Tag Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Book Blitz: ‘A Beautiful Life’ by Alexander Payne

Author: Alexander Payne

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Sub-genre: romance

 

Alex is a poetic young Londoner believing in true love, writing romantic letters and enjoying long late night philosophical discussions with friends on the meaning of life or the existence of God. Anna, the girl living in Lebanon whom he grew to be very fond of through a long distance correspondence, appears to be something else. She embodies everything that he conjured up in a perfect woman, while she sometimes remains surprisingly cold and volatile in her e-mail responses. Is she truly the woman who he could love forever or is there more to her personality than just a sweet and gentle heart?

Discovering the truth about Anna leads Alex on the road to self-discovery shrouded by an intensely personal struggle and painful emotions that bring about the most joyful and darkest moments in Alex’s soul. This book serves as a rational voice to any reader trying to make sense of his or her own emotional circumstances.

A Beautiful Life is a tale told through the eyes of a young man who may not have all the answers to human existence, but learns valuable lessons on how to deal with the adversities of life in his pursuit of happiness. He, like you, still has much to offer the world no matter the struggle.

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: US / UK / CA

Author Bio

I’d rather not say much about myself. I’ll let you dive into the pages and if you like them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via connect@braghumble.com

 

          Author Links

Webpage: www.braghumble.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16736727.Alexander_Payne

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Author Interview: ‘Moon River’ by Amber D. Tran

About the Book:

In this debut novel from author Amber D. Tran, a tale of adolescence and heartbreak unfolds. Nine-year-old Abigail Kavanagh first meets Ryan Mills during the summer of 1999. A shy and awkward boy, Ryan hides behind his wide-framed glasses while Abigail is determined to learn everything there is to know about him. The next few summers are filled with birthday parties, adventures in and around the West Virginian mountainsides, and late night conversations where they share their most secretive and personal thoughts.

Their friendship starts to crumble when Abigail befriends the attractive and musical Lilly Anderson, a girl who is also interested in uncovering the mysterious nature surrounding Ryan. However, everything comes to an end the summer of 2004, and Abigail must decide if her new journey is worth traveling alone.

 

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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?

My name is Amber D. Tran, and I was born and raised in West Virginia. I currently live in northern Alabama with my husband and two dogs. I started writing when I was in the 5th grade. A few years later, I began writing poetry and nonfiction. I have written all types of genres, and I continue to expand my writing styles as I journey through my writing career.

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

I write for a few hours each evening. My favorite place to write is on the couch, next to an open window, with a candle to set the mood. I especially enjoy writing during rainy days and dusk!

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Most of my ideas are random, to be honest. There are times where I am shopping for groceries and my mind comes up with the perfect little story. My dreams also inspire some of my ideas, for which I am thankful.

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 let the story carry me as I go. I never use outlines. I have tried, and they just do not work for me. My biggest struggle is actually starting the story. Writing the first page takes as long as writing the next ten.

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

My book is a coming-of-age tale with young adult/new adult conflicts and a very rural-driven setting. The book is inspired by real-life events that occurred in West Virginia many years ago. The coming-of-age genre is very interesting to me. I have enjoyed creating characters and growing up with them on pages.

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

Oh, this sounds like fun! I have never thought about this! I imagine the two main characters (Abigail and Ryan) being played by younger versions of Zooey Deschanel and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

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

I definitely read. I could not call myself a writer without doing my homework. I read about one or two books a week, give or take a few. My favorite authors are Amanda Boyden, Kelly Braffet, R. A. Nelson, Kerry Cohen, and Gary Soto.

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

I’m currently reading Symbol of Hope, book two in the Natan Fleet Show. It is part of a series written by my friend, K. E. Ireland.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favorite book is Pretty Little Dirty. I really, really love this book because I can relate so much with the protagonist. I lived a similar childhood and lifestyle as the protagonist and could relate with her on almost every single level. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has had a love-hate relationship with their best girlfriend.

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

Always read. Often I believe reading to be more important to a writer than writing. We cannot call ourselves writers without doing our homework. Make time to read, even if that means you do not have time to write. It is important to stay up-to-date with new genres and techniques.

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 at @amberdtran. My personal website, www.amberdtran.com, includes more information about my background, how to purchase my debut novel, and my publication history. I’m always available for email exchanges at amberdtran@gmail.com. Connect with me! I look forward to it.

About the Author:

Born and raised in the heart of the Appalachia, Amber spent her childhood growing up on gravel roads and playing Pokémon Red on her Game Boy Color. At the age of 10, she discovered her fascination with creative writing and turned a 1-page homework assignment into a 35-page document for her 5th grade teacher. Less than a year later, she wrote her very first book about a female basketball player with leukemia. She will spare you the pain from having to read it.After graduating Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a concentration in creative writing, Amber moved to northern Alabama. She married her husband after meeting him in a Dragon Ball Z chat room. She is currently employed as a senior technical writer and Scrum Master for a software company. In her free time, she enjoys playing League of Legends and discovering dive bars with her girlfriends.

Amber is part of the West Virginia Writers Group, Inc., the Alabama Writers’ Forum, and the Alabama Writers Conclave. She is also the Editor-in-Chief for the Cold Creek Review literary journal. Her work has been featured in Sonic Boom Journal, Spry Literary Journal, Cheat River Review, Speculative 66, Visitant Literary Journal, HeartWood Literary Magazine, and more.

Amber lives in Alabama with her husband and two dogs, Ahri and Ziggs.

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Book Review: ‘Revenge Part One’ by Scarlett Metal

revenge-part-one

Title: Revenge Part One

Published: 27th July 2016

Publisher: Pink Media

Author: Scarlett Metal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scarlettmetalauthor

Twitter: @ScarlettMetal

Synopsis:

George has been planning his revenge against Olivia for years. Now he’s a successful billionaire, owning his own tech company, and ready to get her back for what she did to him in high school. He’s surprised where he finds her and has trouble keeping his old feelings from interfering with taking her down.

Olivia followed a guy out to Vegas and is now stuck in a situation she can’t seem to get out of. She relies on no one but when a handsome billionaire comes into the club and wants to whisk her away from the life she’s stuck in, will she give in and go?

**Contains adult themes and situations. For ages 18+**

Review:

Well this is certainly a hot little read and its only part one can’t wait to check out part two!

So we start with George boarding a plane to Las Vegas with his right hand man Simon on his way to settle an old score. He seeks revenge from the girl in high school who humiliated him and made him feel worthless. Its almost like she was the catalyst that kick started his forward way of thinking to set your mind to something and get it. With being a successful businessman and a billionaire to boot I’d say he could do pretty much anything. When he lands he is amused to find out the girl from his past is working in a strip club – how the mighty have fallen seems to be running through his mind. But you can still tell she has some small hold over him after all these years from how he reacts when she comes on stage. The hair might be different with a wig but those eyes he’d remember anywhere.

Olivia can’t believe how her life has changed from being voted ‘Most likely to Succeed’ in high school to now finding herself a high-end stripper at a club in Las Vegas. After following a guy there she soon got herself landed with his problems and debt after he’s sent down and it’s still outstanding. She’s wearing a mask so to speak when she strips. She becomes Candy; it’s the only way to feel better about her life. That is until she meets the eyes of a handsome stranger while on stage. One wearing an expensive suit. She needn’t have worried about finding a way for a private dance with him, as his right hand man is way ahead of her. In a private both she seats him and gets to work. She knows from the sounds of things around her that some of the other girls go further than a dance but she’s never been tempted – until now. Right over his lap with his hands on her hips it just takes a few whispered words in her ear for her to do as she’s told, to cum on him. Seems she may be willing to break her rules when he asks her to come back to his hotel. Well only if she can get out of her shift that is, though she shouldn’t worry too much as he’s got money and money talks. It’s been too long since she’s been with anyone and from the tent that’s forming in his trousers she knows it will be good.

Have to say though that her ideas of what’s to come back at the hotel and what actually transpires aren’t even close. They seem to be addicted to each other after just one taste, which later gets repeated again and again and again and you get the picture. George does have quite the stamina and the longer in Candy’s presence the more he wants to keep her. Pretty Women moment comes with how he wants to whisk her away from the life she finds herself and take her back to Chicago for more fun and games. He might still want revenge but the crazy hot sex has made him push his plans back a bit. You are in two minds about whether it’s to lift her up higher before dropping her for his revenge or whether he might like to try and keep her. But if, or should I say when, she finds out the real reason he came to her will she run or not? Its like swapping one set of chains for another. Granted this one gives her multiple orgasms but she’s still not free. Which will she choose?

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Six Steamy Stories’ by Suz deMello

Six Steamy Shorties

Title: Six Steamy Stories: Sexy Short Romances

Published: 1st May 2016

Publisher: Dunster Way books

Author: Suz deMello

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello

Twitter: @Suzdemello

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/suzdemello

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1562987.Suz_deMello

Synopsis:

Six sizzling short stories by award-winning, best-selling author Suz deMello, including contemporary, multicultural, New Adult, historical, paranormal, shapeshifter, medieval Scottish, vampire and power exchange.

Review:

Six hot short stories all together in one saucy set. A little mix of everything to get the pulses racing!

One Hot Havana Night

One very interesting night in Havana, Cuban nights are very hot. Who is ready to turn up the heat? Seems Ellie is about to get an introduction into sex and seduction in the most interesting way with some very talented men.

Ellie (Helen Wheeler aka Hell on Wheels) has one goal in mind when she goes to a party in Havana and that’s to get the story of her career direct from the source Sergio Almonte. She thinks she will do just about anything to get her story but will Sergio’s offer make her rethink that? Not likely from the affect he has on her. She has waited long enough to lose her v-card and likes the idea that she will be with someone who knows exactly what they are doing. Getting an exclusive is just a bonus, more so when he says Arturo Cardenas, another key player, will be coming to talk also. Seems these men are willing to give her the exclusive she craves but she has to do something for them in return to help get them out of the country. Two men aiming to please her in every way possible, where does she sign up?

Naughty Balls

Penny seems to feel a little invisible at college. She might be an up and coming star in the women’s basketball team, but she’s been somewhat lacking in the bedroom department lately. Lucky she bumps into Orlando practicing some hoops then! A simple game of horse seems to get their pulses racing. If she wins she gets his agents number but if he wins he gets her, something its clear he has wanted for a while. Win-win either way in Penny’s mind but she’s not sure what she wants more or maybe if she can have both. Lets just say the shower after the game that you would think would be to cool them off just gets them hotter in all the right places. I think they are both playing to win and each other are the prizes.

Ocean Dreams

Back when Sandi worked the summer at the oceanic park she always felt a connection to the sea life there, more so with one particular dolphin Blue. There was just something about him that drew her attention. So now with her course up she’s back for a couple days just so she can see him. She’s not sure if he will remember her but gets a pleasant surprise when he spots her. Seems he wants her as close as she can get, even if it means getting wet. Sandi can’t believe that he clearly wants her to swim with him or that its clear he wants her naked. A few laps’ around the pool with her on his back and she starts to get a little worried by her reaction to him. She shouldn’t worry so much though as soon it’s his arms not flippers that hold her up. It’s funny how she’s not overly shocked by this revelation. It appears he is a shifter and has been waiting for her to come back for years. The connection she felt was real she just didn’t know how it could be – seems Blue did though. Escaping the park and getting back to her motel she can think of nothing but him and he her. Seems he may have picked up a few things along the way and is a very quick learner with what humans do. Also seems very happy to try something in the shower that would never have worked in his pool in his dolphin form – hard up against a wall anyone? Is this a one-time thing or can they make it work? Sandi’s always felt somewhat jealous of dolphins with how they are now it seems she gets to enjoy all the perks with her frisky new man. Even as a human he had that cute dolphin look about him. One she can’t get enough of.

Spring Training

Chase is starting out training again for the Sactown Scamps in the Valley of the Sun Arizona but this time he wants to get a bit closer to the woman in charge. He wants to impress her, like most of the other men too, but after her killer of a first training day he fears he might be on the way out. He is still keeping his own out there with the younger lads but needs a bit longer to recover. Which is why we find him in the hotels hot tub. Looks like we aren’t the only ones as Terri soon comes to join him. You can feel the sexual tension build before he looks at her but when she gets it the hot tub and they start to rub each others feet its not just the tub that’s heating up. This bit of flirty banter soon leads to them agreeing to meet for dinner. Even though Terri keeps telling herself its not a date she can’t help her reaction to him when she gets to the table and his to her. When she addresses it and makes it clear they could have some fun with her in charge Chase all but drags her out and back to the room. Terri is about to give Chase more than he even thought he wanted. A Domme to push his limits but she knows after the fact he will be praising her and begging to be taken that way again. Lets see what it looks like for a woman to be in charge. Simply it’s hot.

Viking in Tartan

Erland Blodson is one fine Viking, a strong leader of his crew and noble to those in trouble. So when his first mate Sigurson (someone whose after his crew I might add) tells him of a woman out in the ocean he does the only thing he can think of to get to her – jump in. All the while thinking that his rope is still attached to the ship – no such luck. After a struggle to get the woman to the shore he needs to find shelter and to get them out of their wet clothes. Now he would have gone up to the highland keep but it just so happens that his ship and crew where on their way to cause a bit of trouble on the word of their king Haakon – well they are Vikings – so its best to wait until dawn or at least until he can figure out who the woman is. From her clothing alone he can tell she is noble of the land. After building a fire he knows he needs to get her out of the wet clothes. With her being passed out he tries very hard to keep her modesty in tacked by not looking but hey he is a man – he does cover her up though. He needs to know why someone of her status would risk their life by going out in a storm as bad as it is. He gets his answer when she wakes in that she was running away from a very bad match – Stuart of Bute. Seems Erland could help Rhona out with that. Even if nothing happens between them, to spend the night in such a compromising position is enough. Though from the heat rolling off Erland it’s not likely that he wants nothing to happen, the same goes for Rhona. It appears he has a little secret though, one she gets a glimpse at, or more feels, when in the throws of passion. A little love bite never hurt anyone right? But with Stuart of Bute out to cause trouble will their midnight passions be heading for a stormy day ahead or are calmer waters coming?

Anna’s Adventures in Morocco

Anna is working as an Embassy official in Morocco, Marrakech and has been given a mission to infiltrate Nabil the Elders home to see if she can hear of any talks on them collaborating with the Germans to move weapons. Being a white English woman the Embassy thinks she would be tempting enough to get inside. She is given a bracelet with beads that come off for her to write messages to them. If she finds anything or if she is safe everyday she must send something. If they don’t here in a few days they assure her that she will be rescued.

Once she gets near she doesn’t quite believe her luck with how easily she gets inside. Although its Nabil the Younger who captors her. Though after being in his presence she’s not sure she really wants to leave. Being a virgin she never imagined she would be introduced into the world of sex she is taken to with him – hello kink! You can tell she loves every second of it to begin with but when his father then makes it clear that he now wants her there is nothing she can do but go. She might just get the information she was sent in to get, or maybe not with the revelation he tells her. He gives her an option; one I fear she didn’t have to think about too much. If she thought the son was into kink then she’s in for a surprise when she sees the fathers’ playroom. She fell into the submissive role quite quickly with both the father and son that I’m surprised they didn’t want to keep her around. Or maybe she might want to go back? Sizzling hot scenes with both men, she didn’t really seem to mind being claimed by both.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Words Turn Me On for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Reflections of Queen Snow White’ by David Meredith

The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Title: The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Published: 24th January 2014

Author: David Meredith

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DavidMeredithWriting

Synopsis:

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book based on a fairytale. What happens when you lose sight of the reason for your happily ever after? Sometimes you need to take a look back to be able to move forward. The mirror only tells you what you already know – nothing can hide from it. It helps you see what has been there all along.

Queen Snow White is feeling very lost. Her heart is broken after the death of her husband and saviour Charming. Even after a year has passed she still finds herself living in shadow. Even being around her daughter, which you would think might help, hurts too much. The castle is a hive of activity due to the upcoming wedding of her daughter Princess Raven but all she wants to do is find some solitude. In a moment of weakness to hide away she finds herself in an unused part of the castle. Up some stairs and into an unloved and unlived in room she finds something that was once so precious to her evil stepmother – her mirror.

The moment she enters the room the mirror comes alive again after being dormant for so long, only the form it first shows it that of Snow Whites father. To being with she is shocked and a little scared with what, or rather who, it shows her. Soon the mirror starts to talk to her in different ways and the longer she looks the more she gets drawn in to the memories it shows. The moment she sees her father she fears he has somehow been trapped in the mirror all this time. But her fear soon fades, leaving way for her anger and hurt to come to the surface at what happened to her after he left. Unleashing it on her father doesn’t make her feel better though and the first memory the mirror takes her to only makes her feel worse.

You are slowly being taken on a journey back to key moments in Snow Whites life. The moments that made her the person she is today. She has carried the loss of Charming for so long she doesn’t know how to go on. He was her saviour in so many ways but when you learn more about Snow White you see that she saved herself aswell. No matter what happened to her she became the person she was meant to be and is stronger for it.

At moments you think the mirror is just trying to torment her with certain memories (some quite dark) but soon you learn that it is trying to teach her, or just remind her, of what has always been there. She may have lost Charming but he will always be with her through her memories of him and through the eyes of the daughter they created. She needs to come alive again and cherish what she had otherwise she will be just as lost as Charming. She knows that one day she will join him but that is not this day.

The author has a great way of expanding on a story people know well, exploring truths rather than fantasy – it’s not a kiss that wakes her up here. He’s showing what could have happened after the ‘happily ever after’ has come and gone. The story had a great flow to it, only introducing different memories when Snow White was ready to see them. The mirror can only show you what is there to see, so only look if you are truly ready. Some of the memories you are taken to are quite dark but that just shows what she has overcome. Snow White may have been lost when she entered that tower room but when she leaves you know she has found her way home.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Reading Nook Blog Posts