The Woman Who Felt Invisible @Lizzie_Chantree #review #romance #read

Synopsis

The woman who felt invisible

Lots of twists and turns, so I found it hard to put the book down. Very enjoyable to read as it kept me guessing!’ – Amazon Review. ★★★★★

An exciting story of love, romance and tear-jerking reality, from international bestselling author, Lizzie Chantree.

Have you ever felt invisible?

Working as a stationery supervisor and a sitter to a pair of internet famous, delinquent dogs, wasn’t how former cyber-specialist, Olivia, imagined her life turning out.

Sitting in a tiny cubicle with a decrepit computer and being overlooked had suited her for a while, but now she’s fed up, lonely and determined to make the world ‘see’ her again.

Heartbreaker, Darius, wants to fill Olivia’s days with romance and adventure, but their love of technology has taken them on very different paths, forcing her to leave her past behind.

Gorgeous undercover policeman Gabe, is steadfast in finding out if Olivia is part of an online scam. Someone is stealing money from high profile men, but something doesn’t feel right and he suspects someone else is manipulating her life. But why?

Can true love blossom from the most deceptive of starts? And can someone who feels lost, find a way to flourish against all odds? 

My review

The Woman Who Felt Invisible captured my attention right from the beginning with a great opening chapter which immediately hooks. The premise about older women feeling invisible is such a perceptive idea and Lizzie Chantree has explored this with touching humour, attention to detail and great characters. I loved all the funny details, the hot house, the dogs, the internet sensation! Jen’s fake smile and how she looked down her nose at the other women.

The main character Olivia (an older woman who lacks confidence,) meets Constance, (Connie,) at the office xmas party and there is reference to Connie looking young but being in her 40’s. A tip off to suggest where the story direction is going…

There are so many funny little moments like when Olivia’s boss Greg, who happens to be her new friend’s cheating husband, corners Olivia in the stationery cupboard (where she works,) and Olivia stabs him with her pen.

After the office party Olivia and Connie become great friends and this is the pivotal point where the story changes and progresses to reveal stunning revelations about Olivia and her best male friend Darius.

The love interest/love triangle appears in the form of injured Policeman Gabe who is doing a stake out of Olivia as he thinks she’s a drugs criminal! And Darius who has his charms and an abundance of good looks too… no spoilers read to discover more!

Connie wants to plan revenge on her cheating hubby Greg. And a whole bunch of extraordinary revelations follow. A great read! Perhaps less romance than some of Lizzie’s other books. Lots of humour, and commentry on women being more powerful than they seem. Overall, an entertaining novel and a celebration of older women having much to offer society with Olivia’s character demonstrating many hidden aspects, talents and much to admire. I loved it. Light-hearted but thoughtful too.

My rating 5 stars. Highly recommended.

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Book Sprout – Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) #marketing #ideas #writingcommunity #payingitforward

Now, that my publisher Next Chapter has decided to go wide, it seems like a sound decision to offer my YA Fantasy Bloodstone to potential reviewers on Booksprout, which is a garnering reviews site, with 40,000 reviewers. I’m trying it out and will be comparing Booksprout to Book Sirens which I have already been using for some time.

My author page on Booksprout: https://booksprout.co/book/97046/bloodstone-a-paranormal-fantasy-adventure-the-curse-of-time-book-1

To download an ARC review copy: https://booksprout.co/arc/83725/bloodstone-a-paranormal-fantasy-adventure-the-curse-of-time-book-1

Booksprout appeals to me as it links to many book buying sites, that BookSirens doesn’t, (Sirens only has Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub,) whereas the sprout offers the possibility of reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords as well as Goodreads and BookBub. Obviously, not all reviewers will post to all sites and you are limited in number to how many you can choose but still… it seems like a good option.

Also, it seems fairly easy to use. They claim that you can set up an ARC in ten minutes. I didn’t time myself but it seemed quick!

Also, the Sprout offers a free service – first 20 reviews for one ARC for free. Only downside is basic ARC Freeloader protection on the free version – there is a way to check a reviewer’s email for ARC reviewer’s blocks. This tool debugs why a particular reviewer may not be able to download your ARC. It will display any known or potential blocks that would prevent them from doing so.

So, try the free version at your peril. You can upgrade at a click of a button to pay for the full service including total piracy control. This starts at $10 a month for up to 50 reviewers per ARC.

Oh, and beware if you get any emails saying a reviewer couldn’t download your ARC. Ignore, or point them in the direction of the Sprout… all this is handled by the Sprout, this is a red flag.

Another reason for trying to increase my readership and reviews is the imminent release of Book 2, Golden Healer. The finished manuscript is awaiting edits with my publisher, the cover is done – and looks spectacular… cover reveal soon.

Let me know if you would like to be part of my release Team! For Book 2, Golden Healer.

If you are interested in reviewing Bloodstone on Booksprout, or perhaps if you’ve already read Bloodstone and are willing to add your reviews to sites such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords, etc, please do! I need all the help I can get and am happy to pay it forward.

I do believe that Bloodstone and The Curse of Time series deserve a wider audience, like so many indie and small press books. And I hope you might help me to achieve that aim.

With regard to paying it forward, I recently starting a Bookstagram review account where I share my reviews. I’ve written close to 200, so not sure how long this will take me to catch up! So, please do follow, like and share to help me grow this and to encourage me to do so! I will mainly be sharing independent, small press authors with a few traditionally published favourites too. Plus some quotes celebrating my love of books, etc…

My new Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/

Once I’ve tried out the sprout and concluded my thoughts on the sirens I will give you the lowdown on my observations. And, I still have to try Voracious Readers… Next!

So, if you have any experience with any of these review garnering sites please comment below.

Book Review – Welcome To Denver Falls by @simsansford #book #review #mystery #crime #supernatural

Welcome to Denver FallsWelcome to Denver Falls by Sim Alec Sansford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Wow, this captured my attention from the beginning with such an intriguing prologue and kept me enthralled throughout.

17 year old Harper is determined to solve an eighteen year old crime mystery, with Abigail being the first in a series of murder victims, in a small town. Abigail’s sister Emily says she is missing and ‘Something took her.’

Harper is a great character, brave, determined and so well written. I really enjoyed reading about her and felt sympathetic to her plight. And her family dynamics added an extra layer of interest in this story.

There are many warnings, and dreams which would make most teenagers run a mile but Harper stays resolute in her intention. She meets some seriously creepy characters along the way including the beguiling Gideon and his creepy brother Elijah.

Many mysteries are revealed towards the end of the book explaining why she was so compelled to dig deeper putting her own safety at risk. And there are some loose threads to be further explored in the second book.

Denver Falls crosses genre boundaries, being both a crime/murder mystery with a definite supernatural/paranormal feel to it with the mention of Shadow people, wraiths, the scene in the forest, the underground mine, and the weirdly dated poetry book and what follows. At the drunken bonfire the (Natives) issue a creepy warning to the kids to scare them off as they …
‘Anger the forest,’ says old man.

I loved the scene with Harper dancing under the moon with Gideon and I enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story.

The ending is complete but allows for a nice introduction to the second book in this series, with hints at what is to come.

Highly recommended. 5 stars, fantastic debut novel. Definitely my kind of read!

I’d also like to mention that the narrator of the audiobook did a fabulous job and really brought the tale to life. 5 stars to her too!

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The above link takes you to my new bookstagram account which I started recently. Please follow, like and share to support indie, and small press authors. Thank you.

#review #5stars Bloodstone (The Curse of Time, Book 1) @Marjorie_Mallon #NextChapterPub – Didi Oviatt -Author

Thank you so much to Didi Oviatt for this wonderful review of my YA Fantasy Bloodstone. Made my day! A great New Year’s eve present. <3

Here is a short paragraph from the review, do read the full review at Didi’s wonderful blog.

What a fun mix this book is of magic, mystery and compelling characters. It’s a young adult fantasy that piques your interest from the very first chapter. Amelina is a teenage girl with quite the family story to tell, and to figure out for that matter. Nothing is as it seems, as the magic that she’s surrounded with is unique and creative.

 

Source: #review #5stars Bloodstone (The Curse of Time, Book 1) @Marjorie_Mallon #NextChapterPub – Didi Oviatt -Author

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book One) by M.J. Mallon – Books and Beyond Reviews @BooksandBeyond6

Thank you to Steven for this fantastic review of my YA Fantasy Bloodstone.

I’ll start this review by openly admitting I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve read a wide range of YA books, and plenty of mystery and fantasy books to boot. Some YA books have leaned to the younger end of the scale while others have tended to the more grown-up end of the scale. Bloodstone found itself in a nice position. It engaged me, without ever feeling too grown-up for younger readers either.

Follow the link below to read the full review…

Source: Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book One) by M.J. Mallon – Books and Beyond Reviews

Thank you to  Steven for also sharing this fabulous graphic and details on his Instagram:

MJ’s Book Reviews: Black Sparrow by A. J. Griffiths-Jones, @authoraj66 #book #review #thriller

Synopsis

At Heathrow airport, a hired assassin is boarding a plane to Paris. On the same plane is young Uzma Rafiq, heading for a new life with her French lover.

The passengers carry identical suitcases, but their motives for traveling to the European city couldn’t be further apart.  When they accidentally pick up the wrong luggage on arrival, a deadly series of events is set in motion.

As a sinister twist brings them together, they will dictate each other’s destinies. Against a backdrop of The City of Lights, who will survive?

A thriller full of twists and turns, A.J. Griffiths’s ‘Black Sparrow’ is a riveting story of love, murder and deadly secrets.

My Review – 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read from A. J Griffith-Jones and I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly plotted thriller which empasses so many differing elements to keep you engrossed throughout. The characters are brilliant, the naivety of the young muslim girl is well portrayed as she sets out to find her French boyfriend, her art teacher, after a summer romance.

At the guest house where she stays two more characters, the exuberant French guesthouse owner and English gent with OCD enrich the storyline intriguing us with their conversations, musings, and contemplative flirtitiousness.

Expect to discover a hitman at work on his last mission who longs to retire! Elements of humour sneak into the narrative and made me chuckle! Who is this person and why are they at the same French guesthouse for many years?

I particularly loved the exploration of culture in this book, and muslim extremism as it effects young vulnerable women and elderly married women alike. Many aspects are considered, including discussion on honour killing, infidelity and betrayal. It explores how far extremists will go to protect their way of life, beliefs and their family honour.

The young girl’s father is insufferable and his behaviour and his family’s turning a blind eye is shocking. The younger generation are portrayed in a softer light but seem unable to stand up to the extremist beliefs of their elders.

I felt so sad for the young girl’s mother and her desperation and anger were conveyed exceptionally well. So poignant and sad.

In fact this human interest aspect is the thread of the story which I enjoyed the most.

Towards the end there were missing suitcase and other discoveries and twists to keep the reader wondering what now and I was surprised by some aspects of the conclusion.

Highly recommended read. Listened on Audible.

Latest Review and news!Bloodstone #YA #Fantasy

I have some news my YA fantasy Bloodstone is currently being recorded as an audiobook and this should be available in time for Christmas.

Also, the second book in the series, Golden Healer is now with Next Chapter…

And a wonderful review from Amazon influencer, N N Light…

A magical invitation, that doesn’t tear up, urges Amelina to go to Crystal Cottage to seek out the hidden secrets of her family. Amelina Scott knows her family isn’t what you call normal and neither is her house. No one she knows has a girl trapped in the mirrors. When she receives an invitation to visit Crystal Cottage, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Is it a prank? Is it a trick? She decides to ignore it and throws it in the trash. Only it doesn’t stay in the bin. She tries to cut it up but it doesn’t cut. It sings, it dances, it is somehow alive. She finally decides to travel to the Crystal Cottage to see what happens. Along the way, she meets Ryder and discovers magic (both light and dark) is all around. She interacts with magical people, beings, and objects while learning the truth of her family. What happens next will astound you, the reader. Are you ready for an adventure?


Bloodstone is an imaginative fantasy adventure I enjoyed from start to finish. From the first page, I connected with Amelina. She’s a delightful heroine. I could relate to her on so many levels. Everything from her curiosity to her reactions to her emotional state rang true. While it’s tricky these days to write an original fantasy story, M.J. Mallon wrote one of the most original fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. Taking bits from fantasy authors of the past, M.J. Mallon adds her own blend of magical realism and emotional coming of age to make Bloodstone a gem. The plot moves at a good pace with each chapter starting with a puzzle. What a creative way to keep the reader invested. The world-building is intricate and riveting. The characters are engaging and easy to connect with. Overall, Bloodstone is a brilliant story and when I finished, I wanted to read it all over again. If you’re a fantasy reader, you need to read Bloodstone. Highly recommend!



Her Rating: 5+ stars

Buy it Now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Bloodstone-Paranormal-Fantasy-Adventure-Curse-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY


Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Bloodstone-Paranormal-Fantasy-Adventure-Curse-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY


Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodstone-Paranormal-Fantasy-Adventure-Curse-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY


Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58417468-bloodstone


BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/books/bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1-by-m-j-mallon

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/bloodstone-br

So excited and can’t wait for the audiobook to come out.

Book Review : Word Weaving @ColleenChesebro #poetry #collection #review

Synopsis

Word Weaving is a yearly poetry journal, and for our first issue, we bring you poetry crafted from a broad mix of new and established voices across the spectrum of Japanese and American syllabic poetry forms. Enjoy this collection of poems that celebrate the Moons of Autumn.

Contributing Poets:

Annette Rochelle Aben, Mona Bedi, Nancy Brady, Colleen M. Chesebro, Goutam Dutta, Bill Engleson, Elizabeth F., Andreea Finichiu, D.L. Finn, Jeff Flesch, Ken Gierke, Franci Hoffman, Thom Kerr, Sujata Khanna, Ruth Klein, Jules Paige, D. Wallace Peach, Gwen M. Plano, M. J. Mallon, R.V. Mitchell, Elaine Patricia Morris, Lisa Smith Nelson, Pat Raffington, Susmita Ramani, Kerfe Roig, Aishwarya Saby, Akhila Siva, Merril D. Smith, Willow Willers, and Cheryl Wood.

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse by Colleen M. Chesebro

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’m thrilled to be a participating author in this lovely collection of poetry compiled by Colleen Chesebro and edited by Jules Paige. My review relates to the other authors in the journal.

It begins with an introduction by Jules Paige in which she discusses the choice of theme in this particular collection.

There are haiku, senryu, tanka, tanka prose and many more forms, all of which are fabulous with so many favourites…

dancing in moonlight
in the autumn of our years
still chasing blue skies

Pat Raffington.

the empress rises
summer and winter curtsy
nature holds its breath
while the symphony begins
fireflies dance in the moonlight

Gwen M. Piano

Other highlights include D. L. Finn’s Moon’s Magic which I loved – about a lone black cat on the edge of the world, under the harvest moon and her “Harvest Moon,” Butterly Cinquain.

The collection concluded with a Best of Issue Poetry with favourites chosen by Jules and Colleen. The chosen poems were by D. L. Finn, Merril D. Smith and Ken Gierke. All excellent.

D. Wallace Peach’s “Moon-spun” tanka prose idyll – so magical and enchanting and her “Revolutions” Butterfly Cinquain.

Merril D. Smith’s Crapsey cinquain entitled “October Night,” her shadorma sequence “Harvest Moon,” and her abhanga “Through the Leaves.”

A new poet to me Sujata Khanna wrote a lovely double inverted etheree entitled “A Viaduct.”

And I particularly enjoyed Bill Engleson’s nonet, “Her Winged Way,” and his diatelle “Above Campbell Bay on a Hot August Night.”

Loved Colleen Chesebro’s Luna’s Soft Glow.

Shadorma took me to a “Moon Dance” with Ruth Klein’s contribution.

There was a “Meeting of Minds,” with a Badger’s hexastich written by Susmita Ramani and her “Autumn Half-Dream” “Prom-ises.”

A Triple Abhanga by Annette Rochelle Aben was lovely too.

I could go on and on. Do read this wonderful collection you won’t be disappointed.




View all my reviews

My review

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse by Colleen M. Chesebro

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Book Review The Reviled @MorganBC728 #NextChapterPub

In the mystical realm of Jyndari, a relationship blossoms between two unsuspecting yet kindred souls.
Ayla, a Light-loving Guardian of Childfey, hides more than a few secrets-ones which isolate and set her apart from the rest. Yet Ayla’s veiled confidences entice one who lurks in the shadows. Silent and watchful, this dangerous presence knows all too well the secrets she wishes kept hidden.
The Darkness-revering Fey bids his time, waiting for the ideal moment to step away from the shadows and reveal himself to Ayla. But doing so will irrevocably alter the course of their lives … and shatter both their worlds.
Brimming with magic and mystery, beauty and enchantment, Dark Fey, The Reviled is a fantasy like no other; one that is an adventure for both mind and spirit. 

My review

This is so me! I loved it from word go… I loved its take on dark and light winged creatures. I listened to The Reviled on audible. It’s an enthralling dark fantasy tale which would appeal to young adults and some older readers too. Friendship and a blossoming love interest at the beginning between Ayla and her suitor Marden capture the readers attention.

Ayla is a fae of the light, she is empathic, clairvoyant and can perceive truth from lies. The whisperings of a mysterious dark fey visitor begin – Gairynzvl. He is frightening as all dark fey are to the fae of the light (they steal young ones from the nursery and change them from light fae to dark.) In time Ayla’s impression of Gairynzvl’s intentions change, she realises his actions are not what she expects.

The pacing is slower in some parts, with a fair amount of detail describing the two Fey but during the battle scene the pace is fast and engrossing.

There is a developing love triangle, with a struggle for the three to escape the feared Centurion of The Reviled dark clutches.

This is for you if you like tales which are emotional, heartfelt and mystical with light and dark aspects. It is a beautifully expressed story, with passionate and descriptive writing. The final scenes are so emotionally charged that they will stay with me for a long while. I would definitely like to read more from this author.

My rating an easy 5 stars!

I featured Cynthia Morgan recently on my blog:

Book Review: Emma’s Tapestry @IBlackthorn #historical #fiction #NextChapterPub

At the dawn of World War Two, German-born nurse Emma Taylor sits by the bedside of a Jewish heiress in London as she reminisces over her dear friend, Oscar Wilde.

As the story of Wilde unravels, so does Emma’s past. What really happened to her husband?

She’s taken back to her days in Singapore on the eve of World War One. To her disappointing marriage to a British export agent, her struggle to fit into colonial life and the need to hide her true identity.

Emma is caught up in history, the highs, the lows, the adventures. A deadly mutiny, terrifying rice riots and a confrontation with the Ku Klux Klan bring home, for all migrants, the fragility of belonging.

Emma’s Tapestry is an imaginative retelling of the remarkable life of the author’s great-grandmother.

My review

I loved Emma’s Tapestry, a historical tale with an imaginative aspect, from the beginning!

I was attracted to reading this historical novel as it’s set in London, partially in the Far East in Singapore (where I was born) and also in Japan. The main character, Emma, is from Philadelphia but with German origins.

There are so many aspects to this tale to keep you utterly enthralled from mentions of Oscar Wilde’s letter to Adela, (an elderly Jewish heiress with a fascinating life to tell,) the tapestry itself which is cleverly interwoven into the plot, details of Emma’s Mennonite faith, emotional scenes, fears, dangers and insecurities brought on by war, anti-German feeling, mentions of mediums and spiritualism, the sense of the divide between the rich and the poor in Expat countries – Emma’s reaction and empathy for the locals (she is a trained nurse) and the terrible loss of life following WW1 caused by the Spanish influenza.

I admire authors who write historical fiction (as it must involve so much painstaking research to get the details right.)

Throughout it all the main character Emma shines with a can do I won’t be beaten attitude.

I just loved Emma’s wonderful strength of character!

There’s mention of the trials and tribulations throughout the war years of WW1 and WW2, (and coping with Ernest, her merchant hubby, a dire excuse for a husband, ) and the evergrowing anti-German sentiment and fears for her safety and her children’s wellbeing given her German heritage.

I listened to this sweeping historical novel in Audible and loved every minute.

With its wonderful storyline which sweeps back and forth in diverse time periods and believable, well written and engaging characters.

There is a lovely epilogue explaining Isobel Blackthorn’s family background and the mysterious inspiration for writing this story, (a period in her maternal great grandparents lives, ) which is in itself all so fascinating!

A must read – An easy 5 stars.

To buy:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B091CSDB7V/

Author links:

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

www.isobelblackthorn.com

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

www.isobelblackthorn.com

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

http://www.isobelblackthorn.com

Links:

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon


Blog: https://mjmallon.com/