Monday, 23 April 2018

Book Review of Giselda and the Dragon by J S Rumble @JSRumbleAuthor



Book Title: Giselda & The Dragon
Genre: Children's Chapter Book
Pages: 91
Author: J.S. Rumble
Date Published: 30 March 2018

Synopsis:

Giselda feels terribly guilty that she stole from the dragon on the mountain top. It's also worrying her that he might be holding a grudge against the schools because of what happened.
Unable to forget what she did she decides to travel up the mountain and face the dragon once more.
It is safe to say the encounter has an unexpected outcome and Giselda is thrown into more exciting and terrifying adventures...but does she find what she is looking for?

Review:


Giselda and the DragonGiselda and the Dragon by J.S. Rumble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the next book in the Giselda series of children's chapter books. I loved it!

Giselda is a wonderful character and I really liked her when I was introduced to her in the first book. She's an eight year-old girl who found out that she's a witch. Now a student at Wigmore School for Witches, she has already had one deadly adventure. However, she is beset with guilt for her part in stealing hair off of a dragon. Determined to right a wrong, she must find the courage to face the dragon once more.

This book is a sweet children's book with an exciting adventure included. It is ideal for children with short attention spans.

The school is not your typical witch/wizard school, nor is it like Hogwarts. Wigmore teaches their students to be bad (not evil) and play tricks on others. The story continues from the end of the first book, Giselda The Witch. I love meeting Tom again. He is a young wizard who befriends Giselda through the fence that separates the two sections (girls and boys are taught separately). This time, the two set off on an adventure that introduces new characters. I was terrified of the dragon when the children faced him in the first book, but in this one we get to know him a little better. His name is Colin and he's not scary at all. We are also introduced to his friend Gerald, another dragon, as well as a mysterious mythological species called Pangles, who look like large black cats with wings.

This book takes the reader on a magical adventure that sees the two children and Colin looking for a magical mirror that had been stolen from Colin over fifty years previously. There are several challenges that they face throughout the story, with lots of magic and spells, and the action and adventure kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. I think I've lot my heart to the baby Pangle though. Where can I get one?? The story ends satisfactorily, but eludes to further adventures to come and I can't wait!

J.S. Rumble has written an entertaining chapter book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced though easy enough for children to follow whether reading on their own, or being read to by their parents. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 4-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


Purchase Links:


              

About The Author:

Sorry, there is no information available on this author and, as such, I cannot find anything about her.

Author Links:




Sunday, 22 April 2018

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Broken Promises (The Forever Love Collection #1) by Hazel Robinson @hfrobinsonbooks


Broken Promises
Cover Reveal!!

Broken Promises Cover and Synopsis…

A stand-alone novella in Hazel Robinson’s The Forever Love Collection
Coming 22nd June

  


Cover by Vixen Design 


I’m so excited to reveal the cover of Broken Promises, and I am deeply in love with this cover! 

I can’t wait for you all to meet tattoo artist Caleb, and his one true love Kally, this story has everything your looking for – romance, emotion and a touch of tattooed hotness! 



Details

Title – Broken Promises
Series – The Forever Love Collection
Release – 22 June

Sometimes promises are worth breaking.

Caleb Jones fell hard for the wrong type of girl. With his world shattered he promised never to fall, or let his heart get broken again.
One night would change it all.
Every promise he made would be broken with a single kiss. One look and he would come undone.
Secrets will be revealed, and history will be re-written.
Kally Richmond lived in the shadows of a ghost. No one ever stood a chance against the one that held her heart.
Promises aren’t permanent. But, what happens when you break the hardest promise you ever had to make.
When two fates entwine, can they really have the second chance they both deserve?












Thursday, 19 April 2018

Book Review of Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen & Illustrated by Alena Paklina



Book Review of Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen & Illustrated by Alena Paklina


Review 5*

This is a wonderfully illustrated story for children aged between 3 and 8. I loved it!

I love the colourful illustrations done by Alena Paklina. They bring this short story to life and will engage a child who hasn’t fully grasped how to read yet, but who can follow the story with ease as it's been read to them by their parent. It compliments the short story written by the author so one is transported directly into the tale. Depending on the child’s age and reading ability, the author has written a charming story that is easy enough for a young reader to follow, as she uses simple words that will not confuse a child.

The story is a simple but important one about learning to share. Little Bear has a lovely chair but refuses to share it. Because of his selfish behaviour, he has been left out of the fun and become lonely, which is no fun at all. He learns that by sharing, he is included in all the fun and games with his friends. This then translates into teaching the young reader how it is better to share when playing with their friends or siblings. Some adults reading this book may decide that this book is also about bullying as Little Bear is not exactly nice to his friends. However, this is not the impression I found when reading it. I suppose it depends on your upbringing and what your life experiences have made to you as a reader, and how you interpret a book in a certain way. I can only go on my impression of this book and I think it’s a lovely book that can entertain as well as educate. Everyone’s opinion is different, so I will leave you to decide if, after reading the sample, whether you would want your child to either listen to you read it, or they read this book on their own.

This book is suitable to read as a bedtime story, or anytime at all, especially if a child has a short attention span. It is a quick read, so even if they haven’t settled down, the lovely pictures will entertain the children.

Claressa Swensen is a new author to me, as I have not read her other children’s books. However, I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this book to children aged 3 upwards and to adults looking for a fun but educational read for their children. – Lynn Worton (Book Reviews by Lynn)


P.S. This book has not yet been published and will be on Kickstarter for a crowdfunding campaign at the beginning of May. Please consider donating to it. The link to the campaign will follow once it goes live on 1st May 2018.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Book Review of 'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid) by Dianna Hardy @TheWitchingPen




Book Title: 'Til Death Do Us Part
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 68
Author: Dianna Hardy 
Date Published: 4 December 2013

Synopsis:

BRAND NEW COVER! (Same content.)

"The day you get married, is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Dreams are made of such things. But I forgot. I could blame the witch if I wanted to - in fact I did, for quite a while after - but the fault can only lie with me. Being with him made me so happy - so very, very happy - that I chose to forget. I chose amnesia. If I had had any foresight into how my flippant choice would ruin him, I would have saved him the heartbreak. I would have forfeited my knowing him, my own selfishness, lived forever in the pain of unfulfillment, if it meant he could be spared...."

When you love someone so much that your heart aches without them in your life, would you give up everything you've ever known to be with them? Would you give up your identity?

This is exactly what Aria did. But her sacrifice comes at a great cost, with startling consequences. With no memory of her previous life, she's forgotten what she really is, and who she's left behind: a jealous, possessive God, who's finally found her, and will stop at nothing to keep her heart from ever straying again.

In this dark and passionate retelling of The Little Mermaid, can a love founded on humanity, stand the passing of time, an angry sea-God, and even death itself?


*Please note: this book is NOT "erotica". (It has been mistakenly placed in that category, and you will be sorely disappointed if you are buying this for titillation!) It is a dark fantasy gothic romance, containing only a couple of mildly explicit scenes. In the vein of many dark fantasies, it also contains some violence which may disturb some readers.

Notes: The English translation of the original story, Den lille Havfrue, by Hans Christian Anderson, works out at just under 10,000 words. This retelling is just over 10,000 words.

Review:


'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid)'Til Death Do Us Part by Dianna Hardy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting twist

This is an interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid. I loved it.

Aria is a character I neither liked or disliked. I did find her a little selfish and self absorbed with her love of Simon. However, she also showed an inner strength when faced with difficult decisions, and also had to deal with an abusive situation.

This short story was a quick read, with lots of twists to keep the reader guessing as to what would happen next. There is a scene that could potentially upset some readers, which could also be a triggering event for them if they’ve been in an abusive relationship or been abused. So reader beware! I did enjoy Aria’s journey of emotional growth through the tale though. She matures within it. However, I’m not sure about the ending. It left me with mixed feelings even though it concludes satisfactorily.
This book is one of Dianna Hardy’s earlier works, which is why, I think, I found it a little disappointing even though I loved it. Her writing has improved a lot since this book was originally written. I love her fast paced writing style and I found no problem with the story flow, so as an introduction to her storytelling, this would be the ideal way to start.

Due to scenes of a sexual nature and abuse, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love paranormal/supernatural romances and adult-themed fairytale retellings. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:


             

About The Author:



"Whether paranormal or contemporary, the one thing all my stories have in common is the fight for what you really want from life." (Dianna Hardy)

Dianna Hardy is a UK-based, international bestselling author of The Witching Pen series, and the Eye Of The Storm series. She combines a titillating mix of contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as urban and dark fantasy, into her writing, to bring you stories that are action-packed, fast-paced and not short of heat, with the focus on both character development and the plot. She writes full-length novels and short fiction. She has also written poetry (first published in 1997) and esoteric books and articles. Nowadays, she chooses to concentrate on writing fiction.

In December 2012, Releasing The Wolf hit the Kindle Paranormal Fantasy charts in both the US and the UK, where it stayed for three months, enjoying a highest ranking of #20. The first two books in the Eye of The Storm series have enjoyed success in the top 100 of Fantasy charts on Kindle US and Kindle UK, and all books in the series to date have reached the top 100 of the Fantasy iTunes charts in Netherlands, Norway, Australia and the UK, with Heart Of The Wolf (book 3) reaching #1 in Denmark.

The Witching Pen series, 'Til Death Do Us Part and A Silver Kiss, have also hit the top 100 of Kindle and iBooks charts (Fantasy, Romance and Horror) in a number of different countries worldwide.

Although quite active online, Dianna prefers the quiet company of nature and animals to the hustle and bustle of people. She loves anything paranormal (she doesn't really consider it "para"), organic food, walking barefoot, the smell of the woods after rain, and summer days.

However, she is also sustained by coffee, chocolate and the occasional vodka.

Having graduated from Richmond Drama School (London) in '98, she spent the next few years in a multitude of jobs (both acting and non-acting), studying anything that fascinated her, searching her soul, and finally found her passion where it had always been: at the end of a pen.

She currently lives in South Hampshire, UK with her partner and their daughter, where she writes full-time.

Official site: diannahardy.com

Monday, 9 April 2018

Release Blitz, Blog Tour & Excerpt: Hope at Christmas by Keeley Holmes @Keeley_Holmes86

Hope at Christmas by Keeley Holmes




Book Title: Hope at Christmas (Serendipity Series Book 1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Chick lit
Pages: 261
Author: Keeley Holmes
Date Published: 9 April 2018

Synopsis:


With only 25 days left until Christmas day, Hope makes the rash decision to quit her job. After a weekend wallowing in self pity, she takes this new opportunity to finally get the job she’s always wanted...only she doesn’t know what she wants to do... She doesn’t think her life can get any worse. 

Until she throws coffee on a stranger.

Having finally told his parents that he planned to never follow his father’s footsteps in business, Daniel’s morning didn’t start out that well either.

Until a woman throws coffee on him.

This chance meeting sets off a chain of events. A wedding. Downton Abbey. The roaring 20’s...and a drunk, sexually frustrated cousin. Neither of them are prepared for this connection, but when does romance ever run a smooth course? With secrets and exes throwing road blocks their way, will it all become too much and end their blossoming romance before it’s even begun?




Excerpt:

     I paced along the pavement as I tried to organise my thoughts. I could pick any job I wanted. I had qualifications, I had experience, and I was willing to work hard. I huffed out a breath in frustration and turned around and walked straight into a hard body.
     “Shit!”
      Coffee was not my friend today.
      Shit. Shit. Shit.
      “I'm so sorry,” I stammered and kept my head down. My cup was nearly empty, and his shirt had been white. White did not like coffee.
      “Sorry for what?” His deep voice stirred something inside of me. Oh man. “The hot coffee that you just threw all over me or your inability to watch where you’re walking?”
      “Well, that’s rude,” I mumbled at the floor.
      “Well pardon me,” he replied sarcastically, but I could hear the grin in his voice.
      He was mocking me because of the quiver in my voice. Bastard.
      “You’re the one who walked into me holding that hot coffee, sweetheart; I’ve every right to be pissed off.”
      His comment had already created a rose blush in my cheeks. Never in my life had I been rendered speechless, but this man made my tongue tie itself into knots. And I hadn’t even glanced up yet.
     Shit.
     Who the hell did he think he was?
     I wrestled with my response. “I really don’t like your attitude.” I made a mistake and looked at the stain on his shirt.
     I bit my bottom lip and dragged it into my mouth. “I said I’m sorry, what more do you want?”
     I placed my hands on my hips and tried to look like I didn’t care. And then I lifted my eyes to really look at him.
     Oh my word. Massive well done to whoever had created him.
     My heart bounced hard in my chest. Why was he looking at me like that?
     His tall frame stood over me, so much so that I had to squint against the low winter sun to look at his face. Dark brown hair was styled in waves that sat rather messily on his head, but it was the eyes that hooked me. Light green eyes flecked with streaks of grey studied me. His lips were pulled thinly which expressed some sort of annoyance. Why the hell was this man walking around in just a shirt anyway? It wasn’t exactly summer.
      And I wasn’t wearing makeup. Well, not much of it. A brush of gloss, a sweep of mascara, that had been my all when I’d left this morning. Damn it.
      Why am I thinking about this? Why would it matter how much make up I had on my face?
      The man took a deep breath and then held eye contact with me. That contact caused something to move in my gut. Something that hadn’t moved in a long time.
     Oh. Good. God.

Biography


Keeley Holmes is the author of sexy romantic comedies and NA books. She loved writing so much that whilst her friends were off doing work experience in schools and child care placements, she was doing hers in a publishing house. That was when she wrote her first book at 15, it was set in America and it was about a murdering woman with a glass eye... Number one bestseller...

After working full time and gaining her English Literature and Language degree, she changed her mind about becoming a teacher, when would she write books if she had to mark them? Instead she wrote her second book in 2007. From that moment, she's written books as a side hobby and now she wants the world to read and love them! She's a sucker for romance books, with a little bit (a lot!) of kink in them!

She lives in beautiful Yorkshire, when sometimes she leaves the house and appreciates that beauty, before crawling back into her cave to write.


Website:

www.keeleyholmes.com

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/Keeley.Holmes.author

https://www.instagram.com/keeleyholmesauthor/

https://twitter.com/keeley_Holmes86



Sunday, 8 April 2018

Audio/Book Review of The Dragons of Dorcastle (The Pillars of Reality, Book 1) By Jack Campbell



Book Title: The Dragons of Dorcastle (Pillars of Reality #1)
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Pages: 338
Audio Book Length: 11 Hours 56 Mins
Author: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Date Published: 3 April 2015 (Paperback)
2 December 2014 (Audio)

Synopsis:

The first book in a thrilling new epic fantasy saga by Jack Campbell, the New York Times best-selling author of The Lost Fleet series!

For centuries, the two Great Guilds have controlled the world of Dematr. The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything that humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of the world behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic, just out of the Guild Halls, where she has spent most of her life learning how to run the steam locomotives and other devices of her Guild. Alain is the youngest Mage ever to learn how to change the world he sees with the power of his mind. Each has been taught that the works of the other's Guild are frauds. But when their caravan is destroyed, they begin to discover how much has been kept from them.

As they survive danger after danger, Alain discovers what Mari doesn’t know – that she was long ago prophesized as the only one who can save their world. When Mari reawakens emotions he had been taught to deny, Alain realizes he must sacrifice everything to save her. Mari, fighting her own feelings, discovers that only together can she and Alain hope to stay alive and overcome the Dragons of Dorcastle.

Review:


The Dragons of Dorcastle (The Pillars of Reality, #1)The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is an eighteen year-old mechanic... Sorry, Lady Master Mechanic as she loves to correct all her Guild elders who insist on dropping the honorific, even though she has attained it by qualifying as the youngest Lady Master Mechanic since the Guild was first formed. When the caravan/convoy she is travelling in is attacked, she finds herself travelling with a mage who was hired by the caravan to protect it as it travelled to Ringmon where she has a Guild contract to repair a mechanical device. As danger threatens, Mari finds herself torn between doing what is right, and her growing feelings for Mage Alain.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot. He is seventeen years-old and one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. When the caravan he's been contracted to protect comes under attack, he finds himself drawn to Mari, feelings long forbidden returning to the surface. As he begins to see through the illusion to the truth that had been kept from them, he realises that Mari is the woman prophesized to unite the people of Dematr. Can he protect her long enough to fulfil it?

I purchased this book in audio format in 2015 when it was recommended to me on Audible due to my listening and browsing history. I am kicking myself for not listening to it sooner. I kept putting it off for some reason unknown to me. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. Who knows? Anyway, now I'm seriously annoyed with myself for missing out on listening to this story, which is narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job in bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflections and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

This story introduces us to the world of Dematr. It is a mass of contradictions. There are two great Guilds who hold all the power over the common folk - The Mechanics and The Mages. These Guilds have held power for centuries and refuse to relinquish their hold and reject change of any kind. However, this is slowly strangling the world, making it harder and harder for the Mechanics especially as their technology is regressing. This story has a steampunk feel to it, with machinery being steam driven at times - trains for instance. Though there are some more modern items such as far-talkers (walkie-talkies to you and me), torches using batteries, and rifles and pistols that are decidedly more modern-day. Mages use energy from the land around them and some of their own energy to make spells. These spells can be used in various ways - from hiding oneself to creating a dragon.

This book is told through the eyes of both Mari and Alain and I found myself completely hooked from beginning to end. I was fascinated by how different the Guilds were, but also struck by how similar they were too. I loved getting to know the two main protagonists and watching (in my minds eye) the story unfold as I listened. I have no idea why, but as I listened to Mage Alain talking and thinking, I had a sudden picture of Richard Dean Anderson as he played Colonel Jack O'Neill in SG1 - with a dry wit and deadpan face. If they ever decide to make this book into a movie or TV series, I would hope they could find someone like that to do Alain justice. Anyway, back to the book. I found myself an emotional wreck near the end. I think my heart broke, it definitely felt heavy at any rate. However, the audiobook version (I can't speak for the book version) has a preview of the second book in the series and I am now looking forward to reading/listening to The Hidden Masters of Marandur as soon as I can.

Jack Campbell is a new author to me. I've never read or listened to any of his other books. However, I may have to add him to my favourite authors list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is no mention of any scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


            



About The Author:


"Jack Campbell" is the pseudonym for John G. Hemry, a retired Naval officer (and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis). As Jack Campbell, he writes The Lost Fleet series of military science fiction novels, as well as the Beyond the Frontier continuation of The Lost Fleet, and The Lost Stars series (a spin-off of The Lost Fleet). He has also written the Stark's War series and the Sinclair/"JAG in space" series, and has written many shorter stories featuring space opera, fantasy, time travel, and alternate history. Many of these stories can be found in the three Jack Campbell ebook anthologies. He lives with his wife (the Indomitable S) and three children (two of whom are autistic) in Maryland.

Author Links:



Thursday, 5 April 2018

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: A Fistful of Frost (A Madison Fox Adventure Book 3) by Rebecca Chastain @Author_Rebecca





Book Title: A Fistful of Frost (A Madison Fox Adventure Book 3)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 478
Author: Rebecca Chastain
Date to be Published: 8 May 2018

Synopsis:


Madison’s job—and soul—are on thin ice.

Madison Fox is determined to reform Jamie, her half-evil pooka, but the bond linking her to Jamie works both ways. Already, it has manipulated her into bending the rules. If she continues down this path, she could doom her soul. Since her judgment can’t be trusted, a high-ranking inspector now dictates Madison’s every interaction with Jamie, and each directive drives them further apart.

Unfortunately, Madison has bigger issues than the potential degradation of her soul. Winter has struck with a vengeance. Frost moths plague the entire state, reinforcing the artificially frigid temperature. Worse, cold-blooded, soul-stealing enemies are flocking into her region from the north—creatures Madison has little defense against.

With the inspector scrutinizing her every misstep, Madison is in for the battle of her life. If she hopes to survive, she must make an impossible choice: save herself and her region or save Jamie.

An imaginative urban fantasy filled with heart, humor, and plenty of butt-kicking action—A Fistful of Frost is a book you won’t want to miss!

Pre-Order Links:





Rebecca Chastain’s Bio:



Rebecca Chastain is the USA Today bestselling author of the Madison Fox urban fantasy series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles fantasy trilogy, among other works. Inside her novels, you'll find spellbinding adventures packed with supernatural creatures, thrilling action, heartwarming characters (human and otherwise), and more than a little humor. Rebecca lives in Northern California with her charming husband and bossy cats.


You can find Rebecca online at:


Website: http://www.rebeccachastain.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccachastainnovels
Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or https://twitter.com/Author_Rebecca
Instagram: @chastain.rebecca or https://www.instagram.com/chastain.rebecca/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5660379.Rebecca_Chastain
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-chastain


Giveaway Details:


Order your copy of A Fistful of Frost between now on the release date on May 8, and receive a free copy of the Madison Fox novelette, A Fistful of Flirtation



Madison finally gets her date with Dr. Love—and if they had picked any other restaurant, she might have had a chance to enjoy it, too . . .

Receive your free gift with purchase here: https://www.rebeccachastain.com/current-giveaways/