Monday, 30 November 2020

BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY - CECILIA HOUSE BY SIMON GANDOSSI

What kind of mystery hides within the walls of ‘Cecilia House’?

Simon Gandossi’s latest novel tells story of a young girl who, despite her innocence, finds herself experiencing unimaginable pain


Title: Cecilia House
Author: Simon Gandossi
Publisher: Xlibris AU
Genre: Historical Non Fiction
Release Date: 28th September 2019

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Book Tours
Life is a precious gift and it can change within the blink of an eye. This is something Patricia discovered at a young age. After an extremely tragic event, her loving family, good friends along with many dreams and aspirations were all gone. As an unwanted child, she is sent to what was supposed to be a place of lovingness and warmth. But coming to Cecilia House sets in motion Patricia’s life downward spiral. She soon discovers that those responsible for her care added so much more pain and sadness to many lives instead. What occurred within the walls of Cecilia House was one of the most despicable and atrocious acts to ever happen within an organization whose duty is to protect innocent children.

Gandossi, through Patricia’s story, allows readers to experience the same feelings and emotions as the main character (and of the innocent children who suffered abuse from the hands of those supposed to provide them welfare and care).

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Western Australia, author Simon Gandossi grew up on a small quiet farm. At an early age, he began to visit museums. As he looked at the various antiques, he created stories about each of them in his mind which would later come to life when his father bought him his first computer. This passion for history grew over the years making him one of the best up-and-coming historical fiction writers. His first two books, “Elsa” and “For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story,” have gained outstanding reviews from several major bookstores and critics. His unique perspective carries on to his newest novel, “Cecilia House.”

AUTHOR LINKS
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Bookbub 
Goodreads




GIVEAWAY
$10 B&N Card

 Rafflecopter giveaway






Saturday, 28 November 2020

BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY - HERESY - THE HERETICS SAGA BY C.A. CAMPBELL


Title: Heresy
Series: The Heretics Saga
Author: C.A. Campbell
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Release Date: 7th November 2020

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Book Tours
In Arcadia, being different is HERESY.

Heresy is DEATH.

To survive, citizens must live, dress, and even love according to the United Council’s will. Their power is absolute—until a rebel bomb ignites at a national ceremony and unites the lives of three unlikely people.

When the bombing goes wrong, Nicolette Howell, a young heretic, finds herself alone and on the run, bearing secrets that Arcadia would kill for. When she’s captured, she must escape, but how can she, when her best chance lies with the son of her sworn enemy?

Driven by the execution of an innocent, Jacob Osgood, a United Councilor’s son, hunts for the truth about the heretic movement that Arcadia has hidden. But truth could cost him the one thing he cannot stand to lose: the girl who saved his life at the bombing.

Shiloh Haven, the orphaned daughter of heretics, is forced to become Arcadia’s spy in a sinister plot to destroy the heretic army. She faces a terrible choice: survive or risk everything to save the boy she might just love and the rebels who are her only chance of being free.

As their fates entwine, the three must answer an impossible question.

WHAT WOULD YOU DIE FOR?

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

You can checkout the Book Trailer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C. A. Campbell hails from Kansas City (The Missouri side, if you please), where she shares her writing space with her husband and three ridiculous dogs. She splits her time between writing, saving tiny lives, and teaching students how not to kill people as a neonatal intensive care nurse and nurse educator. When she’s not working, she can be found (likely, in her pajamas) making things out of yarn, listening to a true crime podcast, or yelling at medical errors in television shows. Heresy is her debut novel.

AUTHOR LINKS

EXCERPT
The Elite stopped at the center of the stage and yanked the sack from her face, giving Shiloh her first real look at Hope. Shiloh inhaled sharply. With bones poking like knives from her ashen skin, Hope looked as though she might fade away. Her wild hair, that Shiloh had braided a thousand times, was gone.

Finally, Hope turned toward Shiloh and smiled. And that smile was still so beautifully, wonderfully her, that it seemed to erase the distance and the time between them. For a second, time turned back to two years ago, sitting at dinner at the Haven, mouthing words to each other and reading lips so Mother and the Aunts couldn’t hear what they were saying.

Hope’s mouth moved. “Shi.”

Shiloh took a step forward and then stopped herself. No emotion. Hope remained a heretic until she was Cleansed, and Shiloh had to pretend to reject her as such.

Instead, Shiloh mouthed. “I missed you.”

Councilor Osgood spoke. “Hope Haven, you committed heresy against Arcadia by possessing pages of a religious text and admitting to belief in the Christian god. This violated your duty to ensure the unity and peace of Arcadia, as well as betraying your loyalty to the United Council which should be above all others.”

Hope’s smile slipped, and a fire danced in her eyes. Two years in prison and that fire still blazed.

“Hope Haven, do you renounce your heresy and swear to live according to the duties of an Arcadian citizen? Will you pledge that there is no god; there is only us?”

Hope dragged her gaze away from Shiloh and looked out to the crowd. Her chin lifted high.

Shiloh swallowed. Please, Hope.

Hope turned her eyes back to Shiloh and mouthed, “I’m so sorry. I love you.”

Shiloh’s blood turned to ice.

The Councilor cleared his throat. “Hope Haven?”

Hope jerked her head to look the Councilor straight in the eyes.

Please, Shiloh wanted to scream. Please, don’t do this!

But she did. “No.”

The Councilor recoiled. “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

“I said no.”

The whole room caught its breath. The Councilor stared mutely. This was not how the script went.

Hope took advantage of the silence. “I will not abandon my beliefs. I am done, done conforming to Arcadia’s ways. You can send me back to the prison camp or you can kill me like you—”

“Shut up!” one of the Elite barked, driving his prod into Hope’s back. As the electrical current passed through her body, she jerked and fell to her knees.

Shiloh sprang forward, every inch of her screaming to come to Hope’s aid. A hand seized her wrist, yanking her back. She turned, and a pair of warm, brown eyes met her own.

“Don’t,” Jacob Osgood hissed, low enough that only she could hear. “They will kill you too.”

Shiloh whipped her hand away, heart pounding in her ears, but he was right. Rule #1. She stayed but jerked her eyes back to Hope, who remained on her knees, gasping through the pain.

“You can kill me,” Hope continued, “like you killed my parents, but you will not decide how I think or believe or who I love.”

Shut up. Shiloh wanted to scream. Hot tears stung the back of her eyes, but she didn’t dare let them fall. Please, just shut up.

But her voice only grew louder. “You wanted to create a world with no differences. Ha!”

The stick jammed into Hope’s side again. This time, she shrieked in pain, and the sound echoed in Shiloh’s bones.

“Enough!” the Councilor barked. “Get her out of here.”

The Elite seized Hope’s arms, and without waiting for her to get to her feet, dragged her toward the edge of the stage. Still, she wouldn’t stop. “You just decided which differences wouldn’t be acceptance. This isn’t acceptance. This is in—”

The Elite’s fist slammed in her throat, and the gasp that escaped from her mouth scraped like saw blades down Shiloh’s spine. Even Jacob Osgood shuddered. She didn’t speak after that, and the Elite got her to the steps.

This can’t…This can’t be happening!

Shiloh couldn’t be watching them take her away. Again. Within her, everything wailed in agony, but Shiloh closed her eyes, forcing herself to remain blank.

Rule #3. Rule #3. Breathe in, breathe out.

“Councilor Osgood,” a voice boomed from the audience. Councilor Beck, the only other Councilor present, surged to her feet from the front row. She spoke steadily, but her eyes crackled with flames. “You know the protocol for a refusal.”

The Elite froze. Hope landed, crumpled like a doll on the floor. Councilor Osgood stared at his fellow Councilor and then at the girl, with her face pressed to the wood, but didn’t speak.

Councilor Beck snorted and crossed her arms. “Elite #767, do your duty.”

The Elite nodded. He yanked Hope onto her knees and drew his gun from his hip.

Then Shiloh understood.

This was no longer a Cleansing.

This was an execution.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

REVIEW - RED EYE ARMAGEDDON SEASON THREE EPISODE TWO BY CLAIRE C RILEY & ELI CONSTANT

The truth will come out…no matter how hard you try to lie. 

Barrett continues to keep Sam and Rose apart. 

Nolan teeters on the edge of death.

 

Title: Red Eye Armageddon 
            Season Three, Episode Two
Authors: Claire C Riley & Eli Constant
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic, Zombies
Release Date: 22nd October 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
A new location brings more terror as Rose and Sam find themselves at the mercy of Barrett’s crew, The Sins.

Now separated from both Sam and Nolan, Rose is a caged animal, terrified but determined to find the people she cares about the most. But how much can one person take?

More than ever, Rose would give anything to be sat in a boring office back in England right now.

Sam’s secret is never safe; that’s a reality she’s learning to live with. Barrett has protected her up until now, yet surrounded by his so-called family, she wonders how long it will be before he turns on her…

Sam longs for the days when her biggest problems were a failed relationship, too many carbs, and a sprained ankle.

Life has never been easy, not before the zombies and certainly not after. But even with the dead rising, it is the living that are causing the most problems. It’s the humans that elicit the most fear, that make the apocalypse bloodier, and that kill anyone necessary to survive.

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
After reading the last episode I would have read this one straight away if I could have! This book more or less picks up where the last episode ended. So, its straight back into the action at the old theme park that the Sins call their base and home. Now Sam, Rose and Nolan are right in the middle of Barrett’s domain. Can they survive the harshness and dog eat dog way of life that the Sins live? Will we find out in this episode where Barrett’s real loyalties lie?

It becomes pretty clear that there’s going to come a point where Barrett will need to choose exactly where his true alliances are. He has been part of the Sin brotherhood for a long time earning him a certain amount of power, say and privileges those that join after him do not have. He has to use his years in the Sins and the power it gives him to keep himself and more importantly Sam safe on more than one occasion. Barrett has to assert his authority over Stash when it’s made clear he would like some “private time” with Sam. Barrett has to make sure everyone including boss Nathan thinks beyond doubt that Sam belongs to Barrett.

It is Barrett’s fascination with Sam and the idea of sticking with just one female that sets Nathan thinking that maybe he could have someone for just himself too, and his evil gaze lands on Rose. Rose goes from being in her underwear in a cage inside Nathan’s office, to being sent to the Sins brothel to get cleaned up to watch a pit fight. Of course, Rose can’t stand the fighting and causes a scene which makes Nathan extremely angry as it is an embarrassment in front of his own boss Charlie. Nathan gives her just one more chance and makes it clear exactly where she will end up and what she will be doing if she doesn’t play the part, he wants her to. Rose has to be a “ring girl” at the next pit fight! She has to walk round with a number, then sit to one side and watch the fight. Naturally Rose struggles with watching the zombies and human prisoners fighting, which sickens her, though she seems to have gained a little sympathy from Elias the guy that Nathan has put in charge of keeping her in check and making sure she doesn’t leave.

Rose ends up making two deals, but I won’t spoil what they are. You could say both deals are made with the devil in this episode. The devil she doesn’t know, Nathan which shows that Rose is very brave and prepared to put her own life on the line for her friends, Sam and Nolan. The second deal is with the devil she knows, Barrett, at the very end of the episode, once again it is made around the safety of her friends. I think Rose is becoming less na├»ve and will agree to things to make it appear she will co-operate and then do what she feels is right when the time comes. I guess you could say Rose is becoming more street wise in the awful world she has found herself existing in. It remains to be seen which deal turns out the best and in who’s favour. Will Rose have to give up something she isn’t prepared to lose?

A new favourite character in this episode was Elias when he told Rose to close her eyes. Nathan was close enough to see was sat and appeared to be watching but he wouldn’t be able to tell if her eyes were open or closed.

I thoroughly enjoyed disliking Nathan and how he treats the women the Sins have taken in. The women may be safe from the zombies but they are more or less imprisoned and used by whatever man wants them. The way he mistreats, bullies and terrorises Rose, I am hoping he gets taken down a peg or two in the next episode.

In this episode my opinion of Barrett really varied, one minute he is protecting Sam and dare I say he seems to have genuine feelings for her. Then the next moment he is betraying Sam and keeping his knowledge about where Rose is from her. There’s also the deal he makes with Rose, this time he is lying about Sam to Rose. Is the deal some elaborate plot by Barrett to betray Rose, and get rid of her? Does he really care for Sam? So many questions to be answered in the next episode! What will Sam think to the deal between Barrett and Rose? Is Sam really beginning to be able to control her “inner zombie” powers?

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were Oh wow! Seriously? How could it end right there, like that? I so neeed the next episode right now!!

Summing up this was another really great episode in the amazing Red Eye Armageddon Series! Definitely looking forward to reading more and hopefully getting my questions answered too! I could go on more about this episode but I am trying so hard not to give away too much.




Wednesday, 25 November 2020

WISHLIST WEDNESDAY - GIRL ONE BY SARA FLANNERY MURPHY

 

Title: Girl One
Author: Sara Flannery Murphy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: 1st June 2021

BLURB from Goodreads
Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead. When a suspicious fire destroys the commune and claims the lives of two of the Homesteaders, the remaining Girls and their Mothers scatter across the United States and lose touch.

Years later, Margaret Morrow goes missing, and Josie sets off on a desperate road trip, tracking down her estranged sisters who seem to hold the keys to her mother’s disappearance. Tracing the clues Margaret left behind, Josie joins forces with the other Girls, facing down those who seek to eradicate their very existence while uncovering secrets about their origins and unlocking devastating abilities they never knew they had.

A spellbinding supernatural thriller, Girl One combines the provocative imagination of Naomi Alderman's The Power with the propulsive, cinematic storytelling of a Marvel movie. In her electrifying new novel, Sara Flannery Murphy digs deep into women’s extraordinary power and reveals an unassailable truth: so much strength lies in numbers.
 


PURCHASE LINKS





Tuesday, 24 November 2020

BLACK FRIDAY WEEK!



Check out the Black Friday Reader's Catalog with 2020's popular books!

USA Today, NYT, and Amazon Bestselling authors with B-I-G discounts.


Sales last all week!


Take a look at the catalog

https://mailchi.mp/7ef5cf13201f/black-friday-readers-catalog






Monday, 23 November 2020

BLOG TOUR - PRETENDING BY HOLLY BOURNE



Title: Pretending
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: MIRA Books, Harpercollins
Release Date: 17th December 2020

BLURB supplied by MIRA Books/Harpercollins
In this hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel perfect for fans of Fleabag, a woman struggling to move on after a traumatic relationship pretends to be “the perfect girl” in an act of vengeance that goes awry when she finds herself emotionally compromised.

He said he was looking for a 'partner in crime' which everyone knows is shorthand for 'a woman who isn't real'.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal - yet she can't seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she's found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry. Until she realizes that what men are really looking for is Gretel.

Gretel is perfect - beautiful but low maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not a slut. She's a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun - especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

EXCERPT

 I hate men.

There, I’ve said it. I know you’re not supposed to say it. We all pretend we don’t hate them; we all tell ourselves we don’t hate them. But I’m calling it. I’m standing here on this soapbox, and I’m saying it.

I. Hate. Men.

I mean, think about it. They’re just awful. I hate how selfish they are. How they take up so much space, assuming it’s always theirs to take. How they spread out their legs on public transport, like their balls need regular airing to stop them developing damp. I hate how they basically scent mark anywhere they enter to make it work for them. Putting on the music they want to listen to the moment they arrive at any house party, and always taking the nicest chair. How they touch your stuff instead of just looking; even tweak the furniture arrangement to make it most comfortable for them. All without asking first—never asking first.

I hate how they think their interests are more important than yours—even though twice a week all most of them do is watch a bunch of strangers kick a circle around a piece of lawn and sulk if the circle doesn’t go in the right place. And how bored they look if you ever try to introduce them to a film, a band, or even a freaking YouTube clip, before you’ve even pressed Play.

I hate their endless arrogance. I hate how they interrupt you and then apologize for it but carry on talking anyway. How they ask you a question but then check your answer afterward. I hate how they can never do one piece of housework without telling you about it. I hate how they literally cannot handle being driven in a car by a woman, even if they’re terrible drivers themselves. I hate how they all think they’re fucking incredible at grilling meat on barbecues. The sun comes out and man must light fire and not let woman anywhere near the meat. Dumping blackened bits of chicken onto our plates along with the whiff of a burp from their beer breath, acting all caveman, like we’re supposed to find it cute that we may now get salmonella and that we’re going to have to do all the washing up.

I hate how I’m quite scared of them. I hate the collective noise of them when they’re in a big group. The tribal wahey-ing, like they all swap their IQs for extra testosterone when they swarm together. How, if you’re sitting alone on an empty train, they always come and deliberately sit next to you en masse, and talk extra loudly about macho nonsense, apparently to impress you. I hate the way they look at you when you walk past—automatically judging your screwability the moment they see you. Telling you to smile if you dare look anything other than delighted about living with stuff like this constantly fucking happening to you. 

I hate how hard they are to love. How many of them actually, truly, think the way to your heart is sending you a selfie of them tugging themselves, hairy ball sack very much still in shot. I hate how they have sex. How they shove their fingers into you, thinking it’s going to achieve anything. Jabbing their unwashed hands into your dry vagina, prodding about like they’re checking for prostate cancer, then wondering why you now have BV and you still haven’t come. Have none of them read a sex manual? Seriously? None of them? And I hate how they hate you a little just after they’ve finished. How even the nice ones lie there with cold eyes, pretending to cuddle, but clearly desperate to get as far away from you as possible.

I hate how it’s never equal. How they expect you to do all the emotional labor and then get upset when you’re the more stressed-out one. I hate how they never understand you, no matter how hard they try, although, let’s be honest here, they never actually try that hard. And I hate how you’re always exhausting yourself trying to explain even the most basic of your rational emotional responses to their bored face.

I hate how every single last one of them has issues with their father.

And do you know what I hate most of all?

That despite this, despite all this disdain, I still fancy men. And I still want them to fancy me, to want me, to love me. I hate myself for how much I want them. Why do I still fancy men so much? What’s wrong with me? Why are they all so broken? Am I broken for still wanting to be with one, even after everything? I should be alone. That’s the only healthy way to be. BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE. I hate men, that’s the problem. GOD I HATE THEM SO MUCH—they’re so entitled and broken and lazy and wrong and…and…

Hang on…

My phone.

HE MESSAGED BACK!!!

WITH A KISS ON THE END!

Never mind.

Forget I said anything. It’s all good.

Excerpted from Pretending by Holly Bourne, Copyright © 2020 by Holly Bourne. Published by MIRA Books. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Holly Bourne is a bestselling UK-based YA and Adult Fiction author and is an Ambassador for Women’s Aid. In 2019, she was an Author of the Day at the London Book Fair, and was named by Elle Magazine’s weekly podcast as one of “Six Female Authors Changing the Conversation in 2019”. Pretending is her US debut.


AUTHOR LINKS
Author Website 
https://hollybourne.co.uk/
Twitter
 @holly_bourneYA
Instagram
 @hollybourneya
Facebook 
@Holly.BourneYA






 



 

 


Saturday, 21 November 2020

BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY - STRAWBERRY SHIFTERS BY MARILYN BARR

Title: Bear With Me
Series: Strawberry Shifters
Author: Marilyn Barr
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 3rd June 2020

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Tours
Blue eyes, dimples, and silky brown hair; Grant Luther has all of Alison's weaknesses. When he asks for one last chance to save their marriage, she agrees to relocate their family to isolated Strawberry, Kentucky in pursuit of his career dreams.

Grant views Alison's sensory issues as limitations and protects her from outside threats. When he finds his new job includes changing him into a shifter in a war against the soul-sucking Sluagh he vows to keep the changes a secret.
What he doesn't know is Alison has been hiding a magical secret of her own. One that makes her a target of the Sluagh. Will Alison emerge from Grant's shadow to protect her family? And can Grant learn that being different can be a strength not a weakness?

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Apple
B&N
Google  
Kobo

Take a look at the


BOOK TEASER

EXCERPT
    “You look perfect. I mean perfectly healthy. I mean mostly uninjured,” she stammers. She places her tiny hand over her eyes.

      Feeling braver than ever, I walk right up to her. I gently remove the hand from her face and hold it to my own. “See, I’m fine,” I whisper as I gently rub my thumb over her tiny knuckles.

     Her eyes lift to mine and lock our gazes. I have always found the golden color of her eyes fascinating but never studied them up close. They are light brown with a golden star in the middle. I am literally star gazing as she takes in the injuries to my face. We stand there for about a minute, lost in time.

     I wonder if she is thinking about when we first started dating, the hard times that followed, the present, or the future. I search her face for clues but don’t want to break the spell by opening my mouth. I decide to put said mouth to better use by lowering my head toward hers.


Title: Round Of Applause
Series: Strawberry Shifters
Author: Marilyn Barr
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 7th December 2020

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Tours
Aurora Turner embarks on a post-graduate adventure to find her forever family only to be captured by the Sluagh, soul-sucking Fae exiles. While she is grateful to be rescued by the Strawberry shifters, her Prince Not-So-Charming is a little hasty when he starts picking out their wedding china.

Destiny gives James Martin a second chance at love. Aurora may prove to be more of a hazard to herself than the Sluagh ever were. He has the daunting task of keeping her away from sharp objects, and from ogling his best friend, Nate.
Nate Wagner is shocked when Aurora passes the prophesized shifter smell test identifying her as his mate. The beta male competes against the mature courtship skills of James with his own modern twist.
However, will his devotion to James keep her out of his arms or will they create their perfect family—one they never dreamed of?

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Take a look at the 

BOOK TEASER

EXCERPT
“Thank you for the offer,” I say after taking a deep breath, “but I decided to go through with the surgery. I need to own this. I hope you both understand.”

“I have been advising everyone the surgery is what you needed. I knew what was best for you,” James says placing his hand on my shoulder. Something about the gesture makes me feel suffocated. I shrug his hand off and push Nate’s hands away.

“You don’t get to do that,” I say looking James in the eye. “This is my consequence for my actions.”

“Of course, we both will comfort you as you grieve—” Nate starts.

“You don’t get to do that either,” I say acidly. “Who said I needed to grieve? I will have to relearn a lot of tasks, but I want the challenge. I want to live. I want to live as a stronger version of myself. I want to be the girl who survived a month of torment to cut herself from the chains.”

“We are sorry it happened to you,” says Nate.

“Yes, we feel sorry on your behalf,” adds James.

“That’s the problem,” I thunder. “If you were listening, you would know I’m not sorry. You don’t have the right to be more upset, more offended, or more…more…anything, than me! You can’t take this away.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, published microbiologist, special education/inclusion science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, certified spiritual & energy healer, and advocate for the autistic community. This puts her in the position to bring tales containing heroes who are regular people with different ability levels and body types, in a light where they are powerful, lovable, and appreciated. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula. She is a sucker (haha) for cheesy horror movies, Italian food, punk music, black cats, bad puns, and all things witchy. For the latest Strawberry news and witchy tips, join my newsletter at www.marilynbarr.com.


AUTHOR LINKS

GIVEAWAY










Wednesday, 18 November 2020

WISHLIST WEDNESDAY - CROSSHAIRS BY CATHERINE HERNANDEZ

 

Title: Crosshairs
Author: Catherine Hernandez
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: 8th December 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
Unforgettable and timely dystopian tale about a near-future, where a queer Black performer and his allies join forces to rise up when an oppressive regime gathers those deemed “Other” into concentration camps.

Set in a terrifyingly familiar near-future, with massive floods leading to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called The Boots seizes on the opportunity to round up communities of color, the disabled, and the LGBTQ+ into labor camps.

In the shadows, a new hero emerges. After he loses his livelihood as a drag queen and the love of his life, Kay joins the resistance alongside Bahadur, a transmasculine refugee, and Firuzeh, a headstrong social worker. Guiding them in the use of weapons and close-quarters combat is Beck, a rogue army officer, who helps them plan an uprising at a major televised international event.

a vision of the future that is all the more frightening because it is very possible. A cautionary tale filled with fierce and vibrant characters, Crosshairs explores the universal desire to thrive, love, and be loved for being your true self.


PURCHASE LINKS



Tuesday, 17 November 2020

REVIEW - WEDDING HACKS: 500+ WAYS TO STICK TO YOUR BUDGET, STAY STRESS-FREE AND PLAN THE BEST WEDDING EVER BY MADDIE EISENHART


Title: Wedding Hacks: 500+ ways to stick to your budget, stay stress-                    free, and plan the best wedding ever!
Author: Maddie Eisenhart
Publisher: Adams Media
Genre: Non Fiction, Self-Help, Wedding
Release Date: 17th November 2020 (E-book/Paperback)
                             7th January 2020 (Hardback UK. US BookReleased)

BLURB from Goodreads
Take control of your wedding planning (and budget) with over 500 easy hacks to help your wedding go as smoothly as possible—from preventing wardrobe malfunctions to making an adjustable seating chart.

Congratulations—you’re engaged! But, now what? As you start to share the news with your family and friends, you might start feeling slightly stressed about the amount of planning you suddenly have to do. But wedding planning can actually be easier than you think!

With Wedding Hacks you’ll find solutions to all your wedding planning worries and prevent any problems that you might not have seen coming. From finding cheaper prices online to dealing with difficult relatives, this book has everything you need to know to make your wedding day one you’ll never forget (all while keeping your sanity intact)!

Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
This cover is in a classic cream, ivory colour brides may choose as a dress shade. It also has lots of wedding themed items bursting out all over the cover. The title says it all “Wedding Hacks” ways of cutting all the extra work you really don’t have to do if you don’t want to.

So, the book begins by introducing the author, Maddie Eisenhart, a maine native, who is a wedding industry veteran who has about a decade of working in wedding planning. Maddie did begin as a photographer and a writer for a wedding website called A Practical Wedding.
I should say before I begin my review that this book does have some American aimed things that perhaps the British bride and groom would not have at their weddings, but we all know that US traditions, or new “things” tend to work their way over to the UK.

Wedding Hacks states that this book is like having a Wedding Planner in your pocket. It contains around 500 tips and lots of practical advice for how to keep your cool in the face of both your own impractical expectations, and the thoughts of those involved with the wedding planning with you along with the almost inevitable family drama, and financial realities.
The book contains information of invitations, vendors, venues, and setting (and sticking to!) your budget. It also states that planning your big day can start to feel more stressful than the exciting adventure you thought it would be. Wedding Hacks reveals ways to prevent planning burnout, along with tips on how to stay organized. It’s all in the book, want to know how to pull off a magical reception? Need help and ideas on how to find the perfect dress, that’s also well within your budget too? Shop “trunk shows” to find discounted dresses from your favourite designer. It also suggests earning air miles to use towards your honeymoon by using a travel credit card to pay for all wedding expenses. I thought the advice about opening an account just purely for the wedding was a great way of not dipping into savings earmarked for other things and ending up over spending.

There are tips for how to have a great reception such as playing the older classic songs first to pack out the dance floor. Then some problem solving, such as having a sweetheart table (just the bride & groom) to prevent the potential aggravation out of choosing who actually sits at the VIP table when dealing with divorced/remarried parents, or large bridal parties etc. A tip to help avoid lines at the bar is giving out cocktails. This book has all this and even more!

Some other tips are to use trainees for things such as hair, make-up, photography and cakes, but I guess it depends on how much risk you want to take on your cake & photographs. I suppose with the hair and make-up you could at least have a trial before the big day. Another option talked about is calling in favours such as an Auntie who does great cakes, or a relative who is great with floristry. Hmm, my opinion on this is it depends on what you are asking them for, as for example a photographer or DJ friend/relative doing you a favour along with being invited to the wedding as a guest means they will actually “working.” I guess its up to you and those you ask the favours of to decide. There are also some tips on doing things yourself on your big day, but do you really want to be rushing around decorating the local town hall, or buttering bread for sandwiches for a buffet on the day of your wedding?

Hopefully with help and ideas from this book/guide you can avoid the family drama, all those unnecessary expenses, and typical wedding mistakes. Wedding Hacks boasts it has everything you need to have the wedding of your dreams!

There is loads of advice that yes, makes sense and is easy enough to read about but harder to put into practice. Such as dropping traditions you personally don’t want. . . .easy to say, but much harder to do, for example, if you have pressure from your parents who are helping to finance your wedding to do a specific tradition. Then there is the don’t overspend, easy to say when you haven’t just seen your dream dress and its more expensive than you really wanted to spend. To be honest organising a wedding can be a literal minefield such as choosing bridesmaids, from both the bride & the groom’s family/friends at the same time as keeping numbers down to save money but not offend anyone that isn’t asked.

My final thoughts about the book are that it does have some really useful tips, but others are kind of obvious. I think it’s worth reading and will certainly have you removing those rose-coloured glasses you are probably wearing, when as a couple you have just decided to get married and are literally in your dream world bubble!