Hi and Welcome!

For the last three years I have been a Stay at Home Mother. And during this time, I found I was many things: Household CEO, Toddler Tantrum and Meltdown Negotiator, Executive Chef on a tight budget, Head Cheerleader, Housekeeper, Teacher, Child Advocate, Event Planner, Guru in special education, and so on. But somewhere along the line I had lost myself within a world of diapers, baby talk, and tears. Although I am highly educated, I found myself being defined by my children and the role of being a mother.

Don’t get me wrong; I love spending time with my children. But I am so much more than a Mother. I am a runner, a lover and critique of books, and maybe one day an author. I started this blog at the beginning of 2016 in hopes to redefine and connect with who I once was and discover who I’m going to become. And I feel like I have done just that. I have embraced the rewards and challenges of running. This year I will not only complete my first half marathon, but I will also be completing my first full marathon. I have read amazing books that allowed me to get lost form one imaginary world to the next. And I have been able to meet some amazing people.

Looking forward, I have decided it is time to return to work. Although this probably means I wont be able to read as many books as I am used to, I plan to continue to read, write, and post as often as I can. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Feel free to post comments or send me a message at boundtobeme3@gmail.com.

 

🙂

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Author/Book Spotlight – Opal Carew: X Marks the Spot

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Author: Opal Carew
Pages: 256

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Synopsis:
Abi has been in love with Del for years, but they never got around to acting on their mutual attraction. And then she met and married his best friend, Liam.

But when Abi and Liam’s marriage falls apart, Abi decides to take control of her life and find her happily-ever-after with Del. So when they’re all staying in a country inn for her brother’s wedding, Abi decides to slip into Del’s bed and seduce him…except she accidentally ends up in Liam’s instead.

Liam never stopped loving Abi, and he plans to use every blazing hot trick in his book to keep her in his bed…even if it means sharing her with Del.


Excerpt, Chapter One:

Abi ran her finger over the embossed wedding invitation. The feel of the raised flowers, smooth under her fingertip, made her think of white satin.

She stared at the silver letters … Join us … and her mind drifted off, imagining herself walking down the aisle, wearing a beautiful white satin and lace dress adorned with delicate pearls and white sequins. In her daydream, her gaze locked on her groom, standing at the altar watching her approach with eyes filled with joy, his beaming smile melting her heart.

Del.

“Hey, earth to Abi,” Jaime, her older sister, said. “You know we’ve got to get all these done this evening, right?”

Claire, Abi’s other sister, laughed. “Don’t worry about it, Jaime. If our little sister wants to daydream a little, that’s okay. She’s already stuffed more invitations than both of us combined. What were you thinking about, Abi?”

This time Jaime laughed. “Isn’t it obvious? She’s thinking about Del.”

Ignoring her sisters, Abi slipped an RSVP and the invitation into an envelope, then turned it over and ran her dampened sponge over the glue on the flap and sealed it. Then she flipped it back and wrote Del’s name and address on the front.

He was the next guest on the list.

She sighed, wishing this was her wedding coming up instead of her brother Kurt’s. But despite the intense attraction between her and Del, he seemed more than happy to be just friends. Which she couldn’t really blame him for after their false start in college.

But she’d do anything to turn things around. To finally find her happily-ever-after in his arms.

Jaime plucked the completed invitation from Abi and placed it in the box with the others. Claire added the one she’d just finished. Doing the invitations had been Kurt’s task, but of course he’d left them to the last minute, then got pulled into something at work, so he’d called on his three sisters to help out.

Abi sipped her wine and realized Jaime was staring at her.

“What?” Abi asked.

“You know you’ll be seeing Del at the wedding. You should make a move.”

Abi’s lips compressed. “I don’t have a move.”

“You’re a woman. The only move you need is to get naked in his bed,” Jaime said.

Abi’s mouth dropped open. It wasn’t like Jaime to say something so brash.

Claire’s eyebrow arched. “You’re suggesting our little sister march into a man’s room, strip down, and climb into bed with him?”

Jaime shrugged. “I suggest a little more finesse than that but, yeah, essentially. And the point is, this isn’t any man. It’s Del, the man she’s been mooning over for years.”

“Forget it,” Abi interrupted. “That is not going to happen.”

“Come on, Abi,” Jaime said. “You’ve been out of sorts ever since you heard that Scruff was getting married.” Scruff was the nickname her older sisters had for Kurt.

Claire placed her hand on Abi’s, staring at her with concern. “What is it, honey? Why is Scruff getting married bothering you?”

Abi shook her head. “It’s not. I’m thrilled for him. Suzanne is wonderful and I know they’ll be very happy together.” She squeezed Claire’s hand. “I really want that for him.”

Claire stroked her shoulder. “Of course you do. We all do.”

“It’s not really about Scruff,” Jaime said, leaning back in her chair. “Is it?”

Abi shook her head. She’d been thinking about it a lot lately, confused by her own reaction to her brother’s fabulous news. And she’d finally figured it out. “It’s because after this, I’ll be the only one in the family who’s not married.”

“But, honey, you are married,” Claire said.

Abi sighed, pain flaring through her.

“Technically, yes. But I was married for barely a year before we separated and we’ve been apart for over two years now. I don’t really think that counts.”

Her chest constricted at the thought of Liam. The whole ordeal around their separation—her hands tightened into fists—around their marriage … was still difficult for her to think about. It brought up memories that were too agonizing to relive.

Claire slid her arm around Abi’s shoulders and squeezed.

“I know it’s been tough on you. But I still think you and Liam have a chance to make it work. I think the fact that he hasn’t signed the divorce papers yet means he’s not ready to let you go.”

“No,” Jaime said, “it means the jerk’s a son of a bitch who just wants to prolong Abi’s suffering. She belongs with someone who’ll make her happy. Del will do that.”

Abi glanced at Jaime who sat in the chair opposite the couch, sipping her wine. “I always thought you liked Liam.”

The severe expression on Jaime’s face softened.

“I did. Until he hurt my little sister.”

* * *

When Abi got home, she slumped into her bed and stared at the ceiling. Both her sisters were home with their husbands now. Jaime with her two boys in the next room. Claire didn’t have kids yet, but Abi knew she and her husband, Bill, were thinking about it.

Her sisters had everything Abi had ever wanted. A life partner who loved them. A family, or the opportunity to have one soon. And now Kurt did, too. In a month’s time, he would be married and working on his family.

Where was Abi’s happily-ever-after?

She closed her eyes, but sleep wouldn’t come. All she could think of was Del and what might have been.

* * *

Abi had met Del at college, the day she’d moved into her dorm room. She’d received a scholarship to pursue her master’s in Early Childhood Education at Brahm’s University in Eldridge, New Hampshire. The same place her brother, Kurt, had gone for his graduate studies.

It was the first time she’d been away from her family, since she’d done her undergraduate degree close to home, and she’d been feeling a little lost.

Then Del had shown up at her door. He was a friend of her brother’s, and Kurt had asked him to look out for her.

She still remembered glancing up to see the gorgeous man standing in her doorway.

He’d smiled, his straight, white teeth and the warmth glowing from his eyes making his whole face light up in a way that dug into her heart and tugged at her most intense feminine needs.

When she’d shaken his hand, electricity had sparked up her arm, firing every nerve ending along the way. His hand had been so big and warm and … comforting. In his warm olive-green eyes, flecked with what looked like golden stardust, she’d been sure she’d seen a reflection of the same intense attraction.

He’d shown her around town and helped her integrate into the social life on campus.

But because of his friendship with her brother, he’d insisted they remain just friends.

She’d kept hoping. Her face flushed with embarrassment as she remembered when she’d practically thrown herself at him one evening, kissing him and telling him she wanted more from him than friendship.

Despite the sexual tension between them, their friendship continued to grow. He was always there when she needed someone to talk to. And he looked out for her. He even introduced her to his best friend, Liam, clearly hoping she’d turn her attention to him instead.

The moment she’d met Liam, she’d fallen hard. It would be easy to tell herself that she’d only needed someone to distract her from her feelings for Del, but it wasn’t that simple. The chemistry between her and Liam was spectacular, burning brighter than anything she’d ever experienced before. And both of them had mistaken that for love.

Her gut clenched as her mind started along a path that would take her on a rapid downward spiral. Tears prickled at her eyes, and she brushed them away. She pulled herself from the painful memories, refusing to relive them right now.

Over the long, dismal year when her marriage was falling apart, Del had been there for her. Encouraging her. Trying to help her keep it together with Liam, who had sunk into his own man cave of despair.

After she’d finally ended it with Liam, Del had been the one holding her hand. He had been the shoulder she’d cried on.

And he’d helped her get herself back on her feet and focused on getting her degree. Despite the fact that all she’d wanted to do was curl into a ball.

He’d known how vulnerable she was, and he’d been a true friend, never making a move on her. Even though she’d wanted him to.

Then she’d graduated and moved back home, hoping to get a position teaching. And needing to be near her family. She and Del kept in touch, but they continued to stay firmly entrenched in the friendship zone. She was sure that he had feelings for her and now that time had passed, it was time to do something about it.

* * *

Del grabbed the mail from his box and headed up to his apartment, then dropped onto the couch and sorted through it. He spotted the invitation to Kurt’s wedding. He knew that’s what it was before he opened it. Kurt had asked Del to be a groomsman and, of course, he’d accepted. The invitation was a formality.

He recognized the handwriting on the front of the envelope. Abi had addressed it.

He ran his finger over the inked lines, picturing her fingers gliding the pen over the paper. Imagining reaching for her hand and taking it in his, then bringing it to his mouth. Brushing his lips against the soft skin on the back of her hand.

Del couldn’t help remembering the first time he’d met Abi almost four years ago.

He’d been attracted to her the instant he’d seen her. He’d heard a lot about her from Kurt, so he’d already known what kind of person she was. Loving, sweet, and giving, with a strong sense of family. And intelligent.

He hadn’t realized how stunning she was, however. He’d seen pictures of her, but none of them did her justice. Her long, wavy, chestnut-brown hair that tumbled around her shoulders had glistened in the sunlight from the window. Her figure was slim, but well-rounded in all the right places. And when she’d gazed at him with her luminous blue eyes, his pulse had skipped a beat.

Damn, his friend’s little sister should not have been so fuckably attractive. She’d been totally off-limits.

Even now, the memory of how she’d looked at him still sent liquid fire racing through his veins.

He stood up and walked into the kitchen, then grabbed a water bottle from the fridge. He returned to the couch and sat down again.

When he’d taken her out to dinner that first day, despite his best efforts, he’d forgotten he was with the sister of a friend, seeing instead a fascinating, vibrant, sexy woman he wanted to get to know better.

Much better.

When they’d stood outside her door, her wide, blue eyes gazing up at him, his intense desire for her had urged him to take her up on the invitation glowing in her eyes, and follow her to her bedroom.

But he had a sister. He glanced at the graduation photo of Cara on his bookshelf. One he cared about very much. And when Kurt had asked Del to look out for Abi, he’d taken that promise very seriously.

So he’d forced himself to resist the temptation of her lips. Of her incredible body. A feat that had become increasingly difficult the more time he’d spent around her.

He took a sip of his water, then slumped back on the couch.

Especially the day she’d made it clear she wanted more. He’d walked her to her door, and seen the desire in her eyes. She’d wanted him to kiss her. When he didn’t make a move, she’d rested her hand on his shoulder and pushed herself up onto her tiptoes, then their lips had met.

Oh, God, he could still feel the gut-wrenching need that had swelled within him at the feel of her soft lips. His arms were around her before he knew what he was doing, pulling her tight to him. His cock swelling in response to her soft curves. His tongue had delved inside her, her sweetness becoming like an aphrodisiac. He’d pulled her tighter and she’d murmured softly against his lips.

When their mouths parted, she’d smiled up at him and invited him inside.

He raked his hair from his face.

That’s when he’d come to his senses. He’d explained to her that he couldn’t pursue the attraction between them. That he wanted to be her friend.

He’d been a complete fool. If he had only allowed them to pursue the intense attraction that crackled between them … allowed their romance to blossom … then he would have prevented the tragic events that followed.

And the limbo they both found themselves in now.

Fuck, he wanted her in his life. And not as a friend. Desire had turned to something more years ago.

The fact that she was his friend’s younger sister didn’t matter anymore. Not after so much had happened.

But she was married. To his best friend.

The marriage had failed, however. He’d seen it crumble before his eyes, despite Abi trying to keep it together.

Liam was resisting signing the papers, but Abi wanted the divorce. And they’d been separated for two years.

His lips compressed as he opened the envelope and pulled out the RSVP. He grabbed a pen and filled out the small card—no plus-one—then slipped it into the small pre-addressed, stamped envelope.

It was high time he stopped playing by the rules and did whatever it took to win her heart.

* * *

Abi stepped from the car and stood gazing at the lovely country inn with a beautiful garden of bright-colored flowers adorning the sides of the stone path leading to the front entrance, as Claire’s husband, Bill, started pulling their luggage from the trunk of the car. There was a sparkling lake beyond the building, the shoreline spotted with tall trees.

Claire stepped beside her and drew in a deep breath.

“Mmm. The flowers smell lovely,” Claire said. “Scruff and Suzanne definitely picked a beautiful spot for their wedding.”

Claire hooked her arm with Abi’s and they walked along the path toward the front door.

“Abi.”

Abi’s heart stuttered at the familiar male voice and she turned toward Del.


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Opal Carew is the author of several erotic romances for St. Martin’s Press, including A Fare to Remember and Nailed. She lives in Canada and makes regular trips to the US to speak at conferences and industry events.

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Comment below if you’ve read the book or other books by Opal! Check out my review of her other book, Meat

Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Forever Black (Forever, #1)

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I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was so disappointed. There were some things I enjoyed about this book, but those were far and few…


Forever Black

 

Author: Sandi Lynn
Published: February 16, 2013
Pages: 278

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

Synopsis:
When Ellery moved to New York with her boyfriend, she thought they’d live happily ever after in their small New York apartment. She never thought he’d pack his bags and leave because he “needed space.” With her newfound single status and fear of being alone, Ellery buries herself in her artwork and paintings until one night she helps a mysterious intoxicated stranger get home safely. Little did she know the mysterious stranger is none other than CEO and millionaire Connor Black. After finding Ellery in his kitchen the next morning and assuming she broke his #1 rule about sleepovers, he becomes intrigued, not only by her stubbornness and defiance, but by her kindness.

Connor Black, emotionally dead and damaged, that stemmed from a personal tragedy, made a vow to never love or fall in love with a woman, until Ellery Lane walked into his life by accident. After she opens up and shows him her world, Connor starts to feel emotions and feelings he never knew existed. Despite the rumors and warnings regarding Connor Black and his use and misuse of women, Ellery finds herself being drawn into his world.

Ellery knows they can never be together because she is harboring a deep secret that could destroy Connor emotionally forever.

Review:
Ok, where to start. This book starts off really slow. You meet Elle as her boyfriend of 4 years is leaving her. And although the author hints at him cheating on her, Elle is still heartbroken and fearful of being alone. Everywhere she goes, everyone handles her with delicate gloves.  The sex scenes were the same way, gentle with an underlining fear of hurting her. It was just completely odd and doesn’t match her character. For example- She goes to a club called club S. Supposedly the s stands for sex and Elle freaks out because it’s a club where people go to find sex… Tell me if I’m wrong but don’t a lot of adults go to a club looking to get laid, hook up? Either way the club is as mild as it gets and nothing happens. But the way Elle freaked out about it just didn’t really match with how old her character is supposed to be.

And this is where we meet Connor Black, at the club getting slapped by some girl. Then later as he is getting kicked out for drinking too much- Yes, I know. Sounds like a stand up guy… Elle must think so because she decides the safest thing for her to do is get in a cab with the stranger and take him home. Again, sounds like the safest thing to do in New York…

Connor is arrogant, good looking, and wealthy. He is also stuck up, condescending, rude, bossy, and somewhat of a stalker. The interactions between him and Elle come off as forced, at times creepy, and negative. Connor always comes off as a curious yet pissed off guy and Elle comes off as annoyed and defiant. I have no idea why they continue to interact with each other. But they do and the plot gets a little more bizarre. Elle tells Connor something personal and emotional, Connor loosens up and acts like a human. I just don’t get it. 

As the story progresses, Connor and Elle’s relationship changes multiple times. Some of the events that happened were too sappy for me and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Overall, I probably wont read this book again. Maybe the timing is off and if I read this book later down the line, I might think differently. Either way, I wasn’t too impressed. 

 

Author Spotlight – Hanleigh Bradley: Inescapable Fate (Fate Series, #1)

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Hi Book lovers, welcome to another author spotlight! This week I was able to chat with Hanleigh Bradley about her upcoming book. Here is what she said:

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved books. I found it incredible that someone else’s words could make my imagination run wild. I wanted that for my own words. I would write short stories, the occasional bit of Harry Potter fanfiction and stuff like that as a teenager and I found I could get lost in those words for ages.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Inescapable Fate is the first book in my new series and it all centers around Georgia Kentley. She’s a police officer – Detective Sergeant – and she’s just broken up with her long term boyfriend over Christmas. Totally awkward. When she returns to work she gets into a lot of trouble, much to the irritation of her new boss, DCI Walker Trent.

Why did I write this book? Not really sure. I just had an idea and went with it. I like to believe that with every book I write, I become a better author and I think this might be my best book yet.

You mentioned this is the first book in a series. Can you tell us more about the series?
The series is going to follow Georgia and Walker as they get to know each other and face all sorts of danger. There are going to be three books; Inescapable Fate, Inexplicable Fate and Irreversible Fate. All my books are linked so anyone who has read my other books will recognize the occasional character that is going to pop up in this series.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
That sometimes it’s okay to be rescued. Georgia has experienced some pretty nasty stuff in her life and is seriously self-reliant. Somewhere in all this she’s going to have to learn that she can’t always save herself. I just hope she realizes before its too late.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
Gosh. There are a few authors that I love. Austen – I love Persuasion. JK Rowling. Elizabeth Gaskel. Deborah Bladon. I’m not sure I can say just one. Perhaps Austen. It’s not just about what she wrote, but more than that. It’s the fact she wrote in a time where women authors weren’t really a thing. The women authors of her generation are like writing superstars in my mind.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Write a plan, do your research and then write a marketing plan. Writing is the fun bit. Marketing is the important bit. Promote your book like crazy. Get as many ARC readers as you possibly can. But whatever you do stick to your plan (unless to improve it) and don’t rush.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this spring?  
Meg Anne’s The Chosen Series is insanely good and I also love Rae B. Lake’s 7 Kingdoms Series.

Do you have any strange antics you do while you write?
Not so much. I listen to music – but it can’t have lyrics. I also watch the news – on mute.


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Short Excerpt:
Worst bloody Christmas of my life! In all my life I never thought I’d be so grateful to get back to work on the 27th of December. We’d been sat there at the dinner table enjoying what should have been a fantastic dinner with the people we loved, and he had to go and ruin it all. His mum had asked a simple question, one my mother was itching to ask too. A question I had hoped they’d leave off for at least another six months but when I heard it, I thought we’d behave like grown-ups and answer it reasonably. What I didn’t expect was for him to have said what he did. I was just as shocked as everyone else at the table, at a complete loss for how to respond.

“So, when will you be getting married then?” His mum had asked in a teasing tone as she elbowed him gently.

I’d laughed slightly and gone to answer the question myself. We’ve not thought about it, was on the tip of my tongue. It was the truth after all. Even if we’d been together since high school, we’d never once considered getting married. There were so many things to discuss before we could agree to spending the rest of our lives together, like if we wanted kids and how many. We’d never once discussed the future, and part of me believed it was because we both knew that we were just passing time until something or someone better came along. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him, I did. I loved him more than almost anyone else, but it wasn’t the way I imagined being in love. Something was missing and over the years I’d convinced myself that that was okay, that eventually, we might find that missing component. Darren had apparently disagreed though because this Christmas he dumped me.

“We won’t be getting married,” Darren told me and our families in tandem.

His eyes were glued to the table in front of him as he continued, “actually I’ve decided we need to break up.” I wasn’t upset at the prospect of breaking up, not really. It had felt inevitable. I was downright pissed that he’d taken it upon himself to make the decision, not including me at all. What was worse was that he’d decided to tell our parents without my consent and on fucking Christmas Day of all days.

“What do you mean?” My father had jumped to his feet, prepared perhaps to defend his little girl.

“We’ve grown apart and there’s no point in continuing this farce.” His tone was cold and unfeeling. It left my heart like ice. He could have at least shown me some kindness, after all, we were friends before we started dating. We’d been dating for five years; ever since our last year at secondary school and before that, we’d been friends for over ten years.

“Why are you doing this now?” My father was furious and I couldn’t really blame him. I wasn’t exactly happy myself.

In a much quieter voice than my father’s, I asked, “why didn’t you discuss this with me before bringing it to our families?”

For the first time since his mother brought up marriage, he looked at me, “I didn’t think you’d let me go.”

“Let you go? I’m not holding you hostage,” the pitch of my voice increasing as I spoke.

“I… I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Then what did you mean?” I asked sharply.

My mother dropped her hand to my shoulder and suggested that everyone leave us to discuss the situation, but just as everyone got up from the table and began to make their way through to the living room, Darren abruptly told them it wasn’t necessary and that he was leaving.

“It’s not as simple as that,” I told him as he gathered his things together, “what about the flat?”

“You can keep it. I don’t want it.”

“What?” I was astounded by his complete lack of feeling. “Where will you stay?”

“I’ll find somewhere.”

“What about your belongings?”

“I’ll ask mum and dad to come and collect them in the New Year.”

“Why didn’t you talk to me about this?” I tried to touch his arm, but he flinched away from me as if burnt.

“There was never a right time.”

“There’s no such thing as the right time… As a friend, as your best friend, as someone you’ve known almost your whole life, I deserved to be told properly.”

“I can’t give you what you want.”

“I don’t know what you think I want.”

“Forever.”

“I never asked for that.”

“You didn’t need to.” With those words, he was out the door and I was left to deal with the aftermath. I had to apologize to our families for destroying Christmas, listen to his parents’ apologies, bear through all the absolute crap excuses that our siblings tried to make for him, and attempt to sooth my father’s anger. Worst Christmas of my life and it was all thanks to Darren Jacks. Thank fuck for being back at work is all I can say.


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Inescapable Fate

Published: April 14, 2018

Pages: 152

Series: Fate Series

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
When Georgia Kentley breaks up with her long-term boyfriend Darren over Christmas, she really can’t wait to return to work on the 27th of December.

The excitement dies when she meets her new boss, Walker Trent. DCI Trent is a misogynistic pain in the arse. Being a young police officer, Georgia has met her fair share of men who don’t understand that she can hold her own. Every single time she has proven them wrong.

Will she be able to prove to Walker Trent just how capable she is or will she get herself into a heap of trouble, danger and chaos? And when chaos ensues who will be there to save her?


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Hanleigh is a British author. She was born in Scotland but has lived near enough her whole life in the South of England. Hanleigh loves books more than nearly anything in the world; whether it’s reading them or writing them, Hanleigh just can’t get enough. She relishes in the way authors can create whole worlds with the words they put in their books. She wishes that being an author really was magic, just like in Once upon A Time. Hanleigh first fell in love with literature as a small child reading Dr Zeus. She then fell in love with romance as a genre when she first read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. She checked every new five-pound note she got her hands on for Austen’s face but didn’t find her £50,000 five-pound note. Shame. Hanleigh is about as English as it’s possible to be, which is highly ironic as she isn’t English at all. She sometimes wishes she could live inside the world that she can create inside her mind, but since that isn’t possible she puts pen to paper and shares that world with this world instead.

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What do you think? As always, comment below your thoughts and if this might be a book that interests you. Until then, Happy Reading 🙂

Silent Blade (Kinsmen, #1)

This is an extremely short book, not one I would normally have picked up. But the synopsis is pretty captivating and I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately the book didn’t exactly line up with my expectations. The writing was kind of blah and the romance is rushed. You can easily read this in a couple hours.  Was it something entertaining to read, yes. But it wasn’t something I’ll read again or be interested in buying.


 Silent Blade
Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: June 2, 2009
Pages: 42

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder. On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport–in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask.Kill the man who ruined her life.

Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen–and skills with a blade–won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control–his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Her eyes alone set his blood simmering, stirring ridiculous adolescent fantasies about breasts and honey. With a few words she dissects his soul. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?

It’s almost too easy to draw Celino within the kill zone. Meli plans to revel in him. Drink him in. Wring every drop of pleasure out of every moment. And when she’s sure he belongs to her, she will finally repay a decade’s worth of pain–in a single, brutal dose of reality.

Review:
Meli is a melder and a serious assassin. But before this, she was a girl primised with a future but left with a broken heart. At age ten, she was betrothed to Celino. While she slowly fell for him, he spent every hour gaining money to buy his was out of the engagement. As you can imagine, he does just that. Unfortunately, Meli is unable to marry anyone else until Celino marries. Twenty years later, still not interested in marriage, Celino has left Meli as an old maid. 

The instant love in this story isn’t really my thing. I much prefer when authors take their time in developing a relationship instead of rushing everything. Celino is arrogant and selfish yet when he falls in love he turns into mush. Maybe I would have like this story better if it wasn’t a happy ending. I don’t know but like I said above-  Was it something entertaining to read, yes. But it wasn’t something I’ll read again or be interested in buying.

 

Iced (Fever, #6)

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You know when you read a series and you love every book within it. You are sad to see it end but in all reality you are happy the author ended on a high note. Then the author comes back with a semi-spin off and the idea just blows your mind away. You are so excited to read it, thinking it would be just as good as the other five books. Well, that wasn’t this book. And trust me when I say I really, REALLY, tried to like this book…


Iced

Author: Karen Moning
Published: October 30, 2012
Pages: 512

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

Review:
The book opens up to a new world, a world after the walls crashed and Faerie is free to torment. We are quickly introduced to Dani, a 14 year old who acts years younger than she should. The way Dani talks and explains the book is difficult to read because of her improper grammar. Dani is a mixed blood, meaning she has some fae blood in her. Because of this, she has special abilities. One of her favorites is her ability to move so fast that someone would mistake her for the wind. And did I mention how immature she is.. 

This is the second time I’ve tried reading this book. And like the first time, I just can’t do it. I truly hate Dani’s character. I don’t know what Karen Morning was trying to accomplish here but for me she completely missed the mark. How to explain Dani’s character.. She is similar to a young adult character but she’s not even that. because those characters have way more maturity than she does. It’s almost like the author has never been around teenagers before. And the guys interested in her- GROSS! She is 14!!! 

I want to like it but I just can’t. I can’t do it! This book will forever be in the DNF Graveyard!!!

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Author Spotlight – Khaled Talib: Gun Kiss

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Here’s what people are saying about Talib’s new book, Gun Kiss :

“Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib is an incredibly suspenseful novel filled with twists and turns that left me flipping the pages as quickly as I could!” – GoodReads Reviewer

“Take a deep breath, because Gun Kiss’s special brand of high-octane action is on its way to market, and it’s a hell of a ride especially recommended for thriller readers who like their action not only nonstop, but tempered with a bit of romance and a lot of world-hopping political confrontations.” – GoodReads Reviewer


Author Interview:

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
Around seven I started showing interest in reading, delving into the realm of imagination as far as it would take me. I didn’t have the skills then but I found myself being a good essayist in school. It was not until I was about 15 when I tried to write my own murder-mystery. I gave it up halfway after a classmate mocked at my attempt. I tried again when I was in my twenties and failed miserably. But my little voice told me not to quit, so I tried again and again. I self-taught myself how to write. It was trial and error and with the help of an editor, I got my first novel published in 2014.
Writing is a platform that allows me to explore and express my imagination, and that’s why I write. It offers a sense of adventure. I can be here, there, anywhere without being physically present. You get a kick when you create characters, write scenes and watch your manuscript develop. Who needs opium when writing lifts you up?

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
I had gone jogging that morning. It was the first day after so long. When night time came I couldn’t sleep because my legs began to ache. So I decided to watch an old movie with a famous actress, who also reminded me of an old school friend. It led me to write a thriller about an obsessed druglord who kidnaps the actress. Funny how one finds inspiration for a story. What a stumble!

You mentioned this is the first book in a series, Can you tell me more about this series?
I am thinking of writing a sequel because I enjoyed writing the first one. It’s easy reading, not heavy, and I feel the characters should continue living. But I’m looking for a fresh plot. I might make it more humorous, not sure – it depends. Gun Kiss has a bit of this and that. Bottomline, if I do write another and another, I’d like the reader to finish the book and say, “What a fun read!”

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
Gun Kiss features several themes, but the main one is racism, which would explain why I weave in the Deringer. It carries a message but you’ll have to read the novel to understand. The assassin John Wilkes Booth was a racist and he shot Lincoln because he didn’t like the president’s policy. In Gun Kiss, I resurrected Booth who speaks with a different attitude. I’m not sure if he was brought back from the dead today would he still harbor those thoughts, but he is an interesting character nevertheless.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
Depending on the stages in my life, I would say every book that I’ve read. Every author is a teacher. I enjoyed reading children’s books, literature to commercial fiction. They all impacted me one way or another. But I would say George Orwell’s 1984 had a strong impact. Look at the world today: they want to control you, monitor you, and make you decide what you like and what you should dislike. The list goes on.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
There are two ways now to get published: the traditional way, which is a rough road or the self-published way. But make no mistake. you need a skilled editor to help you develop your story. Writing “The End” at the end of the page is just the beginning of your efforts to become a published author. So patience is a virtue and tenacity is a must. Above all, don’t give up.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this Winter?
Apart from the books of authors who have endorsed my own novel, Gayle Lynds, Jon Land and K.J. Howe, check out Carmen Amato’s Emilia Cruz detective series. Also, Jean Rabe’s The Dead of Winter (Piper Blackwell mystery), and Judith White’s Sam Flanagan murder-mystery detective series set in the 1940s.

If you could have dinner with a novelist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Mary Shelley. I’m trying to imagine that period of time when she lived, somewhere between the 1700s and 1800s. This person was deep. I mean to be able to write a story like Frankenstein at that time – what a genius. The novel was horrifying and philosophical at the same time. First thing I’d ask her is, “Who are you, really?”

Do you have any strange antics when you write?
Apart from coffee and chocolates being a must, I talk to myself. Well, it’s more like trying to listen if the dialogue of my characters sound awkward or not. Sometimes, I listen to music to get it going, and it works when I am writing a fast scene. Other times, I hum.

What would life be without coffee?
Zombie-ish. Avoid me at all cost … I’ll eat you. Yikes!


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00069]

Published: December 1, 2017
Pages: 254

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Synopsis:
A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue…

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

Excerpt:
The tall buildings around Washington, D.C.’s 10th Street overshadowed the historic Ford’s Theatre. Though the building had undergone refurbishment both inside and out, it still seemed slightly out of place in modern America. However, that didn’t stop the throngs of tourists visiting the building that June morning as wispy clouds threaded through the cerulean sky.

It was a crowded weekend day when Abraham Lincoln, in his overcoat, and two Union soldiers, their faces covered with bandanas, stepped out of the van. They meandered past the theater’s five historic doorways toward the modern glass entrance. Everyone assumed they were part of a promotion taking place at the museum. It was not uncommon to see park rangers and tour guides dressed in period costumes.

The man behind the Lincoln mask was Rick Walker—at least, that was the name he was currently going by. Highly educated, the thirty-six-year-old professional thief had a penchant for the fast life. If the assignment was a success today, he’d promised his girlfriend a nice holiday.

Two female park rangers stepped forward when Rick and his companions reached the front of the line.

“You have to get in line, sir. Also, you need to get tickets. Kindly remove the mask and bandanas before entering,” one of the park rangers said.  

“I do apologize, madam, but I’m in a bit of a hurry,” Rick said. “I don’t think I need a ticket, nor do I have to get in line given who I am.”

“That’s the only way you’re going to get in,” the park ranger said.

“Well, if you insist, madam, and once again, please accept my apologies.” Rick bowed and tipped his hat, then extended a hand to the park ranger, who instinctively took it.

Rick grabbed her wrist tightly and locked it to his own with a steel cuff.

“What are you doing?” the park ranger yelled, trying to jerk her hand away.

“Getting acquainted,” Rick said.

The park ranger reached for the walkie-talkie strapped to her belt, but Rick snatched it away from her. Frantically, she turned to the other park ranger. “Get security!”

One of the two Union soldiers dropped his prop rifle and grabbed the other park ranger’s hand, then cuffed her wrist to his own. He pulled out a real gun tucked under his waistband and aimed it at her.

Rick unbuttoned the jacket of his three-piece suit and brandished the bomb strapped to his chest.

“Bomb! Bomb!” a young teenager in the line shrieked.

Pandemonium broke out as the screams of panic amplified. People ran in every direction. Those who moved slowly were slammed aside, or knocked over.

Rick pulled the ranger cuffed to him aside. “We’re going downstairs, and we’re going to take the Deringer. Obey your president,” he said in a hollow voice.

“Yes, sir,” the park ranger said as beads of sweat formed on her forehead.

They descended by elevator and emptied into an interactive museum. The wealth of history in the dimly lit space featured original artifacts in glass showcases, furniture, statues, murals, and narrative devices. The visitors already in the museum scattered wildly at the sight of a man in a Lincoln mask displaying a bomb strapped to his chest, a park ranger cuffed to his wrist.

“Show’s over, folks,” Rick yelled. “Go!”

The park ranger guided her captors to a section in the museum where the Deringer floated in an oblong glass case capped at both ends with wood. A mural behind it depicted John Wilkes Booth firing a single shot at Abraham Lincoln as he sat in the theater box.

The Union soldier not cuffed to a park ranger took out a glasscutter from his coat pocket and began to cut a circle in the glass. When it popped free, he inserted his hand inside and yanked out the Deringer.

“We’re going to take you with us. Don’t give me trouble. If you behave, you’ll be back home in time for dinner with the family,” Rick said, dragging the park ranger closer to him. “Understand?”

The park ranger nodded once, nervously.

“Excellent,” Rick said.

They exited through the theater’s main door and stepped out into the empty street. The crowd had dispersed. Some had regrouped tensely a few hundred meters away at both ends. “Cheer up—it’s going to be a fun day,” Rick said, walking toward the van.

The park ranger with Rick raised her voice. “Please, please, let us go. I don’t want to die.”

“Well, behave and everything will be fine.”  He opened the side, forced her in and jumped in after her. He shut the door after the accomplice had climbed in with the second park ranger.  

The van began to move off.

“Hallelujah!” Rick yelled in excitement behind the mask as he sat at the back of the van.  He removed the cuff from his wrist and secured the park ranger onto a railing.

“We’ll be arriving in five,” the driver said after a few blocks. “You know what to do.”

“I sure do,” Rick said as he removed the bomb strapped to his chest. Still wearing the mask, he looked at the hostages. “Don’t worry about the bomb, it’s fake.”

He unhooked a tote bag from the wall and began removing the contents. Facing away from the hostages, he removed the Lincoln mask and slipped into casual attire. He hid his face by putting on a red baseball cap and a pair of dark shades then stuffed the costume into the bag and swung it over his shoulder.

Rick looked again at the park rangers. “Look on the bright side—now you get to tell visitors a different story at the museum.”

The Union soldier in the back with him handed over the Deringer, which Rick slipped into the bag.

The driver slowed down and stopped behind a parked car.

“All good outside?” Rick asked.

“Yeah…all good. I parked a few cars behind us,” the driver replied, looking at the side mirror.

“Okay. Nice doing business with you guys.” Rick pulled open a trapdoor in the center of the floorboard, slid out, and slithered under the parked car in front of the van.

The van pulled away from the curb and sped down the street. After a minute, Rick rolled onto the road, got up, and walked toward the park at Judiciary Square on the Red Line and descended into the Metro.

A day later, Rick sat at a café with his eyes glued to the screen of a laptop, drinking a hot latte with his back against the wall. He scanned the faces of everyone who entered. Though he wasn’t expecting trouble, he remained vigilant.

“Is it in yet?” the tall blonde sitting across from him asked.

He scratched the roughness of his stubble as he continued to stare at the screen. “Not yet.”

Moments later, the figures on his account changed. A new deposit had been registered: ten million dollars.

Rick lifted his eyes. “Darling.”

“Yeah?”

“Remember, we’re in a public place, so don’t scream.”

She leaned forward. “It’s in?”

Rick wriggled his eyebrows. “Pack your bags. We’re going on a holiday, as I promised.”


Khaled Talib Photo _KT

A former magazine journalist and public relations practitioner, Khaled Talib has authored three thrillers since 2014.

His work has been praised by NY Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, NY Times bestselling author Ruth Harris, USA Today bestselling author Jon Land, NY Times bestselling author Keith Thomson, K.J. Howe, and Jon McGoran. The author, who resides in Singapore, is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

 

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Hope you are able to check out this author and his new book, Gun Kiss! Comment below if you’ve read the book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂 

Author Spotlight – Tara Thomas: Darkest Night

Happy Release Day Tara Thomas!! Darkest Night is the first in a brand new series called Sons of Broad. With it’s recent publish, reviewers are already going crazy over this book:  

Sexy and dangerous – a perfect reading combination!” – Cynthia Eden, New York Times USA Today bestselling author

“Thomas delivers a sexy, smart and emotion-packed thriller that will have you begging for her next book.” – Bestselling author HelenKay Dimon


Darkest Night_Cover

Published: February 27, 2016
Pages: 352

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Synopsis:
In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?


Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

 

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Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of this book. I can’t wait to read it!! Comment below if you’ve read the book or are just as interested as I am. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂