Book Review: The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston #TheDeadRomantics @ashposton @HQstories

Synopsis

Florence Day is a ghost-writer with one big problem. She’s supposed to be penning swoon-worthy novels for a famous romance author but, after a bad break-up, Florence no longer believes in love. And when her strict (but undeniably hot) new editor, Benji Andor, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye.

Although when tragedy strikes and Florence has to head home, the last thing she expects to see is a ghost at her front door. Not just any ghost, however, but the stern form of her still very hot – yet now unquestionably dead – new editor.

As sparks start to fly between them, Florence tells herself she can’t be falling for a ghost – even an infuriatingly sexy one. But can Benji help Florence to realise love isn’t dead, after all?

My Review

Florence is a ghost writer for a bestselling romance novelist. But she’s having trouble finishing the current book she’s working on because she doesn’t believe in love anymore. After her relationship ended badly and she was truly betrayed Florence gave up on love. When she meets her new editor Benji she tries to get an extension which isn’t forthcoming. Then she hears the devastating news that her father has died. So with a heavy heart Florence returns to her hometown of Mairmont and it just so happens that her family own and run a funeral home. As well as being a ghost writer Florence can also see ghosts. This is something that she’s been running away from since she moved away from Mairmont. When she arrives home she expects to see the ghost of her father but what she is met with is Benji’s ghost. It appears that Benji’s unfinished business might be linked to Florence’s current manuscript. Will Florence finish her current book? Is love truly dead for Florence?

A ghost writer who sees ghosts is just the perfect idea for a book. As soon as I read the first chapter I knew this was going to be a new favourite read for me and it has definitely become that. I knew that I would like Florence as soon as I met her especially when she describes herself as being a member of the Addams Family and she buys books in particular when she is nervous.

I absolutely adored this book. The premise of the book was brilliant and I loved the storyline. Florence is such a brilliant character. She’s strange, odd, very quirky, a little weird, she doesn’t have a filter when she speaks and she sees ghosts. We share the same characteristics apart for the ghost bit. There were certain parts that I did feel truly bad for Florence. My heart broke when she found out that her father had died because she was very close to him and he was someone that truly understood her. When we learned what had happened with her ex-boyfriend and how he betrayed Florence in the worst way possible I felt so sad for Florence. After such an awful knockback like that it’s understandable why she stopped believing in love and couldn’t write about love or romance anymore.

I loved the dynamic between Florence and Benji because they just bounced off each other and were clearly very attracted to each other. Benji recognises that Florence is very unique and by spending time with her Florence realises that she shouldn’t close her heart off completely. At the same time Benji’s presence also helps Florence to deal with and process the grief of losing her father. I really liked how Florence’s family know about her gift and they’ve supported her from the beginning and embraced that this was a part of her. The surprising plot twist I did not see coming but it was a happy twist for me because I did wonder how this book was going to end and whether I’d be smiling or whether there would be tears. I’m happy to report there were lots of smiles and a few happy tears.

A book that includes forbidden romance, that will pull at your heartstrings and will make you cheer on the main character from the outset.

Author Bio

Ashley Poston loves dread pirates, moving castles, and starry night skies.

Ashley graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in English. She has worked at Kodansha USA and Bloomsbury Publishing as a social media coordinator and marketing designer respectively. Currently, she offers her work to freelance clients and writes full-time. Her books have appeared on the Indie Next List multiple times, and have been featured in Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly, Hypable, Buzzfeed, and in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Her critically-acclaimed sci-fi duology, Heart of Iron, was named on 2019’s Rainbow List.

When not writing, she plays Dungeons and Dragons and reads fanfic. She lives in South
Carolina with her bossy cat, and they are firm believers that we’re all a bunch of weirdos looking at other weirdos, asking for their username.

Social Media Accounts:
Twitter: @ashposton
Instagram: @heyashposton
Tumblr: @notashposton
TikTok: @thatashposton
Website: http://www.ashposton.com

Extract: Tempted By Her Outcast Viking By Lucy Morris @LMorris_Author @rararesources @MillsandBoon

Synopsis

Tempted by the Warrior

But she’ll never wed

Brynhild had once been close to Erik – until he’d betrayed her, and she’d hoped never to see him again. Now the fiercely independent shieldmaiden needs Erik’s skills to rescue her sister. Striking a truce with the tough, isolated loner they reach a mutually beneficial deal: in return, she’ll help him in his quest to find a wife – by teaching him how to please a woman in bed…!

Purchase Links

https://books2read.com/u/4jgVLX

https://harpercollins.co.uk/products/tempted-by-her-outcast-viking-shieldmaiden-sisters-book-2-lucy-morris?variant=39754673717326

Extract

Brynhild was once close to Erik — until he betrayed her. Now reunited they are thrown together in a most unexpected way…

‘I wanted…to apologise…to you, Brynhild.’ His words were quiet and uncharacteristically hesitant.

‘What?’

She stumbled a little in the muddy earth and his hand snapped around her forearm to steady her. The hairs on her arm rose as if in expectation of a storm and she shrugged it off quickly.

Well, she’d not expected that!

If he’d admonished her for making assumptions earlier, or worse, offered his aid, she could have believed it.

But to say he was sorry?

He frowned at the way she’d shrugged off his touch. As if she’d insulted him.

When she had every right to do so!

‘I’ve been meaning to say it since we met again yesterday, but I never seemed to find the opportunity.’

She turned and strode forward, flustered and unsure of how to respond. Then she stopped for a moment and stared at the ground. He’d seemed sincere—hadn’t she already thought their previous feud childish? His shadow fell across hers, their shapes on the floor merging into one.

‘There is nothing to apologise for,’ she said and to her surprise she meant it. She hated him for what he’d done, that much was true, but she’d also been unkind and had humiliated him…in her own way.

She moved forward, hoping he would leave it at that. But, of course, he didn’t.

‘I think there is.’ His long stride matched her own and she felt an odd excitement rush through her veins. They were forced closer together as the twisting path between the buildings became suddenly narrower. ‘I was young and still trying to prove myself to my father. A waste of time, as I later learned… But, regardless, I shouldn’t have treated you as I did. I was wrong.’

How many times had she dreamt of him saying such words?

She’d always imagined them meeting again…but on the battlefield with weapons in hand, not on the muddy paths of Jorvik.

In her fantasy he’d fallen beneath her axe, after a long and epic fight. It would have been a hard-won but satisfying victory and with his dying breath he would have wheezed out those three wonderful words… I was wrong.

Somehow this did not feel as satisfying. It felt awkward and humiliating instead. As if she were his victim and not his equal.

Anger raced through her like lightning, burning away all reason.

She grabbed him by his broad shoulders and thrust him against the nearest wall. His hands in response locked around her biceps to steady himself, his grip firm, but not painful, and the heat that radiated from his fingers only angered her further, because of the effect it had on her. It caused her body to warm and her breath to catch in her throat, shivers of longing twisted in her gut and she thrust him back a second time, the plaster on the little house cracking and crumbling with the force.

‘I don’t like you!’ she snarled, ‘I’ve never liked you! So, let’s make this very clear. I do not care if you are sorry or not! Just do as you’ve promised and get my mother a damn farm!’

They stared at one another, their breathing heavy and the tension between them thick in the silence. Their big bodies filled the space of the alley, making the wattle and daub buildings seem even more fragile and small, neither of them willing to back down, their bodies held in a tight balance of frustration and stubborn pride.

The dark pools of his eyes locked with hers and then dropped ever so slowly to her mouth. ‘There was a time when you liked me…’

Her face burned and she almost shoved him for a third time against the wall, not that it seemed to affect the big ox….which only irritated her further.

But then he frowned and looked away from her as if a sudden thought had distracted him. ‘Where is your sister?’

Author Bio

Lucy Morris has always been obsessed with myths and legends. Her books blend sweeping romance with vivid worldbuilding to whisk you away to another time and place filled with adventure. Expect passion, drama, and vibrant characters.

Lucy lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves Terry’s chocolate oranges and Irn-Bru. In her spare time, she likes to explore castles with her family, or drink bubbly with her friends.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/LucyMorrisAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/lucymorris.author/

Extract: Quest For Atlantis by Marisa Noelle #QuestForAtlantis @MarisaNoelle77 @ZooloosBT

Synopsis

MERMAIDS ARE BEING HUNTED…

They are no longer safe in the human world…

When one of her closest mermaid friends is imprisoned in a science lab for investigation, Cordelia insists on taking up the quest to find the lost island of Atlantis, a sanctuary for all the water species. But the island is guarded by the dragon kings, an ancient and formidable race who are determined to keep it for themselves.

Together with her best friends and her boyfriend, Wade, they must travel to distant pockets of the earth to collect the three magical jewels that open the portal to Atlantis.

But no one remembers how the jewels work, instructions are non-existent, and tensions are rife as Wade’s ex-girlfriend, Stephanie, appears on the scene. Plus, Cordelia must learn to harness her own emerging powers and discover if she really is the fire mermaid.

With the support of Wade’s parents, Stephanie is determined to win him back and Cordelia’s heart breaks as she watches the love of her life waver. They must be united in their quest, or the jewels will refuse to reveal themselves.

If they can’t repair their broken relationship and defeat the dragon kings, the mermaids will be captured by the humans and face the threat of extinction.

Buy Links – https://geni.us/cUUaS

Extract

The quarter moon rose into a clear sky and a chill wound around my shoulders. Groups doused their fires and packed their belongings as a beach ranger walked along the sand with a flashlight, reminding people the beach was closing. Bonfire smoke floated in the air, the smell warm and welcoming as it mingled with the salty ocean.

Wade and I pressed ourselves against the rocks, out of view, and waited for the ranger to leave. When the coast was clear, we skirted around the rock face, splashing through the gathering waves, making our way to Pirate Cove. It was an old pirate jail left over from times gone by. A grid of iron bars cemented between rocks prevented access from the beach and we had to scramble through the shallows to find the second opening.  

The hit of the water soothed me immediately, its pull beckoning me further out. But I didn’t have time to turn mermaid now. I resisted the urge to change and followed Wade along the rocks as the waves buffeted us and dragged us in the wrong direction.

Soaked, and armed with nothing more than a flashlight, we reached the entrance to the old pirate cave. Despite my chattering teeth and saturated clothing, a rush of excitement burst in my chest. We’d been waiting so long for this. 

“Here.” I chucked the bundle of key rings in Wade’s direction. One sapphire, two opals. I knew the opals represented Dylan and I, as opal was the birthstone for October. But I’d never learned what the small sapphire represented. Or maybe it had nothing to do with us at all. Just coincidence. 

Wade caught the jewels and stood in the center of the cave. The water level rose, but the rocks protected us from the currents and threatening rip tide. Wade turned in a slow circle, stumbling against the water, scanning the rocks with flashing black eyes. 

“Can you remember where the slots are?” I asked. 

“I think it’s this one.” He approached a rock protruding from the jagged wall, then ran his fingers over it. “A-ha!” 

He pulled the three jewels from their metal chains. Wade selected one of the opals, no bigger than a child’s marble, and slotted it into a small hole. Then the second. Then the elongated sapphire. As soon as he pushed the blue jewel into its hole, all three were simultaneously sucked into the rock, somewhere deep inside. 

“Wade?” I questioned. We’d come too far for this to be a dead end.

“Give it a minute,” he cautioned.

As if his words were a magic spell, the rock vibrated. The top section of the rock slid away, as though attached by a well-oiled hinge, to reveal a hidden chamber within the rock.

Author Bio

Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy & mental health including The Shadow Keepers, The Unadjusteds Trilogy (The Unadjusteds, The Rise of the Altereds, & The Reckoning), and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep. 

She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. With dual citizenship, Marisa has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and uses settings in both the USA and UK as inspiration for her novels. 

When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words. 

Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children. You can find her on Twitter @MarisaNoelle77 or her website http://www.MarisaNoelle.com

Follow her at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarisaNoelle77/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marisanoelle77/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarisaNoelle77

Goodreads :https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18305427.Marisa_Noelle

Website : www.MarisaNoelle.com

Book Review: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais #witchesmoonshynemanor @BiancaM_author @Harper360UK @RandomTTours

Synopsis

A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Summoned by an alarm, five octogenarian witches gather around Ursula when danger is revealed to her in a vision. An angry mob of townsmen is advancing with a wrecking ball, determined to demolish Moonshyne Manor and Distillery. All eyes turn to Queenie—as the witch in charge, it’s her job to reassure them—but she confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments and property taxes. Queenie has been counting on Ruby’s return in two days to fix everything. Ruby is the only one who knows where the treasure is hidden, those valuable artifacts stolen 33 years ago on the night when everything went horribly wrong. Why didn’t clairvoyant Ursula see this coming sooner? Wasn’t Ivy supposed to be working her botanical magic to keep the townsmen in a state of perpetual drugged calm, all while Jezebel quelled revolts through seductive bewitchment?

The mob is only the start of the witches’ troubles. Brad Gedney, a distant cousin of Ivy, is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy that was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. And things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

In a race against time, the women have nine days to save their home and business. The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but fear their aging powers are no match against increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of extra help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender, and uplifting, THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family, and unlikely friendships. Marais’ true power is her clever prose that offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity, and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Both heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you wonder: why were we taught to fear the witches, and not the men who burned them? Above all, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

My Review

Moonshyne Manor is the home of witches Ursula, Jezebel, Ivy, Tabitha and Queenie who also run a distillery. They each have their own unique gift and although they have different personalities they are bound to each other by sisterhood and love. However, Moonshyne Manor is under threat when a mob turns up threatening to demolish their home and Queenie discloses that they have fallen behind on the mortgage payments. However, they hope that things will sort themselves out when Ruby who has been away for thirty three years returns. But Ruby’s return isn’t what they hoped it would be. The sisters must now save their home with the help of a newcomer and outsider Persephone and revisit the magical heist that went wrong many years ago.

When I first started reading I wasn’t sure about this book but things became clearer as the book progressed. What we know from the beginning is that the Manor is under threat of being demolished because there are mortgage payments outstanding. Persephone, who is much younger than the sisters appears and wants to help them secure their home. This is the first time an outsider has been allowed into the inner circle but there is something about Persephone that is different At the same time Ruby is due to return home. From the beginning there is a lot of mystery surrounding Ruby, where she has been and why she has been gone for so long. The imminent arrival of Ruby also raises mixed feelings with the sisters, some believe she is the answer to all their problems and some are a little uncertain about her return. The reason for Ruby’s absence becomes clear as the story unfolds as it is connected to a heist many years ago when the sisters were trying to recover a magical artefact. The consequences of the heist not only affected Ruby but also the sisters immensely. It’s clear from the outset that the men in the town have had their eye on Moonshyne Manor for many years. Rather than let its inhabitants live in peace their one goal is to get their hands on it and raise it to the ground.

My favourite thing about the book was the characters. The sisters were colourful, different, eccentric, smart and had a combination of characteristics. However, the one thing that bound them together was the idea of family and sisterhood. It’s clear that they are really protective of each other and truly care for each other. They’re not keen on outsiders until Persephone comes along and they realise that there is room in their inner circle for another. When I was reading the storyline I was getting Practical Magic and Witches of Eastwick vibes with a hint of witchy Golden Girls. I loved the snippets from The Moonshyne Manor Grimoire that included spells and recipes.

If you’re a fan of books that include witches, magic, sisterhood and feminism then this is a book you’ll enjoy.

Author Bio

Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh (Putnam, 2017 and 2019). She teaches at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021. A believer in the power of storytelling in advancing social justice, Marais runs the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative to empower young Black women in Africa to write and publish their own stories, and is constantly fundraising to assist grandmothers in Soweto with caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In 2020, Marais started the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.

Book Review: Daughter Of Darkness by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr #DaughterofDarkness #HouseofShadows @katharinecorr @lizcorr_writes @HotKeyBooksYA @instabooktours

Synopsis

The Underworld awaits . . .

Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world – unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.

Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.

So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades. . . The prize of freedom is before her – but what will it take to reach it?

My Review

Deina is a Soul Severer. Her role is to help guide the dying from the mortal world to Hades and the underworld. Essentially helping to bridge the gap between the land of the living and the land of the dead. For every soul that she helps to cross over she becomes one step closer to earning her own soul back. When Orpheus offers the Soul Severers the chance to earn gold and their freedom to whoever can bring his wife Eurydice back from the underworld, Deina knows this is an opportunity she can’t pass up. However, she has competition from her fellow Soul Severers who also want the same. Will Deina succeed in her mission and as her journey unfolds with her fellow Soul Severs what is the real reason behind Orpheus’ task.

So to say that this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year would be a little bit of an understatement. As soon as this book was on my radar I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy and get reading. I am a big fan of Greek mythology, Greek retellings and anything that includes the Greek Gods. What initially struck me when I started to read is that this is a YA Greek fantasy novel that I wish had been around when I was younger because there was nothing like this available and the only books that covered Greek mythology were reference books, but nothing with a fictional element.

From the outset I was transported to Deina’s world. The descriptions were rich, detailed and the world building was amazing. I loved the storyline. Essentially we have a main character who is trying to obtain her freedom as well as that of her friend Chryse by undertaking a task. A task which isn’t easy, her safety isn’t guaranteed and could result in her position not changing. One of the main competitors among the other Soul Severers is Theron who Deina has history with but what happened between them isn’t apparent from the beginning but is explained further on in the book. It was hard not to like Deina as a character. She is fierce, strong, determined and knows what she wants which is freedom. At the same time she wants to make sure that Chryse is not left behind showing that she is also a selfless person. I loved the dynamic between Deina and Theron because at the start they appear to be enemies and really get under each other’s skin. However, when they interact there is something else bubbling under the surface that hints that there is more to their relationship than meets the eye.

What I loved about this book is that it’s based around Greek Mythology and we get to see different Greek Gods make an appearance such as Orpheus, Eurydice and Charon. Some of my favourite scenes were when Deina met Hades and when the Soul Severers encountered Cerberus. One of my favourite aspects of the story was that having read many reference books on Greek Mythology the story perfectly portrays how the Gods were known tricksters and in some ways could be quite cruel. They would draw people or other beings into their games and then watch from a distance to see what would happen next. As for that ending wow, just wow. I couldn’t believe the way the book ended and when I read the epilogue my little heart was very sad. I knew this book was going to be a duology so I can’t wait to read the next book.

A book I would highly recommend to anyone who loves Greek fantasy stories that includes adventure and where Greek mythology comes to life with the turn of each page.

Author Bios

Katharine and Elizabeth Corr are sisters originally from Essex, now living in Surrey. When they both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious they should do it together. They can sometimes be found in one of their local coffee shops, arguing over which character to kill off next. Katharine and Elizabeth are authors of the enthralling A Throne of Swans duology and the spell-binding trilogy The Witch’s Kiss.

Spotlight: The Invisible by Michelle Dunne @NotDunneYet @rararesources

Synopsis

A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbour town.

Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?

People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.

Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Lindsey-Ryan-thrillers/dp/1838457747
US – https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-psychological-thriller-Lindsey-thrillers-
ebook/dp/B09TPJKJBS/

Soldiers & Mental Health

PTSD is a strong theme in the Lindsey Ryan series. But aside from the effects of war, death and destruction on soldiers – the day to day life of a soldier serving in conflict zones in itself can have a huge effect on their mental health. Here are some of the things that most people don’t think about. This article is taken from my own experience.

Firstly, there’s a lack of sleep thanks to the shelling that took place almost on a nightly basis. As red tracer rounds lit up the night sky above us; an Irish company being pummelled by heavy artillery, blowing out generators, leaving craters in the road, direct hits to just about every corner of the tiny camp that they called home. The un-exploded mortar round that would have taken out an occupied accommodation block had it functioned as it should have. The adrenaline that courses through the body as you call in a Med-Evac for two of your friends, while also having to state that the area was still red, meaning that the Med-Evac couldn’t come any time soon. The feeling of relief and camaraderie the next day as camp gets re-built and jokes are cracked about “the look on your face when …”

These are the situations that soldiers are very well trained for. Civilians don’t talk about these details much, because they don’t really know. These aren’t things that soldiers pick up the phone about. No-one wanted their parents, partners, friends, families worrying about their safety, so if the story doesn’t make the news, then they never know. If it does, then the standard response is along the lines of “oh that was miles away from where I am.”

So what about the bits that the army can’t train you for? Did you know that a rumour can make it from Ireland to Lebanon or vice versa, faster than Uber Eats can deliver a curry? I’ve seen soldiers much stronger than me almost drive themselves insane about the fact that their partner was “seen with someone else”. Men have come off the phone from their wives after being told that the bailiffs were at the door, threatening to take away their family home. A soldier who’s kid was being bullied at school. Parents with health problems, relationships breaking down … the list goes on and what can anyone do about it? Nothing. It’s all happening thousands of miles away and a soldier’s head needs to be very much in the game when they work in a war zone.

Soldiers often return home to a very different reality to the one that they left. But even if everything at home is the same, they see things differently now because of the experiences that they’ve had and other people can never really understand any of it. Simple things like walking through the aisles of your local supermarkets while your partner discusses the merits of custard creams over Hob-Nobs, can feel very, very wrong all of a sudden now that you know what’s going on in that tiny village that no-one else in the biscuit aisle has ever heard of.  Add to that our culture of not talking about any of it, particularly if it becomes a struggle and there you have it!

The Invisible tells the story of Lindsey Ryan, a former soldier trying to adjust to civilian life four years after being severely injured on a UN patrol in Syria. Keeping her PTSD to herself is priority, but the manner in which she chooses to counteract it will eventually cause her two worlds to collide.

Author Bio

Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined the Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit, to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper
with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland.

During her time in Lebanon, she got to experience first hand the camaraderie
between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening
situations. She also got to experience how ordinary families tried to live in conflict
zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.

The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series,
following on from While Nobody is Watching, which is currently in development for television and inspired by her military experiences and the types of relationships that form within army ranks.

Social Media Links –
https://twitter.com/NotDunneYet
https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDunneAuthor/
https://www.michelledunnebooks.com/

Spotlight: The Cursebound Thief by Megan O’Russell #thecurseboundthief @MeganORussell @instabooktours

Synopsis

The world wants a hero. The curse needs a thief.

The party of the decade stands between Jerek Holden and saving the people he would do anything to protect. After twelve years, he’s finally found a way to break the curse that ripped all magic from the world and destroyed the peace that took generations to build. All he needs is one, simple artifact. But he can’t steal the heliostone alone.

A girl with a soul of fire.
A vampire bound by a vow.
A werewolf bent on revenge.
A knight torn between honor and duty.
A hacker to keep them all alive.

The fate of magic lies in their hands―if they can survive long enough to pull off the heist of the century.

Author Bio

Megan O’Russell is the author of several Young Adult series that invite readers to escape into worlds of adventure. From Girl of Glass, which blends dystopian darkness with the heart-pounding danger of vampires, to Ena of Ilbrea, which draws readers into an epic world of magic and assassins.

With the Girl of Glass series, The Tethering series, The Chronicles of Maggie TrentThe Tale of Bryant Adams, the Ena of Ilbrea series, and several more projects planned, there are always exciting new books on the horizon. To be the first to hear about new releases, free short stories, and giveaways, sign up for Megan’s newsletter here.

Originally from Upstate New York, Megan is a professional musical theatre performer whose work has taken her across North America. Her chronic wanderlust has led her from Alaska to Thailand and many places in between. Wanting to travel has fostered Megan’s love of books that allow her to visit countless new worlds from her favorite reading nook. 

Megan is also a lyricist and playwright. Information on her theatrical works can be found at RussellCompositions.com.

She would be thrilled to chat with you on Facebook or Twitter @MeganORussell, and over the moon if you’d like the pictures of her adventures on Instagram @ORussellMegan.

Podcast Case Files: Short Crime Fiction Stories #casefiles #podcast @RachelAmphlett @RandomTTours

About The Podcast

Crime fiction author Rachel Amphlett has created a plot twist for mystery fans – a short story podcast.

Inspired by research from Bookwire that revealed Gen Z enjoys listening to crime stories as much as reading them, Rachel headed to the recording studio.

If you love audio drama or true crime podcasts, then Case Files: Short Crime Fiction Stories is just for you. With each episode of the series less than an hour, you can grab a crime fiction fix over lunch, while walking the dog, or in the gym. Season one will see a new story released each week from September 26 to October 31 and a second season is in production.

Rachel said: “True crime podcasts are popular, you’ve got scripted audio drama like radio plays, and you’ve got some people who take their audiobooks and serialise them. But as far as I can find, there are no crime fiction or murder mystery publishers regularly sharing new stories by their authors on podcasts. 

“This got me thinking about whether I could reach a new demographic of readers through a different worldwide audience and nurture them into readers of my audiobooks, my ebooks, or my print books. It’s providing a connection between a podcast audience and an audiobook audience.”

Case Files: Short Crime Fiction Stories is available on all major podcast apps including Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts. For episode updates go to www.shortcrimestories.com.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/37azQCNLhDfQxq87teZma4

Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.co.uk/podcasts/f5b8268a-96ff-461e-90d9-73ea5999bf44/case-files-short-crime-fiction-stories

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/case-files-short-crime-fiction-stories/id1643538895

Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5hY2FzdC5jb20vcHVibGljL3Nob3dzL2Nhc2UtZmlsZXMtc2hvcnQtY3JpbWUtZmljdGlvbi1zdG9yaWVz

My Thoughts

I have been a fan of true crime since I can remember even before I studied law at A-level. I love anything crime based whether that be in books, TV or film. There’s just something about these stories that fascinate me whether they be based on fact or fiction. One thing that I’ve been looking for for a while is a crime podcast that I can listen to and I can’t wait until this one is released. I have listened to the introduction podcast and I already know that this is going to be a podcast that I’m going to enjoy listening to and I’ve already subscribed so I don’t miss the first episode.

Author Bio

Rachel has written more than 30 crime novels and short stories featuring spies, detectives, vigilantes, and assassins. The USA Today bestselling author has created two detective series, Detective Kay Hunter and Detective Mark Turpin as well as thrillers featuring Dan Taylor and Eva Delacourt. 

Inspired by reading books as a child, her aim is ‘to write gripping stories that you won’t want to put down’.

She said: “The first tales I fell in love with were written by Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Rod Serling and Roald Dahl.

“They wrote short stories where the good guys didn’t always win, where I found myself smiling at what the bad guys sometimes got away with. I’d often feel a shiver of anticipation as the page turned and the author posed the question “What if?” For example, what if a contract killer needed to see a chiropractor on a regular basis? And what if you discovered that your husband was a serial killer? What would you do?”

Book Review: Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah #monstersbornandmade @tanviberwah @ed_pr @SourcebooksFire @CourtInABook

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.

In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers-the ruling elite, have indentured Koral’s family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others-if they’re lucky-survive.

When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family’s financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can’t afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral’s only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.

But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When riots break out and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose-her life or her sister’s-before the whole island burns.

My Review

Sixteen year old Koral and her brother Emrik are maristag hunters. Their goal is to capture maristags, breed them, train their off offspring to tolerate land and then sell them to the Landers to compete in the Glory Race. Whilst attempting to catch a maristag Emrik is injured and they are unable to catch the last maristag of the year. Koral realises that they will not have enough money to provide for their family or enough money to pay for her little sister Liria’s medication so Koral decides that she has no other option than to take part in the Glory Race which also brings her face to face with her ex-boyfriend Dorian who she hasn’t spoken to in 2 years when he left her without any explanation. Will Koral win the Glory Race and will be still be able to participate despite others plans to sabotage her?

The synopsis for this book intrigued me from the beginning because it sounded really interesting and had a very Hunger Games feel to it. The storyline was well plotted and easy to follow. It was written in so much detail that at times it felt like I was catching maristag and taking part in the Glory Race with Koral. When I started reading I was transported to Koral’s world which is not a world I would want to live in because it’s all about survival and hierarchy. Where the hierarchy is concerned Koral is quite far at the bottom and the only way for her and her family to survive is for her to catch maristags. I really liked Koral as a character. She is determined but she’s also very capable because she is one of the main people that catch maristag and therefore she is probably the best person to take part in the race and be successful. Whether she is or not you’ll have to read the book to find out. Although Koral is set on winning the Glory Race amid other complications she also has to deal with the fact that one of her opponents is Dorian. It is clear that Koral has conflicting feelings for Dorian which is understandable as she still doesn’t know the reason he left but this becomes clear as the story progresses. Knowing that this was a South Asian inspired fantasy and that the main character and others would look like me made me love this book even more. When I came across the paragraph where one of the characters is described as wearing a sari, this really made me smile.

The book ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger so I’m intrigued to see if there will be a second book as I am intrigued to see more of Koral’s journey.

An action packed YA fantasy novel!

Author Bio

Tanvi Berwah is a South Asian writer who grew up wanting to touch the stars and reach back in time. She graduated from the University of Delhi with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Literature of English and lives in India. This is her debut novel.

Book Review: Janet Jackson’s Yorkshire B&B by Becky Papworth @beckypapworth1 @rararesources

Synopsis

Yorkshire lass and dental receptionist Janet Jackson has just taken a big risk. Using all her savings, she’s turned her spacious garage into a Bed and Breakfast, slapped a sign on it and without any experience at all, is now awaiting her very first guests.

With a moody teenage daughter and a crazy sister to contend with she’s already got her work cut out. The trouble she soon discovers, is that guests have undesirable habits, annoying pets and endless demands. ‘Is it bloody worth it?’ she asks herself a dozen times a day. Janet gradually learns her trade – but not without being tested to her limits. The question is: will she come through the experience with her bank balance, cottage and her sanity intact?

Hugely entertaining but a word of warning: if ever you’ve thought of running a B&B, read this hilarious debut novel first– you might want to think again!

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Jacksons-Yorkshire-B-ebook/dp/B0B77SK3QK/
US – https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Jacksons-Yorkshire-B-ebook/dp/B0B77SK3QK/

My Review

Having converted the garage/annex into a B&B, Janet decides to take a leap and advertise it. Throw in a colourful array of guests, noisy neighbours, planning enquiries, running her own household with teenager Chloe, her free spirited sister Maureen, her daily job as a dental receptionist and Janet is going rushed off her feet. With no experience in managing a B&B how will Janet cope.

This was such a fun, short and quirky book. From the beginning I was thrown into Janet’s world where she’s converted her garage/annex into a B&B but hasn’t taken that step into the world of providing accommodation to visitors. Janet’s world from the outset is truly chaotic but was also funny and memorable to be in. At the same time she’s dealing with the B&B she’s dealing with her daughter Chloe who is a typical teenager and her sister Maureen who is probably one of the most unique characters I’ve ever met. One thing is for sure I wouldn’t want to be in Janet’s position and don’t think I could run a B&B or deal with the issues that Janet has to deal with. Initially Janet’s first booking doesn’t really go to plan and she questions whether or not this is something she wants to do but instead of giving up she carries on and makes her B&B a success. Having and running the B&B is definitely new to Janet and she’s still trying to find her feet. At times it did feel like Chloe and Maureen didn’t appreciate how much Janet was dealing with and everything felt like it was on Janet’s shoulders, until they started to help out. Janet was quite a quirky character. I loved how she intended to call the B&B Lavender Cottage but then when she realises that the name is spelt wrong on the business cards she decides to change the name of the cottage to Lavander Cottage. I really liked that the chapters were short and punchy. In each chapter we are given an insight into what is happening in Janet’s personal life but also we learn more about the B&B guests, some of whom were perfect guests and some who were a complete nightmare.

A light hearted and fun read!

Author Bio


Becky Papworth has spent 20 years making people laugh as a TV Producer on shows
like Have I Got News For you, Rab. C. Nesbitt and Citizen Khan. She’s hoping to entertain some readers with this account of running a B&B, much of it based on her actual experience, she’s not saying which bits…

Social Media Links
https://twitter.com/beckypapworth1
https://www.instagram.com/beckypapworth/