Neverlands Blog Tour plus #Giveaway and my #Review of Claire Ayres: Entrapped (Musicians Hope Book 1)

Entrapped BannerThank you to Jenny at Neverlands Blog Tour for this wonderful opportunity to host Claire Ayres and to the author for a copy in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

Blurb:

Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes.
Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why.
Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.
*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

Goodreads:Goodreads: Entrapped

Amazon: Amazon UK

Book Cover

My review:

Well this was a surprise. I agreed to join Netherlands Blog Tour for Entrapped and thought it was a contemporary romance, which it is, but I didn’t realise that it was an 18+ novel with several graphic sex scenes.

What I was looking for in this novel was plot, storyline, interesting characters as well as sizzling sexual chemistry and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.

So if you like your contemporary romance on the sexy, graphic side THIS IS FOR YOU.

This novel wasn’t smutty, or lewd. It was utterly, deliciously sensuous and the message conveyed was very much about our human desire for physical, as well as companionable love.

My other observation is I absolutely  LOVED the musical aspect to it. It was so enticing – the cello – and the man! No wonder she was enthralled. Who could resist such a sexy combination?

I couldn’t help but ogle the cover art. Isn’t that cover wonderful?

The story follows Jess’s initial reluctance to get involved with another guy – Luka – after her previous boyfriend finishes with her because of her depression. Luka and Jess are insanely attracted to each other and readers will be glad to know that they can’t resist each other for long!

I liked how Claire Ayres touched on depression and how debilitating this can be. Entrapped didn’t dwell on this topic too much – I reckon that would have dragged the narrative down and would have made the tone of the novel too serious. So, Claire Ayres handled this well.

This is not a novel to read at bedtime if you want to fall sleep!

Overall, it was a sizzling debut read that I devoured very quickly. It certainly wasn’t boring!

Recommended for those who like their contemporary romance on the 18+ with graphic sex scenes, side.

My rating:   4 stars. 

Goodreads: Entrapped

 

 

Musical Hope – The Inspiration

Ask most authors what made them want to write and they will say they always wanted to write. For me that’s not true, I’ve always enjoyed writing and have always been good at it, but my creative passion originally lay elsewhere. I took inspiration from that dream when planning my musical hope series.

As a teenager I was determined to become a professional musician, I was being classically trained in several instruments starting with the cello which features in book one and two of this series, moving onto the clarinet which will feature in book three and finally I played the saxophone. In addition I wrote music and I sang.  My dream was to attend the Royal College of Music and train as a musician, ultimately, I wanted to be a composer. Still writing just a different type of writing.

My love affair with music came to an unfortunate end the combination of diagnosed bipolar and a pushy teacher colliding with my GCSE’s left me feeling the most anxious I have ever felt at the prospect of picking up an instrument or a pen to write music. To this day I have not played another piece of music or ever written anything else.

But I’ve never stopped loving music, I absorb  music like a sponge and have spent the majority of my life around music, albeit heavy metal. Working as a freelance music journalist for many years and writing about the music I love. I also attend classical concerts regularly, unable to let go of the music which had my heart from the beginning and that is where we pick up my story about this book series because it was at such a concert one evening that it all came together.

I had gone to see the London Philharmonic play The Planets in full (very good I recommend it) and while I was sat there absorbed in the music and watching the musicians I became caught up wondering what their personal lives are like and what my life would have been like if I had succeeded in achieving my dream. Just like that Musicians Hope was born and Luka my first character in Entrapped started to take shape, a cellist who moves from London to Bristol to escape a bad break up we see him juggle his life in the orchestra and as a passionate musician, with his personal life which is far from simple.

In each book we will spend time with a different musician from the Bristol Symphony Orchestra, and while each story is standalone, they will interweave so that you can see the world growing, characters you know and love coming and going from later books and development of characters you’ve met in earlier books into main characters in the later books.

I may not have become the musician I planned but I am passionate about writing and to put my love of music into fiction in this way has been one of the most inspirational things I’ve ever done. I have so much more planned for the musicians in this orchestra and I can’t wait to continue sharing their story with you.

 

Author Photo

About Claire Ayres:

Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point.

Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

Website: https://brizzlelassbooks.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrizzleLass

Giveaway

International

1st Prize: Signed copy of Entrapped and a copy of 7th Symphony by Apocalyptica
2nd Prize: eCopy of Entrapped

WordPress users: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057182/?

Blogger Users: a Rafflecopter giveaway“>a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Buying Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Entrapped-Musicians-Hope-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07DD6ZJHR/

Have you read Entrapped or intend to grab a copy? I’d recommend that you do!

Feel free to comment below.

Bye for now,

 

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The Curse of Time Book One Bloodstone:

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

My Social Media:
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Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
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#ABRSC Review of Wisp by Adele Marie Park #YA #Fantasy #LGBT

Goodreads Synopsis:
Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought. When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisps life, as he knew it will completely change. What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.

Review:

This was one of the most unusual and imaginative YA fantasy stories I have read for a long time. I really loved it. I particularly enjoyed  the wonderful range of characters in the novel, which Ms. Park brought to life via her engaging writing style. I especially loved Wisp, a marsh fairy law enforcer.

The dialogue flowed effortlessly and the narrative kept me engaged throughout with some really exciting passages and witty repartee.  I am so looking forward to reading the second book in this series.

Adele Marie Park shows great promise. This is her debut novel and I will definitely be following this author’s progress with great interest and much excitement.

YAY!!!

Ms. Park has also written stories for several anthologies including The Box Under The Bed, edited by Dan Alatorre, Plaisted Publishing Ghostly Writes AnthologyThe Darkest Midnight in December: Ghost Stories for the Winter Season Anthology, and Betrayals of Another Kind: 2016 Fantasy Writers Anthology.

My rating of Wisp: 4.5 stars.

A definite recommendation for readers of fantasy readers, LGBT YA Fiction, (male love affair.)

Author Details:

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Adele Marie Park – Bio:

I love writing, it`s my passion. My genres include fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and a mixture of all those. I love telling stories; period. I am married to my wonderful wife, who is my rock. Our daughter and our dog, German shepherd collie cross, are also my passions. To experience a moment of pure love is to experience the world.
Creativity is something I couldn`t live without.
I am also a Supernatural geek, and love my music. Punk, Goth, Rockabilly and visual Kei music from Japan.

The paranormal is my normal.
oh, and I also totally believe in faeries.

Adele Marie Park’s Author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adele-Park/e/B01G9VHA9W/

Blog: https://firefly465.wordpress.com/

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com/

 

I’ve written oodles of reviews for traditionally published and self-published authors. Reading is my passion. To see my reviews please follow the links below:

https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-m-of-my-book-reviews/

https://mjmallon.com/2016/11/27/my-kyrosmagica-reviews-n-z/

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Blog Tour and Review: If You Love Me I’m Yours – Lizzie Chantree #RRBC #ABRSC

I’m thrilled to be part of Lizzie Chantree’s blog tour for her latest novel: If You Love Me I’m Yours.

Thank you to Lizzie Chantree for an ARC copy of If you Love Me, I’m Yours.

Please note: Receiving a copy via the author in no way influences my review.

Goodreads Synopsis 

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

My review: 

I was delighted with the prospect of reading another novel from Lizzie Chantree as I really enjoyed Ninja School Mum.

Here is a link to my review for Ninja School Mum:  https://mjmallon.com/2018/01/07/abrsc-review-of-ninja-school-mum/

What I didn’t expect was that this latest book If You Love Me I’m Yours is now my favourite!

What did I like about it?

Lovely engaging characters, I especially loved the main protagonist Maud and her relationship with Daisy and new friend Dot. And Nate is too cute and his brother Elliot  is too! Oh, I could go on and on… Basically I loved all the characters and the characterisation was one of the strongest aspects of this novel.

It was nice to read a light-hearted chick lit romance for a change. And I really enjoyed the fantastic conclusion. Loved the ending!

I engaged with the art aspect to it – how Maud didn’t have much confidence about her creative talents – but then left her art everywhere for people to enjoy. This was charming and touching too.  I’m not an artist myself but do enjoy funky, eccentric characters and If you Love Me I’m Yours really delivered on this.

It’s an uplifting, sweet romance – a great option for a holiday read and with summer upon us…

What I wanted more of!

I loved the sexy scenes between Maud and Nate but I wanted more! I’m greedy that way. This was quite a slow burn with Maud and Nate’s uncertainties and fears, holding back the ‘love action’ which had me desperate for more! I could understand why they were both reluctant but even so.  Lol.

Overall a charming, engaging novel which will bring you lots of smiles! Definitely a recommendation.

Lizzie Photo

Author Bio:

Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

Social media links:

Website: https://lizziechantree.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Universal book buy link: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

My rating 4.5 stars.

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To read all of my reviews (I review lots!!!):

https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-m-of-)my-book-reviews/

https://mjmallon.com/2016/11/27/my-kyrosmagica-reviews-n-z/

 

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#ABRSC #Review The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 (Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology)

#books #flashfiction #shortstories #writing

Goodreads Synopsis:

Witness great feats of literary art from daring writers around the world: stories crafted in 99 words.

Flash fiction is a literary prompt, form, and tool that unites writers in word play. This creative craft hones a writer’s skills to write tight stories and explore longer works. It’s literary art in thoughtful bites, and the collective stories in this anthology provide an entertaining read for busy modern readers.

Writers approach the prompts for their 99-word flash with creative diversity. Each of the twelve chapters in Part One features quick, thought-provoking flash fiction. Later sections include responses to a new flash fiction prompt, extended stories from the original 99-word format, and essays from memoir writers working in flash fiction. A final section includes tips on how to use flash fiction in classrooms, book clubs, and writers groups.

CarrotRanch.com is an online literary community where writers can practice craft the way musicians jam. Vol. 1 includes the earliest writings by these global literary artists at Carrot Ranch. Just as Buffalo Bill Cody once showcased the world’s most daring riding, this anthology highlights the best literary feats from The Congress of Rough Writers.

My review:

Thank you to Charli Mills for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and very well structured. It delivers a wide range of flash fiction and so much more. The anthology succeeds in celebrating the  wonderful sense of community that is Carrot Ranch and the benefits of participating, therein. Charli Mills has created a welcoming, nurturing community of ‘Rough Writers,’ who develop through practice – the necessary skills to polish their flash fiction writing, overcoming the challenging constraint  of 99 words.

I’d highly recommend this anthology to EVERYONE, but particularly to writers and aspiring authors. But, don’t let that discourage the general public as they will most definitely enjoy reading this compilation too.

Being a part of Carrot Ranch Community is indeed a fantastic thing to do for experienced writers and wannabe writers too. I just wish I had more time to join in Carrot Ranch more regularly. But the community allows for writers to come and go as they wish, which is a positive aspect of Carrot Ranch. No one feels pressurised to write flash, it is a very free and giving group.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Highlights: 

A very engaging Foreword from Charli Mills.

Part 1 : Best of Show

Part 2 : A New Flash Fiction challenge

Part 3: Expanded Flash. This interested me as I recently attempted this and struggled to take a story from 99 words and expand it to 1,000. It isn’t easy!

Part 4: Essays From Memoirists: An unexpected section entitled Essays From Memoirists which I found fascinating. Particularly as I am currently penning a 3000 piece memoir about my dad’s early years, national service, and first taste of exotic travel for a competition!

In this section individual writers penned their thoughts and feelings about writing memoirs:

Sherri Matthews: From Memoir to Flash Fiction And Back Again. How writing flash, ‘energised,’ and enabled her ‘to soar,’ ‘and write fearlessly.’

Paula Moyer.  In Praise of Nine Year Olds with Vision. Flash allowed for a ‘Parallel universe’ where the writer could ‘feel free’ ‘I am called to write.’

Lisa Reiter – How Flash Fiction Helps My Perfectionism by letting go and putting words on paper. Allowed her to realise that ‘The words are good enough’ ‘To Let it go,’ ‘the discipline of a little flash fiction is a good way to practice that.’

Jeanne Belisle Lombardo – How The practice of Flash Fiction Hones the Craft of the Memoirist – ‘focus on the moment’ and on ‘honesty in one’s work,’ which is what readers are looking for in memoirs.

Irene Waters – Defining Differences between Memoir and Fiction – ‘Writing fiction gave me a freedom I had not experienced before.’ ‘no room for unnecessary words.’  ‘major benefits’ – ‘freedom of expression’ – ‘honed technical skills.’

Part 5 : Building community with Flash Fiction

Part 6: Acknowledgements and Bios

Amazon UK Buying link: The Congress of Rough Writers Vol 1 Anthology

My A – M Reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-m-of-my-book-reviews/

My N – Z Reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2016/11/27/my-kyrosmagica-reviews-n-z/

Let me know if you’d read the anthology I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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#Book #Review A Haiku Perspective 2018: Annette Rochelle Aben

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Amazon Synopsis:

This is a magical journey through a year in the life of a poet, presented in the format of haiku. Be entertained,and enlightened as you enjoy the worlds of reality and imagination are combined artfully. Dreamers will love this book. Writers will enjoy this book. Readers will enjoy this book. Even those who think they could never appreciate poetry, will enjoy this book. Come and be enchanted by the verbal imagery of A Haiku Perspective 2018.

Thank you to the author for a copy received in exchange for an honest review.

My review:

This is an enchanting book of poetry. So many wonderful haiku! I  love short form poetry and Annette Rochelle Aben’s book covers a multitude of poetic topics in a warm and inviting way.

The first poem Strings is a poignant haiku love story. I read this particular poem several times and seemed to take more from it on each reading. I read it down and then from the bottom up! The family dynamic in this poem changes when a new baby is welcomed and Annette Rochelle Aben captures this to perfection in this thought-provoking poem. The message within will no doubt resonate with many. Love can be the most exquisite emotion. But, there are many loves. Can the love of a child be so consuming that your partner, wife, or husband feels neglected?  I loved how this was expressed in a musical way.

Thereafter, the haiku flow in short bursts of inspiring magic. There are no images to break up the poems. This is pure poetry. And it works.

This is such an amusing, warm-hearted compilation of poetry.

My recommendation: Definitely read! You will be uplifted, you’ll smile and perhaps you might cry. Poetry takes our hearts on a journey. This poetry collection succeeds in transporting you to this special place and this feeling lingers long after you have finished reading.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Annette Rochelle Aben’s Blog: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haiku-Perspective-2018-Annette-Rochelle-ebook/dp/B07BRBDF19/

To read a selection all my A – Z reviews please follow these links:

https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-m-of-my-book-reviews/

https://mjmallon.com/2016/11/27/my-kyrosmagica-reviews-n-z/

Have you read Annette Rochelle’s poetry? Do let me know if you have. I love comments. 🙂 x

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Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

Reblogging this from So, I Read This Booktoday, great review of Ceri London’s Rogue Genesis.

So, I Read This Book Today

rogue Click cover to purchase the book. Do it! You KNOW you want to!!!!

Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be…

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The Great Gatsby – Can you repeat the past?

One of my all time favourites, The Great Gatsby. Wonderful review from Book Club Mum.

Book Club Mom

This is the original cover.  Check out the story behind it at the bottom of my post! This is the original cover. Check out the story behind it at the bottom of my post!

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rating:
****

Jay Gatsby builds a fortune, buys a mansion in fictional West Egg, NY, across the bay from Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s old-money mansion in East Egg. In an effort to win back the girl he loves, Gatsby throws lavish parties, hoping Daisy will show, or at the least, that he will meet someone who knows her. What follows is a story of wealth, marriage, excess and the romantic notion that you can repeat the past.

Set in 1922, these characters live during the wild party atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties. The Great Gatsby is about a time when new money moves into the old money world and about the contrasting lives of all classes, including the very poor who live in “the valley of

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Book Review: The Waiting Room by Alysha Kaye

Another interesting sounding book, The Waiting Room, by Alysha Kaye, reviewed by Virna Aryanita.

The Waiting Room Print 03

Rate: 4 out of 5 stars. I loved, enjoyed it, and would love to recommend this to everyone!

First of all, can we talk about the cover? It’s so pretty and I love it.

I always thought the term “true love never dies” is bullshit. After all, nothing last forever because in the end we all are gonna die, right? But I never really thinking what happened after we all die? Where are we going next? Either straight to hell or heaven?

The Waiting Room follows Jude, who dies in a car accident, and find himself wake up in The Waiting Room, place where all the souls waiting to go on to their next life, except Jude. He spent his entire time there watching his wife Nina through a window, until one day he learns that he’s the only one who ever wait that long. How long will he stay?…

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RIVER OF DUST: a spiritual journey through unknown China for characters and readers alike

River of Dust, Virginina Pye, review courtesy of Read Her Like An Open Book. This sounds interesting.

READ HER LIKE AN OPEN BOOK

River of Dust

River of Dust

By Virginia Pye

Unbridled Books, 2013

Trade paperback published April 14, 2014

256 pages, $16.00

One of the great joys of the reading life is the ability to travel to other times and places, to experience life among other peoples and cultures. Virginia Pye’s River of Dust, though not a joyful novel, offers those pleasures in abundance. River of Dust is a character study of a man of great faith enduring a spiritual crisis, a close examination of the dynamics in a young marriage, a suspenseful missing persons story, and a jaundiced travelogue.

A few years after the Boxer Rebellion of 1898-1900, Reverend John Wesley Watson and his young wife, Grace, have been sent by the church to engage in missionary work in the small Chinese city of Fenchow-fu in the drought-stricken country northwest of Beijing. After making a name for himself building schools, roads, and…

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