Join Our Mailing List

Sunday, 31 December 2017

December Favourites

Welcome to my December Favourites.

Here, you will find a list of the movies and books I watched and read in December and my favourite among them.

Books Read:


Favourite:



Buy Links:


Movies Watched:





Favourite:

Saturday, 30 December 2017

BOOK REVIEW: An Italian Adenture by Gaia B. Amman

An Italian Adenture
Author: GB Amman
Genre: MG/YA Coming of Age
Publication Date: November 1st, 2015

Book Description:
What was it like growing up in Italy in the 1980s?

Leda is a ten-year-old tomboy and a bookworm. Hanging out with the guys has never been a problem, until shady Nico shows up…

Nico moved north from Sicily and is angry and aggressive, unsettling and unsettled. When fate forces the two together, fearless Leda won’t let the bully get his way, which sparks in Nico an unexpected gratitude.

The unusual friendship between the two develops in moving ways as they face basement monsters, divorcing parents, school drama, and even a dirty magazine, which leaves more questions than answers…

Pre-teens and adults alike will laugh and cry with this Italian childhood memoir set against the gorgeous backdrop of the serene countryside, the Alps, and the enchanting Island of Sardinia. If you are looking for an addictive, amusing read with something to teach—this is it.

Buy Links:



MY REVIEW

This book was a delightful surprise. Only a few books have ever made me feel as though I was right there with the characters, and this was one of them. Set in Italy in the late 1980s, An Italian Adventure chronicles the life of ten-year-old tomboy Leda (Lee) through her final years of elementary school. Lee has always wanted to be one of the boys, especially since her father had wanted a boy, but ever since over-confident new kid Nico rolled into town, she finds herself having to take greater risks to prove her worth. Lee's at that awkard age where curiosity starts to impede on one's innocence. Suddenly, certain topics/subjects - not neccessarily child-friendly - starts to take effect on her life in more ways than one to the point where she feels she has no control over how anything unfolds. As strain begins to take its toll on Lee's family and her bond with Nico starts to grow, she realises that there is a difference between wants and needs and that there are just some things she can't run away from, especially her feelings.

I loved this book. I loved the characters and their quirks, especially Lee. She is quite the animated character required for this coming-of-age narrative that takes readers on a winding adventure about a young girl finding renewed confidence and a stronger sense of self as she weaves through her adolescent years. Lee goes through quite the transformation in this story, and I thought the portrayal of the characters and how they handled situations was compelling and authentic. The essence of Italy truly came alive in this book, and I felt as though I had been transported back in time.

There were various grammatical errors, some distracting, others not, but it's nothing a quick edit couldn't fix. For all those after a pleasurable nostalgic experience, I would recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

VERDICT


Award: Gold
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

Friday, 29 December 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Mean Girl Who Never Speaks by Zuni Blue

The Mean Girl Who Never Speaks
(The Mya Dove Case Files)
Author: Zuni Blue
Genre: Children's Fiction / Mystery / Short Story
Publication Date: July 18th, 2013

Book Description:
The Mya Dove Case Files start with The Mean Girl Who Never Speaks, a crime short story. There's a new girl at school. Rumour has it she doesn't speak, doesn't smile much, and doesn't play with others. That means she's mean, right? Maybe. Maybe not...

Buy Links:



MY REVIEW

What a charming book this was. It tells the tale of Mya Dove, a boisterous six-year-old P.I. who tackles challenging cases in exchange for treats - preferably grapes. When new girl Libby Smith arrives at school and refuses to interact with any of the kids, she becomes big gossip around school as kids start to question whether or not she's a mean girl. Mya is hired to solve the case and what she uncovers teaches her not only about the new girl and the reason behind her behaviour but she also learns a thing or two about her own actions towards others.

This story reveals an important message about social anxiety that would inspire young readers everywhere and make them think about how they interact with others. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey Mya took us on and loved the colourful characters introduced. I would have loved it if the author had delved a little deeper into how Mya came to acquire her position as an investigator for her school and perhaps showcased Libby a little more as the investigation did surround her, yet she didn't have much of a presence and she certainly didn't make enough of an impression on Mya to get her to conclude her investigation.

I look forward to Mya's other adventures. A good read for the whole family.

VERDICT


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Own copy

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Cover Reveal - Worth the Risk by J.B. Heller


Worth the Risk
Author: J.B. Heller
Publication Date: January 4th, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight - Red Sleeper by Brian Downes



Red Sleeper
The Berlin Fraternity Universe
Book Two
Brian Downes
Genre: Historical horror
Date of Publication: December 1st, 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1978447349
ISBN-10: 1978447345
ASIN:
Number of pages: 450
Word Count: 118,766
Cover Artist: Miriam Medina

Tagline: A cold war after dark.

Book Description:
In the horsepower town of 1950s Detroit, FBI agent Christopher Haigwood is raising his Catholic family and hunting Soviet spies. Then a communist fanatic who was arrested with a lot of guns, dynamite, and heroin breaks out of jail right before his eyes, and Haigwood is plunged into a terrifying labyrinth of plots, informants, liars, and the horrifying revelation that vampires are real, and that some of his KGB quarry are undead.

Red Sleeper is set in the world of The Berlin Fraternity.

Blog Tour Spotlight - It’s Never Game Over by Cristina G.



It's Never Game Over
Author: Cristina G.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 145 ebook / 268 paperback
Genre: Nonfiction / Self-Help

Book Description:
It’s the end of the year but you have the impression it’s the end of your life? 

Start the New Year with a plan. Don’t make a resolution, make a habit! 

Whatever your situation might be now, you have the power to change it. 

Depression can be overcome.
You can lose weight and find love.
You can heal and transform your life.

Believe you’re happy, and you’re half way there. 

Buy Links:

Cover Reveal - Quest for a Popstar by Katie Hamstead


Quest for a Popstar
(Reality Romance #1)
Author: Katie Hamstead
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 16th, 2018
Limitless Publishing

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Nightshade (Silent Scream, #1) by A.K. Anderson

Nightshade
(Silent Scream, #1)
Author: A.K. Anderson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 16th, 2016
Publisher: Kindle Press

Book Description:
A 2016 Kindle Scout selection.

When Iris is twelve years old, her mother is murdered. Six years later, the crime remains unsolved, and it's the sudden death of her estranged grandmother - as well as Iris's subsequent introduction to the prickly, yet entrancingly enigmatic Heathcliffe Monroe - that unlocks an even more complicated mystery. Between the lingering shadows of long-lost family secrets, and an overwhelming freefall into an entirely unexpected new world - the only guarantee that Iris has left is that there isn't one.

Buy Links:

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas 2017 Giveaway


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MY CBY VISITORS!

Once again, you've all been consistent visitors, participating in the tours promoted on this blog. I hope 2018 brings your great joy and prosperity.

***GIVEAWAY***

Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt - The War Ender's Apprentice by Elizabeth Guizzetti



The War Ender's Apprentice 
Author: Elizabeth Guizzetti
Genre: Fantasy
Date Published: October 31, 2017
Publisher: ZB Publications

Book Description:
In the chaotic universe, many intelligent species are on the brink of war, but the Guild holds the violence at bay to foster peaceful trade. The most renowned War Ender is Lady Alana of House Eyreid. Alana hopes to train her beloved nephew, Roark, in her vocation.

It was supposed to be a simple training mission aboard an Interrealm slave ship. However, when Alana find her people enslaved, she murders the crew and rescues every slave—whether criminal, dishonored, or stolen. A fleeting vision of Roark's future tells her to offer the newly freed Eohan a War Ender’s education.

For her vision to come true, Alana must rescue Eohan’s young brother who was sold in the last port and lost somewhere in the Realms, but first, they have a war to end.

Buy Links:

Friday, 22 December 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Hot Shot by S.A. Stolinsky




Hot Shot
Author: S.A. Stolinsky
Genre: Suspense
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Book Description:
Payback is a powerful thing...

Actor and bartender, Tyler West experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games. Determined to change his life, he enters the World Series of Poker. His life is suddenly turned upside down when the Russian mafia fronts him 1.5 million dollars to play at the tables. And then...he loses…

Now on the ride of his life, deceit and deception are his key to uncovering the truth. He must recoup the money, but will it come at a price? Can he stay alive long enough or will his time run out?

Buy Links:

Book Blitz Giveaway - Handler by Tish Thawer

Handler 
Author: Tish Thawer
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication Date: December 19th, 2017
Genre: Adult Dystopian / Science Fiction

Book Description:
Our world was perfect––until we broke the law: Don’t go out at night.

Utopian by day, dystopian by night; this is the world I recently discovered. I now struggle with the fact that our whole society has been based on a lie. There’s only one way to change it––conquer the darkness we’ve all been raised to fear.

Live the lie; fight to the death; become a Handler. It’s the only way.

A sci-fi/dystopian novel.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N ¦ iBooks ¦ Kobo

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway - Tainted Legacy by Tabitha Peattie



Tainted Legacy: The Ash Academy Series
Author: Tabitha Peattie
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: August 25th, 2017

Book Description:
What would you do if your parents had committed the worst crime in history? 

Who would you turn to if the laws, meant to protect you, were corrupted? 

When is it ok for all the good people to do bad things and the bad people to do good things? 

How can you fall in love with the person who was destined to hate you? 

Welcome to the world of the world of the Gifted. 

Ava has always lived on the fringes of society with her close-knit family. Ever protected, loved and sheltered until the day it’s time to start at Ash Academy. 

Nothing is as it seems, as Ava finds out that everything she thinks she knows is tainted. Tainted by death, lies and deceit. It is her job to learn the truth and stay true to herself despite the darkness all around her. 

No one survives that kind of drama alone. Through Ava’s discovery of their society and her place in it, she will find kindness and support in the most unlikely places. 

From the Ashes we Rise! 

For Readers who enjoyed authors such as: 
Richelle Mead 
Cassandra Clare 
Kelly St Clare 
Jaymin eve 
Laura Thalassa 

A gripping first book in the Ash Academy series. This book is a full-length novel with a HEA and no cliff-hangers. Step into a magical world about love, loss and self-discovery.

Buy Links:

Book Blitz & Giveaway - It Must've Been the Mistletoe by L.P. Dover

It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe
Author: L.P. Dover
Publication Date: December 18th, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
Finding your soul mate is a dream Adeline Hamilton thought was just that … a dream. After several failed relationships, she realizes she’s not capable of falling in love. The only passion she’s ever had is teaching U.S. History at the local high school.

A week before Christmas, Adeline is all set for her best friend’s wedding, even though she dreads having to go to it alone. But when she’s given a Christmas wish that could change her future forever, she’s whisked away to the past, to a completely different place and time. It’s also when she meets him, William Blair, the man who steals her heart.

As their relationship grows, Adeline realizes that true love does exist. What she doesn’t know is that her wish can’t last forever, that soon she’ll have to leave the past behind. Will Adeline and William find their way back to each other? Or will their love have to stay where it all began . . . in 1865? With mistletoe and Christmas magic, anything’s possible.

Buy Links:

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight - White Water Passion by Dawn Luedecke



White Water Passion
Author: Dawn Luedecke
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Kensington
Date of Publication: November 12, 2017 
ISBN: 978-1516103461 
ASIN: B06VXY79YL 
Number of pages: 301
Word Count: 89k

Tagline: Only by working together can they save their mill…and their future.

Book Description: 
The Montana Territory is one of the last outposts of the American West—where adventure as grand as the wide-open plains is around every corner, and passion as wild as the land itself beats in every heart . . .

Elizabeth Sanders isn’t afraid of anything, except what will happen to her beloved town if the Big Mountain Lumber Mill is destroyed. When she overhears a plot to do just that, she vows to put a stop to it, even if it means dressing as a young lumberjack to expose the saboteur. There’s only one problem with her plan—her brother’s handsome friend and fellow logger Garrett Jones, who arouses a desire within her soul as fierce as the river rapids. 

When Garrett discovers that the odd new lad on the crew is in fact Beth, he’s shocked. A logging camp is no place for a young woman—especially the spirited beauty he’s admired for so long. Keeping her safe is easier said than done, however, as the attraction between them flares into true passion. As the danger mounts, Beth and Garrett must work together to survive the last log run down the wild rapids and claim any chance of saving the mill—and their chance at a future . 

Buy Links:

Book Blast & Giveaway - Navy SEAL Promise by Amber Leigh Williams



Navy Seal Promise
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Pages: 384
Genre: Romance

Book Description: 
He made a promise he intends to keep 

Harmony Savitt is off-limits for navy SEAL Kyle Bracken. Not only is she his best friend's little sister, she's also a single mother and the widow of a fellow SEAL killed in action. This soldier needs to keep his distance. But something between them has changed… 

Despite the new complicated feelings he has for Harmony, when his family comes under attack, there's no one Kyle trusts more than her to help him get answers. When that threat extends to her and her daughter, though, he vows to protect them…even if it means putting his own heart on the line.

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Mistletoe by Emily Mims



Mistletoe
The Smokey Blues
Book 6
Emily Mims
Genre:
  Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication:  November 20th 2017
ISBN:  978-1-979474-24-5 – print book 
ISBN: 978-1-944262-99-0 - eBook
Number of pages:  227
Word Count: 65,450
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Tagline: Can the holiday season turn make-believe into real passion, love and romance?

Book Description: 
Aspiring songwriter Caitlyn Murphy is tired of sister’s hand-me-downs. From toys and bicycles to men, it seemed like everything in Caitlyn’s life first belonged to her late sister. Roped into doing Christmas for motherless nieces, and entering into a pretend romance with their dangerously attractive father, Caitlyn soon finds herself falling in love with the girls, and the enigmatic Tanner Dyson. She resists the temptation and Tanner’s insistence that they make their pretend relationship real. She wants her own family, not the one her sister had first.

Buy Links:

Blog Tour Spotlight - How Not To Succeed In Hollywood by Marissa Thompson



How Not to Succeed in Hollywood
Author: Marissa Thompson
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 436
Genre: Humor/Fiction

Book Description:
In HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD, Marissa Thomas offers readers an inside view of one young woman’s journey to fulfill her dream of becoming an actor. The personal and humorous story of Lisa reveals the often difficult and inspiring process of navigating the entertainment industry.

The acting bug bit Lisa during her first elementary school talent show. After receiving positive reviews for her performance from her fellow students and impressed parents alike, Lisa basked in the high she felt from being on stage. She ventured further into the acting world as a teenager when she enrolled in a twelve-week acting program. Although plagued with some doubt about her potential to become an actor, the experience reignited the spark that had originally lead her down the road of performance.

HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD follows the staggered path that Lisa took on her journey to achieve her acting dream. Her love for acting expanded when Lisa entered college and began auditioning for plays produced by the theater department. Reassured by the exhilaration she felt while acting, Lisa made the decision to leave her home and move to Hollywood to pursue her passion, but first she had to tie up a few loose ends. After a whirlwind romance with a fellow student, Lisa found herself moving into her own apartment while juggling school and work, as well as taking the steps to fill out her acting resume. A car accident that resulted in serious physical injuries led to a slowdown in her momentum. However, Lisa’s best friend, Mike, who already had a solid plan to move to Hollywood, gave her the encouragement she needed to overcome multiple obstacles so that she could move forward with her goal.

Marissa wrote HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD to give “anyone curious about Hollywood culture another point of view from someone coming from a completely different world, aka the Midwest, taking the plunge, and immersing herself in a new life.” Marissa says the book is “the story of my life. I can’t tell anyone any surefire methods of getting cast for your dream project. I’m just sharing my life experience. Anyone with a relentless dream has to find sanity in the limbo between a self-motivated fantasy career and the harshness of having to survive real life in the process. We’re all human, and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Set a goal, and break a leg.”

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK ¦ B&N