Saturday, 17 November 2018

Intricate Deceptions - Jennifer Rayes





Synopsis:

Waking up in a desolate cell, Gaia realizes she has been kidnapped by a human traggicking organization, doomed to be sold to the highest bidder and unable to remember anything before her capture. An opportune rescue by Raoul, the Prince of Kayamato, saves her froma gruesome future, and throws her into a world of luxury and privilage. 

As she struggles to regain her memory, Gaia learns that her rescue was no accident and finds herself in even more danger.

Fighting for sanity and survival, she works to unravel the truth behind her capture, each revelation more shocking than the last. The intricate web of deceptions spun around her will shatter her world, leaving her unsure if she will ever trust again.


Review:

At 226 pages, straight away I knew if id end up hooked, it'd last be half a day at best. Unfortunately i started reading it at a time in my life where i was struggling to do anythingyet alone read. I think I managed just over 80 pages before everything got too much for me and reading and reviewing ended up being put on the back burner. After what felt like forever and a day I managed to finish the book but took forever to get around to writing the review, but after unintentionally keeping Jennifer waiting for the review, here it is.

It is a pretty fast paced book, as a reader we are suddenly thrown into this new world and we find ourselves side by side with Gaia who wakes up in a cell and soon realises she been kidnapped and is on the list to be sold to the highest bidder in a human trafficking ring. She makes a friend who is her cell mate but soon things take a turn for the worse and Gaia is alone again, but not for long when Raoul turns up and rushes her away from the dangerous future she is sure to have, plunging her into a world of luxury and privelage. It did hit a huge parge of romanceyness which was a little cute for me but also slightly predictable.

Intricate Deceptions is a rollercoaster of a read, bringing together royalty, pirates and palaces as well as drugs, prostitution and human trafficking. It is safe to say it isn't a light one when it includes so many taboo and awkward to hear about subjects and I cant say that its something deep and meaningful but I do know it hits those chords ever so lightly. It is a read that is incredibly easy to enjoy and undoubtedly deserving of a 4.5 out of 5 from me. Hopefully I will be able read the second book and continue this journey. I am so thankful for the opportunity to read and review this book.


Thursday, 8 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: Cordial Killing: A Backyard Farming Mystery - Vikki Walton



Synopsis:

Anne is excited for the opening of the Brandywine Inn. Kandi and Hope are her partners in the bed-and-breakfast n Carolan Springs, Colorado, where they also provide homesteading and herbal workshops for guests.

As soon as the guests arrive, its plain that the five old college chums have bad blood between them. When Anne finds a threatening note, its clear that someone is out for revenge. Then they find a guest dead. At first, the death appears to be natural, but suspicions begin to grow.

When a blizzard threatens the Inn, will it trap them all with a killer and no way out?

Cordial Killing is a classic who-dun-it with a twist. Set in the fictional small town of Carolan Springs, you will enjoy an armchair getaway into beautiful Colorado.


Review:

With this being the first book of Vikki Walton's that I have read, I feen honoured to be allowed to have recieved a copy to read and review for the Blog Tour. It is for sure acosy mystery and like most of the mystery themed books i read, this book is added to the list where I didnt get who the culprit was right away and im thankful this book kept me guessing on who and why and when the crime was comitted.

The beauty of this book also comes from the setting, the Inn is and old victorian home and when you put those two words together your mind automatically creates such a beautiful setting as those homes are so beautiful and unique as well as so much more. I think its such a perfect setting for a Mystery book.

Like most books I read, once i hooked there was no way i wasnt able to not think about it, I read the majority of the book whilst on my way to the little lodge we had an holiday booked for in Wales but even when i wasnt reading the book, which was pretty much when we got to the lodge as so much begun to happen, where we were out visiting places and having fun, I was still finding myself thinking about the book and that is a sure sign that it is a brilliant read.

What also shines through in this book is how much time and effort that Vikki put into research and planning because there is so much knowledge intertwined within each word of the book, it's lovely to see that so much time was well spent creating the intricate details.

There isnt anything that I can think of that was an ounce of a negative of this book, with this said I am a little sad I didnt read the first book of A Backyard Farming Mystery series. I can't award this book anything less than a 5 out of 5. Vikki did a great job I can't even begin to explain in words that make sense. To anyone that lkes cosy mysteries, this is a sure thing you'd enjoy reading. This was a super way to get to know a new author and I am super grateful to hav had to opportunity. I hope that anyone who goes on to read any if both of the A Backyard Farming Mystery books enjoys them as much as I enjoyed Cordial Killing.




About The Author

 Vikki’s first words were “I get it!” This attitude became her life-long mantra to always go after what she wants. It also helped her realize her desire to help others get what they really want out of life.

After spending years as a registered interior designer, Vikki began to write. While writing for periodicals, Vikki found herself on assignment interviewing publishers in Colorado Springs. It wasn’t long before the natural beauty of Colorado captured her heart.

After moving to Colorado, Vikki  worked with nonprofits. However, she soon realized she needed more autonomy in her work.Vikki started her own business as a nonprofit consultant and grant writer. She has helped nonprofits across the U.S. to receive millions of dollars for  their work. Yet, she realized doing one thing wouldn’t satisfy her for long.


Vikki became a Work Quilter™ combining her many passions to create multiple income streams. She started speaking and teaching adults on myriad and diverse topics around her knowledge, skills and passions.   She's taught and spoken on Creative Writing, Design for Heart and Home, Fundraising Fundamentals , Suburban Homesteading, Permaculture, How to Get What You Really Want, and of course, Work Quilting. Two words that continually appear on instructor and speaker feedback forms are "engaging" and "knowledgeable."
You'll most often find Vikki out hiking with her dog, outside gardening, traveling abroad, house or pet sitting, or writing her next book.


Born in Chicago, Vikki lived outside of Paris for a few years as a small child. That may account for her love of travel. She moved to Wichita with her parents before going on to live most of her life around the San Antonio, Texas area. She is the founder of #girlswantago and you can connect through Facebook or www.girlswantago.com. Vikki is also an experienced, professional global house and pet sitter.

Vikki's favorite genre is mystery so it wasn't long before she had begun her first cozy mystery series.  Incorporating her love of suburban homesteading, or as some call it, backyard farming, Vikki's first book is Chicken Culprit. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

The Violinist - C.R.Tyra





Synopsis:

"All sailors bware, for only one will the Lioness spare."

In the 34th century, vicious creatures walk the earth, and a bloodthirsty witch rules over the sea. The captial city of Zargo has found that music may keep its monsters at bay, and Lucien Mooncaster, the lead violinist of the city orchestra, is the toast of the town. But even with the lifestyle of a celebrity knocking at his door, the only company he cares to keep is that of his endless supply of books.

Meanwhile, perfection proves to be fragile as Licien's picturesque life of comfort falls out rom under him when a storm strikes, and an unearthly beautiful woman washes ashore, shipwreckd outside his home.


Review:

There is no denying that within the first few pages I was hooked, completely and in no doubt. Throughout the book we see the world through 4/5ish points of view, James Tolston who is s rookie aboard a ship sailing the sea, Archer Solomon, a monster hunter armed to the teeth and for the majority of the book, Lucien Mooncaster, the lead violinist of the towns orchestra who loves the company of his endless collection of books. The other 1 maybe 2 POV's are up to you as a reader to see.

Lucien is such a relatable character which helps as a reader to keep me fully imersed in the book. He loves his books and prefers them over people ( I can totally relate to that but shhh dont tell anyone.) As a main character it's not only his preferences to books over people that makes him relatable for me, but also his emotions and reactions to the things he is thrown into and experiences.

The world in which this book is set is a beautiful mix of so many things like Victorian Steampunk, some sort of brilliant fairytale and my favourite, post apocalypse setting. This alone wins The Violinist and C.R.Tyra a hell load of points just for being one off and in no doubt, memorable.

In the grand scale of things, if you look at the book as a whole there are themes that really do touch you as a reader. What screams at me the most is how the main characters are struggling with their past relationships, would it be love or family and there inability to let go of the past which is the source of inner turmoil. The themes of love annd loss are touching and well portrayed. What i see which is minimal I guess, but how music is portrayed as a defence mechanism for the town againsts the bad things that may come. It feels quite relatable as sometimes music is an escape from feeling quite bad but can also be a source of happiness.

Without a doubt The Violinist gets a 5/5 from me and its impossible for me to score this read any lower it was just so enjoyable and gripping. The Violinist is a beautiful dark fantasy deffinetly worth checking out.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

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Synopsis:


After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts.

But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Review:

So I've seen Emery's books around quite a lot and actually wondered for so long if I should get a copy of all the books published but apparently I already own too many books. Thanks to my sisters boyfriend who loves to buy me money vouchers for book stores and after forgetting when he bought me my last one but carrying it with me all the time I finally decided to use the money on the card. I mean okay so the majority of the money was spent on the book whilst he rest of the voucher was spent on discounted chocolate by the till but hey man cant go blaming for either things. I remember being upstairs with the books for the longest 30 minutes I've ever had, I picked up so many books, wondered if they were for me, decided yes they were but then found another books that I wanted just a little bit more and instead what did I do? Put them down and picked up Open Road Summer which was lying on a table and the cover caught my attention and when I read the synopsis, I fell for it hook line and sinker. 

So the story follows Reagan as she tours with her best friend Lilah, a popular country singer as she tours the country. Its clear that when we meet Reagan that she has issues from her past she needs to face as she lets them effect her and somehow she is appealing to me as a MC, I mean I can kind of see why but also I'm confused as to why I love her so much. Lilah herself isn't problem free, and when the problems begin to appear Lilah's record company send someone to put the problems to rest. Matt Finch, another promising artist and with no doubt what so ever an absolute representation of what I'd want in a friend. Matt ends up opening Lilah's shows and Raegan can not help but feel a pull towards him that she simply can not resist.

I wont explain anything further because that's the point isn't it really? I mean the point of a review is to review it not spoil the whole thing. So Emery, if you ever see this, girl thank you. So this sounds openly bloody ridiculous right? Okay so I may be a bit of a sucker for teen romance and drama and all the things alike but Emery makes Open Road Summer such an enjoyable read, showing us that fame isn't always beautiful, our past experiences make us adapt, that we are not out past experiences as a whole. Most of all Emery portrays friendship exactly how it is, so real and testable.

Without a doubt Emery gets a 5/5 for Open Road Summer and I can not wait to get my hands on more of her work just to see if I can cry at some point in those too. 



Friday, 7 September 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Incendiaries - R.O.Kwon











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Synopsis:

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet during their first years at a prestigious university. Phoebe doesn't tell anyone that she blames herself for her mothers recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy transferring in from bible college, waiting table to make ends meet. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe.

Haunted by her loss, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group - a secretive cult tied to North Korea - founded by a charismatic former student with an enigmatic past involving Phoebe's Korean American family. Will struggles to confront the obsession consuming the one her loves and the fundamentalism he's tried to escape. When the extremist group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she cold have been responsible for this violent act.



Review:

The opening to this book is uhm… quite explosive, literally. The book starting at the end before then jumping around in all directions as Will searches for any ounce of a clue that could possibly point to Phoebe being responsible for such an act. 

The chapters switch between Will, John and Phoebe but the majority of the story is told by Will. There is many times where he recalls moments and conversations with Phoebe whilst almost straight out admitting that sometime he isn't really sure he's remembering things correctly.

The Incendiaries is a short book lasting only 210 pages but I must admit it wasn't anything like i expected it to be, it was a very slow burner and it was hard for me to really read it for long periods of time. It is as though the peak of the action took place right at the very start, most of the story that was being given, which was Will and Phoebe's back stories served in a broken/fragmented way which for me moved towards a somewhat anti climatic ending.

Initially it was the synopsis which had me interested and encouraged me to say yes and take part in this blog tour which I can't say I regret doing even if I feel somewhat in the grey towards the book and I have no regrets because the book carries themes that stick with you after you've closed it and moved on. Phoebe reminded me how vulnerable people can be, showing how people can be easily guided towards bad things in bad times, how easily they can be open to radical ideas. There's no denying that we as people like to think that we are strong-minded and can’t be moved and easily influenced by others but from this book it seems that maybe we don’t really know what we are, as humans are capable of when we’re feeling lost, at what we see is the very bottom of us and someone offers a hand to pull you free.

By that alone, as much as I actually liked the themes of the book, I'm giving it a 3.8 out of 5, I just wished I could have been able to feel something relatable about the characters, even if it were just the small things.



Amazon link to purchase a copy of The Incendiaries.









Friday, 17 August 2018

Blog Tour: A Single Journey - Frankie McGowan


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Book Synopsis:


Harriet has begun to despair of her life.

With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.

Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.

Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked… and very, very unhappy.

Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.

Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.

In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.

She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too. 
Review:
So I'm absolutely honoured to be a part of the blog tour for A Single Journey, I begun reading my copy of the book a little while ago but thanks to some unknown glitch I encountered, I was unable to fully read the book. Thankfully Hannah came to my rescue and provided me with another copy n a different format that allowed me to continue my reading. I must let you all know that due to the glitch and date limit on this post, I feel as though I may have missed things here and there because I had to speed read but hopefully, with all things crossed, that this all still makes sense.
I don't really want to be giving away too much of the plot away so I wont explain it in all of the detail I know, but as the story goes, Harriet rents a flat from aging Elena Banbury who spends her time entertaining customers that visit Harriet's failing stall and the others around her with tales of her childhood in Russia. It is only when Elena passes away that Harriet find out how she was really seen by her. 
As far as our main character Harriet goes, she feels extremely real to me, beyond likable in my eyes and with her own flaws, it adds to the realistic feel of her. As the story progresses I begun to feel more attached to her, rooting for her at every moment she needed me to, wanting her to be successful when a challenge came to her, she was just so real for me.
The amazing thing about A Single Journey is that as our main character dives deeper into Elena's life we get to see how the tale passes by generation by generation, crossing numerous countries. It's a greatly pulled off intricate plot that must have been thought through superbly well and because of that as a reader, I was hooked throughout and I have no doubt other readers would be/have been too. The plot is jam packed but easy to follow throughout and as each chapter closes and the next begins, you are drawn more and more into the book being unable to stop yourself from at points beginning to take guesses at what is coming next (but as always I'm so far off) 
As I've seen on The Writing Greyhounds blog tour post, Lorna talks of things that are in the book that are maybe morals and important messages within the book which I wanted to share with you too.
"there are also several important points, or perhaps even morales, that are addressed in the book. A Single Journey reminds us about the importance of following our dreams and staying true to ourselves; all too often, we can find ourselves bogged down in the mundanities of day-to-day life and realise that we are living without really living. Harriet's journey to come to terms with the events of the story perfectly encapsulate this and represent the fact that sometimes, we must listen to our hearts rather than our heads.

Another important message to take away from the book is the way that older people are treated in our society. With the UK's over-worked care system, it's all too easy for vulnerable elderly people to fall through the cracks and end up with their struggles going unnoticed, as portrayed by Elena's situation at the beginning of the book. In real life, there may not always be a Harriet around to help, and A Single Journey
helps to highlight the very real issue of the UK's elderly care crisis."
I think what she says makes perfect sense, they are also things I also picked up on, I also like the idea that the message about the UK's elderly care crisis is really a great message to me sharing and showing through such a book in the way it is. 
A Single Journey was a great read for me even though I may have missed things via speed reading but maybe I'll revisit the book and update this review sometime soon. From what I got from it, as Lorna says, It's a moving, heartfelt story about love, loss and staying true to yourself.
I cant give the book anything less than a 4 out of 5, I simply loved Harriet just that much and loved how the tale within spanned so far. Please don't forget to visit the other blogs taking part in this tour and it's also the time to mention that for the duration of the blog tour, A Single Journey is at the discounted price of only 0.99.



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Saturday, 11 August 2018

The City Of Lost Fortunes - Bryan Camp

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Synopsis:


The fate of New Orleans rests in the hands of a wayward grifter in this novel of gods, games, and monsters.

The post–Katrina New Orleans of The City of Lost Fortunes is a place haunted by its history and by the hurricane’s destruction, a place that is hoping to survive the rebuilding of its present long enough to ensure that it has a future. Street magician Jude Dubuisson is likewise burdened by his past and by the consequences of the storm, because he has a secret: the magical ability to find lost things, a gift passed down to him by the father he has never known—a father who just happens to be more than human.

Jude has been lying low since the storm, which caused so many things to be lost that it played havoc with his magic, and he is hiding from his own power, his divine former employer, and a debt owed to the Fortune god of New Orleans. But his six-year retirement ends abruptly when the Fortune god is murdered and Jude is drawn back into the world he tried so desperately to leave behind. A world full of magic, monsters, and miracles. A world where he must find out who is responsible for the Fortune god’s death, uncover the plot that threatens the city’s soul, and discover what his talent for lost things has always been trying to show him: what it means to be his father’s son.

Review:

The City of Lost Fortunes is one of those books that takes magic, mythology, folklore and culture, throws it all into a blender and ends up being that smoothie that's a mix of mind blowing fantasy. It's unique and highly engaging, there's even a chance that The City of Lost Fortunes could be described as fantasy on steroids!

This novel was an absolute joy to read what with such a beautiful writing that guided me through time and dimensions as if it were a dream. The gods, monsters and mythological undertone blew my imagination.

The conflict at the centre of this book is not a simple one but rather a large cluster of events that through cause and effect guide Jude towards truths and a fate that he never considered.

There is a lot of magic in this book, suppressed magic, magic that has been taken away and magic that has been enhanced. And one way, or another, Jude experiences magic in all forms. But he is not a know-it-all; he learns and discovers and gambles… the game among gods and monsters isn’t over until the final card has been dealt.

Yeah, Jude is a bit of a wise-cracker! I loved his character- his intelligent, analytical mind, his particular view of men, gods, magic. Everything he goes through in this book, and it’s a LOT, he takes it in his stride, without complaint, even when he ends up experiencing an unexpected … ahem.. out of body experience of sorts! As he investigates the murder, and as his very essence hangs in the balance, Jude must remain alert to recognize friend from foe.

I liked all of the characters in the book- some of them we have all heard about through various tales, but it seemed to me that Bryan Camp is a special kind of puppeteer to bring them all together: angels, vampires, zombies, psychopomps, voodoo loas riding the human bodies, ghouls… I’m telling you, this book is a treasure and when you’re reading it, you’re the pirate taking a dive into a loot of pure gold.

The City of Lost Fortunes is an ode, a dedication, to New Orleans and its people. A fantastic, imaginative fairytale-like puzzle of gods and monsters, supernatural folklore and myths. It is an incredible venture into a world otherwise unseen to mere mortals, topped up with a generous dose of attitude, unexpected nuggets of wisdom and twists, underlined by an unwillingness to fold in a game with an open ending. Basically, do yourself a favour and read this book. Its a 5/5 from me and in a world where the number would be out of 10, it would still be a top scorer.