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

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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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Book Highlight​: Beauty’s Curse

Don’t you just love a good fairytale retelling? Today I have this gorgeous book to share with you, along with an excerpt to read, and a chance to win a print copy of this stunner!

Beauty's Curse

Beauty’s Curse (Once Upon a Princess #1)

Publication Date: January 2016

Genre: Fairytale Retelling/ Historical Fantasy/ Romance

For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

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Excerpt

Rose and Theo discuss their next move in finding Titania, the queen of the fairies, in hopes she will be able to tell them how to break Rose’s curse.

***

She had never been one to waste her time; after all, she had so little of it left. But whether or not the weather cooperated with her was another matter entirely.

Rose looked up at the bleak sky, feeling the hood of her protective cloak sliding down from her face, exposing her nape at the end of her close-cropped hair. The wind tickled her skin, and rather than finding it charming and pleasant as she might have when she was younger, she found it taunting and terrifying.

Her gaze moved down from the crying skies to the sea, the rough and tumbling creature so keen on hogging every inch it could of the world’s edge.

There was nothing to it, she decided. They would have to enter into the cavern during the rain. According to the map Ethan had found, the entrance to Titania’s realm was not far down the cliff, and while it would be easier if the rain would stop and the tide would recede, Rose knew she could never count on life to make things easier for her if it could.

That was how Theo found her; looking down the edge of the cliffs, standing in the rain, and declaring all the world her enemy. No wonder she had insisted leaving the palace when she’d been thirteen, he thought. Even the grand palace would have demolished itself, had she been unable to fight her own way free of it. She was a warrior through and through.

Theo shook his head and pushed back the cover of his cloak. “I know that look,” he muttered, coming up from behind her. “And the answer is no.”

Rose would have normally grinned at the sight of her best friend following her out of the safety of the camp to talk. But ever since she and her group had finally found the location of the home of a powerful Fairy Queen, time seemed to crush into her a little bit more each day, pushing her into possible tomorrows long before her today’s had finished.

She pursed her lips together. “Come on. I’m the princess, remember? I’m the one in command here, Theo.”

He smiled at her. “You only pull rank when you know I’m right.” Crossing his arms, he added, “It’s only been two days, Rosary. We’ll give it at least one more before we go barreling in.”

He was not fooled by the calm look on her face; there would be a battle in getting her to agree.

He had known Rose–officially Princess Aurora Rosemarie Mohanagan of Rhone–for over ten years, ever since he arrived to work in the royal chapel, and he knew well her charms. It was impossible not to notice them, and knowing her well enough, it was impossible for him to fall for them–which, he knew, she both liked and hated on different occasions. Knowing her expressions just as well, Theo knew this time she hated it.

“Mary can protect us with a weather spell,” she argued.

He had to admit, halfway begrudgingly, he admired her tenacity as she refused to back down. “Mary is still tired from our battle with the Eastern Warlords. We’re all still tired, even you. The rest will be good for us. We have time enough for rest.”

“No, I don’t have time, Theo. My birthday is coming up.” Frustration and fear crept into the pattern of her speech.

“And you can spare a day now, and we’ll make up for it later.”

“What if we don’t?”

“You still have a whole year afterwards, Rosary.” Patience melted away into concern at her words. He knew she was upset and afraid, and there was little he could do about it.

That was why he had come, though, wasn’t it? The thought hit him with a disgruntled air. There were few reasons besides counsel and comfort that would cause one to bring a priest across continents and into battle. He was fortunate to have found a friend in the doomed princess of Rhone.

Available on Amazon

For your chance to win a paperback copy of Beauty’s Curse, click on the link below!

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About the Author

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

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 13th

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

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

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

Pages and Paw Prints (Review) http://pagesandpawprints.com/

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

Speedy Reader (Review) https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com/

May 14th

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

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

Sophril Reads (Excerpt) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Love Books Group (Review) https://lovebooksgroup.com/

May 15th

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

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0

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

May 16th

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

An Ocean a Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

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

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

May 17th

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

Darque Dreamer Reads (Review) https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com/

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

The Must Reads (Review) http://themustreads.com/

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

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I did my first Wrap Up video and talk about all the books I read in April including my selections for the magical readathon!

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Book Review: Hilt Cyan by Blair Selph

Hye bookies! Sara wrote another review for us. She has been an awesome partner with us and has been helping with reviews pretty much since we established Breakeven Books and we are super grateful for her.  Go check out her Etsy shop Adorkable Little Crafties and support her little yarn creature creations if you are into that! This one was called Hilt Cyan by Blair Selph.

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Book Synopsis: What is the knowledge of the Shiron? Georgia Millward, a mercenary living in a steampunk land of floating islands, wants to know. After a mission goes awry and she’s caught by the police, Georgia’s given a chance at that power by Henry Entwistle, the vice president of the monolithic Bell Industries. If she travels with him to a far off world and survives a deadly sniper tournament where all of her skills and magical equipment will be put to the test, she will become a Shiron.

Can Georgia defeat the other competitors, who want to become Shiron just as much as she does? Can she learn from her mistakes, or will she be controlled by her guilt? Can she find love under these life-threatening conditions? And what do memories of her past, of a childhood and a relationship long gone, have to do with this journey? Find out in the pages of Blair Selph’s first novel, with artwork by Amy Hao and editing by Kiran O’Farrell.

Hilt Cyan by Blair Selph is a strange book about a person? creature? named Georgia (she and all the other characters seem to be human, except that they have cat ears. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this as its never actually addressed in the book, the character’s ears just start moving). In the book, Georgia is a hit-woman, and is invited to join in on a battle to the death with other criminals to become a Shiron. What is a Shiron? We’re never told. All we know is that they are gifted with the knowledge of the universe.

Throughout the book, Georgia has short, supposedly comedic conversations with the other characters, that never develop them beyond the surface level. We are given short flashbacks into Georgia’s life that don’t really enable the reader to understand her or the world any better, beyond the fact that she had a rough upbringing, apparently primarily because she was gay.

This book feels like it was an interesting idea that never got fleshed out. We don’t get enough action in the action scenes, we learn almost nothing about this interesting world they exist in, we barely get to know the characters, and many things are left unexplained. In this world that is supposed to be steampunk, futuristic, action-packed, and interesting, we only get a glimpse of what I imagine the author wanted to show us.

As is common with first novels, it has some gaps that would have been great if they were filled in. This seems like a neat idea that never quite got off the ground. I just wish there was more to it!

P.S. The ending was irritating and anticlimactic. On purpose, I think, so I can’t tell if that makes it funny or not?

Book Rating: 2.5/5

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

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


I recently got back from my vacation to Ireland and Scotland and made a video about it. Feel free to check it out if you want to see how my trip went!

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Cover Reveal: The Space Between Time

Book Cover

Finally, the much anticipated cover reveal of The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw! Just look at it! Totally worth the wait!

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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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

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Book Highlight: The Scented Bones

Congrats to Angelina Kerner on the re-release of her novel, The Scented Bones! Today we have an exclusive excerpt, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

The Scented Bones e-book coverThe Scented Bones (The Svabodina Case Files #1)

Publication Date: February 25th, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Forensic Fiction / Strong Female Protagonist / Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Churchell Hill Van Cleef Publishing Inc

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves–or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. Rights and wrongs become blurred, as she is tormented by her past and accepting who she truly is while searching for the skeleton. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

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Excerpt

A parking attendant asked for my car keys and let me know that he’d bring it back when I was ready to leave.

As Laura and I got out of the car, I noticed a couple talking under a tree to the right, by a fountain. They looked to be enjoying themselves, which made me smile and hope for a good time.

I looked at Laura to see her also sizing up the house. Our attention returned to the young man by the massive front door.

He was wearing a suit and a Christmas tree tie.

Laura smiled and yelled, “Lorenzo!” Then she ran up the steps, and into his arms.

Lorenzo was taller than her, and she was wearing heels. He looked fit, healthy, and confident. His blue eyes were striking, and his hair was slicked back. If it weren’t for the tie, I’d have thought he was an international businessman, not a chef; though, I guessed one could be both.

“Hi, you must be Angel, Laura’s roommate,” Lorenzo said.

“And, you must be Lorenzo, her friend,” I said slowly.

He laughed, a nice lilting sound. “A little more than that. Welcome to Paulo Abelli’s house. He’s my boss, but really cool, so just relax and enjoy the party.”

“Thanks,” I replied.

Lorenzo grabbed hold of the crescent-shaped handle, pulled the imposing front door open, and ushered Laura inside the house. “Come on, babe, let me introduce you to some people.”

Laura threw me an excited look, and I followed the happy couple.

Interesting, I thought to myself.

The travertine foyer opened up into an expansive living room with floor to ceiling windows, capturing the magnificent view of the pool, lined with tall cypress trees next to a perfectly manicured lawn. The focal point of the room was the marble fireplace situated in direct view of the front door. It was the two-story Christmas tree next to it that took center stage, with gold and bronze glass balls in assorted sizes, twinkling white lights, and porcelain angels adorning each limb.

Two leather couches with an enormous, square, stone table in the middle were sat in front of the fireplace, facing each other. Another smaller, stone table covered with a cheese and nut tray and bowls of fruit and sweets was at the end of one of the couches. There were matching side tables with vases of red roses and pine branches, giving off the scent of Christmas. As I walked further into the room, it opened up to reflect a larger area off to the left that could be used for dancing and mingling.

I glanced through the windows to get a better look at the pool and back deck and saw marble pillars wrapped with white Christmas lights.

It all looked so. . . Normal— to an outsider or a mundane. However, there was that special scent hanging in the air that let me know the house belonged to a paranormal family.

Hopefully, they were friendly.

At times like these, I felt stupid for locking up my magick. I weaved my senses throughout the house and realized it was full of them–paranormals. I just couldn’t tell what kind they were.

My forensic case involved a paranormal girl, and now I was in a paranormal household. I didn’t believe in coincidences.


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About the Author

Angelina Kerner

ANGELINA KERNER is an author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

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Click the link below for your chance to win a signed paperback copy of The Scented Bones, the first installment in a mysterious Paranormal/ Forensic Investigation series! The giveaway will run for the next 3 days (April 10 -13th).

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Book Review: Rarity of the Century

I received an ARC of this book way back when I started up the blog and finally got around to reading it as I am trying to make progress on the blog book TBR when I don’t have paid reviews coming in. This one was called Rarity of the Century by Fawzy Zablah and I am using it as my book for “defense against the dark arts” book (had to start with the letter R) in the Magical readathon.

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Synopsis: Chucho, an aimless tramp of Palestinian/Latino descent, has reached a lull in his young adult life that he surmises is directly linked to a long ago, barely spoken of family tragedy that left him an orphan.

After a brief stint and stellar downfall in the fetish porn industry, he is forced to move back home with his flamboyant uncle in South Beach and get a job at a Brazilian steak house. Just as he is getting used to his new position in life, he falls for the hostess Shiraz Zirel who first torments him via her unattainable beauty and then by ignoring him.

Frustrated with Shiraz, Chucho decides to give up on love. But when a Rapture event of unknown origins occurs over all of South Florida, Chucho and Shiraz find that they are the sole survivors. In fact, Chucho realizes with new-found excitement, they may be the last two people on earth.

Can they be together? Are they fated for love? And what is that strange thing in the sky over South Beach anyway? As the star-crossed lovers journey to investigate the inexplicable phenomenon, they encounter a mysterious, yet familiar third survivor that will force them into a fight for their lives.

I’m honestly not really sure what I just finished reading.

There were 3 different viewpoints of the story. It was essentially the same story being retold from the 3 main characters perspectives so a lot of what was happening was already known and it left little to the imagination. I did not like one single character in this book. They were all pretty conceited in the way they thought about and treated others.

There was no love in this book. It was just people using other people for sex. And don’t get me started on the sex. There was so much emphasis on the man being dominant over the woman and how she was supposed to be his “slave”. *Pardon my french* but are you fucking kidding me?! Men and women should be treated equally in a relationship and there were so many parts of this book where they were treated worse than a dog (I also don’t condone treating any animal poorly). I realize that this may be used to build a nasty character but honestly, it was too much for me to enjoy the book.

Also, trigger warning that there is a lot of rape. It made me feel uncomfortable reading these parts. The second trigger warning I would add is that there is quite a bit of racism towards people of Jewish descent. There is a line where the character says that he wants to be Hitler. I had to pause when I read that and think to myself, what was the author trying to achieve with this?

And then the whole post-apocalyptic thing. It never explains how this came to be. I was kind of waiting for an explanation to tie everything together at the end but nope. No explanation at all.

I feel bad about this review because I was hopeful for an interesting book but I just found myself cringing a lot while reading. I believe that the author had an idea and they tried to make it into a story but it did not feel complete in my opinion. I hope that this rating doesn’t make the author feel like there book is not good. This was just my personal opinion of how I felt about the book but someone else might like it.

*I always hope that authors will continue to write regardless of bad reviews to push through and work on their dreams. You guys make the creations that we love to consume as readers.*

Book Rating: 1/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us as an advanced reader’s copy in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


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Book Review: The Last Straw

Hey bookworms. I am busy over here getting ready for my trip in less than 2 weeks now but I still have had a little time to read. I recently finished The Last Straw by Ed Duncan so read below for the review.

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Synopsis: When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking gone bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss with no apparent motive. A black lawyer and a white enforcer with an unlikely history forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hit man with an agenda of his own.

After they find out that the crime boss is the father of the black teenage carjacker, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them.

As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

This book was just alright for me. I would classify it as an in the middle book because it was fast paced which I liked but it wasn’t very descriptive and I found it jumped from scene to scene quite quickly.

It was an interesting concept and I haven’t read many novels with hired killers pitting up against each other before so that was fun. There was a lot of conflicts and it showed a part of the underground/black market business side that is not normally viewed by the reader. I’m not sure how to classify Rico. I feel like he is an antagonist with a heart because he kills people for his job but in this book, he doesn’t want to hurt a teenager.

I will say that the book did have some hard-hitting sections of racism and how people dealt with it. It was kind of sad to see how the color of one’s skin affected some of the characters in ways that it really shouldn’t. We are all humans regardless of skin color and I would never judge someone based on that. But I see how the author did this to make some of the characters have that bad moral side to them.

This was the second book in a series but you could read it as a standalone because the author makes sure to catch you up on everything that happened in the first one. They refer to it quite often and it helps with the plot.

Overall, it was a quick read. If you like the crime genre and want a fast read for commuting to work or just a break from some heavier, more intense books then give this one a shot.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

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


My latest video talks about my review of Armada by Ernest Cline and I refer to this book at the end. I also have a giveaway on right now until Thursday so make sure to enter!

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Book Highlight: Side Chick Nation

Side Chick Nation_FINAL

Check out the hot new cover for Aya de León’s upcoming book, Side Chick Nation! The story sounds just as sizzling!

Side Chick Nation (A Justice Hustler’s Book)

Expected Publication Date: June 25th, 2019

Genre: Feminist Crime Fiction

Pages: 352

Dulce García was a teen sexually exploited by a violent New York pimp until Marisol Rivera rescued her. But Dulce didn’t stay rescued for long. In SIDE CHICK NATION, Dulce’s unhealed trauma and appetite for thrills lead her into an endless party of sugar daddies in the Caribbean. Until she gets caught in Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico—and witnesses both the heartbreaking disaster of climate change, and the international vultures who plunder the tragedy for a financial killing, making shady use of relief funds to devastate the island even more . . .

Meanwhile, New York-based mastermind thief Marisol already has her hands full fleecing a ruthless CEO who’s stealing her family’s land in Puerto Rico and getting her relatives out alive. An additional crew member could be game-changing, but she’s wary of Dulce’s unpredictability and history of indiscretion. Still, Dulce’s growing determination to get justice draws Marisol in, along with her formidable Lower East Side Women’s Health Clinic’s heist squad. But their on-the-fly race-against-the-clock plan is soon complicated by a sexy crusading journalist—not to mention powerful men who turn deadly when ex-side chicks step out of the shadows and demand to call the shots…

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About the Author

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Aya de León teaches creative writing in UC Berkeley’s African American Studies Department. Her award-winning Justice Hustlers series has received acclaim in the Washington Post, Jacobin Magazine, and The Establishment. Her work has also appeared in Ebony, Essence, Guernica, Ploughshares, The Root, VICE, and on Def Poetry. She is an alumna of Cave Canem and VONA.

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