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Blog Tour: ‘Passport to Happiness’ by Debbie White

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Hello, lovely people!

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour, organised by the lovely Paige at Electively Paige! Her blog is great, so please check it out!

The book that I am discussing today is ‘Passport to Happiness’ by Debbie White.

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This post includes the synopsis, author information and an extract. My review can be found here.

Here is the synopsis of the book:

To escape the often lonely and boring reality of living in a small rural town, Jessica finds comfort in reading about the many places that exist beyond her small corner of the earth. When she joins the State Department and travels abroad looking for adventure, she gets more than she imagined was ever possible. Passport to happiness is a story of strength and determination, while exploring new places, but it’s also about finding love and happiness – no matter where you hang your hat.

You can find ‘Passport to Happiness’ on Goodreads or Amazon UK / Amazon US

Excerpt:

Birdie and I packed large floppy hats to keep the sun off our heads – the African sun gets hot – a scarf to help keep dust out of our mouths, and canteens full of water. I wanted to take pictures but didn’t have a camera, and neither did Birdie. “Let’s stop over at the store here on the compound. I saw cameras one day when I was looking around,” she said confidently. I purchased a small Kodak camera, and a roll of film. I promised Birdie I’d get copies made of the pictures so she could have some. Birdie had her eyes set on a pair of binoculars. She wasn’t sure about spending the money. She was saving for something big.

She hadn’t told me yet what that something was. “Buy the binoculars, Birdie,” I appealed. “Those binoculars will help us to see some of the animals up close,” I added.

Andrew and Bitalo had made plans to meet at the compound’s motor pool to secure a jeep for us. Birdie and I waited outside for them. I was very excited about what we were going to see. We chatted nonstop and before we knew it, Bitalo was pulling up to park at the reserve. “Don’t forget your camera!” Birdie reminded. “Don’t forget your binoculars!” I bantered.</p

We were met at the gate by one of the reserve staff.

They directed us where to park our jeep, and told us where to meet for the guided tour. As we waited for the tour guide, we got acquainted with the people who would be sharing our vehicle as we drove through the savannah. We only waited about twenty minutes, but it seemed like hours. The tour guide was very warm and presented a detailed overview of what we would see. He told us some of the animals we might encounter: zebras, warthogs, buffalo, impala, and eland, the largest of African antelope! He cautioned us to stay in the vehicle at all times, and to obey all of his commands. Although he didn’t anticipate any disturbances, he said wild animals can be unpredictable, and our awareness of this fact would keep us safe.

“Get your camera ready!” Birdie exclaimed. I laughed at her.

“I’ve got it all loaded and ready to click away,” I assured her.

The driver helped us one by one to take a seat in the olive drab safari-type vehicle. Roll bars with a canopy over the top to keep some of the sun off us, and worn leather bench seats, the jeep was an exact replica of those I’d seen in magazines and books. The tour guide answered our countless questions. He told us the history of the game reserve, and going over again what we might see, when all of a sudden out of the tall grass came a warthog with a lion running fast behind it. The driver stopped the jeep suddenly so we could watch nature in action. The power and grace with which the lion ran was very impressive – the warthog, not so much. However, it ran like there was no tomorrow. They disappeared into the thick brush. I hoped for the best for the little warthog, but something deep inside told me otherwise.

“Did you see that, Jessica?” Birdie squealed. “Yes. I couldn’t capture much on film. They were moving too fast for me. I’m afraid after we get the film developed, it could be just a blur,” I said, disgusted.

We’d traveled a little further when we came upon two lion cubs. As we watched the playful antics of the cubs, we forgot the golden rule: where there are baby animals, mothers are nearby. Just at that moment when everyone was oohing and aahing, a large female lion gingerly stepped across our path. She looked at us for a moment, and then directed her attention toward her cubs.

The four of us sat frozen, not speaking a word. Only the sounds of faint breathing could be heard and the beating of my own heart. The lioness growled, letting her little cubs know it was time to go, and off into the tall brush they ran.

“I can’t believe what we just witnessed!” I said, shaken by the experience.

“I never get tired of seeing animals in the wild, and Mother Nature at her finest.” Andrew said as he stroked my hand, trying to calm me down.

The driver continued along the dry and dusty road while the tour guide continued with his presentation. As we anticipated what we’d see next, our adrenaline began working overtime – keeping us on edge. As the jeep rounded a bend, we came to a clearing and just beyond – a large lake. Playing in the water were several elephants, spraying each other with water from their trunks. I was able to snap several pictures.

“Aren’t they cute?” I said.

“Cute?” Andrew chuckled. I’d say majestic is a better description,” he said, teasingly. I agreed. The elephants were indeed magnificent.

After a few moments, the driver continued. This time we came upon a heard of zebra’s grazing in a large field. They were swatting the flies off their rear ends just like the cows back home. They didn’t seem the least bit afraid or interested in us.

I’d have to say that all the animals amazed me in one way or another, but when we came upon a group of giraffes, I couldn’t believe how tall they were. We watched in amazement as several of them stripped the leaves off the tall branches, as we took pictures.

Here is a little bit about the author:

Debbie is an Amazon bestselling author for her book Passport to Happiness in the category of fiction/sagas. She currently resides in beautiful Sonoma County, California, where the jagged Pacific coastline meets the rolling hills cascading with vineyards. She writes romance novellas that feature strong, independent women, who when faced with adversity, or tragedy, find strength to overcome the perils that stand in their way. She’s an avid supporter of animal rescue, and happily donates a portion of sales from her books to rescue organizations. She has two adult children, and two granddaughters. In her spare time, she loves to garden, travel, enjoy family, and her beloved rescue dogs, Dash and Briar. Her real passion of course is writing, and she uses her 20+ years as a military wife as inspiration for her stories.

You can interact with Debbie on her Website, Facebook account or Twitter account.

Again, you can find ‘Passport to Happiness’ on Goodreads and Amazon UK / Amazon US  

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Book Tour: ‘Destroyed’ by Aimee Shaye

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Today, I’m taking part in a book tour for Aimee Shaye’s Destroyed, hosted by Electively Paige.

About the Book:

Jade is a ten thousand year old vampire whose life was shattered by a curse from the Fates and a brother who took their words seriously. In an instant the lives of his friends and family were jeopardized and ruined. His twin brother, Corbin, took away the only girl that Jade ever loved, his fiancée Eliza. After her death, Jade turned away from humans and turned toward revenge.

When Jade has a vision of the girl around the corner dying in the hands of his brother, he has only two choices: save her, or let her turn rogue and ruin the world forever.

Will he save her or will he let the world burn?

My review:

[Warning: This book contains scenes were rape and gang rape are either discussed or alluded to. However, these scenes are not described]

I have awarded this book 3 stars.

Destroyed is book 1 in The Chronicles of the Seven Sons series.Destroyed Cover

As I’ve never read anything by this author before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The blurb was very enticing, so I decided to give it a go.

I enjoyed reading this. The characters were likeable and the writing style flowed quite nicely. I liked the character of Jade (though my favourite was Sypher  and I hope the series expands on his character in the future ) and I found the way that he battled between the feelings in his heart and the thoughts in his head to be effective. I also really liked the references to the Greek Gods, which I’ve not come across in a vampire book before. As I mentioned in the warning preceding this review, this book contains quite a few references to or discussions about rape and/or gang rape. However, without giving anything away, these references are included in discussions about Hell/Purgatory. Therefore, I didn’t find them to be out of place.

Unfortunately, I felt that this book was greatly let down by mistakes, both typing (the character put eggs ‘into’ a plate) and grammatical (the character picked her car keys up ‘off of’ the cupboard) .  The book is also very long; at 464 pages, I wonder if the author should consider taking some scenes and turning them into a short story as an extra to the series. It may also be worth the author considering a character list at the start of the book with the characters modern names and their Greek names, as I found that to be quite confusing at the start.

★★★ – All in all, I felt that this book was a promising start to the series. The plot was intriguing, but I feel that the author is not executing this book to the best of her ability. I will be looking out for further books in this series, but I hope that more care is taken in the following books. 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

About the Author:

Aimee Shaye is a 21 year old self-published author who lives in New York. Her first novel, Destroyed, was released on October 31, 2014 (two months early) and is the first book in The Chronicles of the Seven Sons (CSS) series. She is currently working on an erotica trilogy (Each book will be released in between the books of CSS series).

To find out more and to view her other works, please visit the following links:

Her Website

 Her Facebook profile

Her Twitter profile

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Review/Tour: ‘Surviving the Rachel’ by Aven Ellis

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Today, I’m taking part in a blog tour for Aven Ellis’ book Surviving the Rachel. This tour post will include my review, an excerpt from the book and information about the author, as well as links to buy the book.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the author.

Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency. But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, hockey, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

To find out more, please visit the authors Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads.

Now I’m going to tell you about the book.

Here’s the books blurb:

Surviving the Rachel tells the story of twenty-one-year-old Bree Logan. Unable to find a professional communications job after graduation, dumped by the guy who was THE ONE, and stuck with a pricey city apartment she can’t afford, Bree ends up moving back home with her parents in the suburbs and working as a cocktail server at a posh Chicago hotel.

In a desperate attempt to get a fresh start, Bree goes to a hip salon and requests that the first available stylist chop off her long dark hair. Alarmed when the stylist suggests “The Rachel,” after the famous haircut from the show Friends, Bree is hesitant, but decides to go for it when she is assured it will be a “fresh, modern adaptation” of the infamous 90’s cut. Unfortunately for Bree, it turns out to be exactly the same cut, but with horrific heavy bangs added to it. Hideous doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Bree is convinced nothing will ever go right when she meets neighbor Jack Chelten, a twenty-five-year-old German translator. Not that Bree is looking to date anyone, but there’s something quirky and intriguing about his freckle-splashed face and blue eyes. And suddenly Bree finds herself seeking out different opportunities and challenges . . . as well as the boy next door.

In her new adult life, Bree learns that sometimes you have to go through crises to get to where you need to be. And if you can survive The Rachel, you can survive anything, right?

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Now it’s just me and Jack.
“Firefly,” he says, breaking the silence.
“What?” I laugh.
“Right there, hold on a second,” Jack says, pointing near the pond. “There!”
And I see it. A firefly lights up the darkness for a brief second, a flash of yellow in the dark sky.
“I condemned many fireflies to a sad death in a Cool Whip container in my childhood,” I admit, laughing.
“Did you poke holes on the top?” he teases.
“Of course! I didn’t try to suffocate them on purpose.”
“Murderer.”
“I was not,” I giggle.
“Challenge for you,” Jack says. “Can you still catch one?”
“Absolutely I can.”
“Prove it.”
“Oh, okay, you’re on. First one to catch five wins,” I say, throwing down my own challenge.
“I’ve so got this,” he declares.
So we both get up and begin catching fireflies. We’re laughing and teasing each other and before I know it, I have bested Jack.
“That’s five,” I declare happily, snatching the fifth firefly. I open up my palm to reveal it to him, and then I release it to the night sky.
And in a way, I feel released, too. I’m releasing the negativity about the job search, and I’m starting new tomorrow with Jack’s help. I gaze at his profile, and I know this German-speaking boy next door has something—if not everything-to do with this newfound feeling I have.
He turns and catches me looking at him. We don’t say anything for a moment, and another firefly flashes light between us.
“I guess I should be heading home,” he says softly.
“Okay.”
“So I’ll see you tomorrow for sushi?”
“Yes,” I say, smiling back at him. “And I’ll send you my resume right now.”
Jack nods. “Okay then. I’ll see you tomorrow. And thank you for tonight.”
“I should be thanking you,” I say softly.
He turns and begins walking across the grass. I cross my arms over my chest, his sweatshirt still keeping me warm. Jack suddenly stops and turns to me.
“’Hochzeit mit Hindernissen,’” Jack says.
I begin laughing. “What?”
“The German title for ‘The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding,’” Jack says, grinning at me. “That’s one of my favorite Friends episodes.”
Another firefly lights up in front of me as I watch him walk away. And then I realize that’s what Jack is to me.
He’s like a firefly who has lit up the darkness.
And I find myself drawn to his light.

Sounds good, right? I loved Friends so when I saw this book I couldn’t wait to read it!

Here’s my review:

Genre: Chick Lit / Rom-Com
Length: 262 pages

I have awarded this book 3 stars.

This is the first book I have read by Aven Ellis, but when I was asked to sign up for this tour, I jumped at the chance. I mean, who doesn’t love Friends, right? I really enjoyed the references to the show throughout the book. I also found the German elements included in the book to be interesting and that they gave the book a fresh feel. To begin with, the book felt  a bit wooden. However, as the story progressed the author seemed to find her flow and the story became a lot more enjoyable. I really liked the way that the relationship between Bree and Jack developed and the unexpected twists that they came across. I also really enjoyed meeting their families and the ‘deal breakers’ that both Bree and Jack had – very funny! Unfortunately, I sometimes felt that some of the actions of the characters, particularly Bree, were too childish for their ages and ruined the story a little for me. While I did find the book a little predictable, I did enjoy reading it and would still recommend it as it was light-hearted and fun.

★★★ – I loved the Friends references, but felt that the actions of the main character were a bit too childish at times. I also felt that the book was a bit wooden to begin with. I would still recommend this book. 

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So, what do you think?

Have you ever survived a hideous haircut? Let me know!

Like the sound of book? Here are the links to buy it. 

Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Info/Blitz: ‘Jump, Jive and Wail’ by Kathryn R. Biel

image Today, I’m taking part in a release day blitz for Kathryn Biel’s ‘Jump, Jive and Wail’.

Genre: Romance / Women’s Fiction
Length: 249 pages (approx.)

I’m looking forward to reading this book! It sounds fun!image

Here’s the summary:

A rebel on the run… Kaitlin Reynolds is used to fearlessly flying off mountains. But nearly two years after a devastating injury has ended her ski jumping career, Kaitlin is still struggling to put one foot in front of the other and find her new life. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger begins to put life into perspective. Dashing figure skater, Declan McLoughlin has just returned from the Olympics amid a swirl of publicity and fan fare. Just as Kaitlin begins to have hope again, her charming savior turns out to represent everything she has lost. If Kaitlin can just let go of the past and take a leap of faith, will she find herself soaring into Declan’s arms?

Sounds good, right?

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon UK (Paperback)
Amazon US (Kinde)
Amazon US (Paperback)

About the author:image

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read.

To find out more about the author, please visit the following links:

Her website
Her Facebook page
Her Twitter profile
Her Pinterest account
Her Goodreads author profile

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Info: ‘Under the Winter Sun’ by Carrigan Richards

UTWSRDBBannerHappy Release Day to Carrigan Richards for Under the Winter Sun, book three in the Elemental Enchanters series!

Ava never knew the extent of torture.

When the previous battle leaves all of the Enchanters powerless and broken, Ava distances herself from everyone. Her closest friends have been kidnapped and she feels useless. All she can feel from Peter is guilt because he could not protect the coven so Ava learns to hide her emotions in order to keep her thoughts at bay. It’s taking more time than she expected for her strength and powers to return and she sinks deeper into a depression.

Once Ava and her coven gain their powers back they start their journey to Caprington to defeat Havok and save their friends. She must choose her allegiance or risk losing everyone she loves.

Add to your Goodreads TBR List

Buy on Amazon 

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About Carrigan Richards:

Carrigan was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her fiance, family, and friends, listening to music, playing with her sometimes psychotic puppy, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.

Website|Goodreads|Facebook|Twitter

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Tour&Review: ‘Under a Blood Moon’ by Carrigan Richards

This tour is organised by Electively Paige and features the ‘Elemental Enchanters’ series by author Carrigan Richards.

                             ❄ ❄ ❄ About the author ❄ ❄ ❄
Carrigan was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her fiance, family, and friends, listening to music, playing with her sometimes psychotic puppy, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.

 For more information please visit her blog, her Goodreads author page or her Amazon author page.

‘Under a Blood Moon’ (Book 1)

Falling in love isn’t the only problem for Ava

When seventeen-year-old Ava discovers that she can breathe underwater, she’s disappointed. She wanted to be normal and dreads the day of her initiation into one of the most powerful covens of Elemental Enchanters. She has fallen in love with a human, which is forbidden, but she has such a strong connection with Peter, the only other person who knows what it’s like to grow up motherless. Continue reading

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‘The Lady Quill Chronicles’ by D.D Chant

I would like to stress that all words are my own, except the excerpt which obviously comes from the book. Thanks for reading!

This book tour is hosted by My Family’s Heart and features the work of the lovely D.D Chant! I will be reviewing both ‘The Promise’ and ‘The Vow’ from her ‘Lady Quill Chronicles’, as well as including excerpts from both. Links to buy are at the bottom of the post, as with all my reviews.

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This is the lovely D.D Chant!

 ✿✿✿     About D.D Chant      ✿✿✿

Dee Dee Chant is twenty six and lives in Devon, England, with her family.

You might remember Dee Dee from an author interview I did with her a while ago (link to serious interview here and silly interview here). In which she answered questions like what advice she would give to other authors, what her superpower would be, and how long she would survive a zombie apocalypse! If you don’t remember, check it out! It was very fun!

Dee Dee and her sister, Amy, sing under the name of Gentian, and have custom written (and sing) the music for the book trailers for both The Promise and The Vow.

To find out more, here are the links to her Blog, Amazon author pageGoodreads author page and Twitter profile.

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The Promise (Book 1)

‘The Promise’ is a historical romance, about 330 pages in length, with a bit of mystery thrown in. This is the first book in the Lady Quill Chronicles.

Excerpt:

Rafe watched as Adele pushed a wisp of hair back from her cheek and tucked it behind her ear. She was unaware of his eyes upon her, all her attention was on the robin that hopped about on the frozen earth, pecking at the crumbs she had scattered for it.

She must be tired, she had to be. Eda was even now asleep, curled up in the shelter of a fallen log. It was Eda who had begged for rest, for food, but never once had Adele demanded anything, no word of complaint had passed her lips.  Still he was uneasy.

Continue reading