Ceruleans Anniversary Party & Giveaway!

FMN teaser 1Hey ladies and gentlemen of blogland! I have a treat for you today! This month, Charlotte Wilson (formerly writing under Megan Tayte) is holding an anniversary party & giveaway for her YA Fantasy series, Ceruleans—and I’m here to share it with you! I’ve been a fan of the Cerulean series since the first book came out and I was given an ARC to read and review. Since then, I’ve followed the series and the author, and she’s been generous enough to share her books with me. If you’d like to read my reviews of the series, check out the links below! (Note: I haven’t finished the fifth book, Darkly,Deeply,Beautifully yet).

A Little About The Author…

Charlotte Wilson

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte is a professional writer. For authors and publishers, she writes and edits books as The Book Specialist. For herself, she writes soulful, coming-of-age romance for young adults.

Charlotte grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm, or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a library in her home to house her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

You can find Charlotte online at:

Interested in buying the books? Check them out here:

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Before we get to the giveaway, check out this exclusive short story, Anniversary:

The cake was homemade. Lopsided. Slathered in gloopy frosting. Judging by Adam’s previous attempts in the kitchen, it was safe to assume it would be inedible.

Estelle loved it.

‘You baked? For me?’

She reached over and pulled Adam into a hug, awkward with the massive baby bump wedged between them.

‘Happy anniversary!’ he said.

Estelle pulled back, frowning. ‘That’s tomorrow.’

A year since she had Become a Cerulean. A year since she had died.

‘I know,’ said Adam. ‘But I have a surprise for you. A… gift. And I wasn’t sure how you’d take it, so I thought: give it to you today, and if you… well, if it’s not what you want, then it hasn’t spoiled tomorrow.’ He smiled at her – nervously.

‘O-kay,’ said Estelle. She couldn’t fathom what gift she could potentially dislike that much. Unless he’d bought her something girlie. She didn’t do girlie.

‘Good,’ said Adam. He grabbed her hands. ‘Ready?’

She’d barely begun to nod when it happened… the picnic blanket, the beach, the ocean, all gone, replaced, in the bewildering blink of an eye, by a grimy urban alleyway.

What came next was not pretty. Estelle hadn’t been that sick since her first trimester.

‘Are you insane?’ she hissed eventually, when she was done and could get a word in edgeways between Adam’s apologies and panicked are-you-okay-is-the-baby-okays. ‘You Travelled us to…’ She looked about and recognition made her jaw drop. ‘No,’ she said. ‘Truro?’

White-faced, Adam nodded. He didn’t say anything; he just pointed at a shopfront visible at the top of the alley. The sign was so weathered it was unreadable. That didn’t matter; Estelle knew exactly what it said: Tattoo Tony’s.

Furious, she rounded on Adam. ‘You’d better start explaining right now.’

‘The nightmares you’ve been having about… him. I couldn’t do nothing. It’s not right, Estelle, that he’s living his life here. Unpunished. So…’ He held out his hands. Ethereal blue light lit the alley.

‘Quit it!’ Estelle slapped his hands, hard. ‘Adam…’ She stared at the one person she loved, who’d given her a home and a purpose – to whom she’d confided her deepest, most painful secret: that when she was nine, the year before her mother ODed, a man named Tattoo Tony had abused her.

Adam stared right back at her, and there was a spark in his eyes she’d never seen before. ‘What’s the point of having power over life and death,’ he said, ‘if you can’t use it to take out a bad guy? One touch, Estelle. That’s all it would take.’

No! she should have yelled. No, Adam, that’s sacrilegious, against everything the Ceruleans stand for. But the words wouldn’t come.

She looked up the alley again, at the shop. She lay a hand on her swollen belly. Then she reached out and took Adam’s hand, and they walked toward the street.

They would have looked an odd couple – he the picture boy for geek chic, her Gothed out from head to foot – had they been visible. They weren’t, though, thanks to Adam’s power. They could walk right across that street, into the tattoo parlour and kill a man, and no one would ever know it was them.

At the door to the shop, which was propped open, Estelle pulled Adam to a stop. She could see an old man inside. He was gaunt and stooped, and his breath was coming in wheezy pants.

‘Do you feel it?’ she murmured to Adam.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Lung cancer, I think.’

‘How long does he have?’

‘Months, if that.’

Estelle thought carefully before asking the next question: ‘Do you feel the pull? Are you meant to heal him?’

She saw Adam shake his head. No. This man was destined to die. Slowly. Painfully.

Suddenly, she realised that she could see Adam; he was no longer shielding them from view. That’s how well he knew her. There would be no wicked deed here today, no Falling from grace. Only justice of the karmic kind.

‘God I love you,’ she said, and she pressed her lips to his.

‘Er… can I help you?’ Tony had come to the door and was frowning at the couple kissing on his doorstep.

Estelle and Adam broke off, but they didn’t even look at the man beside them.

‘Take me home,’ Estelle told Adam… and he did.

They stayed on the beach for the rest of the day, lying in the sun, paddling in the surf. When the sun set there wasn’t a crumb left of that cake. It was dry. It was salty. It was crunchy with egg shell. But it was the most delicious thing either of them had ever eaten.

And now for the Giveaway!

>>>>> CLICK HERE FOR THE GIVEAWAY (because WordPress hates scripts). <<<<<

Book Review: Bite of a Vampire

review-cover-bite of a vampireTitle: Bite of a Vampire [Volume 1]

Author: Anna Belsky

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

I never was a romance novel kind of girl, maybe that’s why I decided to get in the business of proving that love was meant to be unfaithful. Call me bitter but my full name is Emily Johnson, and I work as a private investigator for Jonesville Extramarital Affairs. It’s my daily job to investigate, snap photos of and usually proves that a spouse has found someone else to dilly-dally with. It was a bit of a dream job after having my own respect and dignity broken so many times in college by a guy named Robert, Bob for short. I don’t hold a grudge against him, he was my first, and he taught me that love relationships are not really things that exist. My best friend Abby doesn’t believe me so I decided to prove my point and become a Private Investigator.

On this night Emily’s world turns upside down when she comes across a vampire attacking one of her investigations. She is swept into a world of the supernatural and must draw from all her experiences as Private Investigator to survive… or so she thinks until she meets Michael.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Bite of a Vampire by Anna Belsky was a fun, if short, endeavor into an imaginative vampire-filled world. To be honest, I’m a little up in the air over it. It was a fun book. I liked the characters, I liked the intrigue of the plotline, the danger, and the steamy romance. There was a good amount of gore and danger, and the more paranormal aspects of the books (like the ghosts) were really well done.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the book was perfect. The editing in this book was poorly done. I ran into dozens of grammatical mistakes, misspellings, and sentences that just made no sense. The errors made me pause several times to re-read, and ultimately pulled me out of the book. The writing style was first person, present tense…but sometimes that tense was messed up. The style of the writing was a little underdeveloped, and it often felt like I was being ‘told’ the story a little too much, rather than the author letting me sink into the narrative.

Was the book terrible? No. I did enjoy it—but I think it could have easily been better than what it was. The story was just too short to do it’s characters and plotline justice, and the editing was sub-par, making it a difficult book to get into. This is something I’d recommend for people looking for a light, paranormal read to soak in on a bus ride.

Weekend Wrap-Up #23

What I Read

Absolutely nothing.  Oops! It was my husband’s birthday this week!

Upcoming Reviews & Things

  • Monday, February 6 – Review: Bite of a Vampire
  • Wednesday, February 8 – Cerulean Series Giveaway!
  • Friday, February 10 – Free Fiction Friday #75
  • Sunday, February 12 – Weekend Wrap-Up #24
  • Monday, February 13 – Review: Intriguing Proposition
  • Wednesday, February 15 – Review: Cloud Cuckoo
  • Friday, February 17 – Free Fiction Friday #76
  • Sunday, February 19 – Weekend Wrap-Up #25
  • Monday, February 20 – Review: Legacy of Lies
  • Friday, February 24 – Free Fiction Friday #77
  • Sunday, February 26 – Weekend Wrap-Up #26
  • Monday, February 27 – Review: The Forgotten Girls
  • Friday, March 3 – Free Fiction Friday #78
  • Sunday, March 5 – Weekend Wrap-Up #27

What Was Posted

What I Did

It was a pretty busy week for me. It was my husband’s birthday on the second, so my whole schedule kind of went off kilter, and I didn’t get a lot of work done—but I’m so far ahead on my scheduled posts right now, that it didn’t really matter—and sometimes it’s nice to take a break!

Next Week

I need to get some books read! I’ve got a Cerulean Series Giveaway being posted on Wednesday (so keep your eye out!), and I’d like to get The Forgotten Girls read. My biggest problem with that is that the formatting kind of got messed up for me, so the book reads with four or five lines of numbers in between every half sentence on the actual page. It is super annoying to read right now, even though the book is really interesting. I just need to push through and try to ignore the formatting.

Free Fiction Friday #74

Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #74! For those of you who are new to this blog, or may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays, every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting, and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre and on sale for less than $5. I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum-so that you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our them is: YA Romance!

THE FREE

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THE BARGAINS

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Book Review: My Fair Assassin

review-cover-my fair assassin

Title: My Fair Assassin

Author: C.J. Anaya

Genre: Urban, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

It’s not everyday a teenage girl is singled out for assassination.

Crysta has come to accept the fact that she is freakishly different. Her shocking white hair, creepy powers, and weird eating habits have prevented her from fitting in with her various foster families. Now that she is fully emancipated and providing for herself, she hopes that life will settle down and become something halfway normal.

Her hopes are shattered when a dangerous man with lethal intent breaks into her apartment, but this enticing stranger isn’t what he seems. Is he here to kill her or protect her from others who will?

My Fair Assassin is a romantic short story with elements of paranormal and urban fantasy woven in for an entertaining read. It also touches on social issues involving personal self-esteem and acceptance. Adults and teens alike will enjoy getting lost in the pages of Crysta’s story as she finally comes to accept who she is…or rather what she is.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Though perhaps a bit short, I enjoyed My Fair Assassin by C.J. Anaya. The book was well written—I spotted maybe one typo in the entire book, which is pretty fantastic for any book, traditionally published or otherwise. The writing was clear, easy to follow, and moved at a decent pace.

I will admit that the characters struck me as a bit under-developed though. It didn’t feel as though Crysta was a genuine 17-year-old, and given her upbringing, she seemed a bit too well-adjusted to be believable. She felt fabricated at times because of this, and older than she was meant to be. Jareth on the other hand came across as, well, a bit dumb to be honest. I understand that he was meant to be simply ignorant of the idiosyncrasies of human culture and language, but between his complete lack of understanding of the nuances of a language he seemed quite fluent in and his penchant for bowing to Crysta’s will, he came across as a bit of a pushover, and maybe even a little air-headed. Also, despite his proclivity for speaking Gaelic, we never actually heard him even hint at using his professed favorite language. Outside of the two main characters, we barely saw any other characters in the story, and the ones we did see (Crysta and Jareth), didn’t seem well developed.

That being said, I did enjoy the story, and despite the flaws, I found with the characters, I did end up liking them both. It was hard not to enjoy their relationship. The world building, though not heavily delved into, was interesting, and I especially liked the plot. Overall, it was a quick, fun, read and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a shorter story that isn’t too heavy or gritty with its world building. It’d make a great sunny afternoon read for someone looking to while away a few hours. I do wish the book had been developed a bit more, and I think if it had been, the book probably would have easily made a full-length novel, but for what it is, I found it entertaining and enjoyable.

Book Review: Tormented By Ghosts

review-cover-tormented by ghostsTitle: Tormented By Ghosts: True Life Experiences

Author: Lynda Bogert, Darrell Gibbs

Genre: Paranormal, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Horror

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

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Description/Synopsis:

She wants to be normal, but the spirit world has other plans. Tormented by Ghosts is a true story about unfortunate encounters with ghosts and other otherworldly paranormal phenomena that have greatly affected Lynda’s life. The struggles include harrowing encounters of unwanted Out of Body Experiences (OBEs), her Near Death Experience (NDE), her horrifying visit from a demonic apparition, and mysterious bone-chilling ghostly visits. This book encompasses her thirty years of coping to learn and educate herself to understand and utilize her spiritual abilities and tools to help herself and others. Her daily battle is to overcome the paranormal and control the abilities that she has been given! Is she seeing and hearing ghosts that may have a message for her or to let themselves be known or to simply taunt her? This is a story with many stories. You’ll want to sleep with the lights on because it could also happen to you, too…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Think what you will, I’ve been a long time believer in the supernatural—though I still consider myself a skeptic. Because of this, I am a huge fan of ghosts stories, but I also like to view ghost stories with a healthy amount of skepticism. I want proof. Evidence. Unfortunately, the way Tormented by Ghosts by Lynda Bogert was written it was very difficult to believe that these were true stories—and maybe they were—who am I to judge? My hesitance is not so much a product of the stories themselves, but the way they were presented.

Honestly, the book was not well written. The narrative rambled from topic to topic with no clear format or breaks to delineate what was happening. The writing wasn’t fluid or clear and concise, but instead hard to follow. The dialogue was about as believable as a Carebear’s scripted speech and throughout the narrative, the author threw in big bad thesaurus words like stymied and invidious that really didn’t fit the context or style of the writing.

I tried to get through this book and stick to following the story, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t like it, and I don’t know that I could recommend it. It needs another strong round with an experienced editor. Lines like “I’ve never vibrated this much in my life.” Should never have made it into the final copy.

Weekend Wrap-Up #22

What I Read

review-cover-the forgotten girlsreview-cover-cloud cuckoo

This week I finished up Cloud Cuckoo by R.E. Palmer – a YA Science Fiction Dystopian, which was a fantastic 2nd book in the Never Dawn series. My daughter and I have fallen head over in heals in love with this author and his series. I seriously cannot wait for book three in the trilogy! I also started to read The Forgotten Girls by Owen Laukkanen, which is a brand new Suspense/Mystery/Thriller. Although it isn’t a genre of book I usually spend a lot of time reading, I am enjoying it so far. Look forward to reviews of these two books in the near future!

Upcoming Reviews & Things

  • Monday, January 30 – Review: Tormented By Ghosts
  • Wednesday, February 1 – Review: My Fair Assassin
  • Friday, February 3 – Free Fiction Friday #74
  • Sunday, February 5 – Weekend Wrap-Up #23
  • Monday, February 6 – Review: Bite of a Vampire
  • Wednesday, February 8 – Cerulean Series Giveaway!
  • Friday, February 10 – Free Fiction Friday #75
  • Sunday, February 12 – Weekend Wrap-Up #24
  • Monday, February 13 – Review: Intriguing Proposition
  • Wednesday, February 15 – Review: Cloud Cuckoo
  • Friday, February 17 – Free Fiction Friday #76
  • Sunday, February 19 – Weekend Wrap-Up #25
  • Monday, February 20 – Review: Legacy of Lies
  • Friday, February 24 – Free Fiction Friday #77
  • Sunday, February 26 – Weekend Wrap-Up #26
  • Monday, February 27 – Review: The Forgotten Girls

What Was Posted

What I Did

I honestly don’t know where this week went. Between chores, homeschooling my daughter, and getting ready to move in the near future, it seems like time just slipped by. To be honest, I hardly even remember this week! Luckily, I did get a bit of reading done, and caught back up on all the dishes that have been sitting around my house since the beginning of January due to being on bed rest. At least my back finally healed! I’m back to running around like a mad woman from room to room!

Next Week

More reading. Packing. Cleaning. Watching way too much YouTube and playing games. You know, the usual. I feel like I haven’t had much time to write in the last few weeks, and I’d certainly like to get more done on that, but right now packing up my house and cleaning has taken priority. Hopefully once I have my own office things will go a little smoother!