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: The Grey Sisters

Welcome back bookworms! July has been quite the reading month and this was the 5th book I had finished which is pretty good for me. This one was called The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari. Jo was kind enough to send me physical copies of both of her books because I read her first book called Blood Will Out, loved it, and have been a huge supporter of her since. So now I am starting a Jo Treggiari section on my bookshelf 🙂 which means that you better write more books Jo!

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Book Synopsis: D and Spider have always been close friends, and they are further united in their shared heartbreak: they both lost siblings in a horrific plane crash two years earlier. A chance sighting of a beloved cuddly toy in a photograph of the only survivor spurs D to finally seek closure. She and Spider and their friend, Min, set off on a road trip to the mountainside site of that terrible crash.

Ariel has lived on the mountain all her life. She and her extended family are looked down upon by neighboring townsfolk and she has learned to live by her wits, trusting few people outside of her isolated, survivalist community. A terrifying attack sends her down the mountain for help; on her way, she comes upon the three girls — a chance encounter that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.

Jo’s books always start out with such gripping chapters and this one did not disappoint! The book starts immediately in an intense scene and the sense of urgency pulls you right in.

She is very good at telling a story from multiple perspectives. Her first book was like this too, bouncing back and forth between two perspectives and this one continued with that feeling but it was bumped up to about 4 or 5 different perspectives and the way that they all tied together was magnificently told.

The book had the perfect amount of “creepy” factor for me. I love books that can make me feel like I am being watched or that there is a hidden figure in the room. It adds so much suspense to the book and just gets me in that creeped out mood that I get when watching a well put together scary/thriller movie. This book was a success on this front. Some of the situations that the characters were put in would make me feel really scared and I absolutely loved that the book could make me feel these things.

There are definitely some twists and turns that you won’t be expecting. I sort of figured it out when I was about halfway through but that is because I have a feel for Jo’s writing style now and I look for certain cues. But that is all a part of the fun for me. If I can figure out a story before it is revealed then I feel like a badass.

This book is a great read for someone that wants a YA fiction with a little bit of thriller in it. And if you get the chance to check out her other book, Blood Will Out, then I strongly suggest it because you will be thinking about it well after you have finished.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or Penguin Random House Canada and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I was sent this book in physical format by the author as a gift. I decided to read and give it an honest review because I wanted to.


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Book Review: Jamie James And The Curse Of The Ancestors

I have been reading a lot lately and managed to get another book on my July TBR completed! This one was called Jamie James And The Curse Of The Ancestors by Roy Aronson.

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Synopsis: Jamie wants to become a veterinarian. He travels to Nelspruit near the Kruger National Park in order to gain work experience with a wildlife vet. He has a secret mission that is, in fact, his primary mission. Two hundred years ago an ancestor of his whipped a black slave to death. The slave’s mother placed a curse on the family whereby all the male descendants will die violently before their fiftieth birthday.

Jamie endeavors to try and have his family released from the curse. In the process, he meets Samantha, the love interest in the story, and Shadrak, who becomes his friend and who is also the son of a Sangoma.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book because ….*intense build up*…. I judged this book on its cover *audience gasping*. I had an earlier version of the book and the cover is not what the current one is now. All covers aside, the book was really good! I really enjoyed the adventures that Jamie James embarks on in Africa and all the relationships he creates with the people around his father’s Vet office.

I believe that this book would be an amazing read for the middle grade level. It is not quite advanced enough for YA or Adults but would be great for ages 9 to 14. It reminded me of these books I used to read as a kid (don’t’ remember the names now but they were about a Vet’s daughter and her rescuing a bunch of animals). With proper marketing, I think this book could be great and I think it should be read by more people.

It is very vanilla (and by that, I mean there is no swearing in it). Another great thing about it is that it has a diverse range of characters. And I learned a little about the geography of Africa.

I do believe that the name Jamie James was a little odd. This may just be my personal preference but for some reason, when I hear this name, I picture a white rapper. Yep, this is definitely just a “me” thing.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would pass this on to my little cousins to read because I believe that they would enjoy it.

Book Rating: 4/5

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

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


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Book Review: Blood Red Dust

We are just pumping out book reviews this week! It must be all the time we have to read with the nice hot weather out there! Our external reviewer Sara completed another book. This one was called Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken.

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Synopsis: As people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonize the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, but they also want to see the end of all human life, everywhere. If mankind survives the divinely inspired crusade of death from dogma-driven martyrs, will The Chosen’s new Utopia be the real route to salvation?

This novel is about the first settled colony on Mars, which is designed to repopulate the human race on Mars. They soon find out that their colony may be under attack by extremists from Earth, determined to exterminate all life. Earth has become uninhabitable, and the only hope for humanity lies with a few colonies among the stars. The story is told in a report-style format, from a variety of points of view.

One of the unfortunate things about this formatting is that we don’t get very much descriptive text. We don’t get to know very much about our characters or our setting, which is really too bad, as they are specially trained, enhanced humans living in a successful Mars colony. I wish that the book had taken more time to discuss some of these more interesting science fiction aspects than it did.

Unfortunately, I didn’t much enjoy this book. Although the idea is really interesting, I would have loved it if it was more of a science fiction adventure novel than whatever genre this actually turned into. There was also a lot of awkward attempts to include “what had gone wrong with the earth” from the characters’ point of view included in their reports, which felt forced and way too obvious. Apparently, this author really doesn’t like capitalism, as that’s all he could talk about for half the book.

I wish that this idea had been fleshed out with more research and details, to make it feel more like actual reports from a future Mars colony. I feel like I just wanted MORE of everything from this book, and I didn’t get it. Too bad!

Book Rating: 3/5

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.


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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.


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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: A World So Small

Hey there bookworms! I did it. I finally sat down and read the book that my friend’s sister wrote and you know what? It was actually pretty damn good. This book was called A World So Small by Cameron Dreamshare. She owns Dreamshare Studios located in Pembroke, Ontario.

Synopsis: When all you ever wanted was to make music that sells, and all she ever wanted was you, but ex-lovers reappear and repeat like a catchy chorus.

Jordan Barker is a gig rat with a soul-crushing day job and big dreams of becoming a musician and Valkyrie Snow is an architect hitting her stride midlife. Everlasting love should be easy in a world of instant gratification, but it’s harder than ever.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I got a little nostalgic because it was set in a futuristic Ottawa and I am from that area originally so I recognized a lot of the street names and restaurant names that were mentioned.

Romance books are not my “go to” when I choose a book but Cameron managed to keep this one interesting with a subplot to the romantic bits that kept the ball rolling and the reader wanting to find out what was going to happen to the two main characters that they have been following along with. I will say that some of the romantic parts were quite explicit but it does warn you of that in the synopsis and on the back of the physical book.

Val is such a self-sufficient character. I applaud her for being true to herself and believing in what she wants. She is not controlled by the mainstream thoughts of society but forms her own opinions on matters and takes action. Her ties to feminism are very evident and it is great that she is such a strong leading force.

There is a lot of character building and part of Jordan’s character is that he is a musician. I actually want to hear his band play a show based on what I have read about them. They seem like they have a unique sound and I feel like I would be into them.

The ending was definitely something to wait for. It had a good pace for most of the story but it really picks up in the last 70 pages or so. I flew through them because it got really intense in a way that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew what happened next.

I am very happy to say that I enjoyed this book and will be picking up a copy of the sequel next time I am back in my hometown visiting with my friend. If you get a chance, I would recommend picking it up to. Just be warned that if explicit sexual content bothers you, there is quite a bit of it in this book so be wary of that.

Book Rating: 4/5

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

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


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Author Interview: Charlie Laidlaw

Welcome to the month-long mega tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s newest book, The Space Between Time, due for release on June 20th! There will be fantastic bloggers participating, who will be posting interviews, excerpts, reviews, and other exclusive content!

Additionally, there are loads of goodies being given away, so be sure to enter at the bottom!

Book Cover

The Space Between Time

Expected Publication Date: June 20th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Dark Comedy

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

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Excerpt

Timescale for a Closed Universe

It wasn’t an afternoon that I like to remember, and not just because of my shrieking tantrum. Once I’d calmed down, Mum told me I’d been very silly, because it was all make-believe on a cinema screen. I reminded her that she’d cried when Bambi’s mum died, and that was a film and a cartoon. Mum said that it wasn’t the same thing at all. But I wasn’t being silly because I wasn’t old enough to know the difference between pretence and reality.

Dad had looked pretty dead on the screen. The blood on his chest had looked pretty real. If it had been a different dead person, I would have been OK. Children don’t really know where make-believe ends and the real world begins and, partly because of who I am, it’s remained pretty hazy ever since. I also don’t like to remember that film because it was the moment when I realised that our lives were about to change, and I didn’t know if that would be a good thing.

Sounds strange, yes? Here’s something stranger: I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering sky. I am familiar with its unchanging mood swings. That’s how I like things; I find the familiar comforting. I find change threatening.

I am the daughter of someone who, not long after that ghastly cinema outing, became one of the most famous actors of his generation and, importantly for me, the granddaughter of a rather brilliant but obscure physics professor. But despite their overachievements, I have inherited no aptitude for mathematics and my father positively hated the idea of his only offspring following in his thespian footsteps. He knew how cruel and badly paid the profession could be. But I still look up to my grandfather, and think of his ludicrous moustache with affection.

Gramps once told me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Just think of all those sandpits, beaches and deserts! That’s an awful lot of stars. He then told me, his only grandchild, that I was his shining star, which was a nice thing to say and why I remember him talking about sand and stars. On clear nights, with stars twinkling, I often think about him.

I still believe in my grandfather, and admire his stoic acceptance in the face of professional disdain, because I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.

I gave up believing in my father long ago, because speaking other people’s words and ideas seemed like a lame excuse for a job, even if he was paid millions, and met the Queen on several occasions. She must have liked him because she awarded him an OBE for services to film, theatre and charity. Charity! Who the hell told the Queen that?

I stopped believing in him one Christmas Day, a long time ago, when he simply didn’t turn up. It wasn’t his presents that I missed, or even his presence, but the warm, fuzzy feeling of being important to him. During that day of absence and loss I concluded that his wife and daughter couldn’t much matter to him, otherwise he’d have made a bigger effort to get home. That Christmas Day, my father was simply somewhere else, probably in a bar, immaculately dressed, his hair slicked back, the object of male envy and the centre of every woman’s attention for miles around.

In that respect, Dad was more tomcat than father, except that by then his territory, his fame, stretched around the globe. I know this: by then he had a Golden Globe to prove it. He gushed pheromones from every pore, squirting attraction in every direction, and even women with a poor sense of smell could sniff him out.

I feel mostly Scottish, but am a little bit Italian. It explains my name, Emma Maria Rossini; my dark complexion, black hair, the slightly long nose, and thin and lanky body. Obese I am not, and will never be, however much pasta I eat, and I eat lots. It also explains my temper, according to some people, although I don’t agree with them, and my brown cow’s eyes, as an almost-boyfriend once described them, thinking he was paying me a compliment, before realising that he had just become an ex-almost-boyfriend.

But mostly I am a child of the sea. That’s what happens if you live for long enough by its margins: it becomes a part of you; its mood echoing your mood, until you know what it’s thinking, and it knows everything about you. That’s what it feels like when I contemplate its tensile strength and infinite capacity for change. On calm flat days in North Berwick, with small dinghies marooned on the glassy water, and loud children squealing in its shallows, it can make me anxious and cranky.

The sea, on those days, seems soulless and tired, bereft of spirit. But on wilder days, the beach deserted, or with only a hardy dog-walker venturing across the sand, with large waves thundering in, broaching and breaking, then greedily sucking back pebbles into the foam, I feel energised: this is what the sea enjoys, a roaring irresponsibility, and I share in its pleasure. We are all children of the sea, I sometimes think, or we should be – even those who have never seen an ocean or tasted its saltiness; I can stand for hours and contemplate its far horizons, lost within myself, sharing its passion. In the Firth of Forth is the ebb and flow of my past and my existence, wrapped tight against the west wind. It is what I am, placid and calm, or loud and brash.

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About the Author

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter


Author Interview

What is your top read of 2019 so far?

I’m rereading The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell.  It’s an affectionate look at the island and its inhabitants (human and otherwise) in the 1930s.

What is your favorite book friendship?

Jennie by Paul Gallico.  A boy is transformed into a cat and forms a close friendship with a girl cat.  It’s both beautiful and tragic and was, perhaps, the book that first properly got me into reading.

Most anticipated book release of 2019?

The Space Between Time(June 20th, me!) and Love Potions and Other Calamities(November 7th, also me!). A distant third would be Joanne Harris and The Strawberry Thief, the 4thbook in the Chocolat series.

How many books are in your TBR Pile?

Not a huge number.  I have about six beside my bed but, I’m ashamed to say, there are dozens and dozens on bookshelves that I’ve never opened.

Who is your favorite author?

Too many to list.  Ernest Hemingway would be one, and perhaps the writer who got me thinking about trying my hand at writing. I don’t know why, but I keep buying new books and never get around to the older ones.

How did you start writing?

I’ve been writing from my early teens.  My first was a mystery set in England. Luckily, I burned it before anybody could read it. I wrote my second in my later teens, and I still have that. My third in my early twenties. All were utter rubbish!

Where is your favorite reading spot?

I have a home office.  That’s the only place I write.  But I also think about what to write…out walking, in the car, wherever.  The best ideas are often the ones you have when you’re not actually writing.

How long have you been an author?

See above: forever.  It took me years to write my first proper book, and more years to find a publisher.  For most of us, the journey to publication is long and fraught!

What do you like about reading?

I like reading that surprises me.  I like finding a new writer whose style or voice is utterly distinct.

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

Chocolat.  Unfortunately, I do rather like the stuff!


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I have 2 signed copies of The Space Between Time to giveaway, 3 fun coffee mugs featuring all 3 of Charlie Laidlaw’s books, and 3 digital copies of the book in the winner’s format of choice! Amazing right? Click the link below to enter!

*Open Internationally – Giveaway closes June 30th

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Blog Tour Schedule

June 3rd

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

The Writer’s Alley (Review) https://www.jacobrundle.com

Yearwood La Novela (Excerpt) http://yearwooddailybookreview.wordpress.com

June 4th

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

Little Tinklabee (Review) https://littletinkablee.com/

Jun 5th

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

June 6th

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

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) http://gwendalynbooks.wordpress.com

June 7th

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

June 8th

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

June 9th

Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com

June 10th

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

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

Go By the Book (Review) http://gobythebookblog.wordpress.com

Novel Lives (Review) https://novellives.com/author/literacybatmanlives/

June 11th

Valerie’s Musings – https://valeriesmusings.com/

June 12th

Misty’s Book Space – http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

June 13th

Brianne’s Book Reviews (Review) http://briannesbookreviewsvideo.wordpress.com

June 14th

Love Books Group – http://lovebooksgroup.blog

June 15th

Wrong Side of Forty (Review) http://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com

The Eclectic Review – http://eclecticreview.wordpress.com

June 16th

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

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

June 17th

Erin Decker (Excerpt) http://erindeckerblog.wordpress.com

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

June 19th

Banshee Horror Blog (review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

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

June 20th

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

June 21st

Sawdust & Spoons (Review) http://sawdustandspoons.com/

June 22nd

Tsarina Press – https://www.tsarinapress.com

June 23rd

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

June 25th

*Yearwood Novela – http://yearwooddailybookreview.wordpress.com

Kim Knight (Review & Interview) http://www.kimknightauthor.com

Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

June 26th

The Photographers Way (Review) http://www.thephotographersway.org

June 27th

Daily Waffle (Excerpt) http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/

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

June 28th

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

RR Button

R&R Book Tours


I had my friend Elizabeth join me to do the first sentence challenge and had so much fun making this video! We tend to get goofy around each other so prepare for shenanigans!

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Book Review: The Infinite Noise

Another day and another book read! I took part in a buddy read with my friend Josh from highliterature.com and he actually suggested this book as it was on his TBR. It is called The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen and is contemporary with some sci-fi aspects to it (superpowers).

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Synopsis: From Lauren Shippen, the creator of the beloved and award-winning podcast The Bright Sessions, comes the first novel in a series that follows the struggles and discoveries of three teenagers with supernatural abilities who end up on the couch of Dr. Bright, a mysterious therapist who specializes in atypicals.

“What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?” (Vox on The Bright Sessions).

This book was ok. It didn’t have a very big synopsis which was alright because it left it open to the imagination but I guess I expected more from it. When it mentions the X-men in a quote about it, you would think that it has to be good right? Wrong. It wasn’t horrible but there was a lot lacking.

First off, I did enjoy the development of relationships. As Caleb and Adam become friends, you see different sides of each of them that exposes their feelings and shows how they react to different situations.

Caleb’s chapters were a little too much for me because they were overly descriptive. I found them hard to get through as I would get lost in the depiction of how he was feeling. I also believe that the author wanted to express the struggles of his power so kudos because I could feel the frustration as well. *Not sarcastic, I actually believe she did a good job with this*.

Adam’s chapters were more relatable and fun. He was a nerd and the goody two shoe type which is kind of how I felt that I was like in high school so I connected with his character.

The plot progressed kind of slowly which brought it down a bit and overall, not much happened. I was hoping for something with a little more action in it since the characters have weird powers but there were no battle scenes or anything like that. It was more a studious version of an origin story where they learned how to handle their powers.

It might be time to pick up another fantasy book to satisfy that action craving I am having.

I would recommend it if you want a contemporary book about young love. Also, it is very much LGBTQ+ positive so if you want another book with a healthy representation of this, then you have found your book.

Book Rating: 3/5

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

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by my friend Josh from highliterature.com to buddy read with him. This was my honest opinion on what I thought about the book.


I recently did the “Do I Have That Book?” tag and I had so much fun making this video! I would love if you could check it out and leave a like or comment what you thought!

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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.

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