Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Keepers by Sacha de Black @sacha_black #Fantasy

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Eden’s life is balanced…
…until her soul is bound to her enemy.

When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything.

As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life.

Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Eden’s mind.

Three boys.
Two murdered parents.
One deadly choice.

Buy it Here

Our Review

Keepers has been heralded as a brilliantly written debut novel, the first in a series by Sacha Black, and although not my usual choice of genre, I had read enough about it to know I would enjoy it.

The cover image and description promised plenty of action and excitement and did not disappoint. A complex plot, fascinating characters and a strong leading woman take you on a gripping journey where you find yourself alternating between fantasy and reality.

Sacha has created Trutinor, a beautifully detailed and believable world where we meet Eden East and follow her through some difficult times. There is something for everyone in this story, magic and romance, danger and betrayal, heartbreak and joy. An altogether breathtaking story with one of the best cliff hangers I have ever read,  will leave you more than ready for the next in the series!

*Thank you to the author and RBRT for my #free advance copy in return for an honest review

Biography

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

You can get Sacha’s free 17-page cheat sheet intro to creating superbad villains by visiting her website: http://www.sachablack.co.uk

You can also find her on Twitter @sacha_black
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sachablackauthor/

 

 

 

 

Too Many Irons…

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Have you ever had the feeling that you have bitten off more than you can chew?

Well, right now I seem to have a mouthful!

I have just finished re-editing my first book, Nine Lives. This was after making the mistake of actually opening the book and reading a few pages. After I got over the shock of seeing how bad it was, I realised it needs either a major new edit or bin it. That wasn’t really an option, so I spent a couple of weeks going over it with a fine-toothed comb.

It now has a brand new cover and is republished on Amazon.

I have to finish the formatting for the paperback version, then I will have restored the status quo for this book at least. I will be repeating this process for my other two books, for they might need an overhaul too!

At the same time, I have been busy editing our holiday memoir, Lazy Days, getting it ready for publication. We wanted to enter it with Kindlescout but they don’t accept novellas.

If you remember, we entered in 2015 with Let it Go….. and I thought it did well. It didn’t win, but I enjoyed the exciting process!

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Now, what else have we been doing?

Oh yes, we have announced a book tour for Lazy Days in January 2018. The 8th to the 12th, if anyone wants to take part!

We will be taking part in Lizzie Chantree’s book tour in January for Ninja School Mum, and I am reviewing Sacha Black’s book Keepers for Rosie Ambers review team.

Seriously thinking of making some new book trailers too and I have been trying to make sense of my writing/ blogging bible. Over the years, so much information has been added, changed or deleted; it’s a bit of a mess. So I bought myself a new book to transcribe all the valuable stuff into. This undertaking might be the straw that breaks this camel’s back as I can’t make sense of my scribble. Why on earth did I let get it into such a mess in the first place?

What else?

Oh yes, we are planning a massive promotion for Anita’s book, Let it Go, starting with a Kindle promo next week. For some reason, we have neglected this book and this won’t do at all. So you have been warned!

 

Although we are very busy at the moment, I haven’t been able to do much work on PayBack, my new WIP, and not happy about that at all. But I am discovering that there is only so much you can get an ageing brain to cope with, unfortunately.

It occurs to me that doing one thing at a time sounds like a better idea, but how can you, when there is so much you want to do?

Announcing the Blog Tour for Lazy Days #blogtour #truestory @jaydawes2

 

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Lazy Days, the 40 year old story of one of the best holidays we ever had, took a long time to get right. Our memories of that time were a little rusty, to say the least, and sometimes we remembered things completely differently!

After such a difficult (and often hilarious ) undertaking, we both agreed that it deserves special treatment, not just an upload to Amazon on the 7th of January.

We were hoping to run the book tour in 2017, but the time has flown by and Christmas is almost upon us, so we have chosen the 8th to 12th January 2018…

We were two women, four kids and two small dogs afloat on the Norfolk Broads in a rented boat. The holiday of a lifetime, something we would remember for a long time, but it was also a recipe for disaster, being so far out of our comfort zone.

Would it be the stuff that dreams are made of, or were we putting all our eggs in one basket?

 

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Excerpt

We had waited a long time for this day to arrive, and now the time had arrived, we could have flown to the Norfolk Broads powered by our excitement. The tension coming from all of us made the air crackle with electricity as we prepared to leave. Going anywhere with the kids is never easy, but we had planned this holiday with far more skill than our usual days out, and researched everything of interest and planned our route to ensure plenty of happy days. For the first time in our lives, we would be miles from home on a boat for two weeks. There would be six of us on this holiday, two women, four kids and two small dogs. There was the possibility of enough trouble there to last us a lifetime!

I wasn’t expecting much trouble from the teenage girls, Anita Jr and Heidi; but the two younger boys, Stephen, ten and Darren, eight would be a challenge, for they have the knack of finding trouble anywhere.  Added to the mix were our two small dogs.  Lady, a cross between a Pekinese and a Yorkie, blessed with sharp teeth and a ferocious dislike of strangers, and Katy, an adorable chocolate coloured toy poodle pup.

Getting them all in our car proved a bit tricky. A big Ford Granada, normally a comfortable fit for all of us, but this time we had Heidi, our younger step-sister to fit in too. She had been staying with us while her mother was in the hospital.

I sensed an air of resentment as the kids tried hard to fit themselves into the back seat. Various elbows were used to show disapproval, prompting a chorus of complaints. For a moment, it looked as if we wouldn’t be going anywhere. The situation looked hopeless. Anita finished packing our luggage into the boot of the car and appeared at my side.

‘Is there a problem here? Do we want to go on this holiday or not?’

No one spoke, but as I watched, a subtle relaxing of tightly packed bodies occurred as they all thought about it. They knew their mother well. She would cancel everything if they didn’t accept their fate and settle down, and if the holiday was cancelled because of them, they would never hear the end of it…

~~~~~~

This is where I get down on my knees (I can just about get there) and ask for volunteers to take part in the blog tour for Lazy Days. It’s a true story, a novella, based forty years ago when we and the world were a hell of a lot younger.

We will supply #free books, promotional material and posters, and our eternal devotion to anyone who has some free time in January.

Please leave your details in the comments, or on the contact form.

 

AppleBlossom by Jaye Marie @jayedawes2 #NewRelease #true story

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I have just uploaded Apple Blossom on Amazon, and it will be live later on today for the princely sum of 99p!   myBook.to/appleblossom

“Someone asked me the other day, why such a pretty cover for such a sorry story?

The explanation is simple.

The illuminated image of apple blossom was on the ceiling of the cancer treatment room, and I lay underneath it for 15 days, terrified, praying I would be happy and healthy again.

The sight of that lovely blossom gave me strength, and even now, it inspires me to be the best I can be…

I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way with this novella. From the beta readers at Inky Fingers to the friends who helped me choose and improve the cover, when my brain just couldn’t figure it out.

Special thanks go to Rosie Amber, whose sensible and inspiring advice about the tagline has made all the difference!

 

Now it Begins!

When we made the decision the other week to re-edit and re-cover ALL of our books, we must have been out of our tiny minds. I double checked, and it would seem that we were super serious about all of it.  Six of Anita’s books, three of mine, and two that we wrote together.

I was quick to realise that this was a major job, and might take me a while. I would also have to do it one book at a time, for the involvement alone could make a grown man weep!

The first time I changed something we had written, I was optimistic. Changing a cover image was pretty easy, and changing the text wasn’t difficult either, but by the time I had ploughed my way through WordPress, Amazon, and Goodreads, my head was spinning.

Then there were all the promotional sites and Pinterest to see to. And just when I thought I had covered everything, I realised I had to create totally new posters for the books too and at this point the cracks were beginning to show!

I have no idea why I chose this book to start with, for my head was swimming with dozens of possible new covers, taglines, keywords. I just picked one out of the hat…

And this is what happened…

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The First Story…

A Midnight Clear

It was freezing cold on the Embankment, the river Thames flowing past with an insidious slithering oily sound in the darkness. Big Ben loomed out of the darkness behind her. It was nearly midnight and the air was crisp and pure, slightly uncomfortable to breathe. The clouds of her breath wafted away on a gentle but persistent breeze.

She thought back through the evening, remembering how she had decided not to dress up for the occasion, choosing warmth over style, grateful for the fur-lined hood of her jacket. She hadn’t wanted to roam around London with her friends, visiting pubs and bars looking for fun and the minute she had a chance to escape, she took it.

She wasn’t ready for fun, not yet. The scars of her broken marriage were still sore and she lived in fear that they would break open again at any provocation and she would weep uncontrollably. She could nearly go a whole day without thinking of the pain she had caused, leaving him wounded and helpless on the floor, begging her not to leave him. But she hadn’t hesitated or listened, it was far too late for any of that. If she hadn’t left when she did, she may have drowned in her misery and sunk without trace.

She didn’t hate him, only what they had become. Two lonely people, each trying to outdo the others suffering.

Their romance had been a fairy tale in the beginning. James, a fellow student at Art College, every young girl’s dream of a Prince Charming. Tall and slender, with dark wounded eyes, he almost demanded to be loved, all without saying a word.

The warning signs were there almost from the beginning. From the moody silences to the almost violent fervour that obsessed him when he painted. It was like living with so many different people, the one she fell in love with hiding somewhere among them.

If she was honest, she knew their relationship was doomed from the start, but had been unable to walk away. She imagined he needed her; such was his effect on her. The thought of causing him even a minute’s pain was unbearable, even when it became clear, he had no idea how much he hurt her with his self- contained attitude.

She began to feel like his mother, tolerating his moods and temper, desperate for any crumb of affection she may receive.

Their relationship continued to decay until it was almost gone. She had become invisible. He barely acknowledged her presence, and when pushed, would become violent. The day he actually hit her in the face, something inside her finally snapped and she stepped away from him. Something in her eyes must have told him he had gone too far, that this time she would leave him.

He was instantly contrite, and the small, ill- treated child made its appearance. He begged and pleaded for forgiveness, but his words never reached her heart. She pushed him away and walked out of his life, leaving him broken on the floor. Part of her would have rushed back to him, prop him up and get him back on his feet, but it was a part of her she would have to kill to save her own soul.

In the distance, the sound of revelry echoed around the streets of London, but it was almost eerily quiet where she was stood, looking down at the black water that was catching the glint of the Embankment lights. Here and there, the coloured lights on the bridge shone down on the water, making a magical picture in the dark.

She took a deep breath and the cold air felt almost solid in her lungs. The peace she felt at that moment was total, no regrets at all. She was free and it felt amazing. The overwhelming joy lifted her heart and her eyes began to water, distorting her vision.

Several yards behind her and without warning, Big Ben began to chime. Being this close, the sound was deep and resonated through the air. As it struck the hour, each strike seemed to build on the one before, and by the time it reached twelve her ears felt muffled somehow. The ground beneath her feet had gently shaken and she had felt the vibrations in the cement she was leaning against.

As the sounds faded away, the old year died, taking away the past and promising a better future.

Just a quick word about editing and a wonderful tool called Grammarly.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should, for it found over 80 misused commas in this first book. Apparently, I sprinkle them around like they’re going out of fashion!

Just to convince you that I am totally insane, I am also working on my latest WIP… It seems my brain needs to keep busy… and I’m not about to argue with it!

This Amazon Link may not work… for I forgot to check!  myBook.to/Shstories

Our Review of The Box Under The Bed by Dan Alatorre @savvystories #Horror

 

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Come along for a chilling ride on a ghost ship, experience eerie daydreams and psychotic killers, explore haunted houses, and send the deceased to their final destination.
And that’s just a quarter of the thrills.
Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of scary tales brings together the minds and pens of twenty authors, including bestseller Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), Lucy Brazier (PorterGirl), J. A. Allen, Juliet Nubel, T.A. Henry, Ann Marie Andrus, Heather Hackett, Barbara Anne Helberg, Scott Skipper, Joanne R. Larner, Christine Valentor, Adele Marie Park, Curtis Bausse, Annette Robinson, Frank Parker, Eric Daniel Clarke, and Maribel C. Pagan.

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before walking alone on the beach at night, reading a diary, or innocently watching a train from your car.
Consider yourselves warned.

https://amazon.com/Box-Under-Bed-anthology-stories-ebook/dp/B075C9D7L1/

Our Review

We really loved reading this anthology. Each story is original and well written with a unique quality of its own.

From the bonus story, The Water Castle by Dan Alatorre, to The Blind Tattoist  by Allison Maruska , there is something here for everyone.

It would be hard to pick a favourite, for we loved them all. Some were scary, some mysterious, but every single one was a darn good read.

Not exactly bed time reading, unless you want to have nightmares!

 

Author Bio

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International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi, to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators. To comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series.  His knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.
And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.

25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.

Rosie’s #Book Review Team #RBRT Blessedly Bound by Lucretia Stanhope @dianas58 #Supernatural

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Suspense. Deception. Romance. A cozy start to the series that readers are calling addictive, spellbinding, and intelligent. The Elemental Witch Trials will take readers who are craving something deeper on an emotional journey.

Shielded from the adversity that reaching her magical potential would have attracted, elemental witch, Gwen Hensley, finds herself disadvantaged in a web of betrayal. As she seeks to untangle the mystery of who killed her grandmother, with the help of her familiar, Lewis, and the enigmatic next-door neighbor, Sebastian, Gwen starts on a path that will awaken a power within as dangerous as the secrets that kept her from it. The closer she looks, the harder it becomes to decide who is a friend and who might be the link between her family’s dark past and its tragic present.

The series begins on earth with largely human threats. However, as the series progresses, darkness and sorrow shape Gwen into a creature coveted by rulers of multi-realm kingdoms, while she fights to hold on to the light in her soul and protect her family.

Read the whole series and discover that when witches and vampires collide the ever after isn’t so happy.

Our Review

Blessedly Bound is such a different premise, an intriguing and unusual story.

I have never read an intelligent book about witches before, and found this one both well written and fascinating. I will definitely be reading more of the series.

The story begins with Gwen living an ordinary life and doing all the ordinary things, unaware of her destiny. She seems a very vulnerable and likeable woman, someone who cares about her family and loves to knit. Someone just like you and me, in fact.

This first book sets the scene for both the relationships and discoveries in Gwen’s life. She has to learn so much in the beginning about her life and her future .

When she meets Sebastian, her new next-door neighbour, I didn’t approve of the devastating effect he had on Gwen, but you couldn’t argue with the chemistry between them. I hoped she would fall in love with Lewis, as I had. He was so loyal to Gwen, but forced to compete with Sebastian on so many levels.

However, just who should Gwen trust?

I shall be reading the second book in the series to find out!

“She did not get a feeling of danger from him. Her instincts told her the opposite. She felt a natural pull toward him. It felt like she knew him. Like they shared a link already. She smiled, sat on the couch, and tried to resist the urge to ask him about magic. The look in his eyes as he watched her said he also had something on his mind that he held back.”

Thank you to the author and to #RBRT for my free review copy!

Biography

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LUCRETIA STANHOPE is the Tombstone award- winning author of a lot of things, about a lot of things, hopefully fascinating to read things. She lives in a small town in Kansas. It’s the kind of town you are afraid to be stranded in after dark, in case the creepy locals are actually vampires or satanic corn deity worshipers. Yes, there are cornfields all around the town. Seriously, that part is true. There is also a not so used rail station, really! And tons of creepy empty brick buildings, which would be moody fodder, if she would leave the house.

Find me on Twitter @dianas58 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/diana.stanhope