Book Spotlight: The Giving Heart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Giving Heart by bestselling author, Toni Blake! Read on for exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Giving Heart by Toni Blake

The Giving Heart

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Small Town Romance

Publisher: HQN Books

Spend a white Christmas on Summer Island, where the fires are warm and the romance is hotter

Lila Sloan wonders why she ever thought house-sitting for her sister Meg on the remote Summer Island was a good idea. And to make matters worse, local real estate developer Beck Grainger is trying to cut down the beautiful trees that line the property. Lila can’t let this happen; Meg will never forgive her.

Beck can understand Lila’s anger—sort of. The trees are actually on the neighboring property, and the land was zoned for development months ago, so his plans were no secret. But he dislikes being at odds with his friend’s sister, especially because Lila is appealing in every way: loyal, quick-witted and completely stunning.

Lila hates that she’s so attracted to Beck, who seems like a genuinely good man, despite his tree-murdering tendencies. And their chemistry is off the charts. She just wishes he’d let this development go. As Summer Island counts down to a snowy Christmas, Lila and Beck will have to strike a compromise that seems impossible for them both—or risk losing the best thing either of them has ever had.

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Excerpt

Five long, cold minutes later a tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a winter coat with blue jeans and some weird, worn, leathery sort of cowboy hat on his head came walking down from the direction of West Bluff. Despite herself, and for the first time ever in her life, she found herself envying work boots like the ones he had on because they appeared so sturdy and dry. She braced herself for a fight.

When she looked up at him, two things struck her simultaneously. First, he was ridiculously handsome—with dark hair peeking out from beneath that dumb hat, and dark stubble on his chiseled jaw to match. And second, his warm brown eyes wore that same confused, cautious look as the man on the bulldozer’s as he said, “I’m Beck Grainger. And…there seems to be some sort of problem here?”

Lila drew back. This was Beck Grainger? Who Meg had spoken of so fondly? And even Suzanne, too, during their short visit yesterday, had mentioned him as a friend. Meg had told her he’d been interested in dating Suzanne and she’d declined, but they both still thought he was a great guy.

“Well, I’m Lila Sloan,” she said. “And yes, there’s a problem. I’m not letting you destroy Meg’s property value like this.”

Beck Grainger’s dark eyebrows shot up beneath his leathery brim. “You’re Meg’s sister?”

She gave a terse, crisp nod.

The handsome man sighed, shifting his weight from one work boot to the other. “Look, no one is trying to destroy anyone’s property value. And I assumed Meg knew about this. It’s not a secret. It was brought publicly before the town council and zoned for residential use back in the spring.”

Ugh. None of this was good news. But Lila was certain Meg didn’t know. Her sister had been dealing with a lot this past year and perhaps hadn’t been paying attention to island business. They’d actually discussed these very woods over the Thanksgiving table last week, recalling how they’d played here as children when their grandmother was still alive and running the place. Meg said that a couple of years ago she’d crossed the stream to plant some shade-loving trillium and blue cranesbill among the trees, and that the small blooms had added color visible from the patio each of the last two summers. Meg loved and valued these trees. And Lila brimmed with anger that no one had made Meg aware of this—but that was neither here nor there. “I can assure you she doesn’t know.”

The handsome man’s brow narrowed skeptically. “Well, if it’s a problem for her, why didn’t she just pick up the phone and call me?”

“Because she’s away right now—traveling. And even if she were here, she wouldn’t have known you were the person to call. And maybe she would have done something sensible—because Meg is definitely sensible—like contact someone on the town council. But I, being less sensible and more rash, took a more direct approach. Meg left me in charge of the inn while she’s away—and I can’t let you do this. I just can’t.”

The tilt of Beck Grainger’s handsome head told her he was going to try reasoning with her. “You know, it’s not gonna be that bad. Luxury homes. With big yards. They’ll fit into the landscape.” He even ended the sentence with a wink. Was he serious? Given what Lila had been through recently, he was definitely barking up the wrong tree with an elitist suggestion that rich people made better neighbors.

“I don’t care what you’re building—you’re doing it at the expense of my sister’s inn. People stay here because of the ambiance and atmosphere. They stay here to listen to crickets in the trees and see fireflies blinking in the woods. We played in these trees as kids. They’ve been growing here since…well, since before Summer Island was even Summer Island. I can’t let you tear them down.”

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google



About the Author

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USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Since then, she has written over twenty contemporary romance novels. Her books have received the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, her work has been excerpted in Cosmopolitan, and she has been nominated for a RITA Award. Toni lives with her husband in Northern Kentucky.

Toni Blake | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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You can win a paperback copy of The Giving Heart (U.S. Only) or a digital copy (International), just click the link below to enter!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

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

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

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

October 22nd

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

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

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

October 23rd

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

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

October 24th

Romantic Reads & Such (Spotlight) http://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com

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

October 25th

The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review) http://thebookishmrsharding.home.blog

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

October 28th

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

Ruby Red Romance Review (Review) https://rubyredromancereview.com/

October 29th

Books, Teacup, and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

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

Jane Hunt Writes (Review) https://www.jolliffe01.com/blog

October 30th

Alys in Bookland (Spotlight) https://alysinbookland.wordpress.com/

Past Midnight (Review) http://pastmidnight.home.blog

November 1st

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Book Spotlight: Whispers In The Dark

If you are looking for the ultimate book to read on Halloween night, look no further!

Welcome to the blog tour for Laurel Hightower’s Whispers in the Dark. This tale will give your goosebumps goosebumps! Follow along for exclusive content and a chance to win a signed copy (US only) or a digital copy in your preferred format (International)!

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Whispers in the Dark

Publication Date: December 7th, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/ Horror

Publisher: JournalStone

Rose McFarland is a trained killer–a Memphis S.W.A.T. sniper with a secret. Her team knows about the burn scars that lurk under her clothes, a legacy of the house fire that killed her father and brother sixteen years before. Her supervisors know that she spent two years in a rehabilitative facility, healing and learning to cope with the emotional trauma of the fire. But no one knows about the visions that drove her there, angry spirits that consumed her childhood, alienated her from her family and made her doubt her own sanity–the Whispers.

When Charlie Akers, a half-brother she never knew, ends up on the wrong side of Rose’s rifle, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that puts her family in the middle of increasingly dangerous paranormal visitations. Charlie won’t stay dead, and soon ghosts from Rose’s past are creeping back into her life. People she’s killed in the line of duty, family she thought long buried, every one of them under the influence of Rose’s greatest fear, the Whispers themselves.

As the walls between our world and the world of the dead grow thin, Rose will have to face her old nightmares to stop the Whispers from breaking free. If she can’t, it won’t just be Memphis that falls to the dead–there will be no safe place left on earth for the living.

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Excerpt

His heart thudding again, Zack tried to hold his breath, peering

into the gloom. He didn’t have to wait long. Another shuffle, something

dragging against the grit. A shadow, darker than the rest of the

night. It moved, swayed. Waited.

“Matt?”

No answer, but Zack thought he could hear breathing now. Labored,

wheezing. The way Matt had sounded toward the end. He took a step closer,

stopped. “Matt?”

Zack.” A whisper. Tired, but an uptick of hope at the end.

Zack swallowed. Matt had been waiting a long time. For the first

time, Zack wondered if his brother would be angry.

More dry dragging as Matt moved again. He was close now, almost

close enough to touch. Zack coughed, his asthma tickled by something in

the dry air down here. What was that? What did it smell like now?

Zack?” A hand reaching out, slow, tentative.

Zack smiled tremulously, reached out too. Clasped the hand he’d

waited thirty-seven years to feel again. Felt it pull him closer, into a shaft

of moonlight coming through a broken window high on the wall. He looked

up, into his brother’s face. Faltered.

“Matt?”

No, Zack realized with regret as the bony clutch tightened and

pulled him close. Not Matt at all.

Amazon | JournalStone | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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About the Author

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Laurel Hightower grew up in Kentucky, attending college in California and Tennessee before returning home to horse country, where she lives with her husband, son and two rescue animals, Yattering the cat (named for the Clive Barker short story) and Ladybug the adorable mutt. She definitely wants to see a picture of your dog, and often bonds with complete strangers over animal stories. A lifetime reader, she would raid her parents’ bookshelves from an early age, resulting in a number of awkward conversations about things like, “what does getting laid mean?” She loves discovering new favorite authors, and supporting the writing and reading community.

Laurel works as a paralegal in a mid-size firm, wrangling litigators by day and writing at night. A bourbon and beer girl, she’s a fan of horror movies and true life ghost stories. Whispers in the Dark is her first novel, though there are always more in the pipeline, and she loves researching anything horror related. She can usually be found working on the next project into the wee hours, sometimes as late as ten at night, as long as her toddler allows. Follow her on social media, even though she’s really bad at it, and she’ll follow you back. Plus you’ll be rewarded by pictures of cute dogs and kids.

Laurel Hightower | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

WhispersintheDark

Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

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

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

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

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

The Reading Chemist (Review) https://thereadingchemist.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

October 22nd

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

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

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

Dark Reads (Review) http://darkreads826573417.wordpress.com

October 23rd

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

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

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

October 24th

Musings of a Final Girl (Review) https://musingsofafinalgirl.wordpress.com/

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

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

October 25th

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

Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Honesty you say?! Well, take a listen and let me be completely honest with you…..

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Book Review: The Last Seed

As many of you know, I am currently running a book tour right now for the book The Last Seed by Moud Adel. Well, it is finally my day on the tour and time for me to tell you about this awesome new novella.

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Synopsis: Orantine is the best spy in her faction, the one they go to for impossible missions. But her next target is like nothing she has faced before, a high ranking official in a faction whose members can see the future.

Orantine has never failed before, but this time, she isn’t sure success is possible.

Armed with her faction’s genetic mutation, and the latest technology the world has to offer. Orantine believes she has found the perfect plan.

Nothing comes without a price, however, and this mission will push her to the edge, and further.

How far will she go to ensure success? And how far is she willing to go to prove she is the greatest in her world?

Now, I know this was a novella so I expected it to go by fast to begin with but I blew through this book. I finished it in two sittings and that is only because I started it on a weekend that I was going to a wedding so I had to stop reading to well… go to a wedding.

I was captured immediately by the concept of a faction that could predict the future but only through different variations of their own decisions. And the faction that had the seeds implanted in their heads to control memories among other things was a really cool addition to this plot.

I enjoyed the exploration into the other factions of Mastoperia because in the other novella, War Remnants, you only get to hear about the other 2 factions. The factions in this book were more up my alley than the last one and had me wanting to learn all about them.

The relationships felt very real and I was invested in our main character. I remember that at one part, I didn’t know what to feel due to something that really threw me for a loop. I love it when books can get me feeling like this.

The only thing I didn’t really like, and this is a tiny thing, was that the narration makes it so that you are already aware of what is happening some of the time. I wish it left a little bit to more to be discovered but I still really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to dive into the series!

It was a great intro sci-fi/fantasy book that has set everything up for a great series.

Book Rating: 4/5

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

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


I recently wrapped up the books I read in September and spoiler, there were some good ones!

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Book Review: After The World

Our external reviewer Sara took another swing at a new book. She has been busy with her crafts over at Adorkable Little Creatures (her latest inspiration comes from Black Panther) but she still managed to find some time to read. This one had been on our TBR pile for a while. It is called After The World by Maire Brophy. Check out her review below!

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Synopsis: After the war is lost, all that remains is to survive. And when you know what you’ve done, you can’t hope for anything more.

Bereft in a hostile world, an orc general struggles to come to terms with his role in the destruction of his people. Running and hiding from the humans and elves that hunt him down, he searches for other orc survivors.

When two human wizards finally pin him down in an abandoned orcish mountain fortress, he must use his wits and cunning to prevail, redeeming himself and the magic of his people.

After the World by Maire Brophy is a unique and fun light fantasy novel. Told from the point of view of our narrator, an orc, we learn about how his world has ended, and his struggle to find new meaning in a world that he helped destroy.

This novel was written in such a way that you felt as if the narrator truly was an orc, without it being an over-the-top alien feeling. He definitely seems humanoid, with some fun little quirks because of being an orc. I enjoyed the balance between these two styles.

I also enjoyed not being able to predict where the book was going. There are no cliches here, which is so hard to find, especially in a novel that reads on the line between adult and young adult content. The development of both the plot and the character is really well done and feels very natural. I enjoyed staying up too late to read this!

I can’t think of anything that I wished for more from this book. It was a fun read, and different than you’d expect. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone with any fantasy interest looking for something unique.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads!

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


Rapid Fire Book Tag you say? I tried to answer these questions on the fly! Thanks to Dominic from Reading Fandom for tagging me to do this.

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Book Spotlight: Wild, Dark Times

WDTimes Digital coverWild, Dark Times

Expected Publication Date:July 23rd, 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

It’s the summer of 2012 and Elizabeth Megalos is a disillusioned art-school grad getting by as a bank teller in St. Louis. One evening, she’s attacked by a possessed coworker and saved by a mysterious, wise-cracking sorcerer named Eddy. He drags Elizabeth and Hugh—a skeptical scholar of the occult—to Europe, where he introduces them to his three magical celebrity friends. Once there, Eddy explains the group’s mission: preventing a Demiurge—a creature out of Gnostic Christian mythology—from fulfilling the visions of doom in the Book of Revelation. The Demiurge has been drawing power from the misguided beliefs in the Mayan apocalypse and is set to start the destruction on Dec. 21st, 2012. Through ritual magic and a series of psychedelic experiences, the group learns that Elizabeth is the key to taking down the Demiurge, though she can’t imagine how she will be the one to stop Armageddon.

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Excerpt

“OK. Seriously. Please. Tell me exactly who you are, what you’re doing, how you made my phone fly into your hand, and why the fuck my co-worker just assaulted me,” said Elizabeth, the last of her patience dwindling.

“You can call me Eddy,” he said. “The milk is for the protection spirit I called to keep us safe for now. As for your coworker… well, she’s possessed by a qlippoth, which is pretty much a vampiric assemblage of cravings, guilt, self-loathing, and a whole other mess of nasty emotional energies. Most are made when the sad and pathetic losers of the world jerk off to some of the sickest porn the bowels of the Internet can shit out. Obviously, there’s a fair number of these icky beasties around. This particular one’s been coalescing around your back alley. Probably feeding off of your used tampons or something. They like those. Used condoms and jerk-off rags too. Genital fluids are like bonbons for these things. And sometimes they’re able to possess people with very little emotional control and/or intelligence during certain astronomical phases. My guess is your coworker wasn’t exactly a shining example of emotional stability. As for the phone: involving the cops would just complicate things, so I used a little arcane prestidigitation to take it from you for the moment.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked Elizabeth.

“OK, we need to skip past the whole ‘Spirits? Magic? Are you crazy?’ shit because we’ve got a hungry, demon-possessed hippie trying to break in and drink our nether juices, and I for one don’t want that chick anywhere near my junk.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Austin Case received a Master’s Degree from the University of Amsterdam in Western Esotericism and Mysticism. His academic knowledge of the occult and other peripheral phenomena has given him a unique take on fantasy and speculative fiction.

Austin Case | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


WildDarkTimes

Blog Tour Schedule

August 26th

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

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

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

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

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

August 27th

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

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

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

August 28th

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

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

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

August 29th

Inked and Blonde (Review) http://www.inkedandblondeonline.co.uk

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

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

August 30th

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Rapid Fire Book Tag you say? I tried to answer these questions on the fly! Thanks to Dominic from Reading Fandom for tagging me to do this.

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Book Review: The Warded Man

I decided to pick up this book because one of the prompts for the NEWTS Magical Readathon was to “read a friend’s favorite book”. In this case, I chose Markus and his favorite book is The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett.

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Synopsis: As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

This was one of the first epic fantasy books that I have read and I really enjoyed it! The world building was great and the way it instilled fear in the reader for the characters and there lives that were at stake was phenomenal.

It was such a cool concept to have demons rise every night when the sun goes down. The people are only able to protect themselves with magic wards. The book definitely gets very dark in some areas and I thought that this added to its great storytelling ability because not everything is always rainbows and butterflies. People will live or die based upon the intense decisions they make each day and that is the feeling you get for the 3 main characters of the book.

I also quite enjoyed this it was split into 3 story arcs and unveiled little bits of each character as it kept switching perspectives each chapter. It gives you more insight into the different areas of this massive world the author has created while staying relevant to the plot.

The demons described in the book sound very cool (and very terrifying). I would not want to be up close and personal with any of them because they would probably be the last thing I see.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone that wants to start a great epic fantasy series (there are 5 in total). I know I will be picking up the next one soon!

Book Rating: 4.5/5

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

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book in physical format to read and give an honest review.


I finally finished unpacking and getting settled and decided to do a massive unhaul of the books I have already read and probably won’t pick up again. Plus there is a GIVEAWAY at the end of the video so check it out!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Review: Solving Cadence Moore

It has been a minute people but we are back and we have a review for you! This one is called Solving Cadence Moore by Gregory Sterner and it’s a murder mystery documentary style book. What genre is this do you ask? Um, thriller? Goodreads is no help here so if I had to classify it then I would say slow-burn thriller.

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Synopsis: Ten years ago, famous young singer Cadence Moore disappeared without a trace on a remote highway in western Pennsylvania. To this day her fate remains unknown. Was she kidnapped or murdered? Or did she simply run away in search of a new life, leaving behind the abuse and heartbreak that haunted her?

Charlie Marx, host of the popular conspiracy radio show “Underground Broadcast,” is obsessed with Cadence. Desperate to find her after deceiving his boss to save his job, he launches an investigation of his own, digging deep into the missing woman’s past and uncovering her darkest secrets. Working feverishly for weeks, he claims to have solved the mystery and promises to reveal Cadence’s fate at the end of a groundbreaking podcast series and live radio special.

But is it all a lie? As years of twisted details slowly unravel, Charlie races to solve the biggest mystery of the decade. If he succeeds, it will mean closure for Cadence. If he fails, his entire world will come crashing down live on air–and the truth may be lost forever.

This was the first time that I read a book like this where it was set up in a documentary style with a plot that was revealed through a set of podcasts. So right there, it wins with originality on my eyes.

I liked the book because it had a lot of build up with explanations into backstory so you were able to have all the pieces of the puzzle while trying to figure it out yourself.

The whole time you are wondering yourself if this girl actually survived or if she has been dead the whole time and who murdered her if she was even murdered. It really makes you think the entire way through. She is very much a mystery and you follow along with the podcast as they figure her out.

I will say that at parts of the book, it felt like they were going a bit far into the descriptions. It was a book I could put down if I needed to do something else but was still gripping when I picked it back up. A slow burn I as one would say.

And the cover of this book is just so beautiful! Props to the designer who draws the eyes to this book with their great design.

There was a point about 3/4 of the way through the book where the characters condoned drinking and driving which I get was part of the scene but I didn’t think that was necessary. I mean why put this as the action of a “good” character and then let them do it (or at least allude to them doing it)? It may just be me but I find that a big subject like that shouldn’t be shown as a thing to be OK with. I will say that this and some other derogatory terms they used when describing other characters was what brought it down to a 4 star instead of 5 star read.

Everything else I thought was fantastic and it really progressed well to a thrilling conclusion! I would recommend this to someone that wants a murder mystery that is given to you in a different style than usual but just as captivating.

Book Rating: 4/5

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

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


I made a TBR video for the month of May and talk about all the books that I will be trying to read.

Plan your trip around the world with MyFlightSearch & Save up to $20.00** off our fee with promo code – ATW20. Book Now!

Blogger Interview: Ana Milosavic

I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with a fellow blogger! You may remember her. We did a post with her last week on the Jodi Picoult interview. Her name is Ana Milosavic and she is a blogger and marketing expert. Check out her answers below:

Blogger Interview


  1. What is your top read of 2018 so far? 

There are so many good ones! Even though this wasn’t published in 2018, I read it this year. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt was fantastic! I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, but the emotions were so real and raw, that once I was finished, I couldn’t seem to stop talking about it!

The Girl with All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is a close second, that I also read this year. I have a slight obsession with anything sci-fi or dystopian, so this book very easily filled my need for sci-fi at the time.

  1. What is your favorite book friendship? 

Without a doubt, my favorite book friendship is that of Jude, JB, Willem and Malcolm in A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s not often that you get to witness characters age, grow and change together, and see how that affects the dynamics of their friendships. I find that this relationship most closely matches that of real life, long-term friends, and I like a little reality in my fiction!

  1. Most anticipated book release of 2018? 

Can I say my most anticipated book release of 2019? I’m most looking forward to The Butterfly Museum by Rene Denfeld. I’ve been waiting a while for her to release a new novel, so I’m counting down! I highly suggest reading The Enchanted, her debut novel, I promise you won’t regret it.

  1. How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

Too many to count. I have an ongoing list on my phone that just keeps growing. I’m hoping to one day get through all of them, but every year so many amazing books get released, and my list just keeps getting longer.

Audible has been great with helping me get through some of the longer books on my list. This way, I can listen while I’m driving, doing chores, working out, and any other time that I would usually be listening to music. I don’t know what I did without it.

  1. Who is your favorite author? 

Currently, I’m really loving Rene Denfeld. She only has two fiction novels released (with a third coming in 2019), but I really like her style. Her books always grasp me and fully immerse me in the story. She has a fresh perspective and comes from a background in law enforcement, so she’s a breath of fresh air!

And I can never say no to a Stephen King novel. The Stand was the first book of King’s that I couldn’t put down, and from there, I just can’t seem to get enough.

  1. How did you start blogging? 

I work in marketing, so I’ve always been a writer. However, the copy that I create would be specific for each brand I worked with, and the voice I used was always the voice of the brand and not my own. The reason I started blogging was that I felt like I needed a creative outlet for my own thoughts and for my own projects, and honestly, I just wanted to write material in my own voice.

I also found that there was a void missing. I typically blog about careers, particularly career journeys. Before I started blogging, I kept looking for material, blogs or events, where others spoke up about their own journeys, but all that I was able to find were speakers who had achieved a level of greatness and were toward the end of their career. I wanted to create something for all of us in between looking for advice to get to the next step and just seeking encouragement. I guess you can say I started blogging as a necessity to myself, to find the information I was looking for, learn from it, and extend my knowledge to others.

  1. Where is your favorite reading spot? 

I’m from Vancouver, Canada, and we’re known for our rain. My favorite reading spot is in my sofa chair, facing my window, while it pours down outside.

I always envy those that can head to a cozy coffee shop with a novel, or to the park or the beach, but I need silence when I read. Distractions pull me out of the story, and I tend to get distracted too easily in a public setting.

  1. How long have you been a blogger? 

I’ve only recently started blogging, about a month ago, but have already had the opportunity to interview some women I truly admire! I’m looking forward to what 2019 will bring and how I will adapt with experience and knowledge gained.

  1. What do you like about reading? 

I’m always on the go, and I find that sitting down and watching a movie never gave me the relaxation and pleasure that it does for others. Reading lets me completely enter a new world using my own imagination, and helps me get away from the stresses that can occur in daily life.
I like reading because each book is such a different and unique experience for everyone and encourages the reader to use their creativity to fill in blanks or highlight specific parts. Depending on what you’re going through in life, I find that each story is adapted by the reader to suit their specific needs at that specific moment.

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

The Girl Who Doesn’t Stop Moving! I’ve noticed recently that I’m not calm unless I have multiple projects going on. I enjoy a full plate, and lots to be going on in my life, otherwise, I feel like I’m missing out. I like to say it’s because I have too many ideas and don’t want to sit on them, but it could also be that I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’ve dedicated 2019 as the year I learn to relax and learn how to take breaks, so hopefully, when you ask me this same question at the end of 2019 my answer will be, The Girl Who Learned to Relax!


That wraps up our interview with Ana! You can find her on Instagram!

Stay tuned this week for more book reviews coming your way and make sure to leave a comment below if you would like to participate in an interview with us and be highlighted on our blog!

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Why I Buy So Many Books — Adventures of a Bibliophile

Hey bookworms. I read this post about buying lots of books and I completely relate to everything she says. It is my dream to own a room in my house (when I own a house as well) that is just covered wall to wall with books. It would be my own little personal library.

Check out her post to see why she keeps buying lots and lots of books.

Every time I post a book haul, I inevitably get a comment along the lines of “WOW! That’s a lot of books!” Yeah, I know. I buy A LOT of books. More than any person in their right mind would buy. Clearly, I have an addiction. But if I have to be addicted to something, […]

via Why I Buy So Many Books — Adventures of a Bibliophile


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Guest Post: How to Make Your Books Both Enjoyable and Educational

This is a guest post by author Fiona Ingram as part of her book blog tour.

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Teachers and parents welcome with open arms books that help kids enjoy reading, immerse them in a wonderful new world and encourage them to want to learn more about the subject or topics covered in the story. The hardest part of writing fiction that involves facts, history, mythology, geography and the details that my middle-grade adventures involve is knowing what to put in and what to leave out.

My first middle-grade book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, is set in Egypt. Although I actually went to Egypt with my mom and my two nephews (who later became the templates for my young heroes), going to a place and writing about it are very different. I think Egypt was even more daunting than I imagined because so much has been written about the country, its history, and its culture that I felt under enormous pressure to check, double check, and check again (just in case) all my facts. There are also conflicting opinions of experts so one must be careful whose opinion one chooses.

I confess I overwrote the rough drafts of the first manuscript. There was so much information that I ended up almost drowning in it. It seems a shame that hours of research goes into looking up facts that will make perhaps only a brief mention in the chapter concerned. However, there is no point in inundating readers with lots of information. After careful thought, I realized that all I should include was what the young heroes needed to know as the plot unfolded. Details should be carefully and subtly woven into the story, always being an integral part of what the heroes need to know to move along in their adventure.

So, after the excitement of Egypt, what came next? The next book in my adventure series The Chronicles of the Stone takes place in Scotland, where the heroes are in search of the Second Stone of Power. The title is The Search for the Stone of Excalibur and that should be enough of a clue for fans to see where the story is heading. I had already spent a few amazing weeks in Scotland, researching old castles. Ask me anything about castles … with or without drawbridges, moats, portcullises, battlements … you name it, I visited it.

Finally, I settled upon the fabulous, fairytale setting of Dunrobin Castle, for me
an exquisite vision, as the setting for Book Two. Interviews with experts are a real boon. Leila, our fantastic guide in Egypt, was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on the country. Contrary to what one might think, travel guides (the official ones) in any country, have a vast amount of knowledge on their subject. It came as no surprise to find that Leila had a university degree!

In Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico, the young heroes must play an ancient form of a ball game, the Mesoamerican ball game, to survive. I was fortunate enough to find an expert on the subject whose advice and book were invaluable. Again, so much has been written on this topic, as well as the ancient cultures of the Maya and the Aztecs—that feature in the story—that I really had to pare down the details to just what was integral to the plot and to the young heroes’ survival. Dialogue is a great way to include details that are necessary and having characters exchange information makes the detail realistic and interesting. I try to include storytelling by characters to share information. In all my books there are old stories or legends that make an appearance and add to the mystery. Told as a story within the main story makes it interesting for young readers. This could also lead on to further activities—for example, the students might enjoy acting out scenes from the stories, or even undertake their own research to find out if and how the fictional version deviates from the known facts.

Stories within the main story are a must. This gives an added depth and introduces cultural elements that are so unusual for young readers in a modern, media-driven and technologically saturated world. Within each of my books, the young heroes are told old stories, either legends or myths or in the case of Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, the old ghost stories surrounding the castle. What a lovely experience, with delicious shivers going up and down their spines! In Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, the young heroes hear some important stories about the ancient Aztec and Maya gods, and when their adventures are finally over, they tell the story of their exploits to the villagers seated around the campfire, perhaps creating their own legends in a way.

Another excellent idea for authors whose books contain facts and relevant information is to include an appendix, either a young readers’ guide (which I do) or even just a glossary of unfamiliar words. Parents can then encourage their kids to read this to enhance their enjoyment of the story, achieve a greater understanding of the environment and atmosphere of the events, and teachers can use it to inspire further research. Contrary to popular opinion, kids love to learn, be it new words or new facts and/or details. Books that inspire the desire in kids to learn more deserve a top place on every bookshelf.

You can find Fiona at –
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthesacredscarab/
Website: www.chroniclesofthestone.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn
Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com
Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2868182.Fiona_Ingram


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