Book Review: Just Breathe

Remember when I read Five Feet Apart and loved it? Well now I have another book very similar to that one and I liked it quite a bit as well. This one was called Just Breathe by Cammie McGovern.

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Synopsis: David Sheinman is the popular president of his senior class, battling cystic fibrosis.

Jamie Turner is a quiet sophomore, struggling with depression.

The pair soon realizes that they can be their true selves with each other, and their unlikely friendship develops into something so much more. But neither Jamie nor David can bring themselves to reveal the secrets that weigh most heavily on their hearts—and their time for honesty may be running out.

This book was adorable and made my heart feel warm. The unlikely pairing of two people both battling with their own struggles (be that physical and mental) and their story that they form together was just beautiful. I really enjoy books like this because it brings awareness to a disease like Cystic Fibrosis and gives you a narrative to help make the learning more enjoyable. It also highlights the severity of the disease and all the measures that need to be taken in order to live a normal life with it.

The characters were both likable in their own ways and I found their interactions to feel real and genuine. I kept wanting to pick up this book when I put it down because I wanted to escape back to their story and find out what was going to happen next. I like experiencing characters with real emotions and interactions and this book gave me that. I find that a lot of the time, you read contemporary and the interactions just seem unbelievable or ridiculous but this book kept it very real and I appreciated that.

We need more books like this. I would recommend this to anyone that wants a cute story about life as a teenager, battling a hard disease and friendship.

Book Rating: 4/5

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

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me as an ARC in physical format by Harper Collins to read and give an honest review.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

In a time like this where it is better to social distance, I joined up with another booktuber, Kathy Trithardt, to bring you a Canadian booktuber collaboration from across the country!

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Book Review: The Road To Vermillion Lake

Back for another round of book reviews I see, well settle in because I have a new one for you. This book was called The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli and I read this back in February.

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This book just didn’t really do it for me. I had no idea what it was about going into it considering there is no synopsis on the back or inside cover and Goodreads has a quote from someone as the description.

I quickly found out that it is about one man’s lust for a woman that he just met and his journey of discovering more about this woman while a budding relationship forms. The woman, however, is a very astute catholic and is slowly converting him to that religion as their relationship grows. You spend most of the time inside this guy’s head with all his dreams of “what ifs” that he wants but don’t actually see much in the form of tangible content.

I found that I was bored for most of the book. There were some interesting parts here and there but overall, it just did not capture me. I think it had potential to be more than it was and there were parts where I would have taken the story in a different direction to add some more action to it but that could just be because I am not used to this genre of book (which I still am not sure which genre it is).

I’m sure that some people will enjoy this book and I hope that other readers find it and like it. It just wasn’t my taste and that is fine. I gave it a try and read the whole thing so I could come up with a conclusion based on my feelings on the book.

Book Rating: 2/5

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.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Is anyone participating in the Magical Readathon this month? I am super excited to try and achieve the career of Hogwart’s Professor! Check out which books I will be reading for this readathon in this video!

Book Spotlight: Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude

I’m pleased to share this touching memoir about grief, loss, and ultimately, love! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed copy of Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, by Kris Francoeur and a $20 Amazon gift card!

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Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude

Publication Date: May 21st, 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Memoir/ Grief

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

When your life is shattered in an instant, can conscious and deliberate gratitude and connection to nature help you find joy and hope again?

Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude follows the first thirty months after Sam Francoeur’s death from an accidental opiate (prescription) overdose. His mother, Kris Francoeur, shares her journey from the first crushing days to her eventually being able to find light, joy, and hope again through the practices of conscious and deliberate gratitude, unconditional acceptance of others, and making strong connections to the natural world. Her story helps grieving families feel that hope and joy will return, no matter how devastating and permanent the loss. Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude approaches grief with both a very clear understanding of the realities of the process, and also shares a very personal and honest account of living with grief. It presents healing and hope without relying on religion, formal psychotherapy, or pharmaceutical resources. Kris’s story reminds readers that even as people struggle with mental health issues and addiction, they can still bring joy and love to the world, and everyone is worthy of love and acceptance.

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Purchase Links

Kris Fancoeur | Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)

About the Author

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My name is Kris Francoeur, and I am an author, educator, speaker, wife, mom, grandmother, and farmer living in Vermont. I love to spend time with my family, travel, hike, kayak, knit, spin (fiber), garden, cook, and love time with my bees, alpacas and chickens.

Currently, I have published three romance novels with Solstice Publishing, and have one that will be released by Willow River Press in January 2020. My first three romances are written under the pen name of Anna Belle Rose, and they can be purchased in paperback format through my Book Store page on this website, or in e-book or paperback on Amazon.

Kris Francoeur | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Giveaway: For a chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $20 Amazon gift card, click the link below!

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Is anyone participating in the Magical Readathon this month? I am super excited to try and achieve the career of Hogwart’s Professor! Check out which books I will be reading for this readathon in this video!

Book Spotlight: Tomorrow and Yesterday

Welcome to the blog tour for Tomorrow and Yesterday, by Kris Francoeur! Read on for a sneak peek from the book and a chance to win a signed copy, plus a $20 Amazon gift card!

Tomorrow and Yesterday

Publication Date: January 28th, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Willow River Press

The air was so cold, it was hard for her to breathe. Who was she kidding? It could have been a balmy, sunny day, and she still would have felt the clogging tightness of her throat, air barely able to get through to her lungs…

Delaney Adams isn’t hiding from her past. She doesn’t have a past, at least as far as anyone currently in her life knows. She has a great job, a small but supportive group of friends, and absolutely no romantic life at all. Her life is just the way she wants it. When she meets artist James McDaniels, she is caught between her attraction to him, her distrust of men, and the fear that he will reject her if he ever learns who she really is. But her past secretly stalks Delaney, and eventually it catches up to her. When it all explodes into her current life, will she have the strength to fight for what she has.

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Excerpt

Later, Delaney awoke covered in cold sweat, her heart pounding. Would the nightmares never stop? Lately, they had been less frequent but still happened fairly often. How long would she have to relive that night? Were dreams of that hell the only way she could see Jake and her mother in her mind? In the light of day, she could barely remember what they looked like, but at night, the images were so vivid…

Available on Amazon!

For your chance to win a signed copy of Tomorrow and Yesterday PLUS a $20 Amazon Gift Card, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

author-photo

My name is Kris Francoeur, and I am an author, educator, speaker, wife, mom, grandmother, and farmer living in Vermont. I love to spend time with my family, travel, hike, kayak, knit, spin (fiber), garden, cook, and love time with my bees, alpacas and chickens.

Currently, I have published three romance novels with Solstice Publishing, and have one that will be released by Willow River Press in January 2020. My first three romances are written under the pen name of Anna Belle Rose, and they can be purchased in paperback format through my Book Store page on this website, or in e-book or paperback on Amazon.

Kris Francoeur | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

TomorrowandYesterday

Blog Tour Schedule

March 9th

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

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

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

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

March 10th

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

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

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

March 11th

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

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

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

March 12th

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

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

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

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

March 13th

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

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

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If you are interested, I have this video detailing my opinions on the books that I read in February. Check it out if you want to see me talk about the books rather than read a review.

Middle Grade Mini Book Reviews

Our external reviewer Sara has been busy doing some middle grade reading so that she can be better acquainted to recommend books to the kids at the library she works at! Here are some of her reviews on some of the books she has picked up!

The Monster Sisters and the Mystery of the Unlocked Cave by Gareth Kyle Gaudin

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Synopsis: When a quiet seaside town is suddenly overrun by hundreds of giant monsters, two young sisters are the only ones prepared to handle the situation. Using their keen interest in architecture, local history, folklore and gymnastics, the two girls attempt to not only stop the monsters’ rampage but also figure out why it’s happening. The story is set in Victoria, British Columbia, and the city’s impressive history and creepy folklore add intrigue to the proceedings, as more and more monstrous guests arrive on this unceded Lekwungen Territory.

Review: Unfortunately, though this graphic novel seems to have a pretty entertaining idea, I found it pretty disjointed and difficult to read. The idea of the novel was really neat, and the idea to put little facts about Victoria was fun, but really pulled away from the story. There were also a few times where the story jumped around for no real reason and added in a narrator at the last few pages to tie everything up.  

Admittedly, I’m still working on appreciating the style of the graphic novel, but this one felt particularly difficult to get into the story. 

I wouldn’t recommend this book to the younger readers this book is geared towards. It does seem like it’s leading really heavily into a sequel, and I’m optimistic that perhaps a second novel from this author would be more successful.

Book Rating: 2/5


Shadow Island by Nancy Deas

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Synopsis: With nowhere left to live after losing his parents and working his way through a long list of relatives on the mainland, Ollie finds himself at his grandpa’s house in Sueo Bay, “home of the supernatural.” Miserable and intending to get away from the earthquake-prone, rain-soaked island on the next bus out of town, Ollie’s getaway plans are altered abruptly when he and three classmates discover something they shouldn’t have in a trailer in the woods.

The four unlikely friends come together in a mystery involving supernatural creatures, a ticking clock and one angry gym teacher to save themselves, the creatures and Sueo Bay from a darkness that is infecting the island.

If they succeed, will Ollie finally find a place to call home?

Review: I loved this one graphic novel. I thought the start was a bit abrupt, but I quickly forgot about this as I continued reading. It was a fun story that I think kids in this age group will absolutely love. The images were great, and I even approved of the text style (as a teacher, the all-caps style common in graphic novels does not help emerging readers). I think this could turn into a series most emerging readers would love to get obsessed with!

Book Rating: 4/5


Sid the Kid and the Dryer by Leslie Choyce

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Synopsis: Milton the washing machine and W. P. (Whirlpool) the dryer are being delivered to a new home in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The pair are excited to start their new jobs in the Crosby home, and are just getting settled in to the basement when “the kid” comes home from school. Sidney straps on a pair of Rollerblades, drags out a beat-up hockey net, and starts to practice. Every now and then a loud carrong echoes off W. P.’s shiny white enamel as the puck misses the net, prompting scolds from Sidney’s mother upstairs.

Eventually, the poor dryer needs to be replaced; it’s missing knobs and covered in dents. W. P. doesn’t want to go, and it’s up to Sidney to convince his dad that sometimes, being reminded of your mistakes is a good thing.

Review: I did not enjoy this book. It felt sort of strange, although I really loved the idea. It almost felt like this book hasn’t been seen by a publisher yet. I believe the illustration style would not be very popular with most of it’s intended readers, either, as the sort of almost-realistic style of illustrating seems to have fallen out of favour in the last decade. I feel like there other sports-adjacent picture books in this genre that readers would enjoy more.

Book Rating: 2/5


A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice by Nadia L. Hohn

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Synopsis: Jamaican poet and entertainer Louise Bennett Coverley, better known as “Miss Lou,” played an instrumental role in popularizing Jamaican patois internationally. Through her art, Miss Lou helped pave the way for other poets and singers, like Bob Marley, to use patois in their work.

This picture book biography tells the story of Miss Lou’s early years, when she was a young girl who loved poetry but felt caught between writing “lines of words like tight cornrows” or words that beat “in time with her heart.” Despite criticism from one teacher, Louise finds a way to weave the influence of the music, voices, and rhythms of her surroundings into her poems.

Review: I really loved the idea of this book. Being able to connect important historical figures with the reader in a natural way is something I really admire in children’s books. I think that the average child will love reading a story, only to discover that it’s about a real person. Unfortunately, I wished for more! I wanted more of what was in the author’s note at the end to be told in the story, where it will really engage the reader. I’d love to read more by this author.

Book Rating: 4/5



Wolverine and Little Thunder | Ki’kaw’ju Kaqtukowjik 
by Alan Syliboy

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Synopsis: From the bestselling creator of The Thundermaker comes another adventure featuring Little Thunder and Wolverine—a trickster, who is strong and fierce and loyal. The two are best of friends, even though Wolverine can sometimes get them into trouble. Their favourite pastime is eel fishing, whether it’s cutting through winter ice with a stone axe or catching eels in traditional stone weirs in the summer. But that all changes one night, when they encounter the giant river eel—the eel that is too big to catch. The eel that hunts people!

Book Review: I loved the illustrations and the idea of the book telling an indigenous tale for the readers. Unfortunately, the writing was a bit lacking. The story didn’t have much flow to it, and it kind of felt like nothing really happened. The excerpt of the book used on the inside cover almost told more of the story than the actual book! I wished for more connection to the reader, and a better development of the plot of the book. I just didn’t feel like this book lives up to some of its competitors in the genre.

Book Rating: 3/5


Olga: Out of Control! by Elise Gravel

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Synopsis: In this third installment of the series, Olga’s beloved companion, Meh, is now a mom! She has a litter of adorable babies that look like spring rolls. But the babies aren’t just adorable—they’re a handful! How can Olga stop them from covering her house in rainbow poop if she’s busy making sure they’re fed?

Can Olga keep it all under control?

Book Review: I’m not sure I really enjoyed this book. It felt a little bit too contrived. While I was reading, it felt like it was just a thinly veiled attempt to teach kids about the challenges of parenting and owning pets. This author writes as if they only think they know how to write for children, which is odd, as I’ve read other books by this author that are much better!

Book Rating: 2.5/5


Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliot

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Synopsis: Jaxon had just one job–to return three baby dragons to the realm of magic. But when he got there, only two dragons were left in the bag. His best friend’s sister, Kavita, is a dragon thief!

Kavita only wanted what was best for the baby dragon. But now every time she feeds it, the dragon grows and grows! How can she possibly keep it secret? Even worse, stealing it has upset the balance between the worlds. The gates to the other realm have shut tight! Jaxon needs all the help he can get to find Kavita, outsmart a trickster named Blue, and return the baby dragon to its true home.

Book Review: I loved this one book! I was a little worried about it being a sequel, as I haven’t read the first one, but it was still a great read, and I didn’t feel lost. I found the story engaging, and at the perfect level for the age group. There was action and a bit of magic, but mostly they’re was great relationships between the characters. I would recommend this one to any early reader!

Book Rating: 5/5



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If you are interested, I have this video detailing my opinions on the books that I read in February. Check it out if you want to see me talk about the books rather than read a review.

Book Review: Dork

Can’t come out tonight? Why? Because I am all booked up! I am busy reading Dork by Will Winkle.

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Synopsis: Ray Cooper is graduating from college and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life – stop me if you’ve heard this before. Besides his impending graduation, Coop also has the problem of trying to start a new relationship in the shadow of his last one. Plus, his term project is due in two weeks. He’s also losing his hair. Alright, he has a few problems. Over a weekend, Ray attends the birthday party of a girl he isn’t sure if he knows, meets odd people at bars, and looks forward to the last hurrah he and his friends have planned for Saturday when the local bars are offering discounts to anyone with wristbands sold for charity. There’s no way any of this could go wrong.

This book was half and half for me because I am a very plot-driven person when it comes to books and this one was kind of lacking in the plot department. However, its main protagonist was very humorous and a lot of thought was put into his character which evened out the playing field.

I also enjoyed that they had little footnotes at the bottom of some pages to kind of break the fourth wall and add little funny descriptors that lightened up the mood of the book and from time to time brought a smile to my face. I will say that footnotes are not for everyone and know that they bring some people out of the story but I think they complimented this one well considering there was not much plot to follow.

It also gave me a bit of nostalgia for my college days when I would go to parties and drink on the weekends (a lot more than I do now). Some of the routines the people had in this book as college students were spot on. And yes, we Canadians do call Mcdonalds “Don’s”.

Imagine having a guy carry around a camera in a fraternity house all day and then show you that movie. This book would be that end result. You will see the life of a college student and get some laughs out of it (including his struggles of trying to get the girl).

Book Rating: 3/5

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

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



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Time to show off what I am reading in March!! I’m getting more ambitious each month. Soon I will be reading 10 books a month (haha yea right). What are you guys reading?

Book Blitz: Chances

Chances ebook

Happy publication day to Kim Knight! To celebrate the release of Chances: A Puerto Rican Love Affair, Kim is giving away FREE books!!!

Chances, a Puerto Rican Love Affair (Romance Set in Paradise #3) STANDALONE

Expected Publication Date: February 6th, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Multicultural

Would you risk a second chance, 4,000 miles away in paradise?

Chances, A Puerto Rican Love Affair is book three of the Romance Set In Paradise Series. Of romantic, steamy and suspenseful stand-alone novella length stories, all set in exotic locations around the world. Each one can be read as a stand-alone book.

Thirty-one year old Gabby from Barcelona, Spain has a love for the finer things in life including successful men. She finds herself in need of a change of scene. Opportunity knocks when the European company she works for as a successful estate agent, selling properties to elite clientele expand. Giving her the chance to take a one month work sabbatical, in the beautiful vibrant Caribbean island Puerto Rico. She snaps up the chance to leave Europe behind. Here her path crosses with thirty-five year old Puerto Rican born Mateo Sanchez. A former ‘bad boy’ turned entrepreneur. They touch each other on a physical and soul level, the two become connected. Thing is, while the passion, heat and romance builds between the two, the pair’s love affair becomes caught up in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal from the past.

Mateo and Gabby fight hard for their blossoming relationship, and against the drama that keeps following them. But there are decisions and sacrifices to make if they are really going to make it work. There’s nothing that Mateo won’t do to show his growing admiration for Gabby, even when the police get involved and he’s in the hot seat. His hand is forced he’s pushed to make moves he promised he would never do again, due to past events and to move forward with Gabby. Gabby is faced with the decision over what sacrifices she’ll make, and where she really sees her future. Back in Spain, London or 4,000 miles away in Puerto Rico. Romance, soul mate connection, heat, lies, betrayal and brushes with the law await readers in this exciting multicultural ‘second chance’ romance.

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE: WHEN IT ALL FALLS DOWN

“Hi.”

“Hello, who’s this?”

“Um…it’s Gabby. I promised I’d call, I hope it’s a good time?”

“Oh…hey. There’s never a good time for this but… I’m sorry you had to find out like this.”

“ Please, just tell me the truth. What’s been going on?” Gabby grips the phone tighter.

“Well…like I said in my message Gabby, Chris and I met a while back, he asked for my number then one thing led to another. As far as I was concerned he was single, so we started dating.”

“Hmm, fucking you mean.” Gabby retorts down the line with irritation.

“Ha, well I hate to disappoint you, yeah that too, Gabby.”

Gabby rubs her forehead as the familiar feeling of a migraine pounds between her eyebrows. “I can’t believe this. Single?” She questions in a low voice.

“Well, yeah that’s what he told me. What else do ya want me to say? I can’t lie.”

Gabby moves from off the sofa over to the table and grabs a tissue. Her hands shake with frustration as she processes the news for the second time. Somehow the email exchange was not enough to bring her to her senses she had to speak with her.

“How long ago was this?”

“Gabby, I answered all this on Facebook. Like I said, we’ve been together six months now.”

“Right, I’m sorry. I just… I can’t—”

“Can’t believe it? You don’t have to explain yourself like I said, I’m sorry to disappoint you. What happened between you two?”

Sighing, holding back her tears, Gabby faces the mirror above the table. As she wipes her nose her red-rimmed eyes, sore from the tears she shed while she tried to summon the courage to dial the international number stare back at her. Gabby clears her throat, finding her voice. “We met a year ago, things were difficult due to the distance but we both made time for each other. We visited each other, wrote letters and talked on Skype. Then…then things started to die down a bit.”

“A year? So let me get this straight, you’re in Spain, right?” The questioning sarcasm in Jade’s voice does not go unnoticed by Gabby.

“Right but like I said Jade, we have regular contact.”

On the other end of the line Jade examine her nails, bored already with Gabby. “Hmm, how did you meet?”

“Long story short, while I was over in London on a business trip. The company I work for is expanding and the UK is one of the markets they want to enter.”

“Shit I can’t believe this is happening Gabby, I don’t even know what to say.”

“Me neither.”

“Well you may as well give up on him, even if it’s been a year. You’re in Spain, Chris is here…with me.”

“Hold on a second we’ve been together a year and—”

“No, you were together. Like you said, ‘things died down.’ Now you know why he’s been with me. Give it up, it will never work. Plus, he loves me.”

“Hold on a second Jade you can’t just—”

“Girl, bye!”

Gabby throws her phone down on the table when the line goes dead, in such a rage, the screen shutters on the impact. “Bitch, I can’t believe this shit!”

The next morning…

“Gabby, how did the viewing go yesterday? It was the villa over in the Pedralbes area, right?”

Looking up from her computer screen, Gabby places her sandwich to one side. Shit, I hate it when she does that! So much for a lunch break. Forcing a smile across her lips she acknowledges her boss, Sofia, standing tall in front of her like she’s the Devil herself.

“Yeah, it was okay. An older British guy and a younger wife they seemed to really like it. He’s pretty wealthy and after a second home.”

“Is that all? What, no follow up? You’re slipping, Gabby. I don’t need to remind you that we’re in the middle of a potential financial crisis, with the British withdrawing from the EU. They’re our biggest buyers, so follow that shit up, see if he wants to make an offer before we lose him to some shit-faced agent down the street.”

OMG, she’s right. “Yeah, okay I’ll get on to it I’ll just finish my­—”

“Now Gabby, don’t make me ask you twice.”

Gabby watches Sofia, stone-faced, turn on her heels then sashay out back to her office. Glancing at her planner, the number for Mr. Daniels catches her eye. The phone rings just as she reaches for it.

“Hello Barcelona Properties, Gabriella speaking how can I help?”

“Gabby what’s up how’s it going?” A deep cockney London accent meets her ear. Not the British accent she was hoping for.

“Chris I’ve told you time and time again, stop fucking calling me. Especially at work.”

“Gabby, please hear me out. I’m sorry okay. I’m free tonight, can we at least meet up on Skype so we can—”

Dropping the phone back on its receiver she moves her attention back over to her computer screen. This morning head office sent out an email to all employees of Barcelona Properties, to apply for a sabbatical in Puerto Rico. Between bites of her now half-eaten sandwich she reads over the memo again, considering the chance to get away from it all. Man, this could be the answer to all my shitty problems right now. Chris clearly thinks it’s okay to cheat.

She never meant to turn into a snooping, paranoid, long-distance girlfriend, but he left her no choice after the communication started to die down. A sarcastic giggle escapes her, hmm too bad he never hid his Facebook shit well enough! He might just have got away with it. What kinda fool does he think I am?

When the calls and plans to see each other became less frequent, she put two and two together, did her own investigations, and sure enough came up with a result. Now, he’s permanently on her mental shit-list. Sighing, she leans back and discards her sandwich, her appetite suddenly gone. Why does he have to tick every box on my list! Focus Gabby, damn. Picking up the phone she dials Mr. Daniels following up on yesterday’s property viewing.

“Hi Mr. Daniels, it’s Gabby from Barcelona Properties.”

“Hi great to hear from you again.” He responds in a friendly tone down the line.

“I’m just calling to see if you’ve had a chance to think about the villa we saw. It’s been on the market for a while, but the seller has just dropped the asking price. It’s an excellent investment for the right buyer.”

“Ah yeah, we liked it a lot, I’d like a second viewing. When are you free?”

Flipping open her planner Gabby’s heart races at the thought of closing a possible sale, that would earn her a heavy commission and hopefully put her back in Sofia’s good books.

“Let’s see, I’m free this afternoon if that suits you.”

“Great, the later the better. How about four p.m.?”

“Excellent, do you remember how to get there? I can meet you there or at your hotel.”

“We’ll be fine, see you in a few hours.”

“Look forward to it. See you soon.”

Disconnecting the call Gabby gives herself a high-five. Please let him make an offer after all of this. Satisfied she’s now earned her break, she clicks back to the work memo then reads over it again.

From: Head Office

To: All employees

Sent:1st July, 9:30

Subject: Sabbatical Opportunity

Dear all,

As you know, Barcelona Properties is in the process of expanding its international offices across Europe, the UK, and Caribbean. We are pleased to announce there has been an increase in property demand, at the Puerto Rico branch opened last year. All employees with at least twelve months continued service are invited to apply for this exciting opportunity. A one month sabbatical over at Puerto Rico from the14th July – 14th August this summer! We hope to offer further opportunities as the company grows and demand increases in the UK and European branches.

This is an excellent opportunity to expand your skills and experience in real estate management, in an exciting and vibrant part of the world. Your basic salary will remain the same, however your commission will match the market of the Caribbean. Accommodation, training, and travel expenses will all be covered. All you need to bring is a positive attitude and the desire to learn about this new market overseas.

If you are interested details are below. Please complete the attached application form and submit to the Human Resources Manager by the 3rd July at 5.00p.m.

Good luck!

Yours faithfully

Head Office

With just two days until the application closing date, Gabby’s mind goes into overdrive. The possibility of relocating to the Caribbean could be just what she needs.

“Gabby.” Sofia’s voice echoes around the room as she sticks her head around the door. Lost in her own daydream of Puerto Rico, she never even noticed her open the door.

“Hmm, yes.”

“Did you get hold of the clients?”

“Yep, I did and we have a second viewing later this afternoon, they seemed to like it.”

“Excellent! Now that’s how it’s done. Remember, Gabby, this industry moves fast, and buyers have so much choice these days, with a new agency popping up on every corner. Always follow up, okay?”

“I know Sofia…I’m sorry it’s just—”

“Aww Gabby, look, I know. I know you’re normally as sharp as a razor that’s why I offered you the job. Let me guess, it’s Chris, right?”

Staring back at her boss with teary eyes, Gabby runs her hand through her long dark hair in frustration.

“Yeah, everyone warned me about long distance relationships, Sofia. But I was so sure that Chris would be faithful, that he was the one.”

Sofia slowly makes her way into Gabby’s office, closing the door behind her shutting out the phones ringing and their co-workers chasing the next house or rental deal. Lowering herself into a chair beside Gabby’s desk, she places a hand on her shoulder then meets her eye.

“Gabby, don’t beat yourself up. You didn’t know you couldn’t trust him. Believe me I’ve had my fair share of cheaters too, but they’re not all like that.”

Sighing, Gabby pulls out her powder compact from her bag, and checks over her eye make-up. The last thing she needs is for her false lashes to shift out of place, from her wet eyes, right before she heads out to meet a client.

“I guess so. I’m sorry okay I’ll focus more on the clients.” Gabby promises.

“No worries. Hey, you’re thinking of applying for the sabbatical?” Sofia points to Gabby’s screen with a broad smile on her face. Gabby quickly meets her eye her mouth drops open. Oh shit… but relief comes over her when she sees that her boss is half-smiling. Her usual resting bitch face is not on show, pheww! Sofia’s okay with it.

“I thought about it, it could be fun. But, the state I’m in I really don’t know if I’ve got it in me to learn the ropes of a new branch.”

“What, are you kidding me? This could be just what you need­— a change of scene. Trust me, even I’m tempted.” Sofia looks around the office in a dreamy state. “But I’ve got the kids and my husband is in the middle of juggling a few projects at work. The timing’s not really right. For you, though, it’s perfect. Think about it.”

Sofia gets to her feet, smoothing down her pencil skirt as she tucks in her white silk shirt, then adjusts her peals round her neck.

“I better get going, clients to follow up and all. Why don’t you finish early today after you meet Mr. Daniels?”

“No, honestly I’m—”

“Gabby, you’re not okay. Take the rest of the afternoon off. You’ve only got two days to decide what you wanna do. Plus, you’re a native Spanish speaker so you stand a good chance at snapping up this Puerto Rico gig. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

As Sofia closes the door Gabby’s phone buzzes in her bag. What now Chris. Fishing her phone out, a half-smile tugs at her lips as she narrows her eyes at her cracked screen to make out the name. Oh thank God.

From: Valentina

Sent:1st July 2:00p.m.

Hey, guess who got in contact on Facebook. He’s desperate Gabby! What’s going on?

Urgh! Leave me be Chris, just let me think. Hitting reply, she responds.

From: Gabby

To: Valentina

Sent:1st July 2:05p.m.

Nothing, that’s what’s going on! I can’t believe he contacted you, what did he say?

From: Valentina

To: Gabby

Sent:1st July 2:07p.m

We need to talk! Drop by the salon after work.

From: Gabby

To: Valentina

Sent:1st July 2:09p.m.

I’ll be there for 5, the latest.
Available on Amazon!

FREE BOOKS!!!!

On February 6th, 9th, and 10th, Kim Knight is offering free downloads of books #1 and #2 of her Romance Set in Paradise Series, and you can dowload The Suspenseful Collection, Volume #1 for free on February 6th!

Havana Heat 2019 MasterHavana Heat- Book #1 Romance Set In Paradise

Overcoming the past is not easy, when the future seems just as scary…
Havana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise series of steamy, suspenseful, romantic stand-alone novella length stories, set in exotic locations around the world. Readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spanish Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Originally with different agendas, once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

After all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, conflict builds over Sebastian’s past, both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been with their chances of love. Sebastian and Melinda both grow as individuals from their encounter in Havana, following a few bumps along the way they find the real meaning of love. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this romance series set in paradise.

Download HERE

Lovers Retreat Cover 2019Lover’s Retreat Book #2 Romance Set In Paradise

From enemies to lovers, learning to live, laugh and love again is so much better with a partner in crime, and soul mate…

Lover’s Retreat is book #2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone steamy, suspenseful and romantic novella length stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.

For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Taking her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months travelling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two move from enemies to lovers they are finally on the same page. Their encounter turns from luke warm to steamy sizzling hot.

In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship in order to live life to its fullest again. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.

Download HERE

The Suspenseful Collection Volume One Ebook CoverThe Suspenseful Collection, Volume #1

For Mature Readers Only:

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”

Download HERE



About the Author

Author Pic

Kim is born in 1983 and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful little boy, and a proud award winning author (awarded Best Romance 2017 title for A Stranger In France). Kim started her journey as a traditionally published author and later dived into self-publishing also.

As a reader she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African- American, suspense and thriller genre books. As a writer, Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense and general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own her other passions include practising her French, astrology, fashion, make-up artistry, drawing, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make -up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.

Kim Knight

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@kimknightauthor- Twitter
@kimknightauthoruk- Facebook

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Guys! I read so many books in January
! It was a great reading month for me and now I will share it with you. Check it out if you want to and let me know what you think!

Book Review: Surviving The Twenties Transformation

This book was my January TBR jar pick of the month. I have had it on my shelves for quite a long time and the fates decided on it being one I read this month. It was called Surviving the Twenties Transformation by K.L. Martin.

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Synopsis: An identity crisis is not a new concept. A midlife crisis, commonly occurring in middle-aged adults, is a time when an individual is plagued by doubts concerning his or her identity and future purpose. What you might not know, however, is that you’re just as likely to experience the same struggle in your twenties.

The media and society have traditionally taught younger generations to focus on the “surface stuff” to combat feelings of self-doubt or dissatisfaction. Once you have it all -career, friends, marriage, a home, kids -the conflict will supposedly work itself out, and you’ll eventually know who you are. Many young adults are now realizing this narrative is false. Even after achieving “success,” you may still feel unfulfilled and conflicted.

Surviving the Twenties Transformation is an informative, motivational guide that exposes “quarter-life crisis” symptoms and offers spiritual solutions: recognizing your soul, trusting in God, identifying your strengths, and replacing your false ego with your true self, your soul. Learn to listen to your intuition, and make the right choices through conscious living.

Crises will always come and go. By discovering your truest self, what drives your soul, you will gain an inner strength that will sustain you for a lifetime.

This book was not really what I expected. I was hoping that it would give me some insight into your life in your twenties and how we all kind of feel lost or feel like we don’t really know what we are doing and what will come next.

I firmly believe that it is ok to not know what you are doing and that we will all figure it out as time goes on. But this book was pumping me up, thinking it was going to be motivational and fun. It turned out being a lot about your soul and prayer and how this will help you through life. I just wasn’t really buying it. I like it when a book can make me feel like I can go forward in life with what it taught me and my life will be better for it. But this book just didn’t do that for me.

There were some parts that were a little interesting but it constantly jumped back to religion and prayer which I don’t believe is everything you need for your life to have meaning.

I think this just all comes down to my beliefs in life differing from the opinion this book is giving to the reader. I think it would resonate much more with a religious person or even a bible study group.

I just wish it had more to do with actual applications for the general public dealing with being in their twenties instead of a certain group of people.

Book Rating: 2/5

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

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


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

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Book Spotlight: A Kind Of Family

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

KofFamily digital cover.jpgA Kind of Family

Publication Date: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Willow River Press

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

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

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

She was already in.

Available on Amazon!



About the Author

bonnie meekums_possible marketing pic - CHOSEN.JPG

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

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

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

Bonnie Meekums

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

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

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

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

January 21st

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

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

January 22nd

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

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

January 23rd

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

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

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

January 24th

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

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

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

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

Book Spotlight: Eat Happy Too

I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous cook book, Eat Happy Too, by Anna Vocino! Check out all 160+ of her delicious recipes!

High Res EH2 front coverEat Happy Too: 160+ New Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes for a Joyful Life

Publication Date: September 17th. 2019

Genre: Cook Book/ Healthy Eating/ Recipes

Anna Vocino is back with Eat Happy Too: 160+ NEW delicious grain-free, gluten-free, low carb recipes that are also free of processed sugars. Get back to cooking and retrain your taste buds to love food again. You’ll be shocked at how good food can taste!

Eat Happy Too has 160 more starters, mains, sides, soups, casseroles, slow cooker AND Instant Pot recipes, plus breakfast and a chapter to learn how to make sauces and dressings from scratch and not be stuck buying chemical laden versions from the grocery store. There is also a desserts chapter which has some SPLURGE recipes made from the finest ingredients, so that when you have something to celebrate, you can do it with minimal metabolic effect on your body.

Half of the recipes have dairy, half are dairy free, and most of the recipes with dairy can be made dairy free for those who want to limit their dairy intake. The book ends with a few lower carb cocktail recipes for those who want to play mixologist.

Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, Anna Vocino struggled to manage the effects of autoimmune disease and middle age weight gain while still being able to eat delicious and satisfying foods. In 2012, she started podcasting with Vinnie Tortorich and changed her way of eating to not only be gluten free, but also grain and sugar free. Her first cookbook, Eat Happy, is an Amazon best seller, and her audience made it very clear MORE RECIPES, PLEASE!

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About the Author

Anna Vocino

Anna is the author of Eat Happy and Eat Happy Too. Her cookbooks are filled with gluten and grain free recipes that celebrate her half Southern, half Italian-girl heritage. She hopes you enjoy every tasty recipe from cover to cover.

Anna Vocino | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest| Tumblr| IMDb

Stay tuned, because Eat Happy Too will be going on tour this February!

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I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)