Sunday, 15 April 2018

Spotlight with Pre-order Competition for A Fistful of Frost by Rebecca Chastain (Urban Fantasy)

Order the 3rd book & get a free one!
This book is as cool as it looks! Pun honestly wasn't intened.

I'll be reviewing this 3rd book in an awesome series that you simply must read (I'm a fangirl in case you  hadn't guessed by this sentence) in May. Here's the summary to get you interested! 



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

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

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

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

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

Buy now to continue the suspenseful adventure today!


Pre-order Giveaway 1 (Now until May 8):

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

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

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



Sunday, 8 April 2018

Guest blog Post: The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter (Children's, 7 years +)

March 2018, Austin Macauley Publishers, 98 pages, Paperback/Ebook 

A wave of delight and anticipation sweeps through a small community of red squirrels as they behold a vast fleet of boats carrying their distant cousins towards them.  They will no doubt bring incredible wealth, wisdom and joy to the humble squirrels of Nutshaven.

However, the dream soon becomes a nightmare.  Their distant cousins soon turn out to be enormous and brutish bullies of an ever-expanding Grey Empire.  Shadowtail - the brilliant but intensely evil Grey leader - announces that their lives are about to radically change:

“Your colony is now ours, and we shall endeavour to use you and your resources to enrichen the imperial spoils of conquest and world domination.”

With their entire way of life now under threat, will the wisdom of old Normsk, the wits of young Cheswick and the might of Brutenuts the Brave be enough to counter such a dark and dominant force?

Nayu's thoughts
This wasn't quite my kind of read but I've read similar books in the past so thought you'd like to hear about it! John kindly agreed to do this guest blog post in place of a review from me.
 
Guest blog post by John Wedlake
Cover art without text
Cheswick Redbrush is young, clever and really quite red – he is a red squirrel. The peace-loving reds live a simplistic life in the respectable pursuit of the perfect nut. But this harmony is about to change. When sails appear on the horizon one day, Cheswick and the rest of the community assemble on the beach, both intrigued and excited. And when an enormous grey squirrel sets foot on the sand and announces that everything’s about to get a whole lot better, then why shouldn’t the reds believe him? But the sweet dream quickly turns sour when Cheswick discovers that the visitors are only interested in destruction and conquest. This enslaving Grey Empire is under the brilliantly evil leadership of Cornelius Shadowtail and his thuggish sidekick, Scug Butcher. The Ghost of Crow Cavern examines how ruthlessness and cunning can turn a peaceful world into a world of terror and subjection. But can such a brutal regime last forever? Cheswick will try his hardest to ensure that it doesn’t.
 
Where did the idea come from?
The idea for ‘The Ghost of Crow Cavern’ stemmed from a simple observation. When I moved to Finland I noticed that the squirrels are red and at home in England they are grey. When I looked into the reason why I found out they used to be red in England but their numbers seriously depleted when a larger grey squirrel species was introduced from North America.  

The truth about the depletion of the red species was, in the main, caused by the reds not having protection from certain viruses which the greys carried. But I imagined an invasion, fight for survival, resistance, bravery, heroes and villains. The great thing about the world of fiction is that one is free to write what is in one’s imagination rather than having to adhere to hard facts. This is one of the reasons why particularly children are able to write amazing stories, their imaginations can run wild which makes for very exciting fiction! 

By sheer chance I teamed up with my dearest friend from my childhood. We used to write stories when we lived in the same street as nippers and while writing ‘The Ghost of Crow Cavern’ the old enthusiasm came flooding back. We were 10 year olds again who were letting their imaginations run riot! 

Characters
In the story there are heroes and villains, as you would expect in a tale involving invasion but by far our favourite character is ‘Shadowtail.’ Norman has a real appreciation for language and he delved into ancient Greek to come up with the name. In ancient Greek the word for ‘squirrel’ is ‘skiouros’ from ‘skia’ meaning shade and ‘oura’ meaning tail. We changed the shade to shadow and then we had our main villain’s name, ‘Shadowtail.’ 

Shadowtail is extremely learned and intelligent and very confident. He speaks softly and articulately but if you judge a squirrel by his acts, he is utterly ambitious, sinister and ruthless. The combination of his character creates a cocktail of villainy and it will take something very special to stop him executing his dark plans for red squirrels of Nutshaven.


Our hopes as authors
Our biggest hopes are that the readers enjoy the story. We hope that they get to be stimulated by the characters and the struggles they are forced to endure and we hope that the book’s message which is ‘no matter how difficult things can become there is always hope’ shines through. If the book is received well by the readership hopefully we would be asked to continue the story and write a series. If we are allowed to dream we think that ‘The Ghost of Crow Cavern’ would make a fantastic animated film. 

We hope you read about Cheswick, Brutenuts and the gang! 

Follow Shadowtail on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shadowtail3
Our blog: https://theghostofcrowcavern.blogspot.fi/

Friday, 6 April 2018

Guest Blog Post: Historical Romance: Stories of Rebels, Adventure and Mystery by Linda Weaver Clarke



Today's  post is a little different  because it's about a series I haven't read, but want to feature because I've enjoyed Linda's Cozy Mystery Amelia Moore series which ended with Amelia Moore #7 The Lighthouse Secret by Linda Weaver Clarke (Audiobook, Cozy Mystery, 9/10E)
 
So I hope you check out these and the historical romance books after hearing about them below from Linda! 

Historical Romance: Stories of Rebels,
Adventure, and Mystery
Here's Linda!
My favorite time period is historical because it’s during a time when men defended a lady’s honor and treated women with respect. The women, on the other hand, were not frail by any means. I love strong women characters who fight for what they believe. I enjoy writing stories with a mixture of romance and adventure. My favorite loves stories are about a couple who know they are meant for one another, even though there are trials along the way.

The Rebel Series is a Historical Mystery/Adventure Romance set in the 1700s. Many people have asked me why I wrote a story about rebels. Simple! I love a rogue who fights for justice and for the people. It was a bunch of rebels who fought for their freedom in America. They wanted to be free from the dictatorship of a king. How about Robin Hood? He and a bunch of men did the same thing as they helped the needy and poor. Liberty is something that I cherish. So I decided to write about a small country that struggles to be free.

THE REBELS OF CORDOVIA: “This creative take on a Robin Hood-like story is charming and touching, and teaches some great morals about agency and choice. It reminded me of childhood fairytales of good versus evil, with a nice romance weaved into it.” --Author Charissa Stastny

In The Rebels of Cordovia, Robin’s Rebels realize they must fight against the tyranny of a wicked king and help the people survive the oppression. In this battle for freedom, a tender love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?

To watch a Book Trailer for The Rebels of Cordovia, click on the link below:

THE HIGHWAYMAN OF CORDOVIA: “Austin and Christine had been friends, as youth, and separated through the years. As their paths cross again after many years, things spark up between them. Yet their lives do not appear to be headed in the same direction. The twists and turns will keep you turning the pages.” --Sunnie Reivews

In book 2, The Highwayman of Cordovia, the people enjoy their new-found liberty, but all is not well. A group of powerful men plan to take over the small country and replace the leader with a king. With the help of a bold highwayman and a pastor’s daughter, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armor instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?

To watch a Book Trailer for The Highwayman of Cordovia, click on the link below:


THE FOX OF CORDOVIA: “I loved this book. It is full of adventure, drama, intrigue and suspense. We've got kidnapping plots, pirate ships, daring rescues and romance. The author weaves an exciting tale and a sweet romance together in a way that will appeal to all readers.” --Inishowen CailĂ­n

In book 3, The Fox of Cordovia, a sinister plot has just been uncovered and its up to a former patriot and a young nurse to discover who is behind it. Caroline is engaged to the future mayor of Laketown, a man of influence and greatly respected. But all that changes when she overhears a conspiracy behind closed doors. After being discovered, she runs for her life. Caroline needs to report her findings, but whom can she trust? When she asks Jesse Conover for help, the adventure begins.

To watch a Book Trailer for The Fox of Cordovia, click on the link below:

I love research. When I did some research about the “waltz” for The Highwayman of Cordovia, I was surprised at what I found. The peasants were the first to dance the waltz. It was such fun that bored noblemen would sneak out and go to the country-dances. The Oxford English Dictionary back then called the waltz “riotous and indecent.”

In a 1771 German novel, someone complains about the “newly-introduced waltz” among the aristocrats. He wrote: “When he put his arm around her, pressed her to his breast, cavorted with her in the shameless, indecent whirling-dance of the Germans and engaged in a familiarity that broke all the bounds of good breeding—then my silent misery turned into burning rage.” I was so intrigued by this description. The waltz finally became fashionable when the wife of a Russian ambassador endorsed it.

To read a sample chapter from each of my books in The Rebel Series, go to http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/historicalromance.html and click on the TITLE.
To purchase a book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Audible Audiobooks, go to http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html.

About Author: Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red mountains of southern Utah. Linda is the mother of six daughters and the author of 23 books. She has written in several different genres, which include: historical romances, romantic cozy mysteries, a mystery suspense series, a children’s book, and non-fiction. All her books are family friendly. She has also traveled throughout the U.S. and taught audiences how to write their family history, giving more than 500 workshops.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Blog Tour: The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert (Romance, 10/10E)

January 2018, HQ Digital, 364 pages, Ebook, Review copy

Summary from HarperCollins
Previously published as Learning to Fly

It’s never too late to follow your dreams…
Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her

Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside-down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!

Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End but is it too late to reach for the stars?

Nayu's thoughts
Apologies, I'd meant to preschedule this review a while ago but I was ill then had to have mega strong meds - Jane very sweetly was happy to wait until I was ready to write this. 

 Despite acting in school plays a few times drama has never been a big interest of mine because I got stage fright (the thought of acting in front of people is intimidating), which is perhaps why I'm fascinated with stories about the protagonist working in performing arts. I didn't envy Emily when she dealt with acting divas and particularly fussy directors, but I did appreciate her guts for going for a dream that others said was ridiculous because she was older than most are when they start acting. She proves you can do anything at any age. 

It is far from easy, she has to dig deep to learn new skills, put up with unpleasant people and situations (which were rather funny) and no matter what keep striving for her dream). Her attitude and determination are admirable, she manages to make a few new friends despite many not thinking very much of her. I liked learning the technical side to acting which seems like a foreign language to me, and Emily didn't know it all at first. I cheered her on through the rough times, and rejoiced on all her triumphs both acting and non-acting related. She totally deserves the happiness she gets by the end of the book which includes romance. I'd love to see her story continue, failing that I'm more than happy setting this on my reread pile. 

Suggested read 
If you like character's who chase their dreams then check out Rosie's Little Cafe on the Riviera by Jennifer Bohnet (Romance, 10E/10E)


Sunday, 25 March 2018

Over On Nayu's Crochet Dreams #42 Food themed blankets

This post might make you hungry...

To be more precise I've been working on chocolate theme blankets (well, chocolate inspired...or simply a matter of having yarn that makes me think of chocolate! Got check it out over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams (generic link until I have time to add a link)

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Alice Dent and The Incredible Germs by Gwen Lowe (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

1st March 2018, Chicken House, 256 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Chicken House
 When Alice Dent gets a cold, she has no idea how much trouble it’s about to cause. 


Because this is no ordinary cold: it comes with some seriously weird side-effects. For a start, Alice can’t stop giggling and every animal she meets sticks to her like glue! But when the mysterious Best Minister for Everything Nicely Perfect and his scary masked henchmen come to take her away, Alice realizes her troubles are only just beginning …
 
Nayu's thoughts
It felt a bit ironic that I read this while I had a cold and was feeling a bit miserable so needed a laugh. During the first chapter I became worried that this would be quite a gloomy read despite what the press release said because the restrictions Alice and other children face because of a  new minister are horrifying, and in my head it felt a little dystopian-y (I totally made that word up but it's all I could think of to describe it). Mercifully the humour soon entered, and I absolutely loved it! I was afraid for Alice many times, but she finally gets some friends (albeit unusual ones), which made my heart happy because she deserved some love and support which was lacking from her own so-called family. 

Quite a lot of us live in a world where germs are frowned upon, disinfectant wipes are the norm, which is what makes Alice's tale so gripping - I could easily see this happen in the future, but hopefully it remains in fiction. While Alice's new school regime is terrifying, there are some absolutely splendid furniture elements which I want to try for myself despite not liking heights or large bodies of water. Gwen has created a brilliant world for readers to slide into with Alice (bad pun, sorry not sorry) and I for one am eager for book 2. 

It reminds me of a book whose title & author I can't remember (my memory is awful and I've read a lot of books) which meant that Alice's world felt familiar to me. I loved the secrecy from the adults on Alice's side, as well as the good organisations she encounters who are doing their way to fight the powerful enemy. Alice's task is daunting, but she is helped on her journey and I'm eager to reread the book just to enjoy the moments she realises people are her friends and somehow she will succeed in her mission to save children from the ridiculous health policies which would make my life miserable if I was in Alice's world.
Meet Gwen! Photo by Jonathan James

Suggested read