Thursday, February 25, 2021

#Review: HIDDEN HART by Emily Royal


3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Lady Atalanta is this Season's most beautiful debutante and gentlemen vie for her hand and her large dowry. Atalanta dismisses their attentions and longs for someone who will see beyond her beauty to the compassionate, determined and fiesty heroine who wants to change the lives of the less fortunate. She is saved by a masked man when accosted by ruffians one night and within minutes, he seems to understand her like no other. Devon Hart has a sordid past, one that he's not proud of especially the cuckolding of fellow soldiers wives. One night changes his life forever when he tries to save a woman and gets his handsome face slashed by her attackers. He retreats from Society, choosing instead to prowl the London streets at night foiling would be villains bent on attacking London citizens. When he saves Atalanta, he recognizes her innate goodness, but knowing he's a beast now and can never be worthy of her.

The Beauty and the Beast trope drives this story. I liked Atalanta's character especially her drive to help others. She wants to be seen as more than just a pretty face and her work in the local hospital defines that drive. Devon on the other hand loses his attractiveness in an unfortunate encounter with ruffians and believes no one could possible love him. He's a complicated character and I wasn't particularly enamored with him. I thought his internal dialogue that he was unworthy went on a bit too long. I did really like his interactions with Fanny and Margaret and wished there had been more scenes with these two strong women. While the HEA is a foregone conclusion, there are still a few twists and turns in the story to keep you turning the pages.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

#Review: THE UNEXPECTED EARL by Anna Harrington


  4 of 5 stars

Brandon Pearce gave up Amelia twelve years ago to save her from a cruel father's threats, but he's never forgotten his one true love. Now adjusting to his new title, Pearce runs into Amelia and all his old feelings came surging back, but Amelia wants nothing to do with him. Pearce is investigating  a secret criminal group and Amelia seems to be caught up in their cross hairs when she tries to find out if her brother Frederick has ties to the group. Can Pearce convince her he still loves her and to tell him the truth before it's too late to stop the criminal enterprise Scepter?

Ms. Harrington weaves a gripping story of love lost and found with government conspiracy and a criminal enterprise that is more far reaching than anyone could imagine. She teases out details of what happened twelve years ago between Pearce and Amelia. I loved Pearce. He was such a honorable and true gentleman always protecting Amelia from whatever came their way and Amelia was no wilting miss either. She stood up for what she believed in even if it went against her brother's orders. A shocking plot twist at the end involving Frederick, Amelia and Pearce kept me turning the pages to the end.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own. 


Sunday, February 21, 2021

#Review: BONE HUNTER by Thea Atkinson


5 of 5 stars

From the opening sentence "I tasted blood" I knew I was in for a hell of a ride. Buckle up because Ms. Atkinson takes you on another Isabella Hush adventure that will keep you riveted with all the twists and turns in this book. Who are the bad guys? Good guys? Isabella is caught between a rock and hard place when a dark fae master delivers an ultimatum that requires her to retrieve a god's bones or he'll suspend the glamour around her apartment. She needs that glamour to stay safe from Scottie, a sadistic criminal who believes Isabella belongs to him. Unfortunately for Isabella, she can't ignore the fae master any longer. He carries out his threat and Scottie finds her once again and sends his thug muscle to teach her a lesson about running away from him. She's hurt and bleeding and it's only when Maddox shows up and somehow takes away the hurt and bruises that Isabella begins to believe Maddox cares for her. But can she trusts him and what about that dark fae master?

I love Ms. Atkinson's books and this dark fantasy doesn't disappoint. She's a master storyteller teasing out details about the other characters--Maddox, Fayed and the god bones Isabella is supposed to recover. Such a good twist! Make sure to carve out enough time to read this book because once you start, you won't want to put it down! 


Friday, February 19, 2021

#Guest Post: WHAT IS SEMANTIC BLEACHING by Grammar Girl

Today we’re going to talk about a totally awesome topic: semantic bleaching. This has nothing to do with words in our language turning white. Instead, it has to do with how the meaning of words can fade over time — just like a colorful shirt fades after it’s been washed too many times.


3 Predicable Ways Words Change

For example, sometimes the literal sense of a word develops a figurative use. The verb “to milk” originally meant to draw milk from a cow or other animal. Over time, the meaning extended, and now you can “milk” someone for anything valuable, usually through trickery or extortion. To “escalate” once meant simply to travel up an escalator. Now, it refers to an increase in intensity or scope, for example when you say something like “Well, that situation sure escalated quickly.” 


Another predictable way that words change is by having their scope of meaning narrow. For example, back when Old English was spoken, “meat” referred to any type of food. Over time, the meaning narrowed—and today, of course, we use “meat” to refer only to the flesh of animals. “Liquor” used to mean … a liquid. Now, it refers almost exclusively to alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, and whisky. 


Words also change by having their meaning broaden. For example, the word “embargo” originally referred to an order prohibiting ships from entering or leaving a port. The word now can refer to any sort of stoppage or prohibition. You could say you’re putting an embargo on listening to any more Grammar Girl podcasts until you finish your homework, for example!


A 4th Way Words Change: Semantic Bleaching

Another pattern of language change we’re going to focus on today is called semantic bleaching. That occurs when the specific, often powerful meaning of a word becomes diluted over time through repetition and overuse.  


For example, the original meaning of the word “awesome” was “full of awe, profoundly reverential.” Something awesome might be the peak of a snow-covered mountain, breaking through the clouds. The vastness of the ocean. Or the spread of stars above you on a clear night. 


But then we had to go and start calling everything “awesome.” Our new shoes are awesome. This one kind of shampoo is awesome. The new Heath Caramel Brownie Blizzard from Dairy Queen is awesome. (I mean, it actually is awesome … but you get my point.) 


Through overuse, the word has lost its potency. No one expects a pair of shoes to “fill you with awe.” Awesome is now just a general word that means nifty or cool.

Another example of semantic bleaching is “literally.” Every now and then, we use this word the way it was intended: to indicate that what we’re saying is absolutely true. If you said that you got hit on the head by hail that was literally the size of golf balls, then the hail should have been 1.68 inches in diameter.  


But more often, we simply mean that the hail pellets were pretty big. We’re using the word “literally” to intensify what we’re saying, not to label it as factual. 

“Terrible” and “horrible” have also been weakened by semantic bleaching. “Terrible” originally meant “to inspire great fear or dread”; “horrible” meant “extremely repulsive to the senses or feelings; dreadful, hideous, shocking.”  


We still use those words to mean these things. But we also say “my lunch was horrible,” or “that tuna salad was terrible.” We may not have liked the tuna, but did it really “inspire great fear or dread?” Probably not. We’re using “terrible,” but with a faded meaning of “yukky” or “unpleasant.”


Why Does Semantic Bleaching Occur? And Is It Bad?

So why do we insist on overusing words to the point that they lose their meaning? Why don’t we speak more precisely? Why don’t we say that our “tuna salad has a putrid odor,” rather than just “this tuna salad is horrible?” 


In part, it’s because we’re lazy. Or as linguist Donka Minkova puts it, most of us “have no particular talent for words.” We take the easy route in speech (and writing). We default to generalizations and commonly used words — rather than making the mental effort to say precisely what we mean.  


Is semantic bleaching bad? On the one hand, yes. Using a word like “awesome” to describe everything from a sunset to a stick of gum can narrow the rainbow of ways you can express yourself to one single color. Using more specific words — speaking of a radiant sunset or a tangy piece of gum — could give your speech more vibrancy and perhaps enrich your experience of life itself.  


On the other hand, semantic bleaching isn’t bad or good; it simply is. It’s one of the predictable ways that we’ve observed language to change, ever since people have been observing changes in language. It’s kind of like the tide; it erases sandcastles, but also deposits a bounty of treasures on the shore that you can build with the next day. 


In short, whether it’s awesome or terrible, semantic bleaching is literally here to stay. 



Link to article:


About the Author

Samantha Enslen, Writing for Grammar Girl 


Samantha Enslen is an award-winning writer who has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. She runs Dragonfly Editorial, an agency that provides copywriting, editing, and design for scientific, medical, technical, and corporate materials. Sam is the vice president of ACES, The Society for Editing, and is the managing editor of Tracking Changes, ACES' quarterly journal.




Thursday, February 18, 2021

#NEW Release: SIGN OF EVIL by NYT Best Selling author M.A. Comley



From NY Times bestselling author of the Justice series, M A Comley, who has sold over three million copies worldwide.
The love of money can be deadly...
And evil has an agenda.
DI Sara Ramsey is tasked with trying to solve yet another missing person case. This one is far more perplexing than any she’s dealt with before.
Amber Rowse was on a path of self-improvement which unfortunately led to her downfall. She's the first but it's not long before other girls end up on the missing list.
Can Sara and her intrepid team conquer the evil which confronts them, to save Amber and the other girls before their terrifying fate is revealed?
To celebrate I'm having a giveaway, all you have to do is share this post to enter. On offer this month are a beautiful sterling silver necklace, a lovely hand made book mark and three signed paperback copies of Sign Of Evil
Facebook giveaway link:
Winners announced on Sunday. Good luck.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

#Review: DANCING WITH DANGER by Kerrigan Byrne


5 of 5 stars

Raphael Sauvageau along with his brother Gabriel run a criminal enterprise in London and they have no time for romantic entanglements, that is, until Raphael runs into amateur sleuth, Mercy Goode. Something about the infuriatingly independent young woman draws his attention. She is a ray of sunshine that he can't seem to resist. Mercy is determined to solve the murder of her friend and at every turn she encounters the impossibly handsome Raphael. Can she resist the charms of the notorious rake while she tries to solve the case?

From the opening pages Ms. Byrne draws the reader into Mercy's world--a world where she is smarter than most of the men she encounters and her frustrations are evident with the male sex. She takes her sleuthing seriously especially when the latest murder is her friend. When Mercy finds herself drawn into a criminal turf war, Raphael is there protecting her and drawing her in with his mesmerizing eyes and sinful lips. Ms Byrne is masterful in such exquisite descriptions of their sexual encounters and she delights the reader with their wild highs and lows of their emotions. I don't know how I missed the first two books in this series, but I can't wait to read Felicity and Gabriel's story.

I voluntarily read this advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


Friday, February 12, 2021

#Review: THE DUKE HEIST by Erica Ridley


  4 of 5 stars

Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, is trying to fix the mistakes and pay the debts of his late father, but that takes money, the one thing the dukedom doesn't have. He needs to wed a wealthy widow if he wants the title to be on stable grounds again. His plan is set, that is, until he is accidentally kidnapped by Chloe Wynchester. Once Chloe realizes her mistake, she asks Faircliffe for an invitation to a tea and he agrees to greet her, but nothing more. Deal made they both expect nothing more to come of it, except the more time they spend in each other's company, the more they realize how good they are together. Unfortunately for Faircliffe Chloe is not a suitable future duchess and she has no dowry and he has to walk away from her.

I love Ms. Ridley's stories although it took me a bit to get into this story. I understand things would have been clearer if I had read the prequel which tells the story of how how the Wynchesters came together. Chloe was such an interesting character and poor Faircliffe never stood a chance. Once he dropped his icy ducal facade, he loved being in her company. I really enjoyed the family with all their quirkiness and can't wait to read each siblings future story.

I voluntarily read this advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.



Thursday, February 11, 2021

#Review: THE DUKE OF RENOWN by Alexa Aston


  3 of 5 stars

Phoebe Smythe, Countess of Borwick, has suffered greatly in her young life not only losing her husband and son in a carriage accident, but also miscarrying her unborn child at the shocking news. Grief stricken she rents a small seaside cottage in Cornwall to heal her soul. When she discovers a wounded stranger on the beach, she nurses him back to health while losing her heart to the handsome man. Who was he? She is called away to help nurse her pregnant sister before he can tell her and she knows that she'll never love again.

This was a sweet story, but I feel like I read almost the whole book just by the blurb. There was too much information about the plot and could definitely be tightened up to keep the reader guessing if Phoebe and Andrew ever find each other again. I really felt such sorrow for Phoebe. The book opens with a heart wrenching chapter that pulls the reader in. Andrew was a dashing hero who realizes that he'd found his future duchess and then loses her without ever knowing her name. I felt the middle of the book dragged a bit and there wasn't a twist in the love story until near the end. I had already figured out what was about to happen early on in the book so it was not a surprise when it finally happened. I've read and enjoyed other Ms. Aston's books and look forward to reading about the other duke's stories.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

#Excerpt: PROTECTING PRINCE by Jessica Frances

Protecting Prince
Jessica Frances
(In Midsummer, #6)
Publication date: February 5th 2021
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

One movie star. One bodyguard. One seductive attraction. One deadly obsession. One chance to have it all. One shot to lose it all.

Falling for your bodyguard is so cliché. I cringe at myself sometimes, but then I just have to look at him to understand. How can you not fall for a man like that? Heroic, smart, stubborn, funny, sexy … how could I ever have resisted?

Falling for your movie star client is incredibly cliché. I have heard of people in my position doing just that and used to scoff at them … but then I got placed as Henry Prince’s bodyguard. Unfortunately, his irresistible charm and undeniably sexy self has claimed me, heart and soul. I have no chance of getting out of this unscathed.

Then just as things begin to get red hot, a stalker from the past escapes with the intent to destroy us both. I won’t let anything bad happen to Henry, but what am I supposed to do when potential danger lurks behind every corner, behind every stranger?

Will our cliché beginning blossom into something more? Or are we destined for the typical Hollywood crash and burn?

Goodreads / Amazon


“So, you expect me to run away scared? You expect me to live my life dictated by the crazy people who are obsessed and want to hurt me?

“You get that this guy is just the latest in a line that has gone on for a while and won’t ever stop. If I give in now, then I might as well forfeit whatever life I want outside the four walls I call home.”

Bryan’s eyes soften, and his hand twitches at his side. Is he going to touch me? Maybe offer me comfort? Maybe he will run his fingers through my hair and promise to make this go away. That would be totally hot, right?

Instead, he glances back out at the crowd, his keen eyes taking in everyone but me. “Your next group of fans is here.”

I inwardly groan but force myself to my feet with my plastered, fake smile fixed on properly.

Half an hour later, with Bryan speaking hurriedly into his phone, making me think our jig is up and Sheriff Green has found out about what we have set up, my world crumbles as I manage to glimpse Samuel Allen as he steps around a rowdy group of adults and holds a gun up, aiming it at me.

My breath catches in my throat, I manage a silent scream and, for a moment, my life flashes before my eyes. But I don’t see the life I have lived. No, I see a life I have missed out on. The chance to experience the many years I should still have left. The future projects that give me passion to keep going. Every fantasy and hope flashes through me in the blink of an eye, and I’m angry to have this taken from me. I’m furious that one sick bastard has stolen my future. The possibility of something more with Bryan ripped from me.

Then, all I feel is the world tilting as I’m roughly shoved aside. My head cracks on the icy-cold ground, and my shoulder takes most of the brunt of my bodyweight, but all pain flies out of my mind when I hear the crack of gunfire.

I sit up, my heart punching painfully in my chest, while people around us scream, run, and sob.

It’s complete chaos, but my eyes only see Bryan, on the ground, next to me, blood soaking his white shirt. All I hear is the rattling, sharp breaths he takes. All I feel is complete dread as I watch the man who I’m completely in love with bleeding out in front of me, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

Author Bio:

Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

#Review: SWEET ROGUE OF MINE by Shana Galen


5 of 5 stars

Nash Pope was the best sharpshooter in the war until a sniper bullet robbed him of his sight. Now back in England, Nash is angry, depressed and doesn't care a whit for this new sightless life. He is isolated and refuses to see any of his fellow war brothers-in-arms and even goes so far as to shoot one of them when he tries to help Nash. He's ready to end his life when he hears a young lady singing a bawdy song. It's his first introduction to Miss Prudence Howard, a missionary's daughter. Prudence has been abandoned by her parents and left in the care of the local vicar. She's odd and doesn't fit in, but somehow she and Nash form a tenuous friendship. Can she bring this scarred soldier back to life and open his heart to love?

I've enjoyed each of the Survivor series books, but this one has to be my favorites most especially because of Pru. She's a refreshing character who is not the usual beautiful young lady, but she sees something in Nash that pulls on her heart strings. The more reluctant he is to see her, the more she perseveres. She can help him read and write again and she won't let him hide away in a crumbling estate. Nash is the reluctant hero believing without his sight, he is of little use to anyone. Ms. Galen does a fantastic job of conveying the horror of the war and his PTSD. I also liked that Nash wasn't miraculously healed at the end of the book, but the author left him with hope and love for a better future. The title however doesn't really ring true in my opinion especially since Nash is hardly a rogue, but that is a minor criticism. One note of caution-there are graphic sex scenes in this book.

I voluntarily read this advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


Friday, February 5, 2021

Interview with Kathryn S Rose, BEAUTIFUL FACADE

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

Beautiful Façade is about a young woman who strives to overcome a painful event by creating the perception of a perfect life. However, when she reconnects with the boy, now man, who helped her endure her past, everything she has built for herself comes under threat. This book is a raw and emotive love story, combining current social issues with young Australian culture and lifestyle.


What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?

Creative control. I love that I had a say in every aspect of this book, right down to the paper's colour.


I was in two minds about whether to try my hand at being traditionally published or to self-publish. Then COVID hit. With everyone stuck at home, I decided I wanted to get my book out faster. It turns out that there is a lot to learn about self-publishing, so it didn’t come together as fast as I imagined!


If you used a graphic designer/publisher's designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?

I used 99 designs and ran a competition for my cover. I gave the designers a brief to follow and provided feedback; I had over a hundred designs to consider. Eventually, Bia Andrade won the contest, and we continued to tweak the cover until I was happy. Shout out to Bia, who was very patient with me.


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?

I wake up very early in the morning before the rest of my family. I need silence and coffee. 


Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

I do both. I jot down ideas and a basic storyline. However, once I get into the writing flow, the story starts to write itself.


What have you've learned during your self-publishing journey?

I've learned that creating a print book in Australia is a lot of work. However, I'm glad that I still have two versions of Beautiful Façade to offer people. I'm absolutely in love with how the print book turned out—the quality and presentation far out way my expectations.


Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?

The eBook is only available through Amazon at present, but my print book is everywhere, including;

Beautiful Facade: Rose, Kathryn S: Books

Beautiful Facade by Kathryn S Rose, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (

Beautiful Facade by Kathryn S Rose | 9780648951308 | Booktopia


Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?

Very difficult. I only get an hour or two each day to work on my book, and lately, all that time has gone into prepping for the release of Beautiful Façade. I'm hoping that this year, with my son starting school five days a week and my daughter having an extensive day nap, that I might be able to divide my time better.


Besides writing, do you have any other passions?

I have so many passions. I love playing with my kids and going on family adventures. I love going to the gym, walking, swimming, and hiking. I enjoy reading and learning new things; I usually have a short course on the go. I love food, wine, beer, and coffee – and going to festivals that embrace these things. I also love music and watching live music. 


Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?

Dogs all the way. Chocolate. COFFEE… I'm not sure how people function without it? Text, who has time to spend time talking on the phone?? I prefer to speak to my people in the flesh. I'm a day person unless you count getting up so early that it's still dark.


Beautiful Facade
Kathryn S Rose
Publication date: February 2nd 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

On the day that 16-year-old Winter Starling had her life and dreams shattered by a sexual assault, she meets Kai, a boy from her high school obsessed with music. They develop a deep friendship, which comes to an abrupt end when Kai unexpectedly has to leave. Winter has no idea why he went or any way to contact him.

Ten years pass, and Winter has constructed a new reality for herself. Now living in Melbourne, she has a successful career in advertising and is engaged to Liam King, a star player in Australian Rules Football. Winter has a perfect life.

During a night out, Winter runs into Kai, now the lead singer of ‘The Stonevilles.’ Winter and Kai rekindle their friendship, and to everyone around them, their attraction is evident. With Kai back in her life, Winter’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Liam and everything she has worked to achieve. But can she risk losing Kai a second time?

Emotional and edgy, Beautiful Facade is about love, loss, healing, self-discovery, and the messy battle between one’s head and one’s heart.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Kathryn S Rose is a mum, wife, reader, writer, traveller, and food enthusiast. Writing a book was always on her bucket list, and finally, with Beautiful Facade, it has come into fruition.

Kathryn is interested in the study of human behaviour and obtained a Bachelor of Social Science, with a focus on Community studies and Welfare Work.

Since completing her studies, she has worked in several jobs, which have enhanced her understanding of social issues, human development, relationships, and lifestyle. Some of these insights are reflected in her writing and give her inspiration.

Besides books, Kathryn has many other loves. She enjoys listening to live music, relaxing at the beach, embarking on random hiking adventures, and indulging in too much food and wine with family and friends.

When Kathryn and her family aren’t traipsing around the world, they can be found residing in Perth, Western Australia.

Website / Instagram

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#Excerpt: THE HOLLOW WORLD by Tracy Auerbach

The Hollow World
Tracy Auerbach
(Fragments, #3)
Publication date: February 2nd 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

The time has come for Kai and her friends to make a final stand, and as the war begins, everyone must choose a side. But with the lines between good and evil more blurred than ever, Kai has to stick with her convictions and follow her heart. Kai’s first priority is to free Finn from the clutches of Tessa Raven, who has become no better than the evil she once fought against.

As Kai reluctantly turns against the people she once considered her closest friends, she becomes entangled in a struggle with a mysterious new power that threatens to destroy what is left of Finn and change everything she thought she knew about the planet.

Meanwhile, Charlie and Aric remain behind and help Raven breach the underground world of the Science Council. All bets are off as they prepare to cross every line and burn every bridge in an attempt to claim the world that has abused them for too long.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


Too many missing coefficients.

Raven ran her ungloved hand over the smooth, cool metal of the missile. She needed it to shatter the barrier—opening the way down so that she could destroy the Science Council. She knew enough about terminal ballistics to be able to calculate its exact impact on the crystal tube that led to the Science Council’s underground lair when it struck. The only problem was that the makeup of the tube was so unique…

“It’s a thing of beauty, Raven,” Sayers commented. He stared at her hungrily from his spot amongst her people, seeking approval.

“Yes, it is,” she offered, and he smiled.

“The only problem is, because the substance we’re striking has never been studied, there’s no way to tell if it will work without testing it. Our likelihood for success is still low.” She glanced around the interior of the Dome of Artifacts, taking in the relics from the original Earth with an appreciative eye. “And I’m not willing to risk destroying all of these artifacts by blowing up the whole place when the chance of it failing to destroy the tube is unacceptably high.”

Her soldiers stood around her, silent, waiting for her suggestions. She’d been trying to puzzle this out for three weeks, and the answer was painfully obvious: a last straw plan. And yet, she hesitated, because there was a small part of her that wanted to try every other possible scenario before resorting to what she knew would work, even though she knew that wasn’t logical.

Damn my weakness.

“We’ll need something softer,” she said at last. “Something that will turn to mush on impact rather than ricocheting off the crystal and taking out this whole place. Also, we’ll need something much bigger… heavier.” She scrutinized the crystal tube housing of the elevator platform that had, thus far, been impossible to penetrate.

“Would you like us to try crafting a hollow missile that’s twice this size?” asked Larson. “We’d have to melt this down first.” He gestured toward the missile they’d taken three weeks to craft and painstakingly calibrated.


The time to divulge her last straw plan was now. She knew a missile wouldn’t work. A rain of bullets wouldn’t work. But she happened to have a special tool—a former friend who could run at the speed of a bullet and who was close to two hundred pounds.

A human body hitting the tube at that speed would spread adequate weight over a large enough surface area to crack open the entryway to the Science Council’s underground world like an egg. Also, a body would explode upon impact, resulting in a mostly liquid byproduct, causing minimal damage to the artifacts.

Finn’s sacrifice would save the planet.

Author Bio:

Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science.
On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021



  4 of 5 stars

Lord Gideon Darlington has been fighting rumors he killed his late wife for a year now. He has resigned himself to this fate although he is innocent. Cecelia Gilchrist is sent to Darlington Castle to find out the truth before Lord Darlington marries again. She never expected to fall in love with the marquess. Can she find the truth now that her feelings are engaged?

I loved Cecilia. She was a fiesty and determined heroine. Gideon for all his dark brooding was a sympathetic hero and couldn't help being drawn to Gideon. The author does a good job teasing out the mystery and the feelings these two develop. I can't wait to read the next book with Lord Haslemere and Georgiana.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own. 


Monday, February 1, 2021

#Excerpt: FIESTY by Julia Kent

Julia Kent
(Do-Over Series, #3)
Publication date: January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

I’m not too proud to admit that finding Mr. Right involves swiping right. Right? Welcome to dating in avocado toastland.

Here I am, on my first blind date, ever, courtesy of a smartphone app and my two annoying best friends.

So what is Chris “Fletch” Fletcher doing, walking across the room, looking at his phone like he’s pattern matching a picture to find a real person he’s never met before?


Oh, no.

The guy I drop-kicked in seventh grade cannot be my blind date. The guy who earned me this infernal nickname.

That’s right.


More from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent as Fiona “Feisty” Gaskill gets her chance at love – drop-kick included.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play / Audible / Amazon Audio

Only 99¢ for a limited time!



My lungs have decided that the world is too dangerous to make a move, utter a sound, do anything. I’m frozen, the pulse inside me growing stronger as time ticks away. My own shut-down system is the barrier to oxygen. The disconnect between what my body needs and what my tattered psyche can handle is causing my overload to leak out in a really obvious way.

“Fiona?” Josh says, shaking me gently, Michelle looking to him for certainty.

And then suddenly, Josh is out of my sight, replaced by two clear, calm, green eyes, light brown hair, and hands that feel like anchors.

“Feisty? Feis–Fiona?” Fletch corrects. The sudden pivot to using my proper name is jarring, given the fact that every atom in the world is buzzing inside my ears and nothing anyone does will help me to breathe.

I make a strange sound. I know it’s strange because his eyebrows turn down in the middle, his facial muscles pushing them low enough to show concern.

Concern for me.

“Breathe,” he says slowly as he puts one hand on my diaphragm, fingers warm and firm.

I make a sound to indicate that I am confused and the speech centers in my brain have shut down. Empathy floods me as I realize this is exactly what my student with severe apraxia, little Myles, must feel like when he loses his words under extreme stress. For years, I’ve said “use your words” to four-year-olds having anxiety fits.

Never again.

“Breathe, Fiona,” he murmurs, taking a deep breath to demonstrate, his belly expanding in a comical way, though I know his technique is strong. Hypnotic and commanding, his voice and body tell me what to do, guide me back from being lost in the woods to a cleared trail where I can find my footing, take a rest, and possibly feel safe again, knowing I can find my way home.

I inhale, the insides of my nostrils cold, the air hitting my nasal passages a welcome assault, diaphragm spasming and sputtering back to life.

“That’s my girl,” he whispers against the curl of my ear, his breath like coffee, his hard forearm muscles all I can see, the ripped cord of his strong lines drawing my gaze. “You just breathe. It’s over now. You did it. You saved them. It’s okay to breathe.” He inhales, then slowly exhales. “Let’s do this together now.”

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 19 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French and German, with more titles releasing in 2020 and beyond.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

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