Monday, November 30, 2015

Author Interview: Cassandra Piat and 5 Ebooks Giveaway: What's It Gonna Be? by Cassandra Piat

Hey Lovely Readers,

I am so happy today to bring to you the very candid Interview with Cassandra Piat.

Cassandra is the author of What’s It Gonna Be?, a sweet romantic story set in beautiful and mesmerizing Mauritius, a small Island country off the coast of Africa.



Now, having just returned from a memorable holiday there, I loved connecting with Cassandra who lives in Mauritius and has based her first book there!

I am currently reading her book and while you wait for my review. Read her Interview to get a glimpse into her book and life. There is also a cool Giveaway up ahead where you can enter to win 5 Ebooks of her book!

In the below Interview, she shares her life as well as her experiences of writing her first book which is a sweet Romantic Comedy and living in lovely Mauritius.



Q1. Tell me something yourself.


Cassandra Piat
I was born in England to Mauritian parents (my Dad was completing his medical degree at the time) then spent my childhood between Mauritius, South Africa and Australia. My family still live in Perth but I came back to Mauritius 20 years ago (Oh my! That makes me feel SO old!!!), when I met my husband. I have three kids and work as an English tutor - and now, a writer.


About me: I am always late, love pizza and books, big fan of romantic comedy movies, hate seafood, love a good laugh, absolutely love rainy days when I can snuggle up in bed with a good book or a movie…


Q2. What all have you written till date?

For the moment, my only published book is “What’s it gonna be?”

- A romantic comedy set in Mauritius which is the story of Lucy, a quirky, lovable and scatterbrained twenty-four year old who is tired of waiting for her commitment phoebe boyfriend, Matt, to propose. Her friends and family all think she should leave him, and she starts to wonder if they may be right. Then, with a little help from her wacky friend, Vic, a gorgeous Englishman, Jake, comes into the picture and Lucy’s heart is in turmoil. Add to that the sudden appearance of a creepy, love-struck stalker who pops up everywhere she goes, and her life goes haywire.


In the meantime, Olivia, Lucy’s best friend, has problems of her own. Desperate to find love but always falling for duds, she begins to lose hope. Then one day her brother registers her on an internet dating site as a joke. Furious at first, she then decides to play along and see where it leads her. She ends up meeting Pierre, a mysterious Frenchman … Is he really as charming and perfect as he sounds? Should she go to Paris to meet him?

When she’s not meddling in Lucy’s life, Vic, Lucy’s eccentric childhood friend, is at home with her three turbulent kids. Initially thinking that she was happily married, she suddenly realizes that things have changed and suspects that her husband may be playing away. Not one to sit back and wait, she decides to take things into her own hands and find out what is going on.

Filled with fun, humour and a cast of zany characters, What’s it gonna be? is a tale about friendship, growth and love.


Q3. I recently visited Mauritius and absolutely fell in love with the country. What are the five things you love about Mauritius?
The very lovely Mont Choisy Beach in Mauritius

-I love living close to the sea.

-I love the sense of family and belonging that I have here.

-I think Mauritius has so much charm and just love the traditional touches that still remain from the past.

-I love the friendliness and helpfulness of Mauritians in general.

-I just love the landscapes and natural beauty of the island.


Totally agree with you here. I, too, loved the beauty and tradition of the place and the very friendly people there. :)

Q4. Why did you use Mauritius as the location for your book, "What's it gonna be?"?

Because I’m lazy and it’s so much easier writing about somewhere you know. No seriously, as the story was loosely based on my life and those of my friends to start off with, I couldn’t imagine setting it anywhere else. But it’s true that as a new author, I have a hard time imagining how I would go about writing a story that takes place somewhere I’ve never been. Guess I’ll end up learning with time.


Q5. Where do you get your ideas? What kind of research did you do for "What's it gonna be?"

I was actually inspired by things that were going on in my life and my girlfriend’s lives at the time, situations I thought funny and that made me say, “I definitely need to write a book about all this!”

Lucy and Matt actually represent my now-husband and I, and is loosely our story J. I say ‘loosely’ because although there is definitely a basis of truth to it – a lot of it was also just made up or exaggerated or altered to make the story what I wanted it to become.

For my second book, it wasn’t anything in particular but more an idea that sort of popped up in my mind and that just developed from there.


Q6. Do you have any happy memory related to writing? Do share with us.

It’s a lot of fun making the characters be exactly who you want them to be. It’s wonderful to have the freedom and control over how the story goes – a control we definitely don’t have in real life. It’s funny because you grow fond of your characters and almost feel like you’re stepping into their lives for a while. It’s also fun because sometimes it’s unexpected as the story or the characters suddenly take you down a path or into a conversation you initially had no idea would take place! I just love the freedom it gives me.


Q7. What are the steps that you followed to get your book published?

I sent my manuscript to a freelance editor in South Africa who had guided me with regards the development and flow of the story. As for the formatting, the Amazon KDP site is actually great for self-published authors as it provides the basic book formats and all the specifications you need making it easy to set up your book professionally and ready for printing. This also applies to the cover specifications (both for e-books and paperbacks). I had the cover designed by a local designer. I didn’t contact any publishing houses as I liked the thought of doing it myself (and I just didn’t have the patience to wait for their replies). And finally, I put it up for sale on Amazon and Createspace and got it printed locally and put it in all the local bookstores around the island.


Q8. How do you promote your books and why do you prefer this method?

I’m a really useless at all the marketing and promotional side of things actually! I have a lot of trouble with it as I don’t like putting myself forward. I have done a few articles in the local newspapers and magazines in Mauritius, been on the local radio and done one book signing, but that’s about it! My sister helped me out a lot with understanding the social media side of things as I’m not much of a computer/internet person, so thanks to her I’m now present on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram and Wordpress. I have also been lucky enough to find a few lovely bloggers who have accepted to interview me on their blogs, which really helps. :) (Thanks Nikita).


Q9. Tell us ten things about yourself that no one knows.

- I’m a native French speaker although I prefer to write in English!

- I am really moody when I’m hungry.

- I can watch movies over and over and over again if I fall in love with the story (or the hunky main actor).

- I am really useless at anything womanly i.e. makeup, high heels, fancy hairstyles and when I do try to put makeup on, I usually just poke my eye out with the eyeliner or mascara and end up having to take it all off anyway!!

Image Source


- I just love the Minions quotes – they are just so many in there that are so me!!!

- My bag is always a mess; full of old receipts, used envelopes, unpaid bills, chocolate wrappings and just the oddest things possible and I can never find anything I’m looking for in it – especially my phone or my keys! Nightmare!

- My real name is Sandrine but I use the pen name Cassandra because Sandrine is a French name and is a mouthful in English.

- I am a major stationary junkie – just love stationery and am forever buying pens, notebooks, pencils etc. that I don’t need.

- I really, really hate waiting (as in waiting in line somewhere, or waiting for an appointment, or at the supermarket check-out etc.)


Damon from Vampire Diaries

- Am in love with Damon in the Vampire Diaries.

Q10. What is your motto in life?

                                                              

Q11. Had you not been a writer, what profession would you have chosen and why?
I think I would have loved to be a teacher.


Q12. If you could go back in the past, what is the one thing that you would change in your life and why?

I would definitely have stuck it out at University and completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I really regret having stopped after one year and, with hindsight, I realize that it’s exactly the degree that was perfect for me.


Q13. What advice would you give to the newbie authors/ the aspiring ones?

Learn all about marketing and promotion before contemplating getting your book out there. Be patient. Do it because you love it and not for the money.


Q14. What are your upcoming books?

I have just finished my second book which I am sending to the editor this week. It is set in Mauritius and Australia and is another romantic comedy. I think it’s quite a fun read and is really colorful with lots of entertaining bits and pieces about Mauritius. Although it is light and funny, there is also a more profound side to it where I deal with an issue that touches me personally. You’ll have to read it to find out.

Am just starting on my third one which will be a bit different J More of a young adult book than a chicklit/romantic comedy, and will have a bit of suspense added to the romance and humour.


Q15. Before you go, how about a tantalizing excerpt from your book "What's it gonna be?"?

It’s so hard to choose one excerpt from a book, and even more difficult from my book… but here goes.

Excerpt :

Here I was at the movies on my first real date with Jake and my ex-boyfriend was sitting next to me!! I really should buy a lottery ticket tonight, I thought! I mean what were the chances of this happening? I picked my eyes up from around the floor somewhere and just stared at Matt, dumbstruck.

As I snapped out of my daze, I realised that he looked as surprised as I did. I muttered a quick greeting before turning my eyes back to the screen.

How was I going to survive one and a half hours sitting with Matt by my side? There was no way I would be able to concentrate on the movie. My mind was racing. Had he come with a girl? Damn, can’t see, I muttered to myself as I tried glancing past him, but it was impossible to look without it being obvious. I settled back, trying my best to follow the film. A few seconds later, I bolted when I felt his breath in my ear, “Are you going out with him?”

“It’s none of your business!” I replied curtly, before turning back to the screen, not allowing myself the time to see the expression on his face. My heart was on a roll, heavy metal concert style and there seemed to be no way of stopping it. I gave up trying.

Once again, I forced myself to concentrate on the film and watched with pleasure as Brad Pitt started undressing and we got a full view of his sexy butt.

“Have you ever seen such a cute butt? I mean EVER?” I whispered leaning over to the side.

“Not really into male butt’s myself, but I’ll take your word for it,” Matt’s amused voice replied in my ear.

Oh my God! I had leant over towards him instead of Jake. I gave him an evil glare, which broadened his smile some more as he turned back to the screen.

Oh no! This was really a nightmare.

I glanced the other way at Jake wondering whether he had witnessed all this, and saw him looking at me curiously.

“Is he a friend of yours?” he asked in a whisper.

“Um, I guess you could say that…” I mumbled feeling embarrassed. “It’s Matt.”

His eyes widened in surprise. “Matt? As in your Matt?”

I nodded, not wanting him to see the turmoil of emotions in my eyes at the mention of hearing ‘your Matt’. Before I realised what was going in, Jake had leaned over me and had extended his hand to shake Matt’s.

“Hi, I’m Jake. It’s nice to meet you.”


Thanks so much for the interview Nikita. :)


It was my pleasure, Cassandra. Thanks for taking out time from your very busy schedule to answer my questions!

Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff wishes you the very best and hope to read lots more from you in the future.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Book:


Title: What’s it gonna be?

No. of Pages: 472

Publication Date: December 2014

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

They all have a decision to make…
After four years, Lucy feels that it is more than time that Matt pops the question. But Matt has an irrational fear of the “M” word and just can’t say the four words she so desperately wants to hear…. Should Lucy wait, or give Matt an ultimatum? And then the gorgeous Jake comes into the picture and things get even more complicated…
Olivia has always been unlucky in love, then one day she meets Pierre online. A mysterious Frenchman ... could he be her knight in shining armour?
Vic and Sam have been married for years, but suddenly Sam’s new high profile job has him out until all hours. Will he succumb to the thrills of the singles scene?
What will Lucy and Matt do? Will Vic decide she’s had enough of being stuck at home with the children? Will Olivia give her heart to someone over the internet?
A tongue-in-cheek, fun and light-hearted look into love and relationships.


Buying Links:


Amazon IN | Amazon US

Read my #Review: Click Here


Follow Cassandra Piat here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads



~Giveaway~

Open Worldwide to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway is organized by Nikita (Njkinny)from Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff and sponsored by the Author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Ends: 12th December 2015a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 27, 2015

ARC Book Review: Fooling Around With Cinderella (Storybook Valley #1) by Stacy Juba

Title and Author: Fooling Around With Cinderella by Stacy Juba
No. of Pages: 224
Series: Storybook Valley #1
Publication Date: Thunder Horse Press (6 November 2015)
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fairytale Retelling, Series

Book Review:


Fooling Around With Cinderella is the story of Jaine Anderson who proposes a new marketing plan to a local amusement park, seeking a job there but by a turn of events finds herself playing Cinderella instead alongside her marketing role!

I just love fairy tales and stories that promise a fairy tale like experience are always alluring to me. I loved the title, cover and blurb of this book and jumped at the chance to read it.

Entertaining right from the start, I enjoyed each and every moment following Jaine around as she fought her overbearing sisters, fought her attraction towards her hunk boss and found herself playing Cinderella!

Stacy Juba does a stellar job of recreating a well loved fairytale in modern settings and has a rich narration style that kept me glued to the book right till the end. Storybook Valley amusement park had me revisiting my precious childhood memories of visiting such amusement parks where there were Cinderella, Peter Pan, Red robin Hood and other beloved Disney characters who seemed happy and the settings had a magical feel to them.


The characters are well fleshed out and I could relate to each one of them. Jaine somewhat reminded me of myself. She is kind, loyal, hardworking and often taken for granted. She feels self conscious of herself, comparing herself to her successful sisters but despite this is never jealous and always there to help them out which is like every time because her sisters have her working their chores all the time without once a good word about all her efforts.

Dylan had my heart palpitating with his handsome looks, his charm, his kindness and then his determination to make Storybook Valley a success. The chemistry between him and Jaine is both sweet and heartfelt. I felt invested in their lives and kept praying for a happily-ever-after for them.

The other characters also play their part admirably and I loved meeting Dylan's family who started Storybook Valley. They are a varied bunch and had me smiling reading them. I would definitely love to read their own stories and hope Stacy writes about them soon.

The story is well paced with expertly planned twists, emotional plays and added doses of humour, relationship study, romance and suspense. This is a great start to a new series and definitely a must read.

All in all, Fooling Around With Cinderella had me thoroughly entertained and I loved every second of it. 4.5 out of 5 to it and strongly recommended to all fans of fairy tale themed romances full of wit, suspense and a healthy dose of fairy tale. I enjoyed Stacy's writing and look forward to reading more from her in the future. Can't wait to read the next book in this series. Hope it comes out soon.



I received an ARC from the author and I am very thankful to her. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

Buy From:
Amazon IN {Rs 64 only!}

Thursday, November 26, 2015

PLUS SIZE FASHIONABLE CELEBRITIES THAT ARE WORTH FOLLOWING


Plus sized body is not that hard to dress up, especially when you have a few good examples you can follow. And today I am going to show you a few super fashionable and stylish plus size celebrities that can be a great inspiration for all of us – no matter the age or size! So let me prove to you once more, that being a little bit unconventional and a little bit curvier doesn’t stop women from being fashionable and excellent looking! After all, it is all up to how you feel not how you look like!




But before the head to that, I would also like to recommend you one great thing. Since we all know how expensive designer made plus size clothing are we might be struggling to afford that sometimes. And this is why online coupons can help us out very much! Discover how much you can save on truly fashionable clothing that fit all shapes and sizes. With these coupons, you will be beautiful even without a huge budget!





Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is not just a great actress and comedienne, but also a very sharp and fashionable dresser you can totally get inspired by. We all remember her from super famous NBC sitcom The Office and her hit show the Mindy Project. And we all remember how great she looks there as well. So if you feel close to her esthetic’s taste – definitely get some aspects of Mindy’s fashion sense and try to incorporate that to your outfits! 

Mellisa McCarthy

Another comedienne, actress and just great dresser - Mellisa McCarthy – is also worth following while looking for fashion inspirations. And although this hilarious actress is everything an A-list star isn’t supposed to be in sometimes really close-minded America, Mellisa manages to smile through everything and look gorgeous every time we see her in public. 

Amber Riley

A real dive - Amber Riley is another great public persona you can get inspired by. It is hard not to love this actress and incredible singer known as “Mercedes” on the amazingly popular Glee series. So Amber is not only an excellent role model as a personality (as all the ladies I mention), but also a very great dresser worth looking at to get inspired.



Adele

Another plus sized celebrity many of us know is Adele. This incredible singer not only conquers our hearts with heartwarming songs but also is a very classy, elegant and sophisticated dresser. Furthermore, with more than 30 million records sold all around the globe, Adele is one of the most successful Soul singers ever. Along with a great fashion sense, we all can learn a lot from her for sure.

Oprah

Oprah Winfrey, as we all know, is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, philanthropist and much more. Along with that, we can add that she is a very great dresser who knows how to embrace her beautiful curves too. And although Oprah struggled with her weight for many years, she always managed to look gorgeous every time we saw her on the TV. And that is why we can learn a lot from her as well. 

Book Blitz and $50 Giveaway: Wasted Time by Mya O'Malley

Wasted time mya

Wasted Time by Mya O'Malley 

Do you believe that some souls are destined to be together, even through hardship and deceit? After 9-11, Declan’s heart is torn between wanting to stay with Morgan and needing to fight for his beloved country. Knowing that the future may be uncertain, he kisses his fiancĂ©e goodbye and focuses on his mission until that dark day from which he will never fully recover. Injured in Afghanistan, Declan has lost more than part of his leg; he’s lost part of himself, now plagued in grief and guilt. How could he possibly ask Morgan to take care of him for the rest of his life, being nothing but a burden to her? Which would be more heartbreaking, feigning his own death or bringing her unhappiness every day? If only he could eradicate her from his mind and be at peace with his decision. Morgan prays day and night for Declan’s safe return, but when his letters stop coming, Morgan knows in her heart that she has lost him forever. Morgan has a hard time believing in fate and destiny after her fiancĂ© is taken from her. With Declan gone, Morgan’s hope for true love is destroyed, but eventually she finds comfort in the arms of another, even though Morgan’s new love knows that her heart belongs to Declan. Will Morgan eventually be able to move on, or will Declan haunt her dreams forever?


Amazon INAmazon US * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Smashwords * iTunes



Excerpt:

Her face was the only thing that had kept him sane during his deployment. At this moment, however, thoughts of Morgan had been pushed to the side for reasons of pure survival. Declan wiped the mud from his eye with a swift movement of his hand, just quick enough so that he could see again. Booming thunder went off near and far. Swearing under his breath, Declan closed one eye and squinted the other shut as he spied his target. Breathe. One, two, three… he could do this. The first time he’d had to shoot another man he had faltered, hesitated only the briefest of seconds, during which time the man escaped his line of sight and shot a fellow soldier in the leg, causing serious injury. This time, Declan concentrated, aimed his M4 rifle, and fired. The distinct thud of a man dropping to the ground confirmed the target had been hit. Swiping at the sweat in his eyes from the sweltering mid-day heat, Declan gulped and struggled to his knees. Lining up his rifle again, his neck and shoulders ached with fatigue. He bit down and gritted his teeth, tasting dirt while fighting off the pain. It seemed as if hours had gone by, when in fact, it had probably only been minutes when finally the haunting sound of gunfire ceased. Not one to trust silence in any setting, Declan mentally counted upward until he reached near fifty. “All clear,” his buddy, Sean, called out. “All clear.” Declan, always cautious, still maintained his position until he heard his fellow soldiers from his platoon begin to speak. Peeking up from his ravine, Declan rose slowly to his feet as the rifle was pressed to his side. Surveying the damage, it appeared that several of their enemies were lying still on the ground. The man he had shot lay still, appearing lifeless. Another man lay several feet away. It seemed the enemies had taken off, deserting the boundaries of the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. His platoon mates fell silent, all business as they quickly gathered their belongings to head back to base. Declan clutched his rifle, drawing closer to his victim. Curiosity had gotten the best of him. Fully aware of his previous actions, Declan stepped even closer. He had never killed a man before — injured, yes, but never killed. This man did not appear to be alive. His heart sped up as sweat caused his fatigues to cling to his body. For God’s sake, the man looked to have been only in his early twenties at best. What have I done? What are we doing here? Waves of nausea rose and Declan swallowed hard. “Hey! Step back!” Sean called out. “Move out! I repeat, move out!” Hearing his friend call out to him, Declan turned toward the sound of his voice, realizing his mistake seconds too late. He should have known better; he should have. But no amount of training can prepare you for taking another man’s life. Glancing swiftly at Sean through tear-stained eyes, he saw the movement in his peripheral vision. Sean raced to the open dirt road. They were sitting ducks, in plain sight. The man that Declan had presumed dead, the one he had shot, raised his own rifle and fired at Sean, who dropped instantly to ground. “No! No!” Declan spun his head back to the imminent threat, a moment too late. The force of the explosion knocked him to the ground in an instant. Morgan’s face was the last thing that registered in his mind as another shot fired, leaving his world black.  

 ****  

 Clouds scattered overhead, cries of gulls bringing back another time, a different memory, sitting here with Declan by her side. Morgan squeezed her jaw, fighting back the pain. Months later, there was still no word from Declan. On the Internet, she had searched out his name relentlessly but there was no mention of Declan, no death certificates and his name couldn’t be found on any list of casualties of the war. It was as if he had simply disappeared, but that wasn’t possible and she feared the worst. He was gone and there was no closure for Morgan, as his only living relatives were his mom and some family living on the west coast, whom Declan hadn’t seen in years. Even she and Declan’s old friend, Stephen seemed to be losing touch. She could sit on this beach and watch the water forever; it was a place Declan had cherished, a place she felt close to him. Never again would her life be the same without Declan Blake. How was she going to make it without him? The world was quiet and without joy for Morgan. Even Morgan’s mother nagged her to speak with a therapist. She didn’t see the purpose of smiling or laughing when it was all forced. Constant thoughts of Declan plagued her day and night. Morgan nearly jumped when her cell rang. First instincts were to let the call go to voicemail, but she knew the person calling would only persist. That’s how it had been lately; she would ignore phone calls only to find tons of messages waiting. It was Elle, calling for the second time that day. “Hi, Elle.” “Where have you been? I’ve been trying to call you for hours,” Elle exclaimed. “I don’t know, I’m just hanging out.” “Down by the river again?” Elle inquired. “Yup,” Morgan responded as she moved her foot around in the sand. “Figured as much.” Elle’s voice sounded odd, almost as if she were hearing her close by. Morgan turned to see her friend walking toward her on the grassy path leading to the small beach. Rising to her feet, Morgan felt tears escape. Elle was by her side, arms wrapped around her within moments. Morgan released Elle and took a small step back. “Oh, Elle, what am I going to do?” she sobbed. “You’re going to live, dammit. Declan would want you to be happy.” “How? How can I forget about him, just move on?” It wasn’t possible, she had tried, and it just wasn’t working. Even when she was at work, she was just going through the motions; she did her job, but her heart wasn’t the same. “I think it’s time for you to see someone to talk about all of this. You’ve waited long enough.” She was right and so was her mother, believe it or not. “I will, Elle. I will because I don’t know what else to do.” “Morgan, you’re the strongest person I know. You have so much happiness and love to share. I have full confidence in you. You’re going to make it and come out stronger in the end.” Elle spoke through her own tears. “Thanks, Elle. I love you.” Morgan felt better knowing there was someone on her side rooting for her.  

add to goodreads



Mya OmalleyAuthor Mya O'Malley

Mya O'Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of a boxer, Destiny and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students. Mya's passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her eighth novel.



50_Amazon_Paypal  $50 Blast Giveaway

 Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/16/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ARC Book Review and $25 Giveaway: The Haunted Heart of Rory O'Dannon by Delia J. Colvin


NEW RELEASE.....
Is the love of Megara's life a hallucination -- or a ghost?

While delirious with fever, Megara had a visit and fell in love with the Irish poet Rory O'Dannon, but never saw him again. Years later, convinced that he had been a hallucination, she enters a pragmatic marriage to Senator Ken Benedict.

Until a car accident catapults her back to 19th century Ireland--and into Rory's arms.

Despite a challenging new life, Megara helps Rory find his poetry and pledges her heart to him, the night before he is to be hanged for treason...and then she wakes from the coma. Forced by sound evidence, she realizes that Rory was fictional, but discovers the wedding band he gave her and a message that time is running out!

Now Megara must choose between the easy life with her husband, or risk death and a chance for love with Rory.


Available to buy from the following sites...

Amazon.in  Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iTunes

"A fanciful romance with lots of twists and turns, and a magical setting!" 

 "I'm a sucker for Irish magic and the like, so I'm hooked!"


~Book Review~

The Haunted Heart of Rory O'Dannon is the first book by Delia J. Colvin that I have read and I got attracted towards it after hearing many rave reviews from my book lover buddies.

Promising an emotion rich romance with a healthy dose of time travel and modern day struggle to finally get a happily-ever-after, this book also has some neat twists.

The title is intriguing and the cover while not that appealing is still captivating enough that it had me wanting to check the book out. The blurb is the best thing amongst the initial trio of title, cover and blurb. It is both attention catching as well as enticing enough to have a reader want to give this book a chance.

The plot is well conceived. Delia gives her story idea an admirable execution but I think given her caliber that I have heard about from so many people, the first few chapters of this story are too slow and often had me feeling irritated and tempted to stop reading. Anyhow, I am happy that I persevered because soon as the heroine travels back in time, the story starts getting rich: story telling wise, emotional play wise and character development wise. The romance that happens in the past between Rory and Megara had me sighing, laughing and then feeling like hitting atleast one of these hard headed characters to make them see how much they loved each other!

The story narration style is simple, fluid and although in the first person, Delia manages to capture the interest of the readers after the initial seven-eight chapters. The characters in the old Ireland part of the story are better developed and felt more real than the modern day characters of Ken and Bets, both of whom just could not justify their stance with me. Ken confused me as a husband and Bets just plain irritated me. She is the heroine's best friend and yet every time she opened her mouth I felt like hitting her because she just doesn't have any compassion or understanding that she should have with her best friend. Even Megara of the present seems dull and unreal as compared to the Megara of the past who is more headstrong, passionate and vocal, looking realistic and someone I could connect with. I also felt the absence of character clashes and relationship struggles between the modern day characters at certain points in this book which the story demanded.

The best character of all is Rory. He is strong, loyal and had me feeling empathetic and fan girl style loyal towards him; all the while rooting for his happiness.

The later part of the story is so beautiful that had I stopped after my initial lack of interest, I would have felt extremely sorry to have missed such a beautiful and heartfelt romantic story that had me feeling giddy with happiness and in tears at the same time.

The twists and turns provided by the author are also commendable and had me taken by surprise at times. 

All in all, The Haunted Heart of Rory O'Dannon is a romance that truly blooms in the later part of the book but the wait is well worth it. I enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to all lovers of romance. 3.5 out of 5 to it and I look forward to checking out the other books by the author soon. Had the first part of the story and certain characters been handled better, this would definitely have been a 5 star rated book from me. Anyhow, for now, it is still pretty unique and entertaining and definitely recommended.



I received an ARC from the author and the tour organizers for review and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


About the Author
delia colvin authorDelia J. Colvin is the International Bestselling author of The Sibylline Trilogy. She authors a popular blog and is listed as a contributor in two business books. She has worked in a variety of occupations from marketing to entrepreneur, Air Traffic Controller and Russian Interpreter. But her passion is in writing and helping people. Delia has donated both time and money to literacy programs around the country.

PERSONAL NOTE From the Author: As much as I enjoy writing, I love hearing from readers even more! It would mean the world to me if you would take a moment to send me an email and say hi. I personally answer all of my emails. Email me at DeliaJColvin@gmail.com

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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Waiting on Wednesday (10): Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


My pick this week is Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner

Harley was certain she could have it all: She could be the world's best landlord, protect Coney Island from the scum of the Earth, woo Mason Macabre, work her day job as a psychiatrist, volunteer at the puppy shelter...but that's a whole lot of spinning plates, and eventually they're bound to start breaking! What happens when a psychopath cracks up? Is it possible for Harley to go even more insane?!

Release Date: December 15th, 2015
 
Why I picked this book?

I love superhero books and have been a fan since childhood. This one looks so interesting with an intriguing cover and the promise of a story where a hero and an insane villain come together. Add this to my love for Batman and I know I just have to read this one. It will be super fun to read their adventures, or maybe it will be misadventures, together!

What is your WoW pick?



Buying Links:


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WoW post, or share your WoW pick in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog).  If you choose to follow me then let me know so I can follow you back. Thanks! :)

-Njkinny
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Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Blast and $50 Giveaway: World War II Espionage Trilogy by A.L. Sowards

A.L. Sowards' World War II Espionage Trilogy Veteran's Day eBook Sale

espionage

Espionage (Book 1): France, 1944: Nobody expects Peter Eddy to survive his first commando mission—to retrieve a code book stolen by the Nazis—so when he does come back alive, his success is rewarded with an even more daunting assignment. Partnered with French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, Peter must identify which of three Allied contacts in Calais is a double agent and use the traitor to help implement a strategic Allied diversion that might win the war. Peter secretly crosses the English Channel to confront the suspects one at a time. But what appears to be a clean assignment soon turns disastrous, and even the aid of Jacques and his sister Genevieve can’t prevent a Gestapo triumph. As the Allied invasion approaches, treachery in the least likely places leads to fresh graves in the bloodied European soil—and only the power of loyalty and love can transform tragic endings into new beginnings.



sworn enemy

Sworn Enemy (Book 2): After narrowly escaping her Nazi captors, French Resistance worker Genevieve Olivier has fled to Allied territory with the help of American Lieutenant Peter Eddy. Their connection is undeniable, forged in the crucible of danger. But despite their blossoming feelings for each other, they must both finish the work they began . . . In the safety of England, Genevieve hopes to find purpose as a nurse—all the while unaware that the Gestapo still seeks the woman who slipped through their grasp. When she is called upon to resume a life of danger as a French spy, will her desire to prove herself be her downfall? Recruited by an elite special-ops team intent on thwarting the Nazis, Peter finds himself engaged in a personal battle as well—there is a traitor among his comrades. Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, Peter combats an unknown foe. The stakes are high as he fights to save the lives of his teammates. They are miles apart, yet as Genevieve and Peter fight for their own survival, they find a common well of strength in their faith—and their determination to be reunited.

deadly alliance

Deadly Alliance (Book 3): When Peter Eddy and his commando team inadvertently upset the Soviets during their most recent mission, they never imagined the diplomatic nightmares that would ensue. They have one chance to redeem themselves: tasked with destroying a bridge in Nazi-occupied Bosnia, Peter and his war-weary team reluctantly agree to drop behind enemy lines. The assignment should be a simple one—were it not for the fact that they are being deployed on a suicide mission. Genevieve Olivier is devastated by the news of Peter’s disappearance. After all they’ve endured in this war, the determined OSS worker is unwilling to simply let go of the man she hopes to spend her life with. Desperate for information, her work as a courier soon escalates into a counterintelligence duel with a Fascist assassin—and Genevieve is his newest target . . .

Praise for Espionage, Sworn Enemy, and Deadly Alliance: This historical fiction WWII series is amazing! Seriously tense action, intrigue, death-defying danger, strong characters, and even a hint of romance. Sowards really does her research and makes readers feel as if they are right in the middle of the action in different settings throughout war-torn Europe. These aren't your normal WWII books; they are much better. ~Charissa Stastny, author of the Bending Willow Trilogy
A.L. Sowards is a master at telling sides of stories from history that aren't overdone or commonly shared. These books took me on an unexpected journey and they each brought up issues that I hadn't really thought about before. I loved learning information about this time period, while being thoroughly entertained by the events happening to some beloved characters. ~Katie, blogger at Katie’s Clean Book Collection
A.L. Sowards has been a favorite author of mine for years. I was enraptured by the first book in her World War II series, Espionage, and fell more in love with the characters with each book. Her knowledge of World War II is unreal and the way she weaves the historical aspects in is so gripping I could hardly set these books down. I would highly recommend this series, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction. ~Cami Checketts, Author of Shadows in the Curtain
Intrigue, horror, and romance all wrapped up in this brilliant WWII trilogy. A.L Sowards did an amazing job at bringing the time period to life for me. I highly recommend all three books in the Espionage series. ~Bookworm Lisa, blogger



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AL Sowards

Author A.L. Sowards A.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she's grateful she didn't live back then. She doesn't think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons. Her books are known for heart-pounding action, memorable characters, careful historical research, clean romance, and family-friendly language. Several of her novels have been Whitney Award finalists in the historical fiction category.



50_Amazon_Paypal $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/2/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Blast and $50 Giveaway: Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Next door to a starNext Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager 

 Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible. After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend. Being popular is a lot harder than it looks. It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins… He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken. So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again. Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad. Is this really what it’s like to live… Next Door To A Star? 
  
Excerpt 

The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities. Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered. Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer 
was going to be different.



Praise for Next Door to a Star: 

From Readers’ Favorite: Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl growing into her teen years….Hager's main character is representative of every teenage girl. The author really nailed the reality of a young girl's early high school years. I think this is a valuable read for girls ages 12-18. 
From Kelly Smith Reviews: Hager wrote from a teen's perspective, and it gave the book a very authentic feel. She has a real gift for that, something many YA writers lack these days. She reminds me a lot of a modern Ann M. Martin or Judy Blume. 
From Author Erin Fanning: If you, like me, have a soft spot for young adult novels then author Krysten Lindsay Hager should have a place on your bookshelf. Ms. Hager brings the teen years to life with absolute perfection in Next Door to a Star. Handling multiple plotlines with an expert touch, she’s crafted a young adult dramedy that on the top layer is a story about Hadley Daniels, an average teen whose only ambition is to fit in, have a few friends, and find her place in the world.
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Krysten L   Author Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.



50_Amazon_Paypal $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/2/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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