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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: Can a Princess Be a Firefighter? by Carole P. Roman



Title: Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Mateya Arkova
Format: Paperback, 36 pages
Pub. Date: March 25th 2016
Source: Author


Book Description:



Two little girls pepper their father with questions about whether or not they can be a profession and still be a princess. Motivated by her granddaughter's fascination with all things 'princess,' Carole P. Roman penned this adorable poem celebrating all the wonderful possibilities waiting ahead for them.





Review:


★★★★★

What a wonderful children's book.

First, I'd like to talk about the actual story. As the title suggests, the lead little girls ask the question, "Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?" I think all of us as little kids grow up with some version of this dream job that smooshes multiple jobs together. Maybe an astronaut who studies dinosaurs, or a ballerina veterinarian. When the world is our oyster, and we aim for the sky. This book reaffirms that girls can do anything they put their minds to. There's nothing wrong with wanting a stereotypically "girly" career- like a ballerina, a nurse, or a princess. But there is also nothing wrong with wanting to be in a STEM field, a doctor, an astronaut, a cop. The sky's the limit. It's a message worth repeating, and not just to our daughters but our sons too.

The book is written in a rhyming, nursery story way. It makes it more fun to read aloud, and also is a clever way of making the story flow. As a kid, my favorite stories were always the ones that rhymed!

And then there's the artwork. It's very fun and detailed, and very colorful. It'll hold a young reader's attention, and the pictures match well with the text on the page.

I recommend this to the parents and teachers of young children. This story has a great message, and goes about exploring it in a really fun way.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel



Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Author: Alison Bechdel
Format: Paperback, 232 pages
Pub. Date: June 5th 2007
Source: Half Price Books


Book Description:



In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.






Review:


★★★★

I didn't know anything about Fun Home when I saw it on Broadway in Chicago. My sister is a season pass holder to the theatre, and so we went. I was told, "I don't know, it's a musical about lesbians or something". Seeing as I'm LGBT, that was enough. I didn't expect to fall in love with the musical and the story, but I did. I was eager to get my hands on Bechdel's book to get a deeper experience out of it. I wasn't disappointed.

I wasn't expecting this book to be so smartly written. I know that sounds insulting, and I definitely don't mean it to be. I know Alison Bechdel is smart (understatement of the year, since I'm pretty sure she's a MacArthur grant recipient). But wrongly, I assumed that because it was a graphic novel, it wouldn't contain much.

I was wrong, and I stand corrected.

The amount of literary comparison and quotation and references in this book are insanely plentiful. Not to mention well done. As an English grad, it warms the cockles of my cold, cynical heart. I too speak of my life, and the people in it, in terms of literature. I related strongly. Sometimes I even, admittedly, had to go back and read again to make sure I understood the bookishness fully. It's not a fast read, despite the illustrations.

I also related strongly with the idea of loving one's father, but also hating them. It is confusing to people who don't understand. My father could be warm and charming in a room full of people. But home with us, he was cold, and he was cruel. I lived my life in a state of confusion, because which of these people was my father? I have people who don't believe he was abusive, because he was so fun. I have people who know how abusive he was at home, who have gotten angry at me for staying in contact with him. It is a very weird mix of feelings to even explain to myself, let alone to other people. Alison Bechdel, while having drastically different circumstances, managed to convey this perfectly. Far better than I could ever say. Alison, I feel your heart saying hi.

And then, there's the artwork. It's very odd to see such an emotionally driven biography in this medium, but it's super effective. At first I was disappointed that these illustrations aren't in color. But in a panel, she explains why she doesn't use color anymore.... And I unfortunately relate to that too. It no longer disappointed me. The art style is well done, familiar but with detail. I appreciated the many references to Sunbeam Bread throughout the course of the book.

I also liked that the book wasn't just somber all the way through. There are moments of humor. There are moments that as a young LGBT woman that made me smile, or upset me, or just hit home. Like when I first realized what it was like to be different. Like life, this book is filled with ups and downs and complications and emotions. It can be rough in spots, but it's worth it.

I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the musical Fun Home, who grew up queer, or who likes gritty, realistic autobiographies. It's so well done, both in text and in illustration. It will remain on my sexuality shelf for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Stacking the Shelves [110]



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to show off the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. If a book catches your eye, *click* the picture to go to the Goodreads page of that book.

I wish spring would come already!

In My Mailbox



Passion Ignites by Donna Grant


In My E-Mailbox



Theo and the Forbidden Language by Melanie Ansley
Dark Desires by Aja James
Pink by Stephanie Powell

Mini Review- Cave Kiddos: A Sunny Day by Eric Jay Cash



Title: Cave Kiddos: A Sunny Day
Author: Eric Jay Cash
Format: Paperback, 26 pages
Pub. Date: February 6th 2016
Source: Publisher


Book Description:



Cave Kiddos is a fun book about four Paleolithic children who share the experience of developing and learning important words and concepts. Join Alk, Haha, Lala, and Zee as they discover the world around them.





Review:


★★

I'll start off with the positive thing I liked about this book, and that is the illustrations. They're very cartoonish and animated, and they're very cute. They will certainly hold the attention of younger readers. They are colored well and can be appreciated without having text along the way in the book.

But there is text in the book: albeit very, very little. The book follows these four little cave children as they explore the world around them. They learn the word "water"..... And that's it.

This might be good for really, really, really early readers, or as the author's bio suggests, for kids with speech delays/problems. But for most kids, this won't hold interest for very long. I wouldn't recommend it.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review: The Year of the Geek by James Clarke



Title: The Year of the Geek: 365 Adventures from the Sci-Fi Universe
Author: James Clarke
Format: eARC
Pub. Date: October 19th 2017
Source: Publisher


Book Description:



The Year of the Geek is a fascinating look into geek culture. Each day will tell a different story from the sci-fi universe, from famous franchises and figures such as Star Wars, The Matrix, Peter Jackson and Luc Besson, to lesser known stories, including the French cult classic City of Lost Children, the Japanese anime Akira and bestselling German novelist, Marcus Heitz. With text written by self-confessed geek James Clarke and accompanied by over 100 infographics that have been specially commissioned for this book, The Year of the Geek celebrates all things geek in a new and intriguing way.





Review:


★★★★

This is such a great little guide. It's the sort of a book that would make a really good Christmas gift or stocking stuffer.

As the title suggests, this book is a year long, with one page per day. Each day there's a fun little factoid. It might be an author or film star's birthday, or when a book was released, or something else like that.

Each day is written in a fun way that's educational, but without making it sound like it's a Wikipedia page or text book. The graphics are really well done. There's lots of charts and infographics that make it seem more fun and more engaging.

I was a bit worried that this book might be "too geeky" for me. What I mean by that is, I'm a huge fan of Fantasy and books, but I'm not really the biggest sci-fi buff, and I have a less than stellar interest in anime and comic books. But the information was interesting no matter the subject, and it was just enough to be a "fun fact" sized thing to learn. For me, it's a good way to start the morning.

If you or someone in your life is a lover of the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the SyFy channel, or any similar subjects, this is a cool book to have around.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Review: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman



Title: Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Author: Piper Kerman
Format: Paperback, 314 pages
Pub. Date: March 8th 2011
Source: Half Price Books


Book Description:



With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.





Review:


★★

It's worth saying up front that, yes, I do watch the Netflix series of the same name. However, I understand that the real life and the fictional life are two different things, so I will try my best not to compare the two: they are very different experiences.

This book is alright. It was a very slow read for me. I expected it to be faster paced, knowing that Piper has a history as a traveler and having been shipped around the prison system. But not much really happened.

There are so many different characters in the book, that it's really hard to keep everyone straight. Aside from a few reoccurring characters like Pop (Red) and Nora (Alex), not much depth is given to a lot of these girls. You don't get to know them very well as a whole. I also wasn't a fan of how she describes people. She often finds a way to insult them. Like, yeah she's pretty but she's super dumb, or she's ugly but she's so sweet. It was off-putting.

There was a lot of inner dialogue and not so much talking between characters. I think this is part of why it felt like nothing was happening. Her thoughts were sometimes interesting and almost always understandable. Questions like what is my fiance doing right now? Will I make it out of here? How did I end up here? But I was surprised by the lack of acknowledgement of her crimes. Towards the end she makes one flippant comment about how she committed a crime, but throughout the book there's definitely the implication of "I don't deserve to be here, I'm not like these people". There's no real growth or evolution. Although, she is on a women's prison board now, so some positivity has coming from it (not to mention those Netflix checks- genuinely, good for her on that front!).

That said, I do appreciate that she acknowledges her privilege often. While it does get annoying to hear about how much she has compared to others, I'm glad that she at least realized it. She had a job waiting for her on the outside. She received tons of mail and books and had a great lawyer. I do think that it's odd that no one seemed to care that she went to prison. By her own detail, she is waspy and she went to Smith. Yet her family and friends were just like "oh, okay, see you when you're out". It's great that they were so supportive.... Just seems odd for such an upper class family to not be appalled. Just an interesting observation.

The most interesting part of the book to me was the end section, which tells about her brief time in the Cook County jail system. She was held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Illinois during her testimony for court. I'm from Cook County, and as she detailed how terrible the conditions were, I couldn't help but to feel like "yeah, that sounds right" based off of our news... And that's a damn shame.

I think what made this an odd read for me is that it reads sort of like a college application essay. A lot of it is personal, first hand experience. Who am I to say her stay was boring? It's her life, and I'm sure it was terrifying and awful. I certainly wouldn't want to be in her position. But there's strangely inserted facts and percentages and things that make it almost seem like it's a research paper. The two different writing styles don't mesh together very well, and makes the book seem rather disorganized, and interrupts the flow of the narrative.

I do appreciate that she includes a list of resources for jails, prisons, and the family/friends of those who are incarcerated in the back of the book. I hope I never need them, but I think it's a great thing to include.

And one brief comparison to the show: you can mostly tell which characters are based on who, even though the names have been changed. I did think it was cool that some quotes from the show were taken verbatim from the text.

Ultimately, I'm not mad at this book. I'm not sorry I read it. But I don't think that I'll have any urge to read it again, and I don't think I'd recommend it to a friend. Perhaps if you're more affluent than I am, or if you've done time (or are facing it presently), maybe you'll have more to gain from this book than I did. It's not a bad book, it just could have been done better.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Esher by Felicity Heaton!

Esher (Guardians of Hades Series Book 3)

Felicity Heaton

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Water, Esher was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Tormented by his past, Esher burns with hatred towards mortals and bears a grudge against Hades for forcing him into their world, condemning him to a life of battling to keep a fragile hold on his darker side—a side that wants to kill every human in the name of revenge.

Until he finds himself stepping in to save a female—a beautiful mortal filled with light and laughter who draws him to her as fiercely as the pull of the moon, stirring conflict in his heart and rousing dangerous needs long forgotten.

Aiko knows from the moment she sets eyes on the black-haired warrior that he is no ordinary man, just as she’s no ordinary woman. Blessed with a gift, she can see through his stormy façade to the powerful god beneath, and the pain and darkness that beats inside him—pain she grows determined to heal as she falls deeper under his spell and into his world.

When the daemon bent on turning Esher against his brothers makes her move, will Esher find the strength to overcome his past and fulfil his duty, or will the lure of revenge allow the darkness in his heart to seize control, transforming him into a god intent on destroying the world?

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Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win a $75, $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Card at the Esher book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on April 8th.

Enter now: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-esher-paranormal-romance-book.php

Rain hammered the pavement around him, scoured the walls of the towering buildings that hemmed him in and stole the clouds from view with their bright neon signs, and saturated the two daemons gathering their wits around fifty feet from him in the narrow Tokyo alley. It mingled with the black blood that turned the air rank and coppery, a stench he wanted to erase from this world.

And he would.

Esher moved forwards, through the heavy droplets that began to gather and condense, responding to the hunger mounting inside him—a desire to eradicate the foul creatures stumbling onto their feet now.

At the far end of the narrow street beyond them, a mortal male tucked beneath a clear convenience store umbrella paused and glanced their way.

Big mistake.

The darkness was swift to rise, to pound in Esher’s blood like a tide that battered him, powerful waves that rolled over him and washed all the light away.

On a black snarl, he pressed the toe of his right boot into the wet pavement and launched forwards, little more than a blur as he closed the distance between him and his prey.

The male daemon swiftly turned his way and stepped in front of his comrade—a female. Protecting her? Valen had reported the daemons in Rome had done something similar.

As if the creatures were capable of feeling anything tender or sweet.

They were as devoid of softer emotions as he was.

But still the male reached behind him and shoved her in the hip, forcing her to stumble out of the firing line just as Esher threw his right hand forwards. The rain that had been gathering around him exploded towards the male, whipping into a spiralling spear as it zoomed away from Esher. It hit the male with the force of a tidal wave, sending him flying through the air. The wretched daemon hit the pavement near the far end of the alley and rolled to a halt next to the mortal.

Esher growled and spat on the pavement, the gnawing hunger growing stronger as he stared at the wretched human.

It would pay in blood for daring to remain near him, for daring to gaze upon him.

It would pay in its own blood.

His lips stretched into a cold grin, the lower one stinging as the cut on it pulled, filling his mouth with the metallic tang of his own blood.

He twitched as memories surged, wrapped around him and felt as if they were pulling him down into them with claws that shredded his insides—tore his heart to pieces.

Blood.

So much red.

He had never seen so much of it, had emptied his stomach more than once when they had been butchering the male in front of him, spilling crimson and flesh on the hay and dirt. Their sick laughter had prodded at him, ripping at his strength and dragging him down. He had been weak. Stripped of his powers. Left vulnerable. He had been an easy target for their fear, their rage. They had beaten him. Tore more of his strength from him. He had been weaker. Wounded. Bound and broken.

But fucking gods, he had shown them the error of their ways when his power had returned.

Just as he would show this human.

Esher reached his left hand out and focused on the mortal male. It took only a brief thought. One moment the male was standing, the next he was prone on the floor, blood leaking from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Weak. Humans were weak. Pathetic. Unworthy of the protection of the gods.

Thunder rolled overhead, golden lightning striking a split-second later, snapping at the buildings that loomed over him and tearing a fearful gasp from the daemons.

A warning from the king of gods.

His uncle could go fuck himself.

The mortals deserved death.

He wasn’t on this plane to protect them. He was here to protect one realm—the Underworld. His home.

This entire world could burn and he wouldn’t give a shit as long as his home was safe.

The male daemon picked himself up, pausing to look at the dead human, his dark eyes wide and a flicker of fear emerging in them as he turned them on Esher.

And the female.

The blonde staggered onto her feet, clutching her stomach, her limbs visibly trembling beneath her long black raincoat that matched the one the male wore. They had come prepared for the turn in the weather. It was almost a shame they hadn’t come prepared to win. It had been a long time since he had fought a worthy adversary.

Keras’s words rang in his ears.

An adversary was coming for him, one of the group bent on destroying the gates to the Underworld that he and his brothers protected, all in an effort to merge the worlds and claim dominion over both.

Esher just hoped they were worthy.

He wanted a good fight, one that would test him to his limit.

Fire tore through his right arm and he grunted and snapped back to the alley. The blonde bitch leaped away from him, her silver knife stained crimson.

With his blood.

It rolled down his forearm to his wrist beneath the sleeve of his long black coat and he raised his hand before him and watched it drip to the ground to dissipate in the water beneath his leather boots.

Water that began to vibrate, tiny droplets of it bouncing higher and higher into the air as he stared at the blood flowing along the side of his hand to bead at the tip of his little finger and fall.

Typical of inferior creatures to use weapons in a battle.

He had never understood why some of his brothers relied on them too, one or two of them even favouring mortal-made guns, when they were gods and wielded powers strong enough to defeat any adversary they might face.

Personally, he never used weapons.

His powers were more than enough.

Without even taking his eyes off the blood, he flicked his left hand towards the female as she launched at him again, her blade flashing in the neon lights and a battle cry on her lips.

It turned to a scream.

She dropped from the air, landing in a shaking heap on the wet pavement, her convulsions growing more and more violent as he slowly turned his gaze on her. Hatred seethed inside him as he looked at her, as he commanded every molecule of her vile blood to dance to his song. He despised using his power over water to end his prey in such a way, because it was just too easy, but she had brought it upon herself.

“No!” the male barked and sprinted towards her.

He sank to his knees at her side and grabbed her arm, pulling her onto her back.

Too late.

Black blood rolled from her eyes and her mouth, streamed from her nose and her ears.

Esher closed his right hand into a fist.

Her body lurched upwards as her heart exploded.

“Bastard.” The male daemon shoved to his feet.

Esher slowly smiled. Crooked a bloodstained finger.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.au

iBooks USA | iBooks UK | iBooks Canada | iBooks Australia | iBooks New Zealand

Barnes and Noble | Kobo Books | Google Play

Book 1: Ares

Book 2: Valen

Book 3: Esher

Book 4: Marek – Coming in 2018



Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mini Review: Rutabaga the Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal!



Title: Rutabaga the Adventure Chef
Series: Adventure Chef #1
Author: Eric Colossal
Format: ARC
Pub. Date: March 31st 2015
Source: Won


Book Description:



A fantasy graphic novel series follows an "adventure chef" named Rutabaga, who travels to a fantasy land to find bizarre ingredients to cook in his enchanted cauldron. The books will include pages straight out of Rutabaga's cookbooks, with recipes that readers can make at home.





Review:


★★★★★

This is the cutest book. I was intrigued by it because I love stories to do with cooking and food. My dad was a chef and I grew up in the kitchen, so it's a nice relatable bit of nostalgia for me.

The artwork is adorable. It's fun for kids with good details and even better facial expressions. I could very easily see this as a fun anime-styled cartoon on the Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, or even PBS Kids. It's a high adventure mixed with a lot of humor. Reading it made me smile even as an adult, and I think that says a lot for a book aimed at younger folks. My ARC was not a full color copy, though the finalized version is in full color I'm told. I think the color would certainly make it more fun, but even in black and white it was well received.

I think it's cool that there's little recipes and cooking steps throughout the book. Some of them are for fantastical ingredients that the chef finds on his culinary adventures, but others are things that kids can try to make at home.

It's a silly, funny quest that I think elementary school kids will love. Like a Baby Einstein's version of the show No Reservations. I'd definitely pick up the second book in this series.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: Date with Disaster! by Shea Fontana



Title: Date with Disaster!
Series: DC Super Hero Girls Graphic Novels #6
Author: Shea Fontana
Format: eARC
Pub. Date: February 6th 2018
Source: DC Comics


Book Description:



Shea Fontana continues her mega-popular DC SUPER HERO GIRLS series with DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: DATE WITH DISASTER!

The girls think they have a day off, when suddenly there is a big explosion over at S.T.A.R. Labs. Not to worry, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee, Ivy, Catwoman and Katana are off to the rescue! As the heroes work together to save the day, Lois Lane investigates the incident and discovers something fishy. In her search for the truth, Lois must team up with the DC Super Hero Girls to unravel what really happened at S.T.A.R. Labs.

Meanwhile, Batgirl takes on a side project: finding a date for her dad! She sets up an online dating profile for Commissioner Gordon and gets the perfect candidate lined up. Can Jim Gordon find love again? Will Lois Lane and the team be able to uncover the truth about the explosion? Tune in to find out in DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: DATE WITH DISASTER! This story continues to develop the relationships forged in DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: FINALS CRISIS, HITS AND MYTHS, SUMMER OLYMPUS, PAST TIMES AT SUPER HERO HIGH and OUT OF THE BOTTLE. Written by Shea Fontana, this Batgirl-centric story is perfect for girls ages 6-12.






Review:


★★★★

I'm in love with the idea of this series. Admittedly, I even own a Harley Quinn Super Hero Girls doll. I think it's a fun way to make classic DC Comic book characters more approachable to a wider audience. Even though it's recommended audience is girls aged 6-12, I think it's fun enough for any gender of the same age group, and it's perfect for those comic book fans who now have kids of their own that they want to share in this adventure.

The artwork of this comic book is super fun. It's very nostalgic and childlike, which is fitting. It's like a vivid cartoon. I like the design of these characters in a school aged setting.

The story arc for this particular book in the series was okay. I think it could have been done a bit better, a bit more organized. There seemed to be a lot going on that was flushed out rather quickly, making it seem rushed and forced in some places.

But all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this installment, and would definitely pick up the next one. It's perfect for kids who love super heroes (or super villains- I don't judge!) but who aren't quite old enough for some of the darkness that appears in so many great DC comics.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mini Review: The Prosperous Pagan by Kathy Cybele



Title: The Prosperous Pagan: How to Shed the Myth of Pagan Poverty and Thrive
Author: Kathy Cybele
Format: Paperback, 196 pages
Pub. Date: January 30th 2014
Source: Goodreads First Reads


Book Description:



If spells and rituals were all it took to secure prosperity we'd all be rich! So what is it that separates Pagans who easily generate prosperity from those who keep trying and trying with little success? Highly prosperous Pagans understand how prosperity works and have aligned their belief systems to support a prosperous life and bring success to all their magickal workings. The process of becoming a truly prosperous Pagan is a journey of self-discovery that can be eye opening and life changing. Kathy Cybele offers a comprehensive guide that will help you shift your beliefs about prosperity and assist you in moving into a space where attracting good things comes easily. Through The Prosperous Pagan Kathy Cybele will take you on a journey to: Discover what prosperity means to you. Prepare yourself for prosperity. Learn how to create prosperity. Use magick to enhance your prosperity. Your prosperity journey can begin today! A more prosperous life is within your grasp.





Review:


★★★.

I was interested in reading this book for pretty simple reasons: I'm a pagan, and I could always use a bit more prosperity.

All in all, this was an okay read. There was a certain "if you can dream it, you can do it!" self help type vibe to it, which wasn't really what I was looking for.

Most of the information and recommendations for spells/words were things I've read similarly in other books.

I think this would be good for beginners, but for me it was just an average book.

Thanks to Goodreads First Reads who gave me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway: Sparrow Squadron by DL Jung!



Title: Sparrow Squadron

Author: DL Jung

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Action-Adventure

Publication date: February 2018



About the Book:


"There was a time when flying didn't mean looking over my shoulder for death coming at me."

World War II. June 1941. Hitler's war machine turns to the Soviet Union.

Escaping her hometown ahead of the Nazis, 16-year-old Aelya Makarova seizes a chance to live her dream. Obsessed with flying, she joins a women's fighter squadron to defend her homeland against the invaders. She'll go faster and higher than she's ever gone before.

But the harsh reality of Air Force life shatters her expectations and forces her to grow up fast. The squadron is split by petty rivalries, male pilots treat them like a joke, and the ideal country she thought she was fighting for doesn't really exist.

Finally given a chance to prove herself in battle, Aelya is pushed to breaking point. With all her talent, the help of her comrades, and a lot of luck, she might just make it through. But will there be anything left of her humanity?

With fast-paced action and a heart-rending mix of humour and tragedy, Sparrow Squadron is an adventure novel for young adults that brings an overlooked episode of history to life.

Get It Here:


Buy It Here!


Follow the Tour:


Here!

About the Author:
DL Jung has been an enthusiastic student of history since grade school, when he spent lazy afternoons flipping through an old Encyclopedia Britannica set. He enjoys blogging about history and writing historical fiction. He also writes fantasy and horror fiction as Darius Jung.

Jung is married, with two children, and lives in Toronto, Canada. They are lucky enough to spend part of the time in New Zealand. Outside of writing, he has tried stints as an industrial engineer, a film and TV script supervisor, an IT consultant, a professional game show contestant, and a grossly under-qualified business wear model. Sparrow Squadron is his debut novel.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cover Reveal: Esher by Felicity Heaton






Esher (Guardians of Hades Series Book 3)

Felicity Heaton

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Water, Esher was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Tormented by his past, Esher burns with hatred towards mortals and bears a grudge against Hades for forcing him into their world, condemning him to a life of battling to keep a fragile hold on his darker side—a side that wants to kill every human in the name of revenge.

Until he finds himself stepping in to save a female—a beautiful mortal filled with light and laughter who draws him to her as fiercely as the pull of the moon, stirring conflict in his heart and rousing dangerous needs long forgotten.

Aiko knows from the moment she sets eyes on the black-haired warrior that he is no ordinary man, just as she’s no ordinary woman. Blessed with a gift, she can see through his stormy façade to the powerful god beneath, and the pain and darkness that beats inside him—pain she grows determined to heal as she falls deeper under his spell and into his world.

When the daemon bent on turning Esher against his brothers makes her move, will Esher find the strength to overcome his past and fulfil his duty, or will the lure of revenge allow the darkness in his heart to seize control, transforming him into a god intent on destroying the world?

PRE-ORDER LINKS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-esher-paranormal-romance-book.php


The special sneak preview for Esher begins on March 16th, exclusive to Felicity’s mailing list. Every subscriber is entered into the giveaway to win a signed personalised paperback copy of Esher, with a chance to win a copy in each of the four exclusive sneak peek chapters being sent out.

Not only will joining her mailing list ensure you’re in with a chance of winning one of the signed copies of Esher, it means you’ll start receiving her newsletters, where she gives away 2 x $25 Amazon Gift Cards in each issue, and rewards subscribers with exclusive excerpts, teasers, flash fiction and cover reveals, and plenty of fun! Plus, you’ll receive FOUR FREE EBOOKS in her Series Starter Library just for signing up!

Join her newsletter at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/newsletter.php


Esher drew his hand away from his right side and frowned at the blood coating his palm. It caught the light of the narrow signs that jutted out from each building, running their entire height to mark what was on each floor, and reflected white, red and yellow back at him.

The wound would heal rapidly, not like the wraith wound, but he would have to conserve his strength until it had knitted back together, which meant he couldn’t teleport home. Stepping, as he and his brothers called it, would drain him, and it was only just gone one in the morning, meaning there were still another four or five hours of darkness in which another daemon could attempt to find the gate.

Or a Hellspawn, one of the accepted species in his father’s eyes and one allowed to enter the Underworld via the gates, could call on him to open it.

So, he would have to do the unthinkable.

Public transport.

He ground his molars and reached into the breast pocket of his shirt, tugged the tiny headphones out and jammed them into his ears. Instantly, the soothing melody of Bach filled him, swamping the song of the rain and the grating noise of Tokyo.

Esher took a few deep breaths, giving the beautiful classical piece time to do its work, and then trudged forwards, past the two dead daemons. He didn’t look at the dead mortal as he passed the male, kept moving onwards on auto-pilot, slowly constructing a wall of calm inside himself, a barrier that would shut the world out and allow him to venture down into the train station and tolerate the presence of the mortals as they surrounded him.

Crowded him.

As the strings rose, he spotted the airplane-wing canopy that stretched above the central entrance of Tokyo station, extending from the glass skyscraper to its right. Clouds swirled around the top of the towering structure, glowing yellow from the city lights. The rain continued to pour, soothing Esher as much as the music, but as he approached the entrance and the number of mortals rose, hurrying to catch the last trains, his grip on calm began to weaken.

He could do this.

He balled his right hand into a fist, and grimaced as the cut across his forearm stung as his muscles flexed beneath it, a flash of fire that tested him. He breathed deep, letting the flare of irritation fade without affecting his mood.

He was calm. In control.

Calm. Control.

Esher breathed through it, steeled himself and moved forwards, avoiding the busier paths into the building.

It was only a short trip. Barely fifteen minutes. He could do this.

A mortal female passed close to him and he tensed, his breath seizing in his throat as he leaned to avoid her even though she was more than ten feet away.

Breathe.

Calm. Control.

Keras would fucking kill him if he lost his shit and caused a bloodbath. His oldest brother had lectured him more than once about playing nice around the weak little mortals. By the gods, he tried. He could almost tolerate them now. He had even managed to speak with some when he was feeling strong, able to cope with breathing the same air as them.

But he wasn’t feeling strong.

The coppery odour of blood clouded his senses, tugging at his memories, and it was hard to keep them shut out, to hold the wall of calm in place.

He shoved the bloodied fingers of his right hand through the longer lengths of his black hair, pushing the damp strands out of his face, and scrubbed at the shorter sides.

He could do this.

He took another step towards the building, a pressing sense of urgency building inside him and driving him to move as he picked up the warning over the public-address system. It was last train time.

Now or never.

He froze as a male passed him, flicking a glance his way that turned into a double-take before he pivoted on his heel and hurried away from the station.

Esher touched his face, drew his hand away and looked at his fingers. Black smeared their pads. Daemon blood.

He huffed, grabbed the handkerchief he always kept in the back pocket of his dark blue jeans and wiped the blood away, scrubbing his neck and face, and then his hand to clear it of both daemon and his own blood.

It took barely a second for the blood to roll back down to his fingers. He buttoned his coat to hide the crimson stain on his shirt, tugged the sleeve back and wrapped the handkerchief around his forearm, covering the wound there. It would have to do.

The last of the mortals ran into the building ahead of him.

Esher strode towards it, his left hand closing over his right side again as the wound below his ribs burned. He pressed hard against it, stopping the flow of blood down his side, and trudged forwards, moving as quickly as he could manage.

The lights inside the station stung his eyes and he lowered his head, letting the hand-length ribbons of his black hair fall forwards over his brow to shield them. He kept his head bent as he hurried past the closed shops towards the Yamanote Line. It would stop at Yoyogi Park and he could walk from there. The streets in that neighbourhood would be quiet.

Unlike the immense room around him.

Someone almost ran into him as they rushed towards the ticket barriers, and he bared his teeth at their back. Keras would have to forgive him if someone bumped him, because he wasn’t sure he had the strength to stop himself from hurting them.

It was leaking from him as he passed his bloodied right hand over the card reader on the barrier, using his abilities to force it to open for him. It swung open and he passed through, scanned the area ahead of him and spotted the sign for the line. It was further than he remembered. He was going to have to use a little bit of power to make it to the train.

Not stepping. Just running.

He clutched his side and sprinted, passing the mortals with ease, and reached the platform just as the last train pulled in. He boarded at the first door, and moved down through the carriages until he found one that was quiet.

The seats near the next car were empty, so he slumped into them, arranging himself in a way that put off the mortals who were eyeing the spot beside him. He looked at his bloodied hand, felt a few mortals glancing there too, and then moving away. He was tempted to wipe it on his jacket, but since it was acting as a nice deterrent, he kept it on show. Another barrier to keep the mortals at bay.

He couldn’t believe he had been reduced to using public transport. He eyed a few of the humans, issuing glares to the braver ones who looked as if they might chance it and sit beside him on the three-seater bench. Wretched creatures. The wall of calm cracked a little, and he drew in a deep breath. Mistake. His right ribs protested, a sharp pain echoing along them from the wound, worsening his mood and adding a few more cracks to the wall.

He closed his eyes as the train pulled away, meaning to shut out the crowded carriage so he could claw back the calm.

Not meaning to fall asleep.

He woke with a jolt as the train rounded a bend, and his black eyebrows pinched in a frown as he swept his blue gaze around the carriage. It was almost empty.

“Fuck,” he muttered and peered out of the window, trying to see where he was as he silently berated himself for succumbing to sleep around so many humans. They weren’t to be trusted. Fuck knew how many of them might have taken the opportunity to kill him if they had known what he was.

Building after building whizzed past outside, none of them standing out to him. The damned city looked the same no matter where he went in it. He rubbed his tired eyes and squinted at the display screen above the doors. Broken. Just his luck.

Had he missed his stop?

He looked at the two people in his carriage, assessing them, and then squeezed his hand over his side as he leaned forwards and looked to his left, into the next one. Five people in that one, none of them a threat.

He leaned back into the padded seat.

A shriek rose from his left.

Esher edged forwards again and glared into the next carriage. A petite raven-haired female with bunches and a fringe that cut a straight line above her eyebrows swatted at a male with her black backpack. Her thick-soled patent leather shoes skidded on the floor of the car as she swung again, causing her short black dress to rise up and reveal the tops of her stripy black and white stockings.

A little Lolita with a vicious streak.

Or a terrified little Lolita.

He canted his head, trying to figure out which one it was, and growing increasingly annoyed and disgusted with everyone in her carriage as they all pretended not to notice her plight.

“Chikan!” Pervert.

A public transport one in particular.

The male grabbed her again, snapping his hand tight around her delicate wrist.

Still no one moved to help her.

Why the fuck was he forced to protect a people who cared nothing about their own kind? No Hellspawn or god would tolerate this female’s cries.

She battered the male again, but the bastard pulled her towards him, undeterred.

Esher growled and shoved to his feet, not pausing to consider what he was about to do.

He was going to save a human for the first time in his life.

PRE-ORDER LINKS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-esher-paranormal-romance-book.php

Book 1: Ares

Book 2: Valen

Book 3: Esher

Book 4: Marek – Coming in 2018



Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Embrace Release Week Blast!




Title: Leaving Everest

Author: Megan Westfield

Pub. Date: February 19th, 2018



Book Description:



Twenty-year-old Emily Winslowe has had an adventurous upbringing. Daughter of a Himalayan mountain guide, she has climbed Mount Everest and other peaks most Americans only dream of. But for all her mountaineering prowess, she's lacking some key experiences. Namely, guys. Especially one guy in particular—Luke Norgay, her childhood best friend who she hasn't seen since he left for college in the United States two years ago.

Luke unexpectedly reappears as a guide just in time for the Everest climbing season. He's even more handsome than she remembers, and that something that had been building between them during their last season together is back in front of them, bigger than ever.

The problem is, there's a detail about Emily's past that Luke doesn't know. It's the reason she ended up in the Himalayas in the first place...and the reason she must make it to the summit of Mount Everest this year. It's also the reason she would never consider following him back to Washington after the climbing season ends.

But first, they'll have to survive the mountain.






Get It Here:


Entangled

About the Author:
Megan Westfield grew up in Washington State, attended college in Oregon, and lived in
Virginia, California, and Rhode Island during her five years as a navy officer. She is now a
permanent resident of San Diego, along with her husband and two young children. Aside from
writing and her family, her great passions in life are reading, candy, and spending lots of time
outside hiking, skiing, camping, climbing, running, and biking.
Connect with Megan Westfield and learn more about her upcoming books at
www.meganwestfield.com.

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Title: Straight Up Irish

Series: Murphy Brothers #1

Author: Magan Vernon

Pub. Date: February 19th, 2018



Book Description:



I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill.

Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.

A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?






Get It Here:


Entangled

About the Author:
Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004.
She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just
watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amuck around her
Texas ranch.

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Title: Cinderella and the Geek

Series: British Bad Boys

Author: Christina Phillips

Pub. Date: February 19th, 2018



Book Description:



From Christina Phillips a sexy, new romance with a hero you won’t forget…

I'm not looking for love or a Happily-Ever-After because I know how that ends. I just need to concentrate on my degree and look after myself. But there's something about my boss, Harry, I can't resist. It's crazy since he's so hot and smart it should be illegal.

And then, just like Cinderella, I have my night at the ball and a midnight kiss, and for a week all my sexy daydreams come true. That fake date changes my life in a way I could never imagine. It turns out, Harry wants me too.

But I’m off to pursue my dreams, and he’s taking his business to the next level. There’s no way this fairytale has a happy ending, but that doesn’t keep me from wishing for it.






Get It Here:


Entangled

About the Author:
Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school
sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing contemporary, historical and paranormal
romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.
She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their
needs. They are not wrong.

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