second chances, reconciliations, and realize many losses along the way.  Eventually they find the love of a real family.

Norma Budden

Image credit: Norma Budden

I felt great empathy for Demi and David, as they longed for the child they never knew.  It was important that each character felt the pull of Renee, the missing link to their family unit, and the author was able to convey that message to the reader.  I was drawn to the paranormal aspect of the dreams that Demi, David and Renee shared.  I felt like there was an unforeseen force willing them all to find each other to complete their family.

“If Only,” tugs at your heart, and I found myself rooting for them all to find each other and become the family they were meant to be.  Even though some of the events were predictable, and much time was spent inside the heads of the characters; I found myself caught up in the over powering human desire of ‘belonging’ that the author conveyed in her telling of the story.

This was an uplifting story of change and growth between two adults who felt the need to atone for decisions made as young adults.  Our past always follows us, and Norma Budden leads her readers on a journey of love and acceptance one will not soon forget.

RATINGSIf Only Norma Budden Book Cover
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 3/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $9.99 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

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Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

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The Tower’s Alchemist Q&A Alesha L. Escobar @The_GrayTower

Gray Tower Trilogy

RW: So let’s start this off from the beginning, I read that your husband gave you this idea for a female wizard spying for the Allies in WWII against the Nazis and basically said, see what you can do with it and you did. And you did it quite well if I may say so. Now where did he come up with that idea?

ALESHA: Thank you! He started off trying to create a fun roleplaying game (RPG) character for his sister, and when I heard “female spy” and “World War II” mixed with magic and intrigue, I immediately knew that such a character would fit well in a full-fledged story. I told him to give me that character, and she became Isabella George.

RW: People have said your main character of wizard Isabella George is another take on something Jim Butcher would have created. I have my opinion but why do you think people say that?

ALESHA: I don’t mind taking that as a compliment, because I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher! I think people may say that because of a wizard openly practicing and offering wizardly services in modern society. When we first meet Butcher’s Harry Dresden, he is a wizard for hire (and he becomes much more). Isabella is a trained alchemist, and British intelligence hires her to spy against the Nazis; throughout the course of the trilogy, she becomes much more.

RW: Tells us why Isabella and your version of wizardry is not Jim Butcher?

ALESHA: I think the difference comes in with the magic system, as well as the fact that in the Gray Tower Trilogy, the number of people with magical abilities are declining, almost like a dying breed. There’s also going to be this unique voice and spark that will come through when you follow Isabella on her journey.

RW: You have different types of Wizards in your books. Why the divisions in abilities? Where did that come from?

ALESHA: Just as we have physical and mental talents, people who are born with magical abilities also have a propensity toward certain powers–mind control, alchemy, healing, etc. One of my characters, a priest named Gabriel, explains that these preternatural abilities were normal and widespread before the Fall of Man, but we’ve lost most of it since then. Throughout time, people like shamans, healers and miracle workers, were remnants of this legacy. The Gray Tower was founded in order to support and train these people for the good of society. They track down people who exhibit abilities (some people have only one predominate ability, others have two) and offer to train them.

alesha escobarRW: How many drafts of The Tower’s Alchemist did you go through?

ALESHA: More than two, that’s for sure. But it was necessary, and the process made me better and stronger as a writer.

RW: How different is the book from that first draft to what we see now?

ALESHA: Very different, which is a good thing, because it shows what you’ve put into the process and what you’ve learned from the process.

RW: Was your plan from the beginning to write a trilogy?

ALESHA: Yes, because a series spanning 10+ books? I ain’t got time for that!

RW: Were there any actual Historical elements that led you to how to approach writing The Tower’s Alchemist?

ALESHA: I definitely played upon the concept that Hitler and his followers were into the occult and wanted to use it to their advantage. In the book, though Hitler doesn’t appear as a character, he is spoken of as having formed an alliance with warlocks who would help fight the Allies and give him victory. This is why my heroine, Isabella, is hired by the British to spy against the Nazis. Is there a rogue alchemist poisoning Ally soldiers? Let’s send in that woman trained by the Gray Tower to take care of it. That’s their line of reasoning.

RW: How did you come up with the names of your characters?

ALESHA: I will not lie. Baby Names book. Sometimes I purposefully set out to find a name with a colorful flair, but I often had to be mindful about taking into account things like a character’s nationality or ethnicity (and this went for both first and last names).

RW: How did you determine what your story would be about? I mean there is a lot in WWII you could go with but for this one it wasn’t going right for the heart of the Nazis like what the next two include. I really need to start reading them.

ALESHA: Please do! I want to chat about the next two books with you. While researching WWII, I found out that female spies going behind enemy lines lasted an average of six weeks. In the story, Isabella has been at it for more than a few months—so she’s a survivor, but she’s also burned out. I wanted her to go from being jaded and tired to being reinvigorated. So the general arc of The Tower’s Alchemist is about Isabella experiencing what should have been her last mission, and how it caused her to become even more entangled in this deadly world of espionage and magic.

RW: That was a very subtle thing you did there. I didn’t even think of it like that. I just enjoyed the story and went along for the ride. Very awesome. Now, was there a temptation to make Isabella George a woman of ethnic background who is good at disguise?

ALESHA: There wasn’t, but I did want a diverse reflection of people who in real life aided in the effort against the Nazis. The character Jasmine Leon, for example, is an homage to the black singer/actress Josephine Baker, who spied for the French. Adelaide was inspired by a real Indian princess (Noor Khan) who sided with the French Resistance and did the dangerous work of radio broadcasting, sending coded messages to the Resistance. Come to think of it, there is an amazing international cast filling this story. I’m searching for a voice actor (for the audiobook) who can do several accents, because we’ve got British, German, French, Russian, American, Italian, and Irish characters.

RW: I read the Amazon Reviews for The Tower’s Alchemist, well I actually read the worst ones because I wanted to see what faults people found. To be honest two of the three were written by the same person using their own log in and a separate one under the title of Amazon customer. And I really could take the time to shoot every single one of this person’s problems down but not wasting any more of my time with that. Actually, I might do that, just not here. I thoroughly dislike amateur haters who don’t know good writing from the back of cereal boxes. When you read a review like that what do you do with it, what do you take away from it? And really what do you do with the reviews at all?

ALESHA: I just let it be. I can’t tell anyone how to feel about the story, or to like it. I respect the fact that we all have our opinions and preferences. I will definitely respond to a reader who has directly contacted me via Facebook or email, because they took the time to send me a note saying how much they’ve enjoyed the books, or they might have a question about them. I love when that happens, because I’ve been spinning stories since I was a kid, and what made it all worth it was seeing others enjoy my tales.

RW: The world The Tower’s Alchemist is set in is filled with magic somewhat openly. I feel it’s more that certain parts of society like the military and maybe the governments are more actively aware but that doesn’t mean it is an accepted thing so much. For me personally I get a since from a character or two at times that it’s like there is a slight fear of Wizards but in part because of an unknown factor and a feeling of being slightly inferior in a way. Are those feelings you were going for and if so why?

ALESHA: Definitely so. “Normal” people’s reactions to wizards are going to run the spectrum from acceptance to rejection. In the world of the Gray Tower Trilogy, people with magical abilities are in the alesha-escobarminority, and those formally trained as wizards by the Gray Tower are even fewer in number. So the general population isn’t afraid of wizards, survival-wise, but because the hierarchy within the Tower is composed of some arrogant Master Wizards, and no one can find the actual Gray Tower unless summoned, there is an air of mystery and hesitation. This is why you also see in the story people who decide that they don’t want or need the Gray Tower, or people who see a spiritual significance in their abilities and end up turning to the Church for guidance (like Gabriel, our resident sword-wielding Catholic priest with elemental abilities). Governments and military are more in tune with wizards and what’s going on. Everyday people are more likely to view a wizard as the equivalent of a Freemason plus cool powers.

luis-escobarRW: Tell us about the book cover design. Is there meaning to it? Who designed it? Why did you pick the colors you did?

ALESHA: I’m one of those people who’ll unabashedly give you stick figures! I’m both jealous and in awe of artists. I knew I couldn’t do the covers alone, so I had my husband design them. He’s been doing art professionally for a long time, so I figured he’d take care of it (plus, you know, I bribed him with tacos). The symbols on the covers are alchemical ones. On The Tower’s Alchemist, I believe the symbols stand for Time, Secrecy, and Hidden Things. For the following two books, the symbols change along with the major theme of each book.

RW: Tacos? Ah, now you are speaking my dinero. Anyone else notice the word dine is in dinero? Perfect. Okay, back on track here. You have done something I really enjoy here and that is you have created something called the Cruenti and the Black Wolves which I somewhat compare to two other magical creations of sorts we all should be familiar with. Would you tell us about them and how you came about them being what they are or more about how they ended up being what they are from who they were if that makes sense?

ALESHA: Oh boy, the Cruenti. Where do I start? You know our vampire myths? In the world of my story, those vampires are really warlocks known as Cruenti. However, the difference is that they’re only interested in your blood if you’re a wizard. You’re tastier to them if you have magical abilities, plus they can steal your powers this way. Usually they’ll leave you alone if you’re Joe Normal Guy walking down the street—unless you get in their way. Another interesting thing about them is that in order to become a Cruenti, you have to make a pact with a demon. It’s not for the faint of heart, but definitely for the vain and greedy. Now, we all know how those types of pacts end—the Cruenti warlock ends up degenerating and losing his humanity until he’s physically and mentally transformed into a monster—and that’s how Black Wolves are born. Black Wolves are powerful magical creatures, former warlocks, but they are also unpredictable and irrational—sometimes they attack their own allies.

RW: You have two works coming out this year. Tell us about those and do I get a copy to review?

ALESHA: Yes! I’ve just sent off my short story, LOGAN 6, to the editor. It’s coming up in the Masters of Time anthology (July 2015) and I’m working my way through a novel as well. I’d love to send you a copy, but first you must promise me

I have no idea what I have to promise but I promise!!! Typical writer cliff hanger thingy.

RW: What is Creative Alchemy?

ALESHA: Creative Alchemy is the small media/publishing company founded by Luis [the taco loving hubby artist] and me. It’s basically a micro-press (we publish a few titles per year), and an author services company. As an independent author, there have been times when I needed things like a press release, a freelance editor, or story feedback, and I didn’t have time to search a million places. This was a great solution for me, and since I’m a lover and promoter of other independent authors, being able to offer these great services became a natural extension of Creative Alchemy.

RW: Who would you say was your biggest literary influence when you consider what you write and why?

ALESHA: Robert Jordan, George Martin, JK Rowling, Jim Butcher. They write amazing stories and create memorable characters. When I stepped out of my “I only want to read Tolkien and Tolkien-like fantasy” bubble, their stories welcomed me with open arms. Dresden Files was the first urban fantasy I had ever read, Jordan’s Wheel of Time made me love magic mashed with politics and intrigue (and apparently, detailed descriptions of what my dinner guest is wearing), Martin ripped my heart out (I’m still salty over the fate of Ned), and I first read Harry Potter while taking a Children’s Literature course in college, back in 2001.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink and why?

ALESHA: Coffee. It’s delicious, flavorful, and I think I’ve built up a resistance to it, so I drink more than I should. No! Why am I telling you this? Is this answer going to be part of the interview?

RW: What is your biggest writing pet peeve and why?

ALESHA: For myself, it’s all about time. I can easily get frustrated when I lack time I need to write. I wish I could say I sit down for a couple of hours and bang out a thousand words, but I’m lucky if I get in a paragraph. I’m a mom, constantly trying to convince my three year old that wearing Spiderman pajamas doesn’t mean he can jump off the furniture, or I’m driving my eldest to school or dance class. As a reader who enjoys stories, a writing pet peeve of mine is when I encounter passionless or inauthentic writing. I read books to escape, to imagine a different world, and in order to enjoy all that, I want you (the writer) to pull me in and give it all you’ve got—don’t hold back!

RW: What are two hobbies that you have?

ALESHA: I like working with my hands, so you might find me mixing a homemade hair elixir or beading a necklace. I also enjoy baking desserts.

RW: So now we see where the Alchemist comes from. Watch out Luis! What would your husband say is his favorite thing about you?

ALESHA: He feels I’m a kindred spirit and that I accept him for who he is. I love that!

RW: What is your favorite word and why?

ALESHA: That’s tough, asking me to narrow it down. I know…I have a favorite phrase. It’s the last line of Dante’s Divine Comedy: “The love that moves the sun and the other stars.” It’s beautiful to me.

RW: Finally, why should people buy your book?

ALESHA: People should buy my book because it’s a fantastic ride. It’s a fresh, fun fantasy mash-up that will make you want to continue reading.

And now you all want to go and buy the book, right? You can’t! Why? Because it’s FREE for Kindle right now! Click here.

Make sure to follow Alesha on Twitter and check out her site at aleshaescobar.com.

And there you have it. Was I given The Tower’s Alchemist to read for this interview or for a review? No. Did I find Alesha on my own and then read her book after I got it on my own? Yes. I’ll be honest, I don’t often have the time to do that. But I did and I am glad I did. Get it and you will want the next one. I want to see whose butt Isabella kicks next!

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#Book #Review of The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower

alesha escobar gray tower trilogy

 

 

Title: The Tower’s Alchemistalesha escobar
Author: Alesha Escobar
File Size: 1415 KB
Print Length: 322 page
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Creative Alchemy, Inc.; 2 edition (September 28, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B005QSFXC6
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray:Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

From my interview with author Alesha L Escobar this coming Monday.

RW: People have said your main character of wizard Isabella George is another take on something Jim Butcher would have created. I have my opinion but why do you think people say that?

ALESHA: I don’t mind taking that as a compliment, because I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher! I think people may say that because of a wizard openly practicing and offering wizardly services in modern society. When we first meet Butcher’s Harry Dresden, he is a wizard for hire (and he becomes much more). Isabella is a trained alchemist, and British intelligence hires her to spy against the Nazis; throughout the course of the trilogy, she becomes much more.

RW: Tells us why Isabella and your version of wizardry is not Jim Butcher?

ALESHA: I think the difference comes in with the magic system, as well as the fact that in the Gray Tower Trilogy, the number of people with magical abilities are declining, almost like a dying breed. There’s also going to be this unique voice and spark that will come through when you follow Isabella on her journey.

Now for the review.

Isabella George is not your typical spy. For one she’s a female spy in WWII sneaking in to German occupied France. Yes, there were female spies but not the norm in literature of this type. And for another thing, she’s a wizard. Her mission in this first book of the Gray Tower  Trilogy is to find and bring home the wizard creating a chemical weapon for the Nazis. But would it be a book worth a Trilogy if it were that simple?

Some have compared Escobar’s book to Jim Butcher and his wizard Harry Dresden. Okay, Isabella is a wizard in the real world and works in the real world using her abilities. End of similarities. Isabella is more than a wizard. In The Tower’s Alchemist, she is a spy, first and foremost in my eyes. She just happens to be a wizard as well. Think of it as her having a specialty like someone might be an explosives specialist on a team that goes in to extract a person behind enemy lines.

Isabella is that explosive expert and boy can she explode things at times. The problem is the Nazis have their specialists as well and they are the Cruenti and the Black Wolves, wizards that use dark magic so much they slowly turn into something less than human or more than human, depending on how you look at it.

Isabella meets several members of the French Resistance, some based on actual historical figures, and runs in to other wizards hunting her long dead father. She receives a letter from her father that’s left for her in case she passes through a safe house in France. It warns her of things to be careful of. As she carries on through her mission she discovers many things are not what she thought they were and slowly becomes aware of a need to learn more. A lot more, but how? If she learns too much the wizards against her will be able to extract what she knows.alesha-escobar

Love, hate, friends, foes, adventure, Vampires, and Nazis. What more could you ask for?

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.4

That 4.4 surprised me when it came up. Yes, I use a formula. I do an average of the 5 categories. And that number is what I post here and on Amazon and on GoodReads. It keeps me honest. But I tell you, 4.4 is misleading. I really enjoyed this book. I could tell research and a lot of effort went in to putting out a quality story.

Alesha L. Escobar is an Author and more based out there somewhere. There are two other books available in the Trilogy. Visit Amazon here for her author page to get them all. Book 1 and 2 are Free and book 3 is .99 right now. Get them before they blow up and she starts really charging for them.

Share this review by reblog or tweet or any other way you choose.

Click today and get them all!

 

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#Book #Review by @RobertHughes05 of “Fireworks” by @boyzbooks

 

fireworks-aimer-boyz-hugh-roberts-reviewTitle: Fireworks
Author: Aimer Boyz 
ASIN: B00MTZ7732
Published: 5 August 2014 by Lulu Publishing Services
Pages: 352
Genre: Gay Adult Fiction, Erotica
Format: Kindle Edition
Price: £2.38 includes VAT and free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
File Size: 542KB
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Sold By: Amazon UK  Amazon US

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Daniel had been in a relationship for eight years but it ended with his partner, Aiden, leaving him for another man.  He’s hurt by the spilt and has no interest in meeting a new partner.  He does what every other self-respectable guy does when getting dumped.  He hits the bars, credit card in hand, gets plastered and tries hooking up with any guy that moves, because that’s how he thinks he can obliterate the memory of Aiden.  Steven has just moved to the house opposite one of Daniel’s sisters and she invites Steven to the Canada Day celebrations she and her husband throw every year for Daniel and the rest of the family.  Little does Daniel know that his whole family have plotted for the two men to meet with the hope that maybe love will blossom between the pair.  However, soon after meeting, in walks Stephanie into their lives, who proudly announces she is Steven’s Ex.

Daniel and Steven are two of the most lovable characters I have ever encountered in a book.  From the beginning I fell in love with both, not only because of the descriptions the author built up of them, but because of the way both seemed so naïve that love would be something they would ever experience again.  Like most relationships it’s lust which makes both men want to get to know each other far better but, as time goes on, love also starts to play its part in the developing friendship between the two men.

All of Daniel’s family do whatever they can to get Daniel and Steven together. Daniel’s father offers to help Steven assemble some new furniture, while Daniel’s mother invites Steven around for the meal the whole family have together on a Friday evening.  Daniel’s two sisters, Karen and Sandy, and their husbands also want to play a part in helping Daniel find true love again after the heartache Daniel encountered when his relationship with Aiden ended.  Little else seems to matter to the whole family other than Daniel’s future love life.

Boyz writes the book like she is part of the family the book is centred around which is just how it should be.  She carried the story along very nicely and ensures that each member of the family plays their part in ensuring that Daniel finds true love.  On the other hand, she barely mentions Steven’s family which I found quite odd even if they do live the other side of the country.  She has a very interesting way in the way she writes in getting the reader to really like every character in the book.  I even found myself  liking Aiden, Daniel’s Ex partner, who had brought so much heartbreak and sadness to Daniel, and who is the bad guy in the book.

There is a lot of Gay erotica in the book and, at first, I wondered just how she would cope with writing such material.  She must have done a lot of research on the subject as she knew exactly what she was writing about and I could not fault any of the erotica scenes she wrote.  In fact, some of the scenes rather took me down the memory lane of my younger days, which of course I won’t be divulging about.  Some of the scenes seemed they were never going to end and although there are lots of them, never once did I think that Boyz was duplicating earlier scenes from the book.

Although the main characters in the book are part of the same family, the other characters she introduced played just as important a part and she cleverly connected each of these characters to Steven, Daniel or Daniel’s family.  While reading the book I felt as if I were watching the whole story unfold on TV as I could very clearly picture everything that was happening in my head.  To me, that is a very talented way to write as it makes the story seem even more real and true to life.

My only criticism of the book, other than there was little mentioned about Steven’s family, was that the chapters were far too long.  They could very easily have been made into smaller chapters, especially where the story changed completely to a different scene with different characters or where there was a time break.

Fireworks is a typical love story with its ups and downs for the characters involved and will pull you deeply into a family who want nothing but happiness for one of its family members.  It is an easy read and won’t have you turning back pages because of misunderstandings about its plot.  You will either fall in love with, or wish you had two friends like, Daniel and Stephen because having them around would bring happiness and joy into anyone’s life.  I do hope there’s a sequel because this story certainly deserves to have one.  If not, then Fireworks would make a perfect screenplay.

Ratingshugh roberts review

Realistic Characterisation: 5/5

Made Me Think: 3.5/5

Overall Enjoyment: 4.5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

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The Owl Interview with the Owl Lady herself @VivDrewa

RW: We’ll get all of my personal questions out of the way first today and then settle into your books. Where are you from?

viv-drewaVIV: I grew up in Detroit and moved to Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

(On the shore of Lake Huron. A little northeast of Detroit.~Look it up Ronovan.)

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

VIV: Stephen King, Dean Koonts, Michael Weems, John Sandford to name a few.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

VIV: I love tea, hot or cold.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

VIV: Sewing. I love to sew and have for many years. Seeing something I can put together helps me relax and then I can get back to writing.

RW: What is your favorite word?

VIV: It’s outdated but I still use it: Cool!

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

VIV: My mom and grandmother always told us stories that they made up themselves. They were fascinating and one day I’m going to put them together in a book.

When I got older I was taken to the library and marveled at the many books I saw. Back then they had a section where they read to the younger children and I was taken there until I learned to read. That’s what started it all for me.

When I was 9 I wrote a poem and won third place for it. Then when I was 14 I wrote a short story and won second place. I knew at that point I wanted to be a writer

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

VIV:I have three books published and have one WIP.

The Owl of the Sipan Lord – When I started doing research for this one the time period chose me. I had a list of tribes in Peru and for some reason the Moche stood out. Researching further I discovered the Lord of Sipan and the story went from there. With this one I also contacted a well know archaeologist when I couldn’t find some information I needed. He was very helpful.

The Angler and the Owl – I was worried about this book because I have a hard time figuring out who the male protagonist would be. My husband and I were watching “River Monster”, something we always do, and I got the idea for an angler for the part. And it worked out well because Jeremy Wade is very intrigued with the Amazon and this is where the book takes place.

From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life – This is a true, short story about my grandfather’s escape from Poland in 1913. I didn’t have any trouble with this title.

The Midnight Owl – I can’t say much because it’s my WIP.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

“The Owl of the Sipan Lord” is a paranormal thriller

“The Angler and the Owl” is an action/adventure/light romance

“From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” is non-fiction

“The Midnight Owl” – is a paranormal murder mystery

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

VIV: I love the paranormal! It has always fascinated me and I make a point to read this genre and plan on all my books following suit.

RW: Tell us a little about your books.

viv drewaThe Owl of the Sipan Lord

Martin and Clare Montgomery worked as an archaeological team until Martin’s accidental death at a dig they were working on in Peru. Clare swore she’d never go back, but after having a dream about the dig that didn’t add up to the finds of the area, and the help of the Peruvian Pygmy Owl and a blue-eyed spirit, she did.

Her long-time friend and mentor, Carl Windmueller, believed in following dreams and encouraged her to go. He tries to research what she saw in the dream but is visited by a red-eyed spirit that causes him to have a massive heart attack when he gets close.

Unfortunately, Clare doesn’t understand what Carl was looking into by the books on his desk. Her friend Cord gets a team together and they head back to Peru.

The re-eyed spirit does all it can to keep the team from finding it’s secret that has been kept for the past 1300 years. Near fatalities plague the team taking her back to the day her husband died. But she kept on until the truth was fully discovered.
This is a story about a widow who, with the help of an owl and blue eyed spirit, solves her husband’s murder, and a 1300 year old mystery in Peru.
US: Amazon link.
UK: Amazon link.

The Angler and the Owlviv drewa
&
France Hunter returns to the Amazon to visit the area she discovered her first new species of owl: the blue-ringed owl.
Danger follows her and the others through the Amazon rainforest and Amazon river. Will they survive?
US: Amazon link.
UK: Amazon link.

viv drewaFrom the Pages of Grandfather’s Life

This is a true short story of my grandfather’s escape from Poland in 1913.
US: Amazon link.
UK: Amazon link.

 

 

 

 

How to stay in contact with Viv? Twitter-    Google+     The Owl Lady Blog
Click a here to go to her Amazon page and get a book!

 

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#Book #Review by @RonovanWries of If Only by @NormaBudden

If Only Norma Budden Book CoverIf Only explores the results a revelation of a secret has on the lives of so many people that I don’t even know if the author, Norma Budden, realizes what she’s done. When 16-year-old Demi discovered she was pregnant, she made a choice. Sixteen years later, Demi Glenn, wife and mother of two, contacts the child’s father, private investigator David Alexander, as he is preparing to go on a family outing with his wife and twin daughters. Her reason for contacting David: she has this unexplainable feeling that his baby girl he never knew of, that she gave up for adoption, needs to be found.

What happens in the span of a few hours is real and surreal at the same time. You don’t want to believe what happens but you know it can happen. Through it all you want Renee, the 16-year-old girl who never felt a part of her family’s world, to be found and meet the family she never knew and the siblings she always wanted.

Being a father, I identify with David. I am a David. As I read the book I wanted to stop reading. At times, I needed to stop reading, but I agreed to read and I continued. Was the writing and story that bad? No, they were that good. They nailed the feelings and thoughts perfectly.

I am a David. As an amnesiac, there are memories I don’t normally have access to, feelings buried deep for whatever reason. Protection? As I read If Only, feelings came rushing to me, feelings I hope I forget, but feelings I need to recall, at times. That’s how powerful this story is for me.

Renee is just like her parents, like her father, like David. There is a connection between these two that plays out in the story; it is pivotal to it all. If not for that connection and how it is handled the story wouldn’t be what it is.

Lying in a hospital over a year ago, I wanted to die or, perhaps, I was in a world that I was so confused about I didn’t want to be there. I was visited by a face, a girl’s face and a girl’s voice. I came home, and even though memories are not there, my own investigation made discoveries. Here I am being as productive as I can be.

If Only by Norma Budden brings all of that back to me and more. Isn’t that what a book should do? Shouldn’t a book make you look at the world in a new way, a way to better understand, a way to step back and look at yourself?

Of all the books I’ve read this past year, even books I’ve written, If Only is possibly closer to elements of my own life than anything I could ever write.

I met Norma through an author and mutual friend, a former investigator. Just as an investigator friend of David’s helped him, this friend helped two people come together so one story could bring a man to mourn and rejoice, yet pray all is forgotten at the same time. I wonder how many times I’ve done that. How many times I’ve relived moments to thankfully forget them and then be reminded again and again.

I thank Norma Budden for honoring me with reading her book in advance of its release. As of the reading of this book, of all I’ve read so far this past year, this is now my top pick.

Amazon: KindleRonovan Writes Book Review of if Only

Author Site: NormasBooks.com

Genre: Drama, Paranormal, Adult, Young Adult

Character Believability–5
Flow and Pace –5
Reader Engagement– 5
Reader Enrichment–5
Reader Enjoyment–5
Review Rating Results–5

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#NewRelease A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars @NatachaGuyot

LitWorldInterviews Author

Natacha Guyot

natacha guyot author

New Release

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars

Click the cover or the title and buy it today. I did. Then come back tomorrow for her Guest Author Post The Author’s Role in Representation

 

natacha guyot

 

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