Book Review: The Usurper King

Hey bookworms! I read my TBR jar pick from June (yes I know, its a little late) and this one has been on my shelf for quite a while. It was called The Usurper King by Zeb Haradon and was it ever an interesting one.

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Synopsis: The Usurper King takes place in an alternate universe where the serial killer Ted Bundy was never apprehended and is now running for president in 2016.

Jim, a sufferer of a hybrid computer-biological virus that causes premature aging, tries to pay for his treatments by winning money on the game show ‘Guts!’, which has contestants competitively predict the future by reading animal entrails.

As Jim begins to find omens in the entrails of Bundy’s victory, and details of Bundy’s murderous past are uncovered, Jim and another contestant take it upon themselves to stop his ascent to power before it’s too late.

So this book is kind of a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. I read some other reviews after reading this book and I completely agree with a bunch of them that state that they don’t really know what genre this book is because it has elements of sci-fi, thriller, and historical fiction but none so solidified that it fits just one of them.

I honestly was captured by the author’s writing style and quite enjoyed how he expressed his characters. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with all of the decisions that the characters made but they were each unique and had a way of giving you just enough knowledge about them that left you wanting to know more.

I never knew where this book was going next. It kept taking different turns which I wasn’t expecting and I loved that. The addition of Ted Bundy as a political figure made it even more interesting. To have a character of that vicious enamour in a position of power is a very scary thing and reminded me of Donald Trump. Thank god for being a Canadian 😛

Trigger warning: Animal Cruelty

There is quite a lot of animal sacrificing for the sake of reading their entrails in this book. I do believe that it went a little overboard with the disregard for the animals lives and killing them as if they were just objects that have no value. That being said, I didn’t let it hinder my experience of the novel that much.

I think this book would be good for someone that isn’t too squeamish and wants a book that doesn’t really have a category, it is just humorous and interesting.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Watch my Small Booktuber Tag video where I talk about what it is like to be a small booktuber and all the amazing people in the community!

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Book Highlight: Should I Go To College?

43817231Should I go to College? What About Student Loan Debt?

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publication Date: March 14th, 2019

If you’re a high school student, chances are you’ve been thinking about where you will go to college. Or if you will go to college at all. I’ve been there. And as a former teacher, I’ve seen thousands of students there, too. So I wrote this book to help you.

This book offers sound advice about deciding whether or not you want to go to college, and, if you decide to go, how you can save time and money along the way.

“This is the book about college I wish I had read when I was younger.” – My 30-year-old self

SHOULD I GO TO COLLEGE? WHAT ABOUT STUDENT LOAN DEBT?
•Describes what college is
•Promotes thoughtful self-reflection
•Outlines your options post-high school
•Offers tragically hilarious truths about teaching
•Reaffirms the code of personal responsibility
•Likens student loans to dragons that need to be slain

ALL PROCEEDS OF THIS BOOK GO TOWARD HELPING STUDENTS PAY OFF THEIR
STUDENT LOAN DEBT.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

I AM JUST GOING TO SAY IT, LIKE ALL THE other people I admire, even though I know some people are not going to like it: Not everyone is cut out for college.

Repeat: Not everyone is cut out for college.

REPEAT: NOT EVERYONE IS CUT OUT FOR COLLEGE.

And that’s okay. It’s really okay. You can be a happy, successful person and not go to college. You can make a lot of money and never need to go to college. You still have worth as a person, you can still get job training, and you can still learn a craft or skill or art or anything. There isn’t some sacred part of life you’re missing out on by not attending college.

Even so, there seems to be no end of people who will convince you that college is necessary. Parents, guardians, teachers, other students, salespeople, politicians,—all of these people sit on an imaginary jury of sorts, and they are all giving you the same verdict: “GO TO COLLEGE!”

SIDE NOTE: Please don’t consider that subliminal messaging.

But — but! — all of these people are not you. You are in the best position to decide if college is something you want to pursue.

Your peers include many people who simply go to college because it’s the “thing to do.” Taxes are the “thing to do.” College is optional, and it is your choice.

Your parents love you (I assume) and your teachers want to guide you (I assume), so it can be hard to find yourself at odds with others over the issue of your future. Others, like the politicians and the marketing companies, see you as a profit.

There are several reasons that there’s so much debt in America; it’s not just because a lot of people wanted to go to school and then the economy dropped. Many of the college recruiters who call you and the pretty brochures they send you are there to make you want to go to college. It works because there are a lot of legitimate reasons to go. But going to college might still not be the best option for you, and you have to be willing to stand up to any number of people who disagree with you, including salespeople. Many people who have student loan debt are people who wanted to change career fields, wanted higher pay, or wanted to look for better jobs and opportunities. These are the people who look at those brochures and take these calls with an end in mind. When you are not sure of what you want to be when you grow up, it can be easy to be swayed by the honeyed words of a salesperson who is paid on commission.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

Giveaway!

Click the link below to win a copy of this book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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Charity Blog Tour Schedule

July 15th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

July 16th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com/

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

July 17th

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

July 18th

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

I’m All About the Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

July 19th

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Adventure Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Check out my latest Wrap Up video where I talk about the books I read in the month of June and announce the giveaway winner!

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Fid’s Crusade Book Tour Starts Today!!

Hey everyone! So a while back, I set up my first blog tour with David Reiss for his book Fid’s Crusade and today if the official start date! The tour will run from July 14th to July 20th so I encourage everyone to follow along and go check out all the blogger’s posts and Youtuber’s videos!!

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And David said that he will be doing a giveaway where you can win a physical copy of his book! The way he wants you to enter is by commenting on the blog posts and Youtuber’s videos! You can find everything you need at the Rafflecopter link!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a11/?

I will be adding the blogger’s posts daily so that you will have the direct link to the correct post so keep checking back to get more entries!


Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday July 14th

 Shaye from A Reading Brit (blog) https://areadingbrit.co.uk/

Amanda from Amanda readsss (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHl3RdpnJmuMP7ZZYdc-rA

Monday July 15th

Ross from Storgy (blog) https://storgy.com/

Hilary from Melted Books (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOatzzc3q5iTsRZkDPUEZig

Tuesday July 16th

Arden from the Phantom Paper (blog) https://phantompaper.wordpress.com/

Arts, Books and Other things (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrXMPBy0z1CiJZCkBOFzjQ

Wednesday July 17th

Jenny from Tecsielity (blog) https://tecsielity.wordpress.com/

Savy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9WShNx2HsXRGjj9F593HzA

Thursday July 18th

Sarah from Murder by Tomes (blog) https://murderbytomes.wordpress.com/

Kathy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiN4woTQzWrciAcjIKQCzHA

Friday July 19th

Yes More Blogs (blog) https://yesmoreblogs.wordpress.com/

Toya – Reading Chemist (blog) https://thereadingchemist.com/

Scott from Book Invasion (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADGZU0eRD4SpeFyxtPBrzg

Saturday July 20th

James from the Miramichi Reader (blog) http://miramichireader.ca/

Cheyenne from Novel Insights (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzc9HZ0T0YQAUksJ7XtWOA


Here is my video where I talked about the book in my wrap up when I first read it!

I am so excited about this and am looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the book! David is a great author and he wants to thank everyone participating as well.

Book Review: Who’s Got Your Back?

Welcome back bookworms! I am planning to read a lot of books in July and this is the first of many. This on is called Who’s Got Your Back? Making and Keeping Great Relationships Among Men by David Smith.

A book about men's relationships

Synopsis: Who’s got your back? Most men will simply answer, “no one.” Not many men have close friends in the sense that women do. We’re more likely to form alliances than we are friendships. It doesn’t have to be this way. Who’s Got Your Back? will motivate men to build satisfying relationships which will be there during the ups and downs of life.

David Smith’s new book, Who’s Got Your Back? clearly presents the clarion call for men to be the kind of men modeled for us by Jesus. David shows us how we can be strong, task oriented, and achieving, but also warm-hearted and unmistakably relationship driven in the rough and tumble of everyday life.

This good book brings into sharp focus a genuine and functional and real-life definition of manliness. David Smith has skillfully woven stories with practical application strategies into a narrative as to how we build and support trusting relationships.

This book was in the middle for me. I enjoyed the concept it was trying to get across to its readers but at the same time didn’t really feel like it was applicable to me. It is more centered on men that don’t have fulfilling relationships with other men (in the non sexual way). It is a book on working towards making stronger connections with other men in your life because you need that foundation of people and support to build your character but also to bring joy and understanding of yourself more as a person to your life.

I feel that I have a strong relationship with many close friends that are guys and we make it priority to be ever present in each other’s lives. This book is more focused on the older generation (that being the baby boomers) that have a quieter lifestyle once they are married where the husband has one person to depend and rely on (his wife) and little to no other people. I don’t believe this should be the way either and this book is here to help these men branch out and find other fellowship among men that they could potentially be open and build a friendship with.

I feel that there is value in what this book has to offer and since it is very religious based, I think it would be a great resource for a men’s group based out of church. They could follow along together and work through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

It is a good book but I just feel that it didn’t apply to me where I am at in life right now. That being said, I will be passing the book on to my dad as I believe he would enjoy this book and could bring it to his Christian men’s group he attends.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Book Depository or Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by a publishing company in physical format to read and give an honest review.


Check out my latest Wrap Up video where I talk about the books I read in the month of June and announce the giveaway winner!

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Book Spotlight: Bloodlust

Welcome to the Bloodlust tour, book #2 in Pixie Britton’s YA Science Fiction series, Kill or Cure. I have loads of fun stuff for you today! An exclusive excerpt, book trailer, a FREE book, and a chance to win a signed copy of Bloodlust! Wait, rewind…did I say FREE BOOK? I sure did! Read on!

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Bloodlust (Kill or Cure #2)

Publication Date: February 21st, 2019

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Dystopian/ Zombies

Publisher: Matador

He could save the world, or destroy it…

The virus that has swept the Earth hasn’t consumed Tommy, yet, but as his hunger for human flesh takes hold, his humanity vanishes behind the bloodlust of an infected. It’s up to seventeen year old Alyx and her friends to find answers. But saving her little brother isn’t their only problem. Lurking in the shadows of Alhena is the formidable General Sinter, hell-bent on capturing the boy with unrivalled superhuman strength for his own personal gains. With limited options, Alyx has no choice but to risk everything to protect him. A choice that she could live to regret

Kill or Cure: Bloodlust is the second book in the Kill or Cure series. Brimming with suspense, romance and heart pumping action!

Goodread

Excerpt

Winter

“A look of intrigue flickers across Tyron’s face as he tries to take measure of this wild girl standing in the centre of his cage. To the untrained eye, Winter looks like an odd wild girl from the forest, and you wouldn’t necessarily know how deadly she is from first impressions. She’s slight in stature yet athletic and nimble, and it’s not until you’ve spent significant time with her that you can fully appreciate how skilful she is. Every single movement is deliberate and focussed, like she could switch into warrior-mode at the flick of a switch.

I can’t help but grin internally when I realise that this monster-man has just met his match and he has absolutely no idea.”

Excerpt From: Pixie Britton. “Kill or Cure: Bloodlust.” iBooks.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Kill or Cure is a YA romance-infused sci-fi novel.
It focuses on human relationships in an undead, apocalyptic world.
A girl who will stop at nothing to protect her brother.

In a dystopian world ravaged by infection, society as we know it has fallen to the mouths of the dead. The remaining fragments of civilisation survive in walled compounds, scattered in the depths of the countryside. When her little brother becomes sick with a suspected flu virus, Alyx Silverthorne will do anything to keep Tommy alive.

With limited medical supplies and only herbal alternatives, his prospects of surviving this mystery illness are bleak. But saving Tommy is just the beginning. The infected are not the only monsters that exist in this new world, and human nature can be more destructive than the dead.

In a race against time, Alyx and her best friend Will stop at nothing to protect him, even from the same people that swore to protect them all.

Kill or Cure is a dynamic, multifaceted story of teenage love and gut wrenching loss in a dystopian world.

Goodreads

Free Book Alert!!!

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Download your FREE copy of the Last Sacrifice: A Kill or Cure story today…

A world infected. A man’s quest to save his family. One impossible choice.

The mission was supposed to be simple; to find survivors and kill the infected. But when Lieutenant, Joe Hudson, discovers that the home of his family has been destroyed by the infected, he’s left with an impossible decision. A choice that could change his life forever.

With limited ammunition and morale hitting an all-time low, the survival of the squad rests on a knife edge. Joe has no choice but to turn to his girlfriend, Suzie, a fellow soldier and secret lover for support. Together they have to cross a line to save his family, but even in this new world where the dead roam the earth, there are some lines that should never be crossed. Joe’s loyalty to his squad will be tested and the ultimate sacrifice will be made.

Set in the same world as the thrilling YA series Kill or Cure, follow Victory Squad in this fast paced prequel. Filled with love, heartbreaking loss and zombie guts.

Download Here!

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As if a free book from the series isn’t enough, the author is also giving away a SIGNED copy of the book! All you have to do is enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

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Pixie Britton is a British indie author and Wattpad extraordinaire. Her debut YA novel Kill or Cure, gained international success online with over 100k reads within five months of initial publication.

Shes lives in Essex, England with her husband and adorable furbaby. One day she dreams of leaving her job as a Treasury Analyst in the city, to become a full time author and creative entrepreneur.

Check out her website https://pixiebritton.com/ and sign up to her mailing list to receive the latest book release information.

Pixie Britton | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

July 8th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels@gmail.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Excerpt) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

I Smell Sheep (Excerpt) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

July 9th

The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Interview) https://thehufflepuffnerdette.wordpress.com

Bri’s Book Nook (Excerpt) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Book Addict Rambles (Spotlight) http://bookaddictrambles.wordpress.com

July 10th

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Interview) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Excerpt) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

July 11th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) http://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com

The Bibliophagist (Spotlight) http://thebibliophagist.blog

July 12th

I’m All About Books (Excerpt) https://imallaboutbooks.com

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

The Photographer’s Way (Spotlight) http://www.thephotographersway.org

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


If you get a chance, check out my July TBR video where I talk about the books I will be reading in July and the giveaway that I am hosting on my Youtube channel!

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Book Highlight: Banged Up Heart

Banged Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss

Banged Up Heart Cover

Genre
Memoir / Non Fiction

Synopsis: Banged-Up Heart is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again.

When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend’s husband, she asks him to marry her! What follows is a year-long odyssey of travel and a growing erotic and creative partnership— until a mysterious bump on John’s forehead proves to be one of several tumors in his brain and spine.

The nine months that follow are filled with a life-threatening infection, three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. Two years and one week after their wedding, John dies at the age of fifty-nine. More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heartcomes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss—a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Banged-Up-Heart-Dancing-Love-Loss/dp/193828870X /?tag=wowwomenonwri-20

Goodreads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145012-banged-up-heart?

Audible Link:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Banged-Up-Heart-Audiobook/B07P1ZMBS4?qid=1556277182&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MN84GWS17HRECS89TKR8

About The Author

Shirley Melis Head Shot

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.


Blog Tour Schedule

July 8 (today) @ The Muffin
Interview and giveaway.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

July 9 @ Book Santa Fe Crystal Otto
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto shares her review after listening to the touching and inspiring memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://www.booksantafe.info/

July 10 @ Lisa Buske
Lisa Buske reviews the Audible version of Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss by Shirley Melis.
https://www.lisambuske.com/

July 11 @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Wisconsin mother and business woman Tara Forst shares her thoughts after listening to the inspirational audible version of Banged-Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 12th @ BreakEven Books
Today’s Author Spotlight at BreakEven Books is on Shirley Melis and her memoir Banged-Up Heart – now available on Audible!
https://breakevenbooks.com/

July 13 @ Bring on Lemons with Angela Williams
Angela Williams reviews Shirley Melis’s Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 14 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You’ll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir (now available on Audible).
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 15 @ Lisa Haselton
Shirley Melis is being interviewed today by Lisa Haselton. Stop at Lisa’s blog to learn more about Banged Up Heart, a non-fiction, memoir (now available on Audible), about finding the courage and strength to love again.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

July 16 @ Bring on Lemons with Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples interviews Shirley Melis about her book Banged Up Heart. (now available on Audible) Don’t miss this heart felt interview about courage and love.
http://madelinesharples.com/

July 17 @ Jerry Waxler
Coach and Author Jerry Waxler shares his thoughts after reading Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart.
www.memorywritersnetwork.com/blog

July 18 @ Deb Blanchard
Teacher Deb Blanchard gives insight into “Banged Up Heart” the touching memoir by Shirley Melis (now available on Audible).
https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

July 19 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don’t miss today’s interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart (now available on Audible).
http://applemanshapiro.com/

July 20 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart (now available on Audible).
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 22 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer’s Journey – find out what Pooler has to say about reading Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://krpooler.com/

July 23 @ Bring on Lemons with Pang Papathopolus
Wisconsin professional caregiver and health care worker Pang gives her review of the Audible version of Banged-Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 24 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis’s book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/

July 25@ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles shares her review of Banged-Up Heart on Audible – hear what she has to say about this memoir in it’s audio form!
https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

July 26 @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Michelle DelPonte shares her review of the Audible version of Shirley Melis’s Banged Up Heart today at Bring on Lemons. Don’t miss this exciting blog stop and book giveaway.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/


If you get a chance, check out my July TBR video where I talk about the books I will be reading in July and the giveaway that I am hosting on my Youtube channel!

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Book Review: The Kill Code

Hey bookworms! I hope you all had a great weekend! I spent it doing a lot of reading and celebrating Canada Day so I had Monday off of work. I read The Kill Code by Clive Fleury over the weekend and it was a good one!

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Synopsis: It’s the year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the ocean rises higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.

Hogan Duran was a good man once. He was a cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.

But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets a chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavoury elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.

But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC are hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new world maintain their power…and just how far they will go to protect their secrets.

In a world gone wrong, can one man actually make a difference, or will he die trying?

This was a fast paced, action adventure and I am here for it. I really enjoyed the way it incorporated the futuristic technology and feel of past dystopian books I have read. It had elements of The Hunger Games and Divergent, two series I really love.

There are parts that had me thinking I knew what was going on only to be revealed that I was wrong and I was happy about that because the book kept surprising me. I couldn’t figure it out too quickly but it just kept moving and in a good direction. I hate when there is a book that I can figure out right away. I’m sure anyone who reads my reviews has heard me say this before.

I like reading books about a futuristic earth where resources are depleted because we never took the time to actually care about our planet. They are like little jabs at us as a population to get our priorities together (which I think we need that little kick in the butt, right?). At least if it gets to that point, after reading all of these books, I will be prepared for this type of future. But I would much rather just imagine it then have it as a reality.

Overall, this was a great, quick read full of action and adventure with twists and turns that no one could see coming!

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or Book Depository and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in ebook format to read and give an honest review.

And guess what? We had the pleasure of conducting an author interview to go along with this review! Check it out below.


Author Interview

What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

That’s a tough question. Probably “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper. It’s an eerie thriller set in the Australian outback. It’s beautifully written and has, as one of its main characters, a man called Bub. In my humble opinion, any author who is brave enough to call a central character Bub deserves high praise whatever the quality of the book.

What is your favorite book friendship?

John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” has, as its principal protagonists George Milton and Lennie Small. They are two displaced migrant ranch workers who move around California trying to find work in the Great Depression. George and Lennie have, at first sight, a totally unequal relationship.  George is bright, whereas the bulky Lennie is slow-witted. But they need each other and both benefit and enjoy the other’s company.  I remember when I first read the book feeling incredibly sad for days after I completed it. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Most anticipated book release of 2019?

Well, here’s an easy one. The sequel to Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel. I’m writing it and am hoping I will get it finished early enough for publication before 2020.

How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

Four, and I doubt I’ll get to them soon because I have to finish my next book.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s like asking: ‘What is your favorite restaurant’. It’s an impossible question, and the answer depends on the time of day, and the last good book I read.

How did you start writing? 

I was forced to write at school.  At first, I hated completing essays about questions like: “What did you do in your holidays?” But my English teacher was very supportive and told me that one day I would be an author.  Every writer needs that sort of encouragement!

Where is your favorite reading spot? 

Lying in a hammock, by a river.

How long have you been an author?

The first book I wrote was back in 2012, though I had written screenplays before that. That book, called ‘The Boy Next Door,’ is for sale on Amazon, and aimed at the young teens market. It’s very different from Kill Code, but is still has science fiction elements. Give it a read.

What do you like about reading? 

I imagine I like what most people like who read fiction—the ability to escape from this crazy world to another completely different place.

If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

An Alien in Miami.


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Book Highlight: Walking With Ghosts On Ward’s Pond

Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s PondWard's Pond front

Genre: Mystery

Expected Publication Date: July

A hundred-year-old unsolved mystery resurfaces when journalist Charlie Baxter becomes consumed with finding out the truth. After discovering his bloodline includes a potential murderer, Charlie sets out to clear his family’s name—only to find that everyone has an opinion, but does anyone have answers?

In 1906, Chester Gillette took Grace Brown on a secret trip in the Adirondacks, but only he returned. Grace and her unborn child drowned in the lake, and Chester was convicted of murder. Now, his distant relative Charlie Baxter is retracing the steps of that fateful trip in hopes of laying it to rest once and for all.

However, a mysterious guest at the bed and breakfast on Ward’s Pond is drawn into the cold case—not by Charlie, but by the ghost of Grace Brown. When Charlie learns that the guest’s name is Katherine Grace Brown, he can’t deny the connection. Despite running from her own past, Katherine agrees to help Charlie in his quest for the truth.

The true tale of the Gillette-Brown murder has been the subject of many a story, and it continues to intrigue. What really happened at that lake? Was Chester Gillette truly guilty of murder, or was he sent to the electric chair innocent? Perhaps with the help of their ghosts, Charlie and Katherine can find out.

Available at B & N and on Amazon!

Excerpt

A WOMAN’S SCREAM RIPPED CHARLIE from sleep as dramatically as if he’d been doused in ice water. Heart hammering in his chest, he sprang from his bed and raced to the door as another scream pierced straight through him, coming from the room across the hall. He didn’t know the occupant—the only other guest currently in the bed and breakfast at Ward’s Pond—but the compulsion to help…to do something was too great to be ignored.

“Miss? Miss, are you all right? Can I help you?” He pressed his ear to the wall, hearing nothing more than a muffled sobbing. “I only want to help you and make sure that you’re all right. I’m coming in.”

When no response came, Charlie gathered up his courage and grabbed hold of the knob, taking a quick glance at his clothes. Thankfully, he wore modest pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, nothing that would scandalize anyone. After one hard swallow, he gave the door a try, surprised to find it unlocked. He glanced across the room to see a woman sitting up in bed. The moon cast her in white, making her look ghostly. Her long, dark hair was a wild tangle, the tracks of her tears glistening in the light streaming through the window. She was trembling.

Unwilling to seem too familiar or forward, Charlie pulled up a chair—rather than sitting on the end of the bed. He leaned toward her and propped his elbows on his knees, striving to offer her a calm, reassuring presence when all the while his insides were churning from that terrible screaming.

“Is everything all right? What happened?”

The stranger took a shaky breath and drew the covers up to her chest, her knuckles bulging with the strength of her grip. “I…it was just a nightmare. Foolish, really. I can’t even remember it now…I can only recall waking up feeling absolutely terrified.”

He nodded and then gave her a smile. “I know what that’s like. My name is Charlie Baxter and I’m right across the hall. If you need anything—anything at all—don’t hesitate to give a knock. I sleep light.”

He stood as she extended her hand—which he accepted, giving it a squeeze. His skin practically sizzled at her touch, but he held on. “Thank you, Mr. Baxter. I’m sorry I woke you.”

“Nonsense. Like I said, I sleep light! I would’ve been up sooner or later anyway, and please, call me Charlie. My father is Mr. Baxter. I’ll see you at breakfast in the morning. Our hostess, Eva, is an amazing cook.” Charlie crossed the room, taking pause at the door to look over his shoulder. “By the way, what’s your name?”

She smiled, and it was like the sun coming out after a storm. “Katherine. Katherine Grace Brown.”

The name, particularly the middle and last, gave him a start, but he covered it well. “Well, Miss Katherine Grace Brown, may the rest of your night hold nothing but sweet dreams.”

As he crossed the hall, the turning of the lock broke the silence. Charlie didn’t think she was locking him out. Katherine was locking herself—and her mysterious nightmares—in.

Unable to sleep, since his mind was already unsettled from his research, Charlie opened the window and took a deep gulp of the refreshing night air. Late May in upstate New York heralded warmer days and the approach of summer, but the nights were still chilly. He left the window open, flicked on his desk lamp, and riffled through his stacks of papers, his hand landing on the picture of Grace Brown. He stared at the image that was already imprinted on his brain. She looks nothing like that girl across the hall. Her name is just a coincidence.

He started taking notes, but still a voice nagged at him at the back of his mind. Is there really any such thing as a coincidence?


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About the Author

Heidi Sprouse, author of Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond is a resident of historic Johnstown in upstate NY and went to college at St. Rose in Albany.

Heidi started her journey to becoming an author when she was just a child. She would practice creative writing with her friends and continued to write on through college. It wasn’t until her early thirties, after her father passed away, that she began seriously penning words with the intent to write books. As an author, Heidi opens a window into her worlds of sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers. She’s always in search of the finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall.

When she isn’t writing, she adores spending time with her husband Jim, her son Patrick and her furry canine kids. She also has a rewarding career as a Pre-K teacher.

Heidi has a long list of titles credited to her name. We hope that this month you’ll check out her latest endeavor, Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond available for preorder or for direct purchase on July 2nd.

Heidi Sprouse | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

July 1st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

The Legal Alien (Review) https://thelegalalien.com/

Devouring Books (Review) https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.com/

July 2nd

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

July 3rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

July 4th

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

July 5th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


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Book Review: Five Feet Apart

Oh My God! Guys, I read this book and it was absolutely fantastic. It gave me The Fault In Our Stars vibes and it was so cute. It’s called Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott.

A hand holding the book Five Feet Apart

Synopsis: Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

So first off I want to say that the cover of this book is absolutely stunning! I adore how they made the lungs into flowers. The colors compliment it really well and it is a very eye-catching design.

It is a dual perspective narrative which I have been very into lately. I noticed that a lot of YA books have been doing this and I like it because you get to see more than one side to the story. It also helped that both characters were likable in this one.

I mean, in the beginning, Will was a little frustrating but I can see why he felt the way he did. His character development was incredible and he definitely grew on me.

There is just something about a sick teenager’s love story that just pulls me right in and makes me feel so many emotions. I actually teared up while reading this book (not once but twice) and it is very rare that I cry about anything.

This book made me learn a lot about CF (Cystic Fibrosis) because I wanted to better understand what the characters were going through. I can’t imagine having to live with that disease and applaud these main characters for being as driven as they are (even though they are purely fictional).

I would 100% recommend this book to anyone and everyone! It was so good and it is a quick read to at only around 260 ish pages! It is a great YA Contemporary read that you should add to your bookshelf.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money while on vacation and read and reviewed it because I wanted to. 


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Author Interview: Ben Galley

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

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Author Interview

1. What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

I must admit, given my workload this year, the reading has taken a bit of a back seat. However, I’ve been catching up in recent weeks, and I’ve been utterly blown away by Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. It’s a book I’ve been wishing existed since my obsession with Norse Mythology began at an early age.  Gaiman does an excellent job marrying his excellent prose with the majesty – and frankly madness – of the Norse mythos.

I am so happy he said this! We have a book we both read and loved (and we both read it recently too).

2. What is your favorite book friendship? 

I’m a huge fan of the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, and the friendship between Dogman and Logen Ninefingers is not only a highly enjoyable one but a funny one, too. I could read a series just featuring those two, with all their misadventures and narrow escapes. Their personalities clash and intertwine in intricate ways together and yet stand alone as fully-realized characters when they’re apart.

3. Most anticipated book release of 2019? 

2019 seems to be an exciting year for books! I’m looking forward to throwing Dark Age by Pierce Brown into my TBR pile, along with the Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang, and hopefully (fingers crossed) Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch and Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss.

Can’t wait for Dark Age! This guy know his good books.

4. How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

I dread to think… Currently, I think my TBR pile, in its entirety, has about 65 books in it. The summit of Mount TBR at the moment consists of The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft, City of Lies by Sam Hawke, and the End of the Line by Gray Williams.

5. Who is your favorite author? 

That is a tough one, however, based on the level of inspiration they’ve brought to my life and writing career, and the sheer mastery of their work, I would have to say J.R.R. Tolkien. An obvious choice, perhaps, but The Hobbit and LotR kindled a fierce passion in me for fantasy and writing. That passion put me on the path I still tread today.

6. How did you start writing? 

I started quite young. Thanks to spending my formative years devouring Middle Earth, Narnia, and Redwall, it wasn’t long before I started to write as well as read. I decided to attempt a novel aged 11, and managed to write two by my early teens. I believe that gave me a solid foundation for when I decided to make a professional go of being an author when I was 21. I spent a year or two working on my debut, The Written, and launched it in late 2010. I haven’t looked back since!

7. Where is your favorite reading spot? 

My favorite spot doubles as one of my favorite writing spots. There’s a little bar just on the edge of Victoria Harbour that looks over the Juan De Fuca strait between Vancouver Island and Washington. On clear days, the snow-capped mountains dominate the horizon while ships potter about below, and if you’re lucky, you might just glimpse a humpback or pods of orcas traveling through.

8. How long have you been an author? 
I would say since aged 11 or 12 when I realized that writing was all I wanted to do in life. However, in regards to publishing and selling books, I would say I’ve been an author since 2009.

9. What do you like about reading? 

The escape. When I read, the world around me fades away and my entire attention is focused on the text. I have a very visual imagination and mindset, so can see every action and scene all playing out behind my eyes as I read. That combination of absorbing an author’s prose and yet conjuring up your own imagery and ideas is fantastic, and so hard to achieve with other media such as films and games, in which the visuals are already constructed for you. It’s a kind of magic that only books can offer.

10. If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

Great question! And difficult, too… I would have to go with “Magic, Mischief, and Malt Whisky: An Epic, If Not Narcissistic, Saga.


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