Book Review: Otherlife

The conclusion to this series came out in November and I finished it in January. I had been anticipating it for a while now and I was happy to finally get to it. This was Otherlife by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.

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Synopsis: Simon, Kat, Busara, and Elvis are on the run with the tech super-villains at the Company hot on their heels. The new VR gaming experience the Company created, OtherEarth, will change how the world experiences video games. Paired with the hardware the Company developed, it has the potential to change the world as we know it, altering our reality forever.

The Company is on its way to becoming the world’s newest superpower. And Simon is determined to shut them down forever. But to do that, he’ll have to survive OtherLife–the next phase of gaming, and a complete reality reboot.

I started this series about 2 years ago when a friend bought me the first book for Christmas and told me that they had read it and really liked it. I began the series and really enjoyed the first two books. This one was still good but it just fell a little flat at the ending for me.

I was really hoping for this big ending after such an intense ride with the rest of the series and it ended up being pretty predictable. At times, I found it to be a little ridiculous and there were some plot holes that left me a little confused but it wasn’t bad enough to take away my enjoyment of the book.

That being said, I enjoyed coming back into this world and experiencing these characters again. It had been a while since I got to hear about Simon’s giant nose and Elvis’ comical commentary. They worked really well as a team to take on all the challenges thrown at them and do what was right.

Overall, it was a good series and I would read more books by these authors if they write more in the future.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

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

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and read and reviewed it because I wanted to. I was in no way compensated for my review.


It’s the month of love and I have a new TBR pile to attempt to complete. None of them are romance books because I like to be different. Check out the TBR below!

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Book Blitz – Kickback

Hey Action/ Adventure fans! This week we’re celebrating the release of Steven Jacob’s exciting novella, Kickback! Here’s a sneak peek and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Kickback

Kickback (Chris Hunter #1)

Publication Date: January 27th, 2020

Genre: Adventure/ Novella

When Chris Hunter is called to search for a missing executive in Vietnam, he uncovers a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the organization.

Chris Hunter is an off-the-books fixer for Greater Dragon Asia, an international investment fund. He speaks four languages and is skilled in weapons use and hand-to-hand combat. He served in the U.S. Army for nearly a decade and understands how to operate under the radar. Now he uses his skills to take care of the jobs that no one wants but that need doing in an organization with billions of dollars under management.

Kickback is the first Chris Hunter adventure.

Excerpt

The apartment was shrouded in darkness, he could see vague shapes, outlines that could be anything from a sofa to a table to a refrigerator and all the other sundry that populate an urban apartment. There was something else, too, that struck him immediately. There was a sickly-sweet smell, as of something rotting, like someone left a slab of steak on the counter for a week.

Chris felt along the wall until he found a switch and flipped on the lights. He closed his eyes against the sudden onslaught of light and only opened them a few seconds later, slowly blinking to adjust to the illumination. What he saw when he opened them fully knocked him back a step.

There was a dead body sitting in a chair in the middle of the kitchen.

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About the Author

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Steven Jacob is an international attorney who has lived and worked in Southeast Asia for over ten years. He speaks Vietnamese and is familiar with the history, norms, and cultures of the region. He grew up in the United States and lived in several places in the West. He went to school in Utah and California. He has been writing since the second grade when he discovered epic fantasy and science fiction, though he doesn’t write in those genres now. He has published several books independently.

Steven Jacob | Twitter | Facebook

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I have been tagged in a lot of book tags and it is about time I am finally getting around to doing them! Here is my Two Books One Stone tag video!

Book Review: The Cruel Prince

What a ride! This book was my second real exploration into the world of the Fae and it did not disappoint! This book was called The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

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Synopsis: Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

I read this book over the Christmas holidays and I could not put it down. Jude was such a compelling main character and she showed so much growth from the start of the book to the end of it. She is exactly what I am looking for when I hear “strong female character”.

You were tastefully introduced to the world of Fae by Jude and her sisters having their parents murdered and kidnapped to live with their parent’s murderer. The world is built in such a way that you explore it and all its quirks while learning about Jude and her sister Taryn (she was annoying) and how they have turned out now that they are in their teens. They had another sister named Vi and I resonated with her a lot more. She was the fun one that I feel like I would get along with.

This book made me feel so many different emotions when I was reading it. Excitement, rage, sadness, empathy, joy and it was as if I could feel the vengeance too. There were times where I thought that the characters were making stupid decisions but by the end, I believe it was all masterfully put together and I am super excited to read the next book in the series.

Overall, I would suggest this book to anyone that wants a fast-paced fantasy book with lots of betrayal, deceit and intense tactical manipulation.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

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

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from Markus to read and give an honest review. I was not compensated for this review in any way.


I have been tagged in a lot of book tags and it is about time I am finally getting around to doing them! Here is my Two Books One Stone tag video!

Book Spotlight: Headliners

Lucy Parker fans rejoice! Her latest novel is here, and we’re thrilled to share Headliners, book #5 in the London Celebrities series! Read on for an exclusive excerpt, purchase details, and a chance to win a print copy!

Book Cover

Headliners (London Celebrities #5)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: January 20th, 2020

Publisher: Carina Press

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant co-hosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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Excerpt

Their boss started turning her pen in circles again. “You are correct in that you’ve both knocked yourselves out of contention for the evening show. That position will be offered elsewhere.”

Sabrina released a long breath, and Nick closed his eyes momentarily.

“So that’s it?” she said, with a slight feeling of unreality. Despite the setbacks since the summer, apparently she hadn’t really expected this to happen. “We’re both out?”

“Of the evening programming, yes. Your nights are going to be considerably more open.” Hania looked past Sabrina again, as the office door opened. “But if you agree to my suggestion, you’re also going to have to start getting up a lot earlier.”

Nick turned his head first, and his entire body went still.

She swung around and was greeted with her own smiling face on a full-length poster board. Her printed image had been placed back-to-back with Nick’s, and someone had done some excessive editing, because she’d never leaned on him in her life.

Her gaze travelled from their glossy heads to the sarcastic advertising copy scrawled across the cardboard: ’tis the season for peace and goodwill. And miracles. Wake Me Up London with Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport, weekdays at seven throughout December.

They broke the silence with an unusually united sentiment.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Sabrina physically retreated from the horrifying prospect.

“I hope that’s a bad joke.” Palpable outrage from Nick. His fingertips were digging hard enough into the arm of his chair that she could see his knuckles flexing. “I don’t mind the odd piece of human-interest filler—nobody wants doom and gloom 24/7 and there are people who deserve recognition—but the morning show has been egregious rubbish for years. If you seriously think I’m going to sit there and smile inanely while people with too much time on their hands argue about—what was one of their scintillating topics, the ethics of putting tutus on puppies?—you can think again. And why am I second billing on the poster?”

“Alphabetical and moral seniority,” Sabrina said breezily. He was so annoyed that she’d recovered a bit of composure in response. She inclined her head towards their chummy-looking cardboard selves. “And it pains me to state the obvious, but you’re literally the poster boy for inane smiles, Troy McClure. Bit late to change your brand now.”

Nick’s jaw had stopped twitching, but his eye picked up the slack.

From her seat close to the offending poster, a member of the social media team cleared her throat. “Er…is the plan to boost WMUL’s embarrassingly shit ratings by turning the set into a Hamlet-style bloodbath? Because it’ll be job well done in any scenario that puts them on the same couch.”

“I’ve worked for the network since I was twenty-one,” Nick said, slipping back into his shield of drawling amiability. It tended to net more wins. One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. “I’ve headlined alone for almost four years, and I’ve made a damn good job of it.”

“Yes, you have,” Hania agreed. “You’re excellent at your job. Witty, tenacious, attractive—the public accolades are spot-on.” Before Nick’s head could expand too far, she continued, “You also humiliated your boss in a public forum. If you wanted to keep your name on the evening billing, you should have exercised some discretion. You’re on such thin ice here that one false step is going to drop you right in it. I hope I’m making myself clear.”

She walked around her desk to sweep a glance up and down the poster board, before she leaned a companionable elbow on it. “Happily for us all, the public is fascinated with your obvious feud. You surmise correctly that Wake Me Up London is in a losing battle where the ratings are concerned. I have a feeling that the two of you could salvage that situation.”

Nick opened his mouth again, and Hania finished, “And you’ve got from the beginning of December until Christmas Eve to prove me right.”

Now Available!

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About the Author

Lucy Parker - Author Photo

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Lucy Parker | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

One lucky fan can win a print copy of Headliners! Click the link below to enter (US Only)!

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

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

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

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

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

January 21st

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

January 22nd

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

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

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 23rd

Wordy & Whimsical (Review) https://wordyandwhimsical.wordpress.com/

January 24th

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

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

***No Weekends***

January 27th

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

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

January 29th

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 30th

Magical Reads (Review) https://magicalreads7.wordpress.com/

January 31st

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

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

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It’s that time of year again where we tell each other about our reading goals and what we plan to accomplish for the upcoming year. Here is mine! (plus a Christmas haul)

Book Spotlight: A Kind Of Family

Welcome to the blog tour for A Kind of Family by Bonnie Meekums. We’ll have loads of exclusive content and a guest post from the author herself, so be sure to follow along!

KofFamily digital cover.jpgA Kind of Family

Publication Date: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Willow River Press

Forty-something Northern UK psychotherapist and university lecturer Rachel longs for a close family when, a year after their parents die her brother decides to cut off all contact. Out of the blue she meets Fran, a petite, attractive and outgoing community artist who disturbs and excites her. Shortly after this Aggie appears, looking like a relic from the 1960s and with a strong working-class London accent. She takes a strong interest in Rachel’s relationship with Fran. But who is she, and why is Rachel the only one that can see and hear her?

When Fran’s mother dies, the two women discover a family secret that impacts on their decision to try for a baby. But there is more shock and heartache to come, a visit to New Zealand for Fran and a tough decision for Rachel to make before she finally finds her own kind of family. This is a story that challenges traditional ideas about what constitutes family. It is also about overcoming grief, and healing the past; about love, loss, and ultimately hope. You won’t want to put it down.

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Excerpt

A cough. Annie cocked her ears in alert preparedness. Rachel was not ‘hearing things’. She looked in the direction of the shadow she had seen earlier, her own pulse assaulting her ears. The cough had seemed to come from the kitchen. Had an intruder got in despite the locked door, or had she somehow forgotten to turn the key? She looked around for something with which she could defend herself if push came to shove. Nothing. She tried to remember the women’s self-defence she had learned in her undergraduate days after a particularly nasty rape on campus. Her brain turned to mush.

Then an older woman appeared on the other side of the door from Rachel’s study into the kitchen, and Rachel’s fear turned to confusion mixed with a fair dose of irritation. It was as if she had come out of nowhere. Rachel could only see the top half of her through the half-glazed door. The old woman’s face looked as if someone had scored deep marks on a dark canvas. Her eyes were like two dark pools that seemed to draw Rachel in despite her wariness. The visitor smiled and raised her eyebrows as if asking to be let in. Sighing, Rachel got up and opened the door as it occurred to her that this must be one of the people who had recently moved into number twenty.

‘Fanks, love. I’m sorry. I must’ve give you such a fright. I don’t mean to. Can I come in?’

Rachel looked beyond the woman to the outer door, which was closed.

She was already in.

Available on Amazon!



About the Author

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Born and brought up in working-class London, Bonnie crossed classes when she went to university in the 1970s, eventually gaining a PhD in arts therapies in the 1990s. In the 1980s she crossed the invisible borders from South to North in England, first living in West Yorkshire and settling eventually in an old mill town near Manchester. A mother, step-mother and grandmother, she also travels annually to New Zealand to be with part of her far-flung family.

Bonnie is well known across the globe within the small professional world of Dance Movement Therapy (DMT). She is sole author of two books on arts therapies, one of which (Dance Movement Therapy, London: Sage, 2002) is on many training course essential reading lists and has sold more than 2,000 copies. She has also published numerous research articles and has been invited to teach in New Zealand, the USA, India, China and many European countries.

Whilst still being active in DMT practice, teaching and supervision, these days Bonnie’s writing focusses on novels and short stories. She also writes a blog about becoming an older woman who rambles (a play on words), to be found at https://mamabonnie.wordpress.com/. Her short creative nonfiction The Story Hunter about how her father influenced her love of stories was featured by the online writing collective Dear Damsels on February 10th 2019. Her debut novel A Kind of Family is published by Between the Lines Publishing in January 2020.

Bonnie Meekums

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

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

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

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 21st

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 22nd

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

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

January 23rd

Where Dragons Reside (Spotlight) https://kernerangelina.live/

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

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

January 24th

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

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

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

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It’s that time of year again where we tell each other about our reading goals and what we plan to accomplish for the upcoming year. Here is mine! (plus a Christmas haul)

Book Review: One Queen Of An Ending

I started this series and finished it in the same year. Very thankful to Zachary Ryan for reaching out to me to see if I wanted to read his book. I had never read a book with this much drama and I loved every second of it. Now I have read the final book in the series, One Queen of an Ending, and it did the series justice.

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Synopsis: It’s time to say goodbye to our Johnson Prep favorites before they all head off to college.

After the gossip-worthy events of graduation and the shocking death of one of their classmates, it seems The Queen of Queens wants to give Danielle, Bethany, Calvin, Tucker, and Aman one last hurrah.

Will everything have a happy ending, or will one of our favorites end up 6 feet under? How will the war end with the salacious arrival of returning students, Andrew and Jasmine? They all had one lesson left to learn: Just because high school is over, doesn’t mean the high school drama ends. They’re all about to take their curtain call, but will it end as a comedy or a tragedy?

I want to start off saying that I really enjoyed this book series as a whole. There was so much drama and it was narrated by a witty, comeback queen which gave it that extra bit of awesome.

The last book wraps up all the storylines of all the characters and gives them an ending that they rightfully deserve. I am sad to see this series come to an end but it was one heck of a ride.

I do believe that this book could have had a little bit more too it. I find that I feel this way a lot of the time when I know a series is coming to an end. This one just didn’t have as much “WOW” factor to it which makes sense since I had read 2 books just like it before this one. This was the slow path to the end.

After reading this series, I am excited to see what else Zach has to offer. I find his writing style very unique and am looking forward to reading his other books.

Overall, I would recommend checking out the High School Queens trilogy. It will give you all the sass you will ever need 🙂

Book Rating: 3.5/5

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

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


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Review: Runaway

I had the pleasure of reading a book by a local author in Sudbury, Ontario. I met her through my fellow coworkers and found out that she was an independent author so naturally I had to review her book. It was called Runaway by Sabine Wilder.

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Synopsis: Susan Wolfe is your average high school senior, concerned with boys, grades and her favorite sport, cross-country running. However, her world gets flipped on its head when she discovers she is a werewolf. Tragedy strikes, but before Susan can deal with it, her best friend Anna’s life is put in danger. Susan has to put her own burdens aside to save her friend. Together the two girls have to find a way to survive, all the while putting their bond of friendship to the test.

I have not really forayed into the paranormal young adult genre that much because I usually stick to fantasy or sci-fi but this book was a pretty interesting depiction of this genre. Susan is a strong female main character that has to face what is thrown at her head on and deal with it. She is very protective of her family and friends and will do anything to ensure their safety.

I liked that the book gave me Hogwarts vibes and that it was told in multiple perspectives to diversify the point of view. It gave you a well-rounded perspective of how each person is dealing with everything that is happening to them.

The book did get a little bit jumpy at parts which I think could have been developed more with a little more being added to the book (it was only 200 pages).

Overall, it was a good book with lots of paranormal elements to it and I would love to see more books set in this world.

Book Rating: 3/5

I talked about this book in my November Wrap Up video too.

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

Disclaimer: I bought a physical copy of the book from the author to read and give my honest review.


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Review: Tell Me Why

It’s about time that I got back into thrillers! I recently read Tell Me Why by Ruth O’Neill to satisfy this craving that I have been having for the genre.

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Synopsis: Lauren Adams is just an ordinary single girl, until one split-second decision throws her life into crisis.

When she meets the handsome and intriguing Max Davies during a girls’ weekend away, she can’t believe her luck. But it soon turns out to be her biggest mistake. Max gets accused of murder, a murder that allegedly happened on the same night he and Lauren met.

Is Max really the man she thinks he is? Is he really innocent of murder? And why does Lauren hear him late at night, building something in the basement – a basement he’s made clear is out of bounds?

Tell me why follows a woman who just wants to be loved, but who instead ends up in a tangled web of lies, deceit, and terror. A chilling read you won’t stop talking about.

I have found a love for thriller books and this is now one I can add to the shelf of decent books from that genre.

I liked Lauren as the main character but I found that she didn’t have that much depth to her. It was told in mainly her perspective with little snippets into the mind of Max (the secondary perspective). A lot of the decisions that were made by Lauren were questionable but I can see how she would have come to these conclusions in her decision making considering the position she was put in.

It was also a pretty easy read considering it was not that long. I kind of wish that some of the characters introduced at the beginning had a more present role in the book to add some more diversity to the cast. It would have made it a little bit less predictable.

That being said, there were definitely parts of this book that creeped me out (and I love that)! Some of the things that the characters endured were not pleasant and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. That feeling of desperation and needing an escape are why this genre is so gripping to me.

Overall, I would recommend this as a starter into the thriller genre to get a taste for it.

Book Rating: 3/5

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

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


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Spotlight: The Weighing of the Heart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen. Read on for more details from this exceptional debut, and enter for your chance to win one of three signed copies of the book!

WOTHCoverfrontThe Weighing of the Heart

Publication Date: March 22, 2019 (Obliterati Press)

Genre: Literary Fiction

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.

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Excerpt

Sooner or later, everybody comes to New York, and I was no exception. For me it was art school that brought me over, and I left behind the brash primary colours of late-90s London gladly and without remorse. Here I could reinvent myself, as others had before me, among the shining slabs of a city that seemed to have scale where others only had size, where history was measured in the minutes rather than the centuries, and where each of its ten million inhabitants began their lives anew each morning when they awoke and pulled up the blinds. After college I did everything I could to remain, winning a job and the work permit that came with it at the Bougainville Gallery in Chelsea, and spending the next few years living in a tiny apartment in Greenpoint with my girlfriend Hannah, working together at the gallery each day and growing gradually further and further apart.

In early spring in 2011, things finally came to a head, and I moved out, for reasons I don’t really want to go into here. I left, and went to stay on the couch of a former colleague in whom I’d increasingly been confiding. His name was not Jeff, but I have to give him a name and Jeff will do as well as any other. Hannah’s name wasn’t really Hannah either.

Jeff had two aunts who lived uptown in one of those huge late-nineteenth-century apartment blocks where wealthy families often take up a whole floor. Their apartment was enormous, sprawling, Jeff said, with an elegant roof garden looking out in a wide panorama over Central Park. But it was also ragged and unloved, and slowly rotting away; his aunts only lived there two days a week, spending the rest of their time at their other home on Long Island. To make sure the place didn’t collapse completely they usually took in a lodger, and as luck would have it, Jeff told me, they needed one right now. Since I was desperate to find somewhere to live, he would take me round to meet them and we could see whether we hit it off.

Far from being desperate to find somewhere to live, I was in fact quite enjoying my evenings in his apartment in Clinton Hill watching reality TV with his witty and outspoken girlfriend Severin, whose parents had named her after the character in the Velvet Underground song Venus in Furs. But I am a very suggestible person, and I must admit that as Jeff and I talked about it more I found myself drifting off into an agreeable fantasy about life in that cavernous apartment a stone’s throw from Central Park – the white whorl of the Guggenheim visible from the living room window, MoMA, the Met – and I began to feel really quite excited about the whole idea. For the five days each week when the Peacock sisters would be away I would have the whole palatial penthouse to myself, and it was pleasant to feel even in a vague and materialistic sense that I would be making some progress in my life after my break-up with Hannah, which I felt had set me back a step as the rest of my friends busied themselves getting married, getting pregnant, getting comfortably settled in for the next stage of life.

So I went up there with Jeff and Severin after work the next Wednesday, Severin boasting during the subway ride that the sisters viewed her as “the daughter they never had”, and they introduced me to Marie and Rose Peacock. We all had a glass of California red, and Marie and Rose took me on a quick whirl around the apartment – including the small bedroom beside the roof garden that would be mine. Then it was time for the Peacocks to leave for the theatre and we all took the lift down to the street. As Jeff flagged them down a cab, Marie Peacock asked me a few questions about my job, tugged thoughtfully at her coat cuffs, peered into my eyes, and abruptly proposed rent of a hundred dollars a week, a sum so minuscule for the Upper East Side she might as well have made it one peppercorn. I couldn’t shake her hand fast enough.

“We’ve been looking for a lodger for a while now,” she told me, as we sheltered from the spring breeze under the building’s awning.

“A year or two, off and on, since the last one,” put in Rose.

“We like to have someone we know…” continued Marie.

“Someone we know, or a friend of a friend…”

“Or a friend of a nephew!” said Marie, waving a gloved hand in Jeff’s direction. “So it often takes us a while to find the right person.”

“The last young man painted the bedroom walls green,” Rose recalled mournfully.

“I think we’ll say no painting the walls this time,” decided Marie. “Is that all right, young man?”

“Of course,” I said.

“You can move in tomorrow if you like,” added Rose, as Jeff held open the cab door.

So I did.

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About the Author

IMG_6827.jpg

Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.

His debut novel, The Weighing of the Heart, was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2019 and longlisted for Not the Booker Prize 2019.

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Giveaway: For your chance to win a signed copy of Paul’s book, click the link below!

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North American Blog Tour Schedule

January 13th

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

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

Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

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

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

January 14th

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

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

Kristin’s Novel Café (Spotlight) https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com/

January 15th

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

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

January 16th

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

My Bookish Review (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

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

January 17th

Port Jerricho (Spotlight – Review to Follow) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

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

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Spotlight: Men Of The Year

Welcome to the blog tour for Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Colleen’s debut novel!

MofY digital cover.jpgMen of the Year

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Willow River Press

Cassie doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want your sympathy. And she certainly doesn’t want to date you.

When perpetually single Cassie McTiernan agrees to her friends’ online dating scheme, she thinks she’ll go on maybe two dates then bail before things get uncomfortable. She’s turning 30; might as well give it a shot, right? Little does she know that they’ve devised a contract, binding her to date one man per month for one year. Sure, if she finds Mr. Right she doesn’t have to complete their challenge. How hard could dating be?

Jumping through an increasingly long list of hoops, Cassie realizes that she might have to endure the entire torturous year with twelve strange men beside her. What could go wrong? Why does her first date need two cellphones? And is the man who broke her heart years before lurking behind that shadowy bush?

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Excerpt

“We have a proposition for you,” says Alicia, suddenly in let’s-make-a-deal mode. Her tone fits a power suit more than her jeans and sequined top.

“More of a bet, you guys said it was a bet,” says Keeley in a much more anxious voice than Alicia. There better not be a male stripper waiting at my apartment building when I get home. Hopefully they didn’t shave my cat like last Fourth of July.

“You’re such an ass Keel,” says Lindsey, in no way helpful. “She won’t win anything if she does it.”

“Oh, she’ll do it. She’s curious already.” Alicia’s grinning now too, but I feel my smile fading. It’s like I’m in front of a court-marshal hearing.

“What did you do?”

“It’s really awesome! I think it’s a really good idea! Lindsey and Alicia thought of it.”

“Great, so what is it?” The bar music changes to the Dropkick Murphys’ thudding beats, and I notice how many people are in the bar. A public place. Somewhere I can’t lose it and scream at them. “What is it?”

They all talk at once, cutting each other off.

“Don’t be mad—”

“Who cares if she’s mad, she’s doing it—”

“It was a good idea, right?”

“Enough you guys!” I pound the table with my mug, sloshing beer. It spills on my hand and I reach for some napkins. “Did you get me something stupid like a pony?”

“You wish,” says Alicia.

“It’s better than a fucking pony.”

“It’s a boyfriend!” Keeley’s exclamation startles me. She covers her lips with her fingers. “Sort of…”

“Not very easy to wrap,” I say and cross my arms over my chest. Please not a blow-up doll, please not a blow-up doll, not in front of all these people.

“It’s not the sort of thing Macy’s gift-wraps for you with a sprig of mint or whatever,” says Alicia as she waves her cocktail straw back and forth in a motion that suggests scolding one of her children. “We got you something thoughtful this year. Something you actually need.”

“I need a new loofa,” I mumble. And maybe some nice bath soaps. Is it too much to ask for nice bath soaps? Maybe honeysuckle-scented?

“Stop bitching and listen,” says Lindsey. “Alicia, Keeley, and I got together and really thought this through. Step one: you need to stop moping about dating and just get on with it, or ‘get it on with it’ if you will, you’re not getting any younger or thinner.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She ignores me and goes on, “Step two: stop whining about your job and get a better one.”

“She means start writing again,” whispers Keeley, trying to sound supportive.

“So basically, what you got me is an inspirational rant from a divorcee whose sole purpose in life is to sleep with as many men as she can before her vagina falls off.”

“Ha ha. Listen. We signed you up for an online dating service.”

“You did what?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

colleen

Colleen may be a writer, but she’s also a dater. Many of the events in this novel happened to her or someone she knows, both male and female. Who hasn’t felt the harsh slap of an unanswered email on Match.Harmony.Fishing.com? Who hasn’t narrowly avoided an oncoming mouth with its tongue sticking out and drool tendrils forming in the corners? She wrote this novel because her fellow online daters needed a voice, or at least a fun read to get them through the day after their online crush quit the website because he “found someone else.” She has been published in Iconoclast literary magazine as well as in her college literary journal, Prologue. She lives in Minnesota with her faithful cat, Duncan.

REASON FOR WRITING THIS PARTICULAR NOVEL

My love life is disastrous, mainly because it’s nonexistent. What dates I did go on in my twenties went well enough, or so I thought. After a long string of first dates with men who weren’t too keen on my opinions once we actually met in person, I wondered if my other friends were having the same issues. Hint: they were. This was before rampant “dick pics” emerged, and most online dating sites were pay only. I signed up for Plenty of Fish, a free matchmaker site my friend recommended, which was an even bigger school of sharks masquerading as tropical fish. I had a terrible relationship stemming from that site, which prompted me to finish the little novel I’d been working on for years.

-Colleen McMillan

Between the Lines Publishing


MenoftheYear

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

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

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

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

January 7th

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

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

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

January 8th

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

The Middle Years Journey (Review) https://themiddleyearsjourney.com/

I’m Into Books (Review) https://imintobooks.com

January 9th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight)http://www.crossroadreviews.com/

January 10th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋