Monthly Archives: August 2018

Book Review: ‘The Time Bender’ by Debra Chapoton

Title: The Time Bender: An Alien Teen Fantasy Adventure

Published: 13th September 2017

Author: Debra Chapoton

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigPineLodgeBooks

Twitter: @Debra_Chapoton

 

Synopsis:

Humor, charm, romance and intriguing characters fill this first book of THE TIME BENDER series.

Marcum arrives on an alien spaceship to search Earth for a girl he’s learned can manipulate Time itself. During a sudden snowstorm he finds Selina. Their connection is immediate, delicate and elusive. This shy and strange girl can slow time to a crawl and make his awkward advances both painful and wondrous. Marcum must abduct her for the good of his side of the galaxy, but he falls for Selina.  Now he’s caught between duty and compassion … or maybe it’s love.

 

Review:

A quirky, humorous, teen love rival, sci-fi mixed read with some aliens on a secret mission in the middle of a war searching for a time bender to help them thrown in for good measure.

Selina has always felt different but it isn’t until two mysterious exchange students come onto the scene that she starts to see things in a different light. Maybe she isn’t as strange as she first thought. Or more to the point maybe it’s just that she needed to go somewhere where she really belongs.

Selina suffers from social anxiety a lot and seems to rely on her best friend Alex just to get through the day. The only person – other than her brother Buddy – who can get her to smile and not feel like such an outcast. He has always been there for her and continues to be her guardian no matter what, or who, comes their way. Her journey starts with her wanting to wish on a star for something new. An adventure would be fun but getting a boyfriend is getting to be the top of the list. She should be careful what she wishes for because it might just come true.

On a dark night, when the lights have cut out, Selina notices someone wondering around her garden in the snow. Thinking its Alex – as he is her neighbour – she calls him over to get out of the snow. She gets a little surprise when Marcum comes through the door instead. No coat so freezing he tries to explain who he is. Really it’s more her saying ‘are you this’ and him saying yes. Thinking he’s just an exchange student – a hot one mind you – she helps him stay warm until the lights come on. When they do however she all but pushes him out the door. Seems she was bold in the dark but as soon as the lights are on reality sets in and her anxiety comes full force. Now one hot exchange student stranger is unusual but two would be unheard of in her little town. So when Coreg makes an appearance at school and tries to get her attention she doesn’t quite know how to act. These two strangers seem to take a liking for Selina and want her to come with them for something. Warning bells for Alex as he doesn’t really trust their motives. Good job too as they both came with the objection of taking her back to their home planet Klaqin to help fight a deadly war with her skill set – not that she knows this yet.

Seems Selina has a gift, one she never noticed before but can seem to use without trying. She can slow down time and not just in her head. She only learns this after Marcum comes to her house again to try to explain things. ‘Do you want to see my spaceship?’ A video game this is not. A trip to space but was it real or not? The fact she was missing for hours would suggest the later. Can she trust either guy with what they tell her? They seem to only have their own interests at heart, not hers, not like Alex always has. Could he be her knight in shining armour when trouble arises? He could lend a hand after finding out a secret of his own. She may not be the only one special in this town.

Now this picks up a bit more at the end when you get a space battle thrown in. What good space battle would be complete without a little romantic drama thrown in for good measure? Where does Selina’s heart truly lie and who will step up to help? A battle may be over but the war is about to begin. Fight to save their planet is key, but which planet will they be on to help.

Interesting story but could have developed the characters a bit more, rest of the series should see to this. Easy to read but I did find that this book is really aimed at a young adult audience though as parts did feel a bit childish to me. The whole ‘cue the blush’, ‘drop head, shrink to nothing’ or ‘hear the crickets’ side comments Selina always seems to add can get a bit annoying at times. I guess it’s sort of a way to see what’s going on in her head but not always needed. The start of a quirky story though where much is still to be explored. Not just with the war coming but emotions too.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Fantasy, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Science Fiction

Cover Reveal: ‘The Mistakes I’ve Made’ by J.L. Berg

Title: The Mistakes I’ve Made
Series: By the Bay
Author: J.L. Berg
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations
Release Date: September 12, 2018
Blurb

 

From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes an enemies to lovers stand-alone romance.

I was waiting for my life to start…

After forgoing college to help run the family business, I’d given up on the idea of a different life, and finally made peace with something a bit simpler.

That is, until Leilani Hart showed up.

There is nothing simple about about the hotel heiress and the minute our eyes meet, I know my carefree existence is a thing of the past. She has big ideas for our sleepy town and the motel she plans on transforming into a spa destination for the rich and famous.

She’ll have to go through me first.

From our first meeting, we’re like fire and ice and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to pin her down and melt some of those frigid layers right off.

But, my town comes first. Or, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself. Unfortunately, my heart and head don’t seem to agree and soon, I don’t know where my loyalties lie.  I’ve never believed in love, but for her, I just might be willing to risk it all.

Even if it means falling… for the enemy.

 

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Author Bio

 

J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready series, the Walls series, the Lost & Found series and more. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls and two pups. When she’s not writing, you will find her cuddled up, watching a movie with her family, obsessing over fandoms or devouring anything chocolate! J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

Author Links

 

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Author Interview: ‘Las Hermanas’ by Raedene Jeannette Melin

About the Book:

Award-winning book that recently received acclaim from the National Indie Excellence Awards and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards!

Machine guns rattle ominously outside, and eleven-year-old Adelita Alvarez must run from everything she knows into the South American jungle. Her family murdered and her people pushed from their land, Adi finds herself targeted by a vicious man who seems determined to kill her. As she survives the dangers of jungle and city, her skill and confidence grow, empowering her to face her fears and the peril she encounters. When she happens on a motley group of orphaned and discarded street kids, she knows she must do what she can to protect them. Together, they flee back into the jungle, pursued by men who will stop at nothing. Haunted by her family’s past, she discovers that if she ever wants to be truly free, she’ll have to fight for it.

Las Hermanas is a story of perseverance, loyalty, and struggle. Gripping from the first page, it winds through dense jungle and choking city streets following children thrown into a world that seeks to abuse and control them at every turn.

 

What People are saying:

“Lush natural descriptions – from ominous cliffs to dangerous electric eels in shallow pools – effectively set the dramatic mood. An intriguing, action-packed tale…” – Kirkus Reviews

“This powerfully written, nailbiting, suspense driven book… blew my mind as a first novel… Adi grabs you and drags you into the Amazon jungle, making you feel the gunshot wounds and heart breaks along with her! I highly recommend this book.” – Amazon reviewer

“What started as a bedtime read soon became my daytime book as I found myself swept away with the action-packed storyline. From the very first words “Las Hermanas” hooked me with its energized tale of a young girl thrown into a very grown-up world as she fights for her family, friends, and freedom. I thoroughly enjoyed this read; a great first book from a new author!” – Goodreads reviewer

“For those looking for modern images of female heroes, this book may be exactly what you are looking for. I recommend it.” – Amazon reviewer

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’ve been in love with stories for as long as I can remember, but the thought of creating my own never crossed my mind. It seemed too big to even consider. Who was I to think I had something to say, something worthwhile to share?

But when the idea for my first novel, Las Hermanas, manifested, I could no longer deny the desire to tell the story of a South American girl fighting for her right to live, and suddenly, I couldn’t get rid of her. At first, she was subtle and would politely pop up in moments of boredom, but when I continued to ignore her, deciding that someone else should write her story, she became a monster – persistent and rude – and I found myself unable to reject her and what she had to say. It was if she had taken my brain hostage and the only way to get her out was to write her down.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

In my office, when the rest of the household has gone to bed. It makes for some late nights and very little (if any) sleep, but when you find that rhythm, that invaluable precious flow, stopping it on purpose for any reason feels a little insane.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Integrated Studies and I cannot remember how many times throughout my studies I wondered about the stories, predominantly female, that weren’t there. History seems to have been written about men, for men, by men and there is a gaping hole left where the voices, experiences and stories of women, and other individuals who identify as anything other than traditionally male, should be. This is what inspires me to write – to tell these forgotten, ignored, repressed stories and bring these voices to light.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I do both. Creating a general outline with my main story goals and milestones prevents me from suddenly finding myself in an impossible corner that makes absolutely no sense and results in the deletion of an entire day’s work. But I also come up with my best ideas on the fly so I don’t like to restrict myself too much. Let’s just call the leeway I give myself “heavily supervised creative license.”

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I’m an action/adventure junkie so that is what I write. I do love historical fiction as well and am currently dabbling in that genre with a fingers-crossed-it-will-work-out-plan to blend the two genres together. Should be an interesting year!

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Haven’t really thought about it.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Like most authors, I can’t devour books fast enough as my “to-be-read” pile never stops growing. I recently stacked the books I own but haven’t yet read together and let’s just say the pile was so tall, it teetered more than a little.

As for favourite authors, my reading tastes are quite broad so narrowing it down to a specific few feels like an impossible task. I haven’t yet latched on to a particular author as I read purely based on whether the story interests me or not. But some of the books that have impacted me the most are; Just Pretending by Lisa Bird-Wilson, Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and am currently reading The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I have never read such a beautiful book before – not just in the actual story – but in the way it is written. It’s almost musical, each sentence perfect and full of purpose, the way the story ebbs and flows, wrapping you in a symphony.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

If you want to make writing your full-time career and make money at it, writing the story is only half the job. If I could simply write in my office with my dogs in my oversized sweaters drinking way too much coffee and not have to worry my pretty-little-head about promoting, marketing and selling, I would be SO happy. But that’s not how it works. There’s no magical being who will do all that for you and turn all your blood, sweat and tears into a best-seller with the flick of a switch (unless you have the cash flow to heavily invest in such a service). No matter how good the writing is, it’s up to you to get it out there and get it noticed. And that takes additional and different skills than the ones you’ve used to finish your piece of carefully crafted art. So! Be prepared to be shot out of your comfort zone and learn new things!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under the handle RJMBooks. I recently won a National Indie Excellence Award for Las Hermanas so to celebrate I’m giving away 5 signed paperback copies! Visit any of my social media sites before August 19, 2018 to enter!

Website: www.rjmbooks.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/raedenejeannettemelin

Twitter: @rjmbooks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rjmbooks

 

About the Author:

Raedene is an author based in British Columbia, Canada. As a child, she lived with her family in Venezuela, and draws inspiration for her writing from her experiences with the people and landscape there. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Integrated Studies. Raedene currently lives in Salmon Arm with her husband and two dogs. This is her first novel.

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Release Blitz: ‘Breaking Free’ by Rebecca Barber

Title: Breaking Free
Series: Meet the McIntyres #4
Author: Rebecca Barber
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2018
Blurb

Ryan

I missed home.

I missed my crazy family.

But I needed to get away for a while.

Figure out who I was. Where I belonged.

When I packed my bags and moved to Melbourne I had no plans.

I just needed time and space.

I didn’t count on meeting that one person who could change my life.

The one person who could help me break free.

 

Alex

My family sucked ass.

Except for my brother.

He was all I had these days, at least in terms of family.

In every other part of my life though, I was killing it.

My business was booming. I had great friends who I partied Saturday nights away with.

Then Ryan stumbled into my life.

I thought I had my shit together, until he upended my world.

He changed me.

 

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Also Available
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AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
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Author Bio

I’m just me. A clumsy, introverted, bubble bath loving, chocoholic who would rather read a book than go shopping. And god forbid if you try and make me shoe shop!

I’m one of four kids to school teacher parents. A wife to a football obsessed husband. Mother to a fur-baby who isn’t aware of how big he is. Aunt to the most crazy/adorable little girls. And sister to two very determined sisters and one easy going brother.

I live in Canberra Australia and work too many hours a day at my day job.

I’m a book whore who can easily (and happily) read a book from start to finish in a day and when I do have spare time, you’ll find me in the writing cave.

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Book Review: ‘Two Hundred Very Short Stories’ by Helen Keeling-Marston

Title: Two Hundred Very Short Stories

Published: 15th April 2015

Publisher: JMD Media

Author: Helen Keeling-Marston

Twitter: @helenkeeling

 

Synopsis:

Two Hundred Very Short Stories is a collection of stories each so short that the reader can start … and finish … a whole one in one night – some even in a minute! Recognising that many people don’t have enough time for regular reading – and thus can easily lose the thread of a novel – Helen Keeling-Marston set about writing a collection of short stories. Two Hundred Very Short Stories – Helen’s first book – features an eclectic mix of short stories and flash fiction: flash fiction being works of extreme brevity. Similar to a musical mix tape, the collection of stories aims to elicit a range of different emotions from the reader: joy, sadness, amusement, befuddlement, intrigue and fear. Be warned, however, that you’ll need to have your wits about you when reading this book, as Two Hundred Very Short Stories isn’t always a passive experience!

 

Review:

This is an interesting collection of short stories from the simple to the strange. Each one is a little different from the last but there are a lot to get through. I think I liked more of the stories in the first 100 than the last as they have stuck with me a bit more.

Some of the stories are like you are stepping into it halfway through. It helps as it feels like you are diving in with complete characters so are happy to be lead along with what they are doing. The others, at times, are more like spare thoughts thrown in to mix things up. A few lines or a thought isn’t really a story but more of the starting point for creating one. You could almost try to think up ways to complete it yourself, depending on the one you get to.

As you have so many stories within this book it would be hard to write something on them all but on the feel of the book as a whole instead. A few have a poetic feel to them while others give you a pause for thought. Creative thinking throughout and a bit of everything for everyone as nothing is the same. Lots of genres are mixed together so hopefully there will be something you might like. Thought provoking, insightful, quirky, humorous, to name a few. Well there are 200 of them so odds are you will find a few.

I think this book would be best read while dipping in and out of though and not in one go like I did as getting closer to the end I was just getting a bit bored with them. It’s the type of book to read while on your lunchbreak or if you have a few spare minutes throughout the day with these short snappy reads to explore.

It might not be for everyone but is an interesting collection all the same. If you make it to the end, no matter how long it takes you, I’m sure you will find a few that you will like too.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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