Sunday, 23 February 2020

Fang And Claw by Evangeline Anderson + #Giveaway

Fang And Claw (Nocturne Academy, #2) by Evangeline Anderson
Published on the 22nd February 2020.

Add Fang And Claw to your Goodreads

My name is Kaitlyn Fellows and I'll never be the same.
The Fire stole everything from me.
My family...even my beauty...

The right side of my face is normal--even pretty. But the left side, I hide in shame. That's where The Fire marked me...scarred me forever. 
At Nocturne Academy I'm nothing--just a little Norm girl with no supernatural powers and a disfigured face.
Which is why it's so strange that a big, Handsome Drake like Ari Reyes should take an interest in me.
But it isn't only Ari who's interested in me. 
For under his high cheekbones and clear amber eyes, he hides another, much more frightening visage--A Drake, the fire-breathing monster that lives within him. 
A monster who has decided I should be his alone.

Can I survive Ari's love for me? And more importantly, can I survive the love of his Drake? 
Because once a girl has been claimed by a Drake, the only way out is through The Fire.
What am I going to do? 

Meet the Author 
Evangeline Anderson is the USA Today and NYT Best Selling Author of the Brides of the Kindred, Alien Mate Index, and Born to Darkness series. She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.

Author links:

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is a $50 Amazon gift card + 2 paperback copies of Lock and Key by Evangeline Anderson, the first book in the Nocturne's Academy series.
Open to the USA only until the 27th February.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Etsy Find!
by Bionic Cat Blacksmiths in
Elland, England

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Saturday, 22 February 2020

The Year Without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd

The Year Without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd
Published in the UK by Two Roads on the 6th February 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1815, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia
Mount Tambora explodes in a cataclysmic eruption, killing thousands. Sent to investigate, ship surgeon Henry Hogg can barely believe his eyes. Once a paradise, the island is now solid ash, the surrounding sea turned to stone. But worse is yet to come: as the ash cloud rises and covers the sun, the seasons will fail.

In Switzerland, Mary Shelley finds dark inspiration. Confined inside by the unseasonable weather, thousands of famine refugees stream past her door. In Vermont, preacher Charles Whitlock begs his followers to keep faith as drought dries their wells and their livestock starve.

In Suffolk, the ambitious and lovesick painter John Constable struggles to reconcile the idyllic England he paints with the misery that surrounds him. In the Fens, farm labourer Sarah Hobbs has had enough of going hungry while the farmers flaunt their wealth. And Hope Peter, returned from the Napoleonic wars, finds his family home demolished and a fence gone up in its place. He flees to London, where he falls in with a group of revolutionaries who speak of a better life, whatever the cost. As desperation sets in, Britain becomes beset by riots - rebellion is in the air.

The Year Without Summer is the story of the books written, the art made; of the journeys taken, of the love longed for and the lives lost during that fateful year. Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora - but none could escape its effects.

In a time when there is so much confusion and uncertainty about the potential for devastation from climate change, looking back just over two centuries to 1816 can give us an idea. In her new novel, The Year Without Summer, Guinevere Glasfurd does just that. Ash fallout from a huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia changed weather patterns around the globe, albeit only for months rather than permanently, but the effects were catastrophic. This unusually styled novel interweaves six people's very different experiences. Each of them take turns to speak to us readers, sometimes directly, sometimes in the third person or through letters and, as the individual narrative lines don't ever converge, the approach felt to me more like reading a short story collection at the beginning. It wasn't until I had met characters three or four times that I became really drawn into their stories.

I did think that Glasfurd had picked an interesting range of people and locations on which to focus. I was first drawn to The Year Without Summer for its Mary Shelley connection, but actually ended up feeling most moved by the stories of Sarah Hobbs and Hope Peter. I knew little about the dire social situation in England at that time - although can now see it's pretty much what our current Tory government would like to return us all to! This is the time of the Luddite Rebellions and Glasfurd shows similar acts of unrest across fenland farming communities where jobs are being usurped by new machines and Common lands stolen by rich landowners, leaving thousands of semi-skilled farm workers unemployed and starving through no fault of their own.

The Year Without Summer is a harsh read on several levels because of the horrors of its subjects. I wish I could now unsee Henry's grim descriptions of Sumbawa island and its surrounding seas, for example. Glasfurd's prose is beautiful however and I appreciated that contrast. This is very much a historical fiction novel and, I think, a well researched one which brings the events of 1815 and 1816 vividly to life on its pages. The book could also be seen as prophetic fiction. Its starving, transient climate refugees, its depictions of violent selfishness on the parts of those who have not yet lost everything, its unpredictable and savage storms and floods, its all-consuming droughts and wildfires. This all happened two hundred years ago with just a one degree dip in temperatures. How much worse will be the effects of a two, three, or four degree temperature rise?

Etsy Find!
by Its Laura Crow in
Macclesfield, England

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Friday, 21 February 2020

April In Galway by Martha Reynolds + #Giveaway

April In Galway (A Happily Ever After Series Book 2) by Martha Reynolds
Self published in the USA in October 2018.

Bill Flanagan's no stranger to regrets, so when he stumbles upon the chance to erase one from his long record, he jumps at it. April Tweed's reinvigorated acting career may suggest she's left her past behind, but some memories don't let go easily, even thirty years later. The most important person from her past has tracked her down in Ireland, where she's filming a miniseries. Past collides with present when April finds herself stuck between her high school sweetheart, Bill, and her persistently amorous co-star, Connor. Both of them are determined to win her heart as fresh starts war against second chances.

Meet the author:
Martha Reynolds was raised in Rhode Island, spent a year of college in Switzerland, and is always planning a return visit. She completed an accomplished career as a fraud investigator and decided it was time to do something she really liked.

She now writes full-time and has set a personal goal of releasing a book a year until she dies. Her writing has appeared in Magnificat magazine and her very short poem was read by journalist Connie Schultz during NPR's Tell Me More poetry challenge.

Her novel VILLA DEL SOL won the 2018 Book Award in Literary Fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England.

Connect with the author:
Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!  

Win digital copies of Martha Reynold's entire Happily Ever After series (1 winner)
(open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers) (ends Feb 28)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Etsy Find!
by Irish Jewellery Gifts in

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Thursday, 20 February 2020

Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh

Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh
Published in the UK by William Collins in 1937.

V for my 2020 Alphabet Soup Challenge, my 1930s read for my 2019-20 Decade Challenge, and a Classics Club book

How I got this book:
Swapped for on a campsite book exchange

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A touring theatre company in New Zealand forms the basis of one of Marsh’s most ambitious and innovative novels

New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer is planning a surprise for his wife's birthday - a jeroboam of champagne descending gently onto the stage after the performance. But, as Roderick Alleyn witnesses, something goes horribly wrong. Is the death the product of Maori superstitions - or something more down to earth?

I was sure I must have read an Ngaio Marsh novel before now, but - according to my Goodreads - Vintage Murder is my first. I hope, therefore, that I inadvertently picked up one of her lesser works because I'm sorry to say that I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. Vintage Murder is the fifth story featuring Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn who sends himself to New Zealand to recuperate from an unspecified injury - possibly inflicted during book four. Marsh doesn't go in for recapping previous novels. Alleyn is a bit of a fish out of water when he finds himself pushed to the forefront of a theatrical murder investigation. The local New Zealand police are unbelievably grateful that this posh English detective graces them with his expertise though. It's all very colonial - from an English perspective.

The mystery itself is suitably intriguing and I did enjoy reading the glimpses we get of New Zealand landscapes. (I hadn't realised that Marsh herself was from that country.) I did find the story itself a little dull though. There's an awful lot of repetitive chitchat and, for a troupe of theatricals, I found most of the characters to be unmemorably bland and interchangeable which is inconvenient when trying to decipher which one of them is a murderer! I was disappointed with the racism too although, as Vintage Murder was published in the 1930s, I probably should have expected it. However, Marsh repeatedly has characters mention racial colour-blindness being part of the New Zealand culture then has her sole Maori character 'behaving like a savage' when he loses his temper. White characters' violence, of course, does not merit a 'savage' descriptor.

Vintage Murder might well have been 'one of Marsh’s most ambitious and innovative novels' in 1937, but it felt rather too formulaic and pedestrian to me in 2020. Fortunately my copy was a free book exchange swap and I think I would try other Ngaio March paperbacks under the same circumstances, but I won't be rushing out to buy her entire back catalogue.

Etsy Find!
by Roo Waterhouse Art in
Hebden Bridge, England

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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The Nutcracker Conspiracy by Lauren Carr + #Giveaway

The Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Published in the USA by Acorn Book Services on the 30th January 2020.

Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin.  Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.

Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”

Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:


Meet the author:
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:
Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!  

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card (1 winner)
(open internationally) (ends Mar 6)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Etsy Find!
by Prevnt Products in
Colorado, USA

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Destroyed by Eva Dresden + #Giveaway + Excerpt

Destroyed (Omega's Destruction #3) by Eva Dresden
Published on the 13th February 2020.

Add Destroyed to your Goodreads

Broken and damaged, Quinn refuses to be destroyed. She rages against the bond Tobias Kahler forced her to complete between them, denying the pull of her claim set into his soul that fateful day. Struggling against the power of his will, she won't become the smiling, placid thing he attempts to mold her to be.

An unseen foe seeks to take matters into their own hands, threatening Quinn and everything she holds dear. Forced to cling to Tobias for support and strength with the constant threat, he's thrown into a whole new light. One where Quinn faces seeing him for more than the monster she's feared and hated. Amidst their violent past and ever turbulent future, they must learn to accept one another as they are or in this final battle, much more than bodies will lay broken.

Destroyed is the third and final book in the Omega's Destruction Trilogy, a raw and thrilling Omegaverse tale. It is not a traditional romance, containing dark themes and complete power exchange. Scenes are not glossed over, which may be distressing for some readers.


A sound reminiscent of a groan filtered through the chaos clamoring around her skull. Uncertain which of them had made the noise, she could do little more than cling to him as sensations bombarded her. Too much to take in, not enough to make any sense of. Pain, regret, sorrow, betrayal. It blasted through her thoughts, obliterating everything.
Destroying her one thudding heartbeat at a time.
Something splintered and cracked, shattering from the constant abuse. Soundless as it ripped her apart, slicing her open and laying her bare and vulnerable to the beast lurking inside and out. Thick tears dripped from her lashes, trickling down her temples to stain her hair dark and glossy.
A breath filled her lungs. Long and deep, it was clean and crisp. As if she breathed fresh air for the first time in her life. It shuddered through her, filling her up with a warmth she had never known under her own control. Something only he could incite, the thing he did to her when he broke her to his will.
Yet her thoughts were her own. She felt him there, deep inside, touching a part of her he had no right to, but she wasn’t struggling against the sunlit agony.
The bond was not quiet, but for once it did not hurt.
“Yes,” Tobias murmured against her wet cheek. Sliding his chest against hers, petting her with his whole body as he rubbed his scent on her skin.
To comfort, to soothe. Giving her something physical to hold on to as something close to panic began to prick the back of her neck again. Letting her know her Alpha was near and would keep her safe. 
It wasn’t her that thought it, wasn’t her deduction bringing her to the conclusion. It was him. A pattern of emotions, thoughts, and things she couldn’t begin to describe that told her what it was. Speaking without uttering a word.
Quinn could feel the wild staccato of his heart, the sweat trickling down his back. The heat of him against her chilled skin. As if she somehow inhabited his body while still locked within hers, she could perceive every little thing.
“I don’t understand.” Still her lungs worked to pull in the unsullied air that was redolent with both their scents, a crushing weight lifted. Quinn felt free in a way she couldn’t comprehend and hated that it scared her as much as anything before it.
“You always fight me. Tooth and nail.” He looked exhausted as he settled back against the pillows that had come loose of her construct while she thrashed under him.
She didn’t remember moving, but she must have. Long red marks scored his arms and sides, deep crimson crescents oozing at his shoulders.
His surprised huff of laughter startled them both, but Quinn’s lips twitched in a smile. She didn’t remember ever seeing him laugh, not a real one at least.

Meet the Author 
Eva Dresden writes dark romance that lives up to its name with every turn of the page. Her heroines are tragic and strong, her heroes are anything but, and tearing characters apart to see what makes them really tick is a favored past time. Her cat is her staunchest supporter, provided there are treats involved.

Author links:

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is a $15 Amazon gift card plus an ebook copy of Omega's Destruction #1, Broken, by Eva Dresden
Open internationally until the 20th February.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Etsy Find!
by Emily Cromwell Designs in
Massachusetts, USA

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Books by Eva Dresden / Romance fiction / Books from America