Book Blitz & Giveaway: ‘Crescent Calling’ by Axelle Chandler

A paranormal romance set in the gorgeous and magical setting of Ireland? Yes, please! If this sounds awesome to you too, be sure to add Crescent Calling to your TBR list. Order through the link below or add it to your Goodreads page as a reminder. Also, remember to enter the Rafflecopter contest at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. The contest is open internationally.

Crescent Calling
Axelle Chandler
(The Crescent Witch Chronicles #1)
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life.
Or so she thought.
When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle.
Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.
Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox.
More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland.
Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot.
She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil.
Whether she likes it or not.

The Crescent Witch Chronicles is a series stuffed full of Irish charm, myth and mayhem. Come on an adventure fraught with danger and forbidden romance…and the ultimate battle to save magic before it’s gone forever.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

That night, as Buddy kept me company, I fell asleep to the sound of wind howling through the trees outside. Plagued with dreams of wolves, I tossed and turned until I slipped into a deep slumber.

When dawn finally broke, I was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, and my head was stuffed with cotton wool. I’d slept but not really. A heavy burden was over my heart, and my body had become twisted in the quilt, my feet trapped.

Ugh, I was all hot and sticky. I kicked, trying to shift the uncomfortable weight and turned over, but it didn’t budge. Lifting my head, my eyes cracked open, sleep still clogging my head. That was when I saw a lump at the end of the bed. A very large, man-shaped lump.

Now completely awake, I screamed, scrambling up the bed. It was Boone. A very naked Boone.

He started, his head shooting up, and when he saw me, he rolled and fell off the end of the bed, hitting the floor with a thud. Scrambling to his feet, his face turned a deep shade of crimson.

“Oh, shit,” he cursed, covering his junk with his hands. “Oh, cac.”

Cac?” I yelled. “I’ll give you bloody Irish cac!

Grabbing the lamp on the bedside table, I pushed up onto my knees and swung it with all my might. The plug popped out of the wall, and the shade barely missed Boone’s face, but the cord came around and whipped him directly on his bare ass.

He howled in pain and retreated across the room.

Pervert!” I shrieked.

“Let me explain,” he said, holding up his hands and leaving nothing to the imagination.

“Explain? What’s there to explain?” I shouted, trying not to look at his you-know-what. “You were asleep on the end of my bed…naked!” I swung the lamp at him again, barely missing his head. “You’re still standing there. I can see your meat and two veg!

“Oh, cac,” he said again. “I didn’t mean for you to find out this way…”

“Find out what? That you’re a pervert, who sneaks into women’s homes butt naked?”


Author Bio:

Axelle Chandler is an Australian Urban Fantasy author. She lives in the western suburbs of Melbourne dreaming up nail biting stories featuring bad-ass witches, hunky shape shifters and devious monsters. She likes chocolate, cat memes and video games. When she’s not writing, she likes to think of what she’s writing next.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter


GIVEAWAY!

Enter the drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card. Use it for more books or whatever your heart desires.

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: ‘The Woodlands’ series by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Looking to get your fix with a new dystopian read? I think I speak for most of us when I say, “Yes, please!” The Woodlands series is a whole boxed set, so you don’t have to wait for the next novel to come out to finish the story. A perfect read to finish off your summer list. You can also win a Clean Teen Publishing mystery book box. Just enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below. International winners will receive e-book prizes instead.

The Woodlands Series Box Set
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

Do you dare enter the Woodlands?

As the last livable spot on Earth, it’s the only home Rosa and Joseph have ever known. But now they need to escape, or Rosa will be trapped forever in a horrific government program. A dystopian page-turner with over 750 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The Woodlands Series is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, and The Jewel Series by Amy Ewing. Readers can purchase this boxed set at a significant discount over the cost to purchase each novel individually. This is a complete series boxed set.

The Woodlands is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Fiction: Young Adult” category of the USA Best Book Awards, as well as a Semifinalist in The Kindle Book Awards by the Kindle Book Review.

“Lauren Taylor’s writing is powerfully descriptive; she is a master of words and similes.” – Author Erica Kiefer

“It seems so rare these days to find a dystopian with an original vein in it. The Woodlands Succeeds.” -Author Pauline Creeden

“I went into this story with my own ideas, but they were obliterated by what I found instead. I was so happy to be wrong because this story touched my heart deeply in a way that I never expected.” – Reviewer Amber Douglas Mcallister

“This book was fantastic! Spectacular! It had everything I look for in a book: Action, Adventure, and even romance!” – Reviewer Jocelyn Sanchez

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

The helicopters were stationed at the rim of Ring One, just inside the low, sandy-colored wall that surrounded the center podium. They were waiting, crouching like black angels ready to lift us from this place, this hell, into an unknown world. A Guardian in black uniform with gold trim walked to the front of the choppers and signaled for us to come forward. Another one threw the bags in the cargo hold as he read from his list. Three girls and eight boys. Joseph’s name was not on the list. I felt a flood of relief that was washed away by panic. I was barely holding myself together as it was, seeing him was liable to make me fall to pieces. But he was supposed to be here.

Paulo’s hand was on my back, pushing me towards the helicopter like I was an uncooperative apple on the conveyor belt. I was trying so hard to muster up some courage. Today I was leaving the only home I had ever known. I would never see my mother again. I felt the anxiety rising, the crushing pain of the separation I was about to suffer. Suddenly the grey-washed town didn’t look so horrible. It was home after all, I guess. I told myself it was fear that was making me feel this way. It didn’t help.

My mother, who had been quietly following us around like a dazed puppy, pulled me to her in a tight embrace. She whispered, “Sorry,” in my ear before stepping back, fists clenched, showing the appropriate restraint. Some other mothers were crying and holding their children as the Guardian wrenched them away and led them onto the aircraft.

My mother’s face was my own, the way she moved mirrored my own movements and mannerisms, but that’s where the similarities ended. Although raised by this woman, I was nothing like her. For the first time, I saw things from her perspective. Getting into trouble all the time, never showing Paulo anything other than contempt. I must have been such a frustration to her.

They called my name. Paulo put his hands firmly on my shoulders, holding me in my place. His intense stare was impossible to look away from. “Don’t shame your family,” he spat at me. And with that, he made it easy to leave. I could feel the blades starting to move, my hair whipping around my face. I stripped away the fear and anxiety, leaving a girl that was fierce, empowered by his hatred.

“Don’t worry, Paulo, I’ll stir it up, make a little noise!” I shouted through the wind. The Guardian that let me sign up was watching me, probably regretting his decision. My mother was standing rigidly, her handmade skirt billowing as the air churned around her, her hand outstretched, pleading. I could see it in her eyes—please Rosa, don’t cause more trouble. She couldn’t stop me, no one ever could. Paulo was already walking away, his back to me. Behind my mother stood a man, one blue eye, one brown, smiling. He lifted his hand to wave. I raised my hand, confused. The chopper lurched awkwardly and I was knocked back into the cargo hold.

“Sit down!” the Guardian snapped at me. I quickly found a spot and strapped myself in. The others were staring at me, eyes wide. The Guardian tapped the pilot on the shoulder. “Wait, there’s one more.”

He bounded in, bag in hand, and casually threw it on the pile and scanned the seats. There was plenty of room on the other side but he squeezed his bulky form between me and the boy I was sitting next to.

Suddenly we were in the air. When the Guardian wasn’t looking, Joseph slipped his hand over mine. Warmth calmed the agitation I felt, like pouring gold over lead, glowing. We stayed that way the entire ride. Eyes forward. Impossibly trying to anticipate what may lie ahead.


Author Bio:

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


GIVEAWAY!

Win a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing! International winners receive e-books.

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter

 

Hello Readers!

I am excited to introduce you to a new title coming February 2018 from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan!

I like finding reads that tackle tough topics and I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter is described as THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE. Got your attention yet?

 

Here’s what readers have to say:

 

“an unputdownable mystery. Don’t miss it.”Hayley Chewins – Author

“Visceral with both rage and tenderness and impossible to put down.” – Amelinda – Goodreads Reviewer

“unapologetic and gorgeous and raw”Rachel Solomon – Author

“powerful and profound and makes you think” – Amanda Searcy – Author

 

Pre-order your copy today, and don’t miss out on this upcoming title from Macmillan! Also, be sure to enter the giveaway below for a bookmark from the authors.

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indies | Powell’s | Macmillan

 

Feed your curiosity and check out the excerpt below.
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

 

THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE in a searing, heartbreaking contemporary story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.

Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But then the unthinkable happens and Ellie is trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture but also makes you slow down and think about what it is to be human.

I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter
Publication Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

 

Nobody noticed me as I cut through the room. I made my way outside, into the cold. Spring was playing games with us. Weeks earlier, it had snuck in overnight, erasing our memory of winter in a matter of hours. When we’d gone to bed, winter had lingered in the snowbanks and in the way the trees still hunched over from the weight of it. And then suddenly, spring. We woke to birds singing, birds who appeared to have been shipped overnight on a secret train, and we remembered music.

But now, winter was trying to force a comeback. Everyone outside stood looking at the pool, wondering what happened. I was shivering, wearing a skirt and thin shirt I’d borrowed from Kate when spring was still a promise.

I saw him from the periphery. From the in-between where the people inside faded into the background, but the people outside were only figures in the night. It made sense; I was a periphery girl.

“Hey,” I said to his back.

When he turned to look at me, I swear the light from the porch surrounded him. But I think I made that up. I think I want to remember him that way. I want to believe there was something that made him special. I want to believe that loneliness doesn’t just mess with our hearts.

“Ellie! You came,” Caleb said.

“I said I would.”

“I know. I wasn’t sure, though. I worried. You’re late.”

I’d walked to the party, after telling my dad I was going to a friend’s. He wouldn’t have stopped me from going to Gina Lynn’s. I didn’t have other friends, so it wouldn’t have made a difference if I’d said her name. But, for some reason, I lied. I lied and I don’t know why I did.

“Yeah, well, I was doing things.”

He laughed. “Mysterious things. Of course. I’d expect nothing less from my Elusive Ellie.”

My. I heard it. The claim he laid on me. I smiled at the word.

He moved closer and I stepped back. It was automatic. Since earlier in the week, by my locker, I hadn’t stopped thinking about the possibility. But now that he was close again, I was scared. I was afraid of the way I knew I’d hurt if he waited months to talk to me again. I didn’t want to fall for a guy just because he’d smiled at me and said my name a few times. I was afraid of what would happen if there was more to it than that, but I was also afraid of how I’d feel if there wasn’t.

“I don’t think I’m supposed to be here,” I said.

I’d always imagined being wanted. Of someone loving me. Choosing me. But here was this boy and if he kissed me, I knew I’d always worry about going back to not being wanted.

 

TE Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her passion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, obsessing over Game of Thrones (she’s one hundred percent Team Lannister), playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her husband and their two cats.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a bookmark from T.E. Carter!

 

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DateBox Club July 2017 Grow Together packaging

Unboxing: DateBox Club July 2017 Grow Together subscription box

Mike and I enjoy having someone else plan our dates so all we have to do is show up. Less stress, more fun. We had a little bit of extra cash last month, so we ordered the July shipment from DateBox Club. They mail out a monthly activity, snack and communication starter. This month’s theme was Grow Together. Here’s what we found inside.

Everything was packed using brown paper to keep it from breaking. Almost everything arrived in one piece.

DateBox Club July 2017 Grow Together activity

The activity this month was to decorate two mason jars and plant purple shamrock bulbs. It came with the dirt and bulbs, the jars and a plastic container and nail polish for decorating. The idea is to mix nail polish and water in the plastic container and dip your jars into it, then set them to dry. Our container was ripped and we were afraid of making too big a mess on the porch, so we skipped the decorating. Instead, we just planted the bulbs and moved on to the communication game. Our seedlings are just starting to grow. I can’t wait for them to bloom.

The Magic-Gro cards you see above all had different questions on them to get to know your partner better. They ranged from tame to a tiny bit racy. Nothing too off-the-charts. We had a lot of fun with these and then passed them along to another couple who thought they were cool.

DateBox Club July 2017 Grow Together snacks

This month’s snack was homemade popsicles. The box came with a package of empty plastic ice pop molds and two packets of lemonade mix. If you’re going to make popsicles this way, learn from my mistake. I should have used two packets in one bottle of water to give them adequate flavor. They ended up tasting a lot like plain ice. They were still refreshing during the hottest days of July though.

Overall, this was a fun box. I wish they had sent a sturdier container for the paint, but other than that, we had a good time. The plants will be a reminder of our night together and we can transport them with us to our new home when we move in November. A bit of life in our new apartment.

If you’re interested in joining DateBox Club, you can click here to find their website. Their boxes cost $35 plus $1.99 for shipping. They’re cheaper than a night out and easier to pencil in.

4.75 out of 5 stars

All Things New by Lauren Miller

Book Review: ‘All Things New’ by Lauren Miller

On August 1, Lauren Miller’s new YA novel was released by Three Saints Press. The book combines serious health issues with a discussion about our immortal souls for a story that has depth and character.

Jessa Gray was a mess before the accident, living with paralyzing panic attacks and trying to cover them up with a pretty façade. She lives to be normal, dating the popular guy just to fit in. When she finds out he’s cheating, she has an attack in the car and ends up in a serious accident. Now her muddled outsides match her insides. Because of the wreck, Jessa is covered in scars and can no longer see anything in her mind’s eye. In response, her regular vision amps up and she starts seeing scars, gashes and bruises on other people. Are they just hallucinations based on her brain injury or do they have a deeper meaning? When Jessa moves in with her father, she starts making new friends. What will they think of her ability and can she heal emotionally?

Jessa was a broken character but she grew a lot as the story went on. Not just from meeting Marshall, but on her own as well. She was there for her friends as their lives went wrong and grew from that love. The story itself was great up until the last few chapters. While the twist was interesting, I saw it coming and then the story took on a bit of a preachy tone that I didn’t enjoy. It suddenly went from a philosophical contemporary YA to a Christian contemporary YA read. I thought it could’ve been handled a little more delicately to be spiritual without diving directly into Christian territory. I feel like it alienates those of other religious backgrounds because there’s no hint that this plot line will be introduced from the book’s summary. We’re just kind of blindsided.

If you don’t mind a sudden Christian backdrop, this book is excellent. It’s emotional and the characters are well thought out. I just wish we had been given a bit of warning before the last few pages. The transition didn’t seem smooth.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Book Blitz: ‘Sink’ by M.E. Rhines

Are you a fan of fairy tales with evil queens and mermaids? Today’s book is for you. Pauline looks like an awesome heroine. This book came out at the end of July, so you can order it today. Be sure to enter the contest for a Clean Teen Publishing mystery box by clicking on the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post.

Sink
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #1)
Publication date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Obedience has always been a matter of survival for sixteen-year-old mermaid princess Pauline. Her mother is the tyrannical Queen Calypso, who rules the kingdom of Atargatis with an iron trident. To utter one word against her would mean banishment—or worse—so Pauline bites her tongue and minds her manners. But on the eve of her sister’s merling-shower, all of that is about to change. Confronted with the truth about what happens to the human men who are betrothed to the mermaids of Atargatis, Pauline realizes she can stay silent no more.

Determined to end the queen’s dark tradition, Pauline goes along on a search for shipwreck survivors, secretly planning to free them. But things get complicated when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one of the men. Before she realizes what’s happening, she has kissed him—and a kiss from a mermaid is not without consequences. Now Pauline will have to risk everything if she is to save the young man and thwart the queen’s dark plans…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

My eyes widened, my heart hammering against my rib cage. A fear I didn’t understand tugged at my tailfin, like an anchor had been tied to its end. I sank against the wall of our pirated vessel and watched the chaos as it unfolded in slow motion.

Gene laughed at something my sister said just before it hit him. His smile fell in an instant as soon as the sudden deadening feeling pummeled into his chest. He dropped the plate and held out his hand. From my experience with Beaked Sea Snake, he was seeing double the fingers.

A fogginess washed over his eyes. He reached out for Fawna for just a second before his arms fell to his sides, limp and useless. Then, his human legs gave out from under him. A loud crack sounded as his knees made impact with the hard floor of the ship.

When he finally fell backward, my sister stood over his paralyzed body with a shameless, cruel smirk that gave me the chills. My mother, hovering well above me, nodded her approval with a warm, glowing pride showing on her face.

I looked around, expecting to see the same shocked expression I wore among my clan. But not one jaw was dropped. Every one of them watched with tense, excited eyes. They looked like bloodthirsty demons from where I was sitting.

“Mother,” I whispered. “What’s going on?”

She didn’t hear me.

“My Queen,” someone shouted from below. “What are your orders?”

Mother took in a long, powerful breath and shouted, “Air him out.”

I gasped, disbelief shuddering through me. “Mother,” I screamed. “Mother, you can’t!”

My protests were drowned out by the unified battle cry that erupted from every member of our clan. Angelique dropped her guitar, dashing for Gene with two other mermaids close behind.

I rushed for him, but Mother grabbed my arm with bruising fingers.

“Let me go,” I demanded.

Even through the screeching cheers below, I could hear Mother’s teeth grinding. “Don’t make a scene.”

I stilled, having every intention to stay put and comply, as usual. But then, I caught a glimpse of Gene’s face. While his muscles were tight and immobile, his eyes were filled with a conscious terror. They pleaded with me from across the ship, begging me to save him.

Before I could stop myself, I twisted my arm out of Mother’s grasp and swam to him, hoping to talk some sense into my sister before she did something terrible.

It was no use. I couldn’t reach them. They had too much of a head start. All I could do was watch as they snatched the helpless human and dragged his lifeless body up, up, and up until…

Bubbles sprayed all around them as they held Gene’s head and neck above water, but kept their own gills safely submerged. Even if he had working legs to thrash and fight with, he would be outmatched. Our tails treaded water in a way a human’s boney appendages couldn’t come close to.

He was in our world, by no choice of his own. We brought him down here against his will, and now that he was a part of it, my mother was sending him back home to die.

The gills would not disappear. They would only struggle for a short while before giving up to the heat of the land above. Gene’s chest moved in and out, in faster but shallower spurts.

I kicked my tail harder. Just as he came into my reach, he took one final gulp of air from his own world, and the movement stopped.

Mother had killed him.


Author Bio:

ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.

She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!

Win a Clean Teen Publishing mystery box. International winners will receive e-books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz: ‘Myths & Magic’ Collection by Various Authors

Need enough sci-fi and paranormal reads to get you through the summer? Try this bundle of 21 novels and novellas by a wide range of authors. It only costs 99 cents! That’s hard to beat. Also, be sure to enter the international giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card. Just click on the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post.

Myths & Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection
Publication date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Pre-Order MYTHS & MAGIC now and get BONUS GIFTS!

MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.

Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes.
All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today’s hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!
From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love…
If you’re ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination

Pre-Order today to secure YOUR copy of this exciting collection!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

BONUS GIFTS: The Myths and Magic authors are offering FREE gifts to everyone who pre-orders our boxed set. Don’t miss this amazing deal. $.99 pre-order gets you 21 full-length SF&F and paranormal tales in the boxed set, plus 15 FREE eBooks and an exclusive Myths and Magic coloring eBook. Here’s how you can claim these free gifts:

After pre-ordering your copy of Myths and Magic, head to http://www.subscribepage.com/mythsmagic, enter your e-mail address and your confirmation number (or the store name and date, since some vendors don’t have confirmation numbers). You’ll be sent to a “success” page that shows you all the book covers with links to the download sites and then you’ll receive a one-time courtesy e-mail with the download links as well.

Download a sneak peek of each book in this fantastic collection.

Be sure to like the Myths and Magic Facebook page and join the authors on release day, August 22, 2017, for an all-day release party with tons of giveaways, including a loaded Kindle Fire!


GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

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MORE GIVEAWAYS:

Enter to win a KINDLE FIRE HD8: http://www.feliciabeasley.com/mythsmagic-giveaways/

Enter to win a KINDLE FIRE 7, a $25 Amazon gift card and more, courtesy of author Erin Richards: http://bit.ly/2t510WT

SUPER GIVEAWAY courtesy of author Anne Renwick:
http://www.annerenwick.com/super-giveaway/

Enter to win another KINDLE FIRE HD8 courtesy of author Bradon Nave: http://bit.ly/2unwclB


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Unboxing: Lady Boss Loot July 2017 Time Management & Productivity subscription box

As a burgeoning work-from-home business woman, I’ve been on the lookout for female entrepreneur subscription boxes to help me along the way. Last week I reviewed Sparkle Hustle Grow. This week I gave Lady Boss Loot a try. You’ll see the box with their logo up top. Here’s what was inside.

Lady Boss Loot July 2017 Time Management & Productivity packaging

Everything was packed in attractive striped tissue paper inside the package. It all arrived in perfect shape. This month’s theme was Time Management and Productivity.

Under the tissue paper were all types of goodies. On top was their mini-magazine which includes a business article, a list of the included items, this month’s training title and a recipe. The physical items included were a journal, a portfolio productivity pad, a sticky-pad to-do list, a phone/tablet stand, a floating message pen, a pro bar and a soothing face mask. I also got to choose a free item. I chose a bag of Ugly Mug coffee and they threw in a free Lady Boss mug because it was my first order.

The journal has full-color inspirational quotes mixed throughout its pages and starts each page with “Why I’m Kind of Awesome Today…” and ends with “My Awesomeness Grade for Today” which ranges from A- to A+++. It will be a great exercise in building myself up instead of thinking about what I haven’t accomplished. The padfolio is broken into weekdays with an additional space for “next week.” Each line has a space to check it off as you complete what needs to be done. I think this will be a great asset in keeping me on track. Every month Lady Boss Loot includes an inspirational read, a journal or other book. The padfolio filled that need this month.

Putting a to-do list on a sticky-note pad is ingenious. Just peel off a page and stick it to your desk or calendar for the day. This one has room for tasks, errands and correspondence as well as a section for notes. It will come in handy for breaking down bigger daily tasks. The phone/tablet stand I received was made from a pretty pink metal. Other people received gold or silver. It couldn’t have come at a better time. My previous holder was a cheapie that recently bit the dust. It was also the wrong size for my Kindle. This new stand works great for all my devices and doesn’t have any extra pieces or knobs that will break. I expect I’ll be able to use it for a good long time.

Lady Boss Loot July 2017 Time Management & Productivity goodies

The pen in this month’s box is fun. When held in the usual writing position, it reads, “I need coffee,” but when you flip it over, it changes to “I need a drink.” Too cute and, some days, too accurate. The energy bar I received was by ProBar Fuel and it was made with dried cherries, nuts and chia seeds. It didn’t taste like cherry pie (the flavor’s title), but it was chewy and tasty. The included face mask was made with Kale. It was soothing but took a long time to dry. I’ve never used this type of mask before, so maybe that’s normal. I ended up taking it off before it was dry so I could go to bed, but it left my skin feeling refreshed anyway.

The Ugly Mug coffee was decent. I love that the box lets you pick a freebie each month. Other choices included brownie brittle, tea, lotion or mini-pencils. The mug is perfect for eight ounces of coffee plus creamer and the empowering message gives me a needed pick-me-up.

In addition to the physical goods, the box also includes a monthly training written by the woman who created the subscription. The trainings are informative and well-written, but unlike Sparkle Hustle Grow, you don’t have lifetime access. You only have access for as long as you’re a subscriber. You can also subscribe to just the online components which are the trainings, articles and Facebook group for $25 a month, but the other items are so cool, who would want to miss out?

This month’s training course was the Building a Sales Funnel Workshop. It helps you focus on what products and services your company might still need and how to aim your customers towards your featured items. This one didn’t really pertain to me, but the cool thing is you also have access to all the old courses with your subscription. For the cost of your box or online modules, you can go through any of their classes. I thought the Shoestring Budget Startup course and Intro to Canva for Work were helpful. They also had a Rock Your Website mini-course that I haven’t had a chance to try yet. Well worth the monthly subscription cost.

This month’s box was missing one item that didn’t come in from the retailer in time. The owner has promised it will now be an extra in the August box. It was a portable power bank. It would have been nice if she sent it to subscribers after it came in just in case you only ordered one box, but that probably wouldn’t be cost effective. Things happen and she’s handling it, so you can’t fault her.

If you’re interested in purchasing the August box, it’s still on sale. You can buy it at the Lady Boss Loot website for $45 with free shipping to the USA. This comes in just under the cost of Sparkle Hustle Grow including their shipping cost. Both boxes are excellent. Why not buy one of each? They make for a fun business expense.

4.75 out of 5 stars

Mrs. Saint and the Defectives feature

Book Review: ‘Mrs. Saint and the Defectives’ by Julie Lawson Timmer

Today Julie Lawson Timmer’s new novel hit the shelves. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is the story of nosy neighbors, finding yourself after your life falls to pieces, and ultimately of forgiveness. If you’re intrigued, read on.

Markie is a woman in her 40’s who is navigating the choppy waters of life after a devastating divorce. In an attempt to hide from her problems and fix her finances, she takes a new job and moves herself and her young teenage son, Jesse, to a small bungalow in a new neighborhood far from her society friends. To her dismay, the elderly woman next door is determined to fix Markie’s life, even if Markie expressly forbids it. Mrs. Saint and her band of dysfunctional employees worm their way into every aspect of Markie and Jesse’s life and eventually into their hearts.

I expected this novel to be a lighthearted comedy, but it went deeper than that. The characters had darker backgrounds and were hiding devastating secrets. While they were all good people at heart, they each had their flaws. The end of the novel really got into why they were who they were and added layers to the story.

One thing I didn’t like about the book was that Markie took a long time to have any personal growth. She was selfish and self-blaming which got a bit old. It wasn’t until the last third of the book that she finally started to change and take other people into consideration.

Overall, this was an interesting read. The story had depth and the characters eventually learned to fend for themselves while also taking care of each other. If you’re looking for summer reading without the romantic fluff that’s normally touted this time of year, this would be an excellent pick.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Unboxing & Giveaway: The Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss July 2017 subscription box and coupon

If you’ve been reading my blog the last few months, you know that I’ve been enjoying the book box by Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss. They were gracious enough to send me several months’ worth of packages for free in exchange for honest reviews. This month is my final month with them, but it was a good one. #FFB mails out popular genre books like romances and mysteries in both print and e-book formats along with a monthly (usually food-based) sample. Have a look at this month’s box, then check out my giveaway for free books below!

Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss July 2017 book box

This Fresh Fiction package included 8 books in total. There were 5 print copies and 3 e-books. I was especially excited about the print ones this time. I received The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert, Freedom’s Price by Christine Johnson, Buns by Alice Clayton, Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle and One Week to the Wedding by Olivia Miles. I’ve heard a lot about Reichert’s novel which is a contemporary romance set around a struggling apple orchard. It looks excellent. I’m also excited about Run to Ground because it has a recommendation on the front from Charlaine Harris, one of my all-time favorite authors. The story description for Clayton’s book attracts me, even as the title pushes me away a little bit, so I’ll be trying it, and One Week to the Wedding looks like a contemporary romance with family elements which I usually enjoy. The only one I’ll pass along is Freedom’s Price as it looks like it has religious overtones, which I normally don’t like.

The e-books this month were The McKinnon Legends: The Beginning Book One: Parts 1 & 2 by Ranay James, Heart Breaker by Stacey Kennedy and Where the Pieces Fall by Blue Sapphire. The last two look like straight up erotic romances which aren’t really my thing, but the book by James is a historical fantasy which is a genre I lean towards. I’ll be reading that one and passing the other two along to someone else. See details below.

Last in the box was a bag of Acai Berry tea by Stash Teas, included because the red color made them think of the red landscape in one of this month’s novels. It had a hibiscus base which I’m rarely a fan of. I tried it, but it was too bitter for me. Other months have included caffeinated breath mints or other tea flavors which I liked better.

Again, you can’t beat Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss on the quantity of reading material, or the quality reads. While you don’t have a choice of which novels you receive or a theme to go on, you’re sure to find something to read based on pure volume. They mainly cater to the contemporary romance crowd, so if this is you, you need this box.

They only charge $25.95 per month with free shipping to the USA with 5-8 novels in each package, which is amazing compared to other reading boxes out there. Looking to go a little cheaper yet? You can sign up for a 3-month plan or use coupon code BOOKLOVE for $3 off your first subscription box.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Now, for the giveaway. As a taste of what Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss has to offer, you can win my print copy of Freedom’s Price by Christine Johnson and free download cards for both Where the Pieces Fall by Blue Sapphire and Heart Breaker by Stacey Kennedy. Simply follow the instructions on Rafflecopter using the link below. Open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway