Top Ten Ways I Deal With Pain

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a regular blog post. I’ve been participating in all sorts of amazing blog tours, and I am having a blast meeting and reading new authors and books. I have a day off from tours today, and thought I would speak on a topic I know pretty well now.

As some of you may know, I have been struggling since November with chronic pain. It started as abdominal, and has turned into a whole body nightmare. I have difficulties sleeping, walking (I just bought a cane to help stabilize when my legs give out on me), nausea, dizziness and a whole list of other symptoms. My primary is not entirely convinced of the Fibromyalgia diagnosis, but that is what we are calling it right now. He is sending me to a Neuromuscular disease specialist (which is a Neurologist that deals with how nerves and muscles work together), and I am also seeing a second Rheumatologist in July. I’ll keep you updated as I learn more.

Today, I wanted to talk about some of the ways I deal with this pain. Medicine doesn’t seem to touch it, and I am normally at a 7-8/10 in pain most days.


1. Distraction.

Part of the reason I signed up for so many book tours was to keep myself on a time schedule and keep distracted. Reading, writing, watching TVs/movies, etc. Anything I can do that keeps me from sitting and thinking about the pain, helps tremendously.

2. Exercise.

Okay, so, moving really hurts. It’s not something I want to do. I’d much rather curl up on the couch and wallow in pain. However, too much sitting bothers me emotionally. It’s terrible for you to sit around all day, every day, doing nothing. So, I am doing physical therapy twice a week – and I do those stretches twice a day. Now that it is warmer, I also go on walks at least once a day. It all hurts, but it helps me mentally. And I believe if is helping physically too.

3. Prayer.

I pray a lot more than I did before. I have to believe I am going through this trial for a reason. This could fall under distraction a little, but I’m not distracted from the pain when praying because I’m praying about the pain. It’s another way to make me feel mentally better.

4. Take prescribed medicine every day.

It doesn’t feel like the medicine is doing what it is supposed to but I know it probably is. Without it, I think I’d be in even more pain. I never skip it and I take it right before bed.

5. Diet.

Eating healthy is important in general, but with this pain, as we discussed earlier, comes a more sedentary life. Eating pizza for dinner every night isn’t an option. I’ve cut my portions, I watch what I eat, and I try not to pig out or eat when I’m not hungry.

6. Sleep.

This is one I’m still struggling with, and actually just got some new medicine to help with it. When you’re in pain, it’s impossible to get rest. I find, if I am sleeping, I wake up exhausted. I never get good sleep. No sleep = feeling crappy. So it is important to fix the sleep issues. I’m working on it.

7. Isolation is bad.

I’m so lucky and blessed that my family has been supportive. However, I have days when I don’t want to leave the house. The thought of walking out the door can give me anxiety. That isn’t a good thing. I spend time with my Dad, I call my grandmother, I go to lunch with my step mom, I hang out with my husband. All things to keep me from isolating myself. Being alone is okay sometimes, but letting it get out of hand is not healthy.

8. Alternative medicine.

I’ve mentioned I am doing physical therapy. I’m also seeing a chiropractor. I tried accupuncture (it didn’t work for me, but it was worth a shot). I would like to try massage therapy. I plan to see a woman (when money is a little less tight) that specializes in alternative medicine. She has oils, vitamins, etc. Natural remedies instead of pumping more medicine into your body (although I still will take my prescribed medicine).

9. Seek mental help.

I’ve mentioned my anxiety. I also have depression and I’m struggling with a bit of agoraphobia (*that’s why it’s important not to isolate yourself. Agoraphobia is a slippery slope, and is super easy to fall into.). As much as I hate to admit it, I need help. So, I’m seeing a chronic pain psychiatrist. I know without this pain, I wouldn’t feel this bad mentally…but since this pain is part of my life right now, I need to see someone who can help me through it.

10. You’re not a burden.

It’s so easy to feel like you’re a burden when you’re requesting people take you to your appointments, talk to you on the phone, hang out with you, etc. I lost my job because my FMLA ran out, so we rely on my husband’s income. I never would have imagined being in this position at 28 years old. I can’t let the negative voice in my head keep telling me how much of a burden I am. It’s not true. I didn’t wake up one day and decide I wanted to be in pain. This is just the road I’m on, and I need to accept that my family and friends love me and want to help me.


If you’re struggling at all, I hope some of this helps. It helped me to write it out – it’s something I feel like I need to be more open about because bottling it up isn’t good.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Hubby and I are seeing Jurasic World today, and I’m excited. Expect a review of that soon!

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BLOG TOUR|Miljun – Clayton Graham *Review & Giveaway*

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be part of this blog tour. I haven’t read a sci-fi book in a while, so I jumped at the chance to read and review. There’s a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter.


Milijun
by Clayton Graham
Genre: Science Fiction

The next phase of human evolution depends entirely on her…

Laura is willing to do whatever it takes for her son. When aliens kidnap Jason, it’s going to take a lot more than a mother’s love to get him back. After infiltrating a military research base, Laura discovers a terrifying secret: their plans to impregnate women with alien DNA.

Laura battles to save Jason, the mothers-to-be, and herself. But she quickly realizes the aliens have their own mission for her, too. Soon she faces a choice, take a chance at an impossible escape or accept the aliens’ vision of a new humanity.

Milijun is the first installment of an action-packed sci-fi alien invasion story. If you like tales of first contact, secret military operations, and the people caught in the middle, then you’ll love Clayton Graham’s fast-paced sci-fi thrill ride.

Buy Milijun to discover the future of evolution.

“Captured my interest from the very beginning, and never once let go.” Jenna – Indie Book Reviewers

“If you love the genre, read this gem.” Julius Zon – Self Publishing Review

“This is a must-read for science fiction fans who appreciate a hard scientific foundation, in the tradition of Asimov, Niven, or Heinlein.” Patrick Dent

“Million? 5 stars are all Amazon permit!” Sarah Stuart

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Book Trailer


Review:

Miljun was such a well-crafted sci-fi/thriller that I am still thinking about. It was so original, and I was hooked from the first page.

The world building is breathtaking. Clayton Graham knows how to use description. He never over does it, but gives us enough to feel as if we are watching a movie, more than reading a book. His writing is beautiful. I was captivated by every sentence and it is clear, Graham is a step above in his writing abilities.

The story is epic, yet believable and different than any alien story I’ve read. It is fast paced, and realistic, which is always nice when you’re reading a sci-fi. I love when an author has an ability to make you feel like something so crazy and unblieveable could actually happen.

I enjoyed the maternal relationship between Laura and Jason. It answers the question, “how far would a mother go to protect her son.” That concept alone is fascinating, and then add in aliens and it becomes so much more.

Wrap-Up:

I could go on and on about Milijun. I highly recommend it to sci-fi fans, and I recommend it to someone who might not know the genre well but would like to read something in it. It’ll be a book you won’t want to put down.

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

Laura lay back on the bed, hands clasped behind her head and knees drawn up as tightly as comfort would allow. Jason, emotionally exhausted, was asleep in the other bed and for the first time in many hours she had the luxury of undisturbed time to think the day’s events through. They had called a taxi from Robert’s house and directed it back to camp. Having found Jason, she had no wish to chase into Caiguna and risk further confrontation with the police, Janice Mepunga in particular. There was just no forgiving the policewoman for leaving her stranded at Robert’s house with a laser-seared dead body on her hands.

Some semblance of inner strength returned. They would have to see Mepunga tomorrow, of course, and learn what happened to Bradley Robert or, more accurately, how he had ended up with a hole drilled in his chest.

Careful not to wake Jason, she made her way outside, in search of fresh air. Looking up at the darkened sky she saw a pale moon rising and what could only be Venus shining brightly. The air held a slight chill, and she shivered involuntarily.

Laura scanned the sky, half expecting something to emerge from the star-pricked canopy and descend upon her with mischief in its heart. What was it Jason had said? Sometimes when it touched me I didn’t even feel it. She didn’t know what to believe but whatever it was, Janice Mepunga was the next step.

They had found the camera in a kitchen drawer, but it contained no record of Jason’s pictures. Robert had obviously removed the stick. Or, of course, the alien had. Surprisingly enough, observing Jason’s face at that moment of disappointment served to remove her doubts concerning his version of events. She had totally believed, if only for a few seconds, that an alien being had emerged from Bradley Robert and examined her son.

Tomorrow they would see Mepunga. And maybe get some answers.

***

At the Eucla defence base the only source of light in the room came from a large wall screen that portrayed the death throes of choppa flight 209 from Cape Pasley to Cocklebiddy on the night of 17 January 2179. In the room were Assistant Commissioner Ray Parlane of the West Australian Police, Major General Sebastian Ord, Air Vice-Marshal Jean Pescos and Sergeant David Jameson Cooke of the Australian Defence Force. The whole flight cam episode had run for no more than three minutes, and now the group were digesting, and struggling to understand, what they had just seen.

“At least it ties in with the radar records,” Jean Pescos stated, a frown ageing her otherwise smooth, olive complexion. “Definitely two …” she struggled for the right word, “… attackers.”

Sebastian Ord raised his brow at the use of the word. “Could it have been an accident, a collision?”

Cooke snorted and said, “No sir. The radar shows two objects peeling away from the main group. Definitely intentional.”

“I agree,” Jean Pescos ventured. “Definitely intentional. Analysis of the short flight path they took indicates an optimum trajectory for intersection with the choppa.”

“You mean it shows intelligence.” Ray Parlane looked incredulous. Short, with luxurious eyebrows, he had obtained his rank by being down to earth and taking no nonsense. This whole episode did not sit well on his shoulders.

“Perhaps even more to the point, what the hell are the damn things?” Sebastian Ord asked. Tall and wiry with piercing blue eyes, he wore his neatly pressed uniform like a glove. He started the video again and they watched as bright moonlight exposed a flock of large creatures moving through the night sky. The choppa had hovered no more than two hundred metres away, and its lights had picked out two of the objects breaking away to veer towards the camera. They looked large, too large for any known species of bat. Strong white beams highlighted their outstretched wings as they homed in on their target, revealing thin reticulated arms as they grew closer. Large reflective eyes dominated the screen for a moment and then focus was lost as the creatures appeared to collide intentionally with the choppa’s canopy.

Ord ran the video back to show the best zoomed shot of the creatures as they approached Pilot James Vanelli’s machine. He shook his head slowly. “Hands up those who have seen animals like that before?” he said sardonically. “We need to let an expert look, but I wouldn’t be confident of an identification.”

“And don’t forget the radar showed them descending from at least ten thousand metres,” Cooke added. “Air is thin up there.”

The group grew silent as Parlane switched on the light and turned off the wall screen. “So, what happens now?” he asked nobody in particular.

“One. Expert opinion on identification,” Ord replied, counting off on his fingers. “Two. Find out if anyone else saw them that night.” He looked at everyone in turn before raising a third finger. “Three. Try to find them.”

“Then what, after we find them?” Jean Pescos asked.

Parlane was swift to answer. “We must eradicate. Can’t have them bringing down air traffic.”

Ord couldn’t help smiling. “Let’s give the scientists a say. If they’re a rare or unheard of species it could be a different anecdote.”

The room became quiet again and Cooke stretched uncomfortably in his chair. He wasn’t convinced. Other than Vanelli, there were no bodies at the crash site. And the aerial attackers didn’t look like anything he had seen before; alien almost. Though nobody, of course, had the balls to say so.

***

The road ribbon system took them directly to the front of the Caiguna police station, seaward of the Eyre Highway along dusty, unkempt side streets. Mother and son dismounted as one and strode resolutely up the path and through darkened glass doors. They found themselves in a featureless foyer where a single three-metre plant was placed strategically in the middle of a brown synthetic marble floor. A long black desk stood at the far end but there was no sign of any other exit door or, for that matter, any other person. The walls were sky blue, the ceiling white, and the effect austere.

Laura approached the desk and saw a white button labelled Press for immediate attention. She did as requested. A flat screen rose from the desktop and the face of Janice Mepunga stared out at them. An aura of total distrust immediately gripped Laura’s mind, reinforced by unwelcome apprehension, but the image on the screen flashed a convivial smile and said, “Oh hello you two. I’ve been expecting you. Just one moment.”

To the right of the desk, a mechanism hummed and a well-disguised door opened within the blue wall to reveal a brightly lit office beyond.

“Come through. Come through,” Janice Mepunga called.

Jason seized his mother’s hand and looked at her questioningly. There was a strange fear in his ashen face, and his eyes mirrored the foreboding that Laura felt within her own heart.

“It’ll be fine,” Laura said quietly and gently guided him through into the inner office.

Janice instantly took the wind out of Laura’s sails by saying, “Look. I’m sorry about yesterday. An emergency came up. I had to leave. Sorry about leaving you with Robert, too – it was unavoidable. He tried to kill me. I knew Jason was around.” Her smile grew broader. “I knew you would find him.”

Shaking her head, Laura said sharply, “Maybe you did, but in what condition? It was absolutely unforgivable what you did.” She threw a challenging look at the policewoman. “And Robert wasn’t dead when I found him.”

Janice’s face hardened and Jason noticed she slowly worked her hand down to her pistol. “It was unavoidable,” the policewoman repeated.

“Are there any other officers here?” Laura asked.

Janice shook her head. “My partner went to Perth this morning. It’s normally pretty quiet around here, you understand, and there’s plenty of air backup from Kalgoorlie.” She cast a meaningful glance at her visitors before adding, “Should we require it.”

“What about a statement?” Laura asked. “Don’t you want one?”

“I certainly do,” Janice said, pointing to a terminal in the corner of her office. “Be my guest.” She was all sweetness and roses again, in control of the situation.

While his mother typed, Jason waited his turn. He was nervous, upset about Bradley Robert and about the loss of his photographs. His eyes hardly left Janice Mepunga, unsure in his own heart whether the alien creature was harboured inside her or whether it had moved to fresh pastures. On the drive to the station his mother had told him of Robert’s dying words, and he had felt sick. He desperately wanted to know the truth but was afraid of another confrontation. And worst of all, there was no proof of anything.

“How did the ranger threaten you?” Jason asked abruptly causing his mother to pause her statement mid-sentence.

Mepunga glanced up, her face like stone. “He just did, and that’s enough these days.” She gestured to Jason to sit down on the chair across the desk. “Let’s compile your statement together while your mother finishes hers.” She initiated a recorder and leant back in her chair.

Jason shot a fleeting look at his mother and received a warning glance in return, accompanied by a small shake of the head.

“How did you get to Robert’s house?” Janice asked.

“I was on the computer in the camp tourist centre,” Jason replied. “He knocked me out and I awoke in a bedroom.”

Despite the recorder, Janice typed as she said, “And then what happened?”

“He made me something to eat, just eggs and toast. Then he made me shower and took me into the basement.”

“What about his sister from next door? Did you see her at all?”

“No,” Jason said. “There was nobody else.”

Janice raised her eyebrows. “Did you try to escape?”

With a shake of his head, Jason said, “He was always in my face, and twice my size.”

“Even in the shower?”

Jason averted his eyes. “More or less.”

“He was naked when I found him,” Laura interjected. “In the basement.”

The policewoman looked hard at Jason. “Did he touch you? Molest you in any way?”

Jason bit his lip. “No, he didn’t.”

Laura stood up. “I’ve finished. It’s fairly short but to the point.”

Janice walked over and glanced down at the screen. “Not exactly flattering behaviour on my part,” she said, pursing her lips. “My statement will give my story.”

Laura shrugged. “I’d still like to see—”

Jason interrupted her. “Can we go now, Mum? I need some air.”

Laura saw he looked pale and distressed. “I’m sorry,” she said to Janice. “Is that all for now?”

“Sure. We have your vehicle tag. Stick around the district though.” She printed both statements and laid them on the desk. “Just sign these for now.”

After they had signed Laura turned to leave but paused at the door. “What happened to the body?”

“It’s been taken care of,” Janice replied. “Thanks for coming in.” It was the final dismissal. Laura and Jason left without further discourse. They moved through the stark foyer and once outside paused to breathe the fresh southern air, which was rapidly warming as the sun rose higher in the sky.

“No alien for the lady,” Laura said. “Thank God you didn’t say anything about that.”

“Not to her,” Jason said, looking at his mother fearfully. “I think it’s still with her.”

***

In her office, Janice read the statements again and put them through the shredder. She stood, swayed slightly, and pushed a floor panel with her foot to release the door into an adjacent room. Moving through, she closed the door behind her and stared at the uniformed body of her colleague. He was slumped face down on the desk, head resting in a pool of coagulated blood.

Suddenly, the winged alien was outside her, standing two metres away, observing with its head on one side. She sensed an instantaneous chill invade her body as the creature emerged but, once free of it, Janice felt warmer and strangely fearless. No words or other communication passed but Janice felt its mind boring into hers, trying to understand her emotions. At least she thought she did. She didn’t really want to see it anymore, was not interested in it at all, and wished it was light-years away.

“I’m sorry, Daniel,” she said to the motionless body of her partner. “I’m so sorry. I really could not help it.”

A tangle of meaningless images ran through her mind, and she turned to face her symbiotic disciple from another world. Something passed between them, intangible and outside her scope of logical thought. She asked the question anyway.

“What do you want from me? What do you want from us?”


About the Author:

As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.

He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.

Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.

Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun is his first novel. Second novel, Saving Paludis, will be published early 2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.

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Giveaway

$20 Amazon Gift Card

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PRE-ORDER BLITZ|The Loudest Silence – Kate L Mary

Hi everyone!

I’m really excited to share with you the pre-order details for Kate L Mary’s new book, The Loudest Silence! Check it out!


Title: The Loudest Silence
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

When Regan was a young girl living in the small town of Altus, OK, Kellan was just her brother’s best friend. Then the virus came, turning the world’s population into zombies, and he became so much more. They were only kids, but he saved her. Watched over her. Kept her alive. And he’s been doing the same thing every day since.

After living the apocalypse for nine years, Regan thought they’d experienced every kind of loss and terror imaginable. But when a new group starts wreaking havoc in the Oklahoma wastelands where they live, Regan and Kellan are faced with a new set of horrors.

When they cross paths with a teenage girl, offering to help seems like the right thing to do. But Regan and Kellan soon discover that lending aid to the girl very well could lead to their undoing.

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About the Author

Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.

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SALES BLITZ|Deep in the Hollow – Brandy Nacole

Hi everyone!

Deep in the Hollow by Brandy Nacole is on sale. Check it out!


Title: Deep in the Hollow
Author: Brandy Nacole
Genre: YA Paranormal Suspense
Cover Designer: Cover Me Darling
Editor: John Cameron McClain
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

After tragedy strikes 17-year-old Jo Moss’s life, she becomes plagued by panic attacks and anxiety. Not even sleep is safe for her. She thought losing her boyfriend in a freak accident at The Lights, a local overlook hangout where mysterious lights dance among the trees, was the worst thing she would have to endure. She never expected to become the one everyone blamed for his death.

Plagued by more nightmares of the lights, Jo is starting to think there is more to their mysterious appearance than meets the eye. Lucky for her, she discovers she’s not the only curious one in town. Cooper, the new guy in town, and his sister Jada have been seen asking strange questions around town. They also hold a secret that could help Jo figure out what’s truly going on in her small town.

The more they uncover about her town, it’s history, and some of its current residents, people whom Jo has known her whole life, the more she begins to think there are those who would rather keep the evil lurking around their town a secret, even if it means more will die.

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Author Bio:

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.

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SALES BLITZ|Savage Beauty – Casey L. Bond

Hi everyone!

Savage Beauty is on sale!


Title: Savage Beauty
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Once upon a time, a beautiful queen was cursed by a dark faery. That curse, inherited by twin princesses, Aura and Luna, binds their lives in the strangest of ways. At an early age, the girls were more than sisters. They were the strongest of allies until a combination of jealousy, anger and dark magic tore their relationship to shreds.

Aura took everything from Luna: her home, her family, and her love by murdering the prince who’d chosen her instead of Aura.

Luna wants revenge, but she’s running out of time. She must sever the magical bond tying her life to Aura’s before their eighteenth birthday or be bound to her forever. In desperation, she seeks help from a dark fae prince, but the price is steep – a piece of her soul.

Fate is a real witch. Luna was willing to give up anything to stop her sister, until Prince Phillip of Grithim, the brother of the only man she’s ever loved, falls into her life. Neither of them can fight their attraction, despite their guilt.

With Aura hell-bent on destroying everything she holds dear, Luna must decide whether she wants revenge or Phillip. She can’t have both, and in the end, this may be a battle both sisters lose.

**Savage Beauty is a fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty… with fae witches. 🙂

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Excerpt:

“I was going to try to hike out of here in the morning. I’m glad you woke, actually. I was hoping you could give me directions?” I would have asked her to lead me to the edge of the dark forest, but she wasn’t what I expected. She hadn’t hurt me yet, but it was clear that she didn’t want me in her home. And I didn’t want to push my luck by staying any longer where I wasn’t welcome.

“Do you have any idea what today is?” she countered.

My God, she was beautiful. I shook my head to clear it. What was significant about today? I had no idea.

“It’s the first day of autumn,” she said dryly. “The equinox. The fae will celebrate. They’ll be hunting in the forest today, and some are very fond of the taste of human flesh.”

Well, damn. I stared at her pointed ears and gulped. “Are you fond of it?”

Her lips curved into a cruel smile. “Not particularly.”

“Should I leave tonight then? Before daylight?”

“It’s midnight. While some are already celebrating, others are already in the wood, waiting for some unsuspecting prey to waltz by.

I watched an unfamiliar emotion roll over her features. “You’ve been my guest, you say? Have you poked your nose anywhere it doesn’t belong?” Her eyes narrowed as she waited for my response.

“I’ve eaten from your garden, slept in your chair, and washed in your creek. I’ve made friends with Cat, whom I will continue to call Cat until you divulge her name. And I’ve tidied things a little. I promise to send food to replace what I took from your garden as soon as I get home.”

Her head ticked to the side. “You cleaned my house?”

“Just the kitchen and sitting room. I kept this door closed as much as I could. It won’t quite shut, and the other door is locked.”

She flicked her eyes at the small gap in the bedroom door and then smiled at me. “I know you weren’t in there.”

“How?”

“Because if you had picked those locks, you wouldn’t be standing in front of me now.”

She left me and Cat behind as she walked out of the room, her footsteps completely quiet. I looked down at my furry friend and she looked up at me and then followed her master. It felt wrong to stay in the young woman’s bedroom, and since I didn’t sense an immediate danger from her, I followed Cat, dabbing at the stinging wound on my neck.

A growl came from the main room just as I stepped into it. “You moved my things.”

“I told you I cleaned,” I defended.

“Yes, well you shouldn’t have touched my things! Now, how will I find what I need?” She scowled at the shelf and the spices arrayed on them.

“They’re in alphabetical order.”

“Alphabe—” Her word faded away as she took in my handiwork. I thought she liked it until she gripped the counter and swiveled her head toward me. “Perhaps now is the perfect time for you to walk through the dark forest.”

“Do you overreact to organized spices and kindness very often, or are you just cranky because you woke from your nap?” I snapped, immediately regretting the words. I wasn’t a coward, but neither did I want to die at the hands of a fae witch.

To my surprise, she didn’t gut me. Instead, a slow smile stretched over her lips, as brilliant as I’d imagined. Not that I’d imagined she had those small fangs…


Author Bio:

Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.

You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links:

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RELEASE BLITZ|Warning Part Three – A.D. Justice

Hi everyone!

It’s release day for Warning Part 3, check it out!


Title: Warning Part Three
Author: A.D. Justice
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Editor: Silently Correcting Your Grammar
Cover Designer: Designs by Dana
Publication Date: June 28t, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Just when I thought I had everything figured out, life blew up in my face without warning. The missing pieces of the puzzle weren’t clear, and the stakes were too high to merely hope for the best.

Absolute facts I’d believed my entire life turned out to be lies and the truth was harder to accept than the family ever realized. Protecting my loved ones was my only priority. Any threat had to be eliminated—no matter the consequences.

How deep did the treachery go? Only one way to find out.

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Buy Links:

Warning Part 1
Warning Part 2
Warning Part 3


Author Bio:

A.D. Justice is the USA Today bestselling author of the Steele Security Series (Wicked Games, Wicked Ties, Wicked Nights, Wicked Intentions, Wicked Shadows), the Crazy Series (Crazy Maybe, Crazy Baby), the Dominic Powers series (Her Dom, Her Dom’s Lesson), the Immortal Obsessions series (Immortal Envy) and a few stand-alone romance novels, such as Completely Captivated, Just One Summer, Envy, and Intent.

When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her own alpha male character in their North Georgia mountain home. She is also an avid reader of romance novels, a master at procrastination, a chocolate sommelier, a twister of words, and speaks fluent sarcasm. An avid animal lover, A.D. Justice has three horses, one dog, and two cats.

While the primary focus of her books has been romantic suspense, she has expanded into different sub-genres of romance. Stay tuned to read what she has in store for you!

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SALES BLITZ|Shift – Karina Espinosa

Hi everyone!

Check it out – Shift is on sale! All details below.


Title: SHIFT
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Laura Hildago
Editor: Daniella Brooks
Publisher: Black Quill Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

It’s hard enough being an undergraduate student, an intern at Downtown Manhattan’s police station, and a bouncer at a local bar. Add her now ex-boyfriend who recently dumped her for the school’s resident bimbo—oh, and she’s a werewolf.

Mackenzie Grey meets her match when she is kidnapped by the Brooklyn Pack and tossed between Sebastian and Jonah—the Alpha and the Beta. Being a lone-wolf in the city is dangerous, and now that the Pack has found her, so can every supernatural being in the Tri-State area. And not even her sarcastic, smart mouth can get her out of this.

When a string of kidnappings involves Mackenzie in supernatural politics, she questions her new acquaintances and finds unlikely allies. Can she escape Pack law and keep her freedom—or will she be condemned to an unwanted path?

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SHIFT
CAGED
ALPHA
OMEGA


Author Bio:

Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!

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RELEASE BLITZ|Lightning & Lawmen – Shanna Hatfield

Hi everyone!

It’s release day for Lightning & Lawmen. Check it out!


Title: Lightning & Lawmen
Author: Shanna Hatfield
Genre: Sweet, Historical, Western Romance
Publication Date: June 28th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?

Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!

Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.

Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.

Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.

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Crumpets & Cowpies
Thimbles & Thistles
Corsets & Cuffs
Bobbins & Boots
Lightning & Lawmen


Excerpt:

Afternoon sunshine illuminating the clear blue sky made her tip back her head to soak up the glorious rays spilling through a missing section of the porch roof. The tang of approaching spring mingled with the yeasty aroma of baking bread and the mouth-watering smell of roasting meat in the air. A slight breeze, redolent with the mixture of scents, caressed the tendrils of her hair that had escaped the confines of the once-tidy chignon she’d hastily fashioned early that morning.

At least the pleasant weather was one thing working in Baker City’s favor. In spite of the house’s disorderly status, she would greatly enjoy spring days in the area if today was any indication of what the future held. She pushed the cape from her shoulders, closed her eyes, and relaxed against the chair, enjoying the peaceful moments before her father returned.

“Maybe this place won’t be all bad,” she whispered, allowing her grip on her father’s bag to loosen.

“Baker City tends to grow on most folks, if you give it a chance,” a deep voice said, startling her from her musings.

Her eyes snapped open in surprise. Pride straightened her spine as her glance settled on a man standing a few yards away on the winter-browned grass on the other side of the porch railing.

Sunlight glinted off a shiny silver badge pinned to the front of a long duster. She studied the black western-style hat on his head, similar to those she’d seen cowboys sporting on the train. The lawman wore a tan flannel shirt topped with a dark vest and a neckerchief the color of crocuses. Dark blue denims encased muscled legs while dust covered the toes of his worn boots.

Slowly, her gaze glided from his boots back up to his face. A square jaw covered in a rakish growth of stubble, firm lips, and a straight nose proved to be a handsome combination. But it was the man’s eyes that captured her attention.


Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, Cowboy Kisses, and Pioneer Hearts.

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BLOG TOUR|The Dead Game – Susanne Leist *Review & Giveaway*

Hi everyone!

I had the opportunity to read and review The Dead Game. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist
Genre: Paranormal Suspense

Linda Bennett leaves New York for the slower-paced lifestyle of Oasis, Florida. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple that is until the dead body washes up onshore. She is horrified to learn that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are typical for this small town. Rumors abound of secret parties held by the original residents in their secluded mansions. Once night falls, the tourist-friendly community becomes a haven for evil and dark shadows. However, this is only the beginning.

Linda and her group receive an unsigned invitation to a party at End House, the deserted house in the forest behind the town, a mansion with a violent history. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives, leaving two of their friends trapped inside.

It is up to Linda and her friends to search out The Dead and find the evil one controlling their once peaceful community. Can they trust the Sheriff and his best friend, Todd?

THE DEAD GAME has begun.

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The Dead Game Trailer

Book 2 releasing soon!! Book 2 Trailer


Review:

The Dead Game was an interesting, and complex story. It is a mix of horror, paranormal, mystery and romance, and that makes for an entertaining read.

I enjoyed that the story took off right away. It didn’t drag on and the prologue left me hooked and excited to see what was going to happen. There were some scenes that may have been a little overly descriptive, but as far as world building, I think the author did a fantastic job. I could visualize the main street with all the shops, the apartments with views of the ocean, and the large mansions. I really enjoyed the dividing lines between the different areas. I thought that was unique.

One of the issues I had was the head hopping. I think head hopping can be effective, if it’s made clear that we are in another head. At times we jumped from person to person, and I felt myself lost. There wasn’t any visual clues to tell me we were in someone else’s thoughts, we just jumped from person to person. This made it a little difficult for me to grow attached to the characters. Because I really enjoy character driven novels, this was a bit disappointing to me.

Wrap-Up:

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Dead Game. It was a cool concept, with lots of action and mystery. It had its pitfalls with head hopping, but that is more of a preference issue, and it doesn’t take away from the quality of the book, or how much fun I had reading it.

Rating:

4/5☆


Excerpt:

Linda passed the empty tables by the tall windows when she felt her arm being tugged. Before she could react, she found herself being dragged through the open patio doors and onto the isolated garden path. She came face to face with the mighty Wolf and his trusted companion, Hayden. The grounds were deserted. Everyone had left the gardens, and she was all alone with the two wicked vampires.

Wolf glared at Hayden. “Please let go of her arm; we are not animals. We never force ourselves on women.”

“Chivalry among demons—I’m very impressed. Too bad your table manners and choice of dishes leave a lot to be desired,” Linda said. Her hatred of Wolf had just caused her to forget her low position in the food chain; she closed her mouth to stop herself from talking. In the future, she must remember that he was a vampire—the strongest one in the world—and that he could easily destroy her at any time.

Wolf didn’t seem the least bit focused on her. “I didn’t come here to play parlor games with you. I need you to convince Todd to join with us. He can never be human or will ever be accepted by them. He belongs with us. He must stick with his own kind.”

“He’s not like you in any way at all: he cares too deeply for people and is loyal to his friends. On the other hand, you and your kind enjoy killing too much and have no feelings whatsoever.”

“Todd will never be accepted by humans or by his own kind. He will be an outcast with nowhere to go. He must join with us.”

“Todd is human and will always be accepted by humans.”

“Let’s kill her now, boss. She’s going to be trouble. I could take her away and no one will ever see her again,” Hayden said, grabbing hold of her arm again.

Wolf strolled over to her with a wicked gleam surfacing in his eyes.

“I have a much better use for her in the future. When she finally comes to her senses, she’ll realize that she will be better off with a real vampire with limitless powers than with a pathetic human. She’ll learn about intoxicating love and passion—not the games that humans play that pale in comparison.

“Here comes the human. Let her go for now.”

Linda was horrified to find herself wrapped in Wolf’s strong, muscular arms. She became hypnotized by his black eyes and tempted by his deep voice. He seemed perfect in every way. She only wanted to be with him.

“I’ll be back for you.” Wolf held her tight against his body and whispered in her ear. “I love the way you stand up to me with your flashing blue eyes. Soon you’ll be mine, my beautiful ice queen.”

Linda couldn’t move her body. She was stuck in some kind of trance…she couldn’t leave, didn’t want to leave if given the choice. His voice soothed her and made her think of love, passion, and great need: a need that could be satisfied only by him with his expert hands and mouth. She knew that one day she was going to be with him, to be joined with him.

He lowered his mouth onto hers and drew her into a swirling haze of unexpected feelings and desires. His mouth fully covering hers introduced her to a new realm of pure pleasure. His powerful form enveloped her, making her feel feelings that were foreign and untried for her. She couldn’t get enough of him. Linda tentatively began touching his face and then his body with an eager and unrelenting hunger. She didn’t know what she needed, but she knew that she wanted and desired this beautiful man standing right before her. Her past life was washed out of her mind, never to be considered again. Linda begged him to take her with him tonight. In response, Wolf lifted her in his arms, as if she weighed nothing, and turned to leave the party. His beautiful face looked victorious and happy. His black eyes filled with passion. She hoped that it was because of her. He looked down into her small face and gave a hearty roar.

While Wolf carried her in his powerful arms, a dark shadow swooped out of the house and flew directly at them. Linda was knocked out of his arms, and Wolf was thrown across the patio.

She looked up to see who had attacked them. It was Todd, his eyes a deadly shade of green, standing there panting.

Linda backed away in horror. Todd’s eyes cleared and returned to their original dark color. Then he looked at her. “Don’t ever be afraid of me. I’m here to protect you.”

Then he was struck down by Wolf.


About the Author:

I have always loved to read. I grew up with Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean and so many other authors who filled my imagination with intrigue and mystery. The TV show, Murder She Wrote, kept me entertained when I was not reading late into the night.

Over the years, my taste in books has expanded to include the supernatural and paranormal genres as reflected in my selection of shows, such as Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals.

My first book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal suspense/mystery. It brings fantasy and the surreal to the simple murder mystery. It has dead bodies and suspects. However, it also has vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice up the mix.

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$5 Amazon Gift Card, 2 winners

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BLOG TOUR|Go Home, Afton – Brent Jones

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be part of this blog tour. Check out my review and be sure to pick up your copy for $.99!


Go Home, Afton

Author: Brent Jones
Length: Novella
Genre: Thriller
Series: Afton Morrison, Book 1
Release Date: June 25, 2018

Blurb:

We all wear masks, and Afton Morrison is no exception.

A small-town librarian with a dark side, Afton, twenty-six, has suppressed violent impulses her entire adult life. Impulses that demand she commit murder.

Blending her urges with reason, Afton stalks a known sexual predator, intending to kill him. But her plan, inspired by true crime and hatched with meticulous care, is interrupted by a mysterious figure from her past. A dangerous man that lurks in the shadows, watching, threatening to turn the huntress into the hunted.

Go Home, Afton is the first of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

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Review:

Go Home, Afton is one of these most thrilling novellas I have ever had a chance to read. It is so different, from the point of view of Afton, a girl with dark desires and how she chooses to justify them.

While reading this book, I felt torn because part of me says, you really shouldn’t love Afton, but I really do. She is such an interesting and unique character. She has a wonderfully sarcastic attitude, a dark desire to kill, but underneath there is still an innocence. I am fascinated by her. One of the most compelling leads I’ve read in a while.

The mystery in this story is captivating. The idea of The Man in Shadows is creepy, and intense. Afton has her suspicions of who he is, and I certainly see that it could be true, but I also wonder if the author is taking us down a twisting road.

Brent Jones’ writing is fantastic. The dialogue he has created is gripping, and so realistic, I found each character to stand out as a unique individual. Great characters makes for great novels.

Wrap-Up:

I have to admit, I haven’t really stopped thinking about this novella since I finished reading. I’m obsessed and I need to know more. I cannot wait for the rest of the series!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

(Chapter 3)

Parents—stay-at-home moms, mostly—brought in their toddlers once a week so I could read them a story. And I use the word toddlers loosely. Kids as old as six or seven sometimes attended during the summer. And the stories we would read were made up of fewer than fifty words, for the most part. A lot of the mothers in Wakefield were too lazy to read to their own children, I guess.

Oh, and crafts, too. After reading a story together, we’d break out glitter and colored pencils and paste and other nonsense, but that wasn’t the real reason a dozen women turned out with their little monsters each week. Storytime was an excuse for the mothers to gather and gossip. It always took a little while to get the children to settle down, sure. I’d press my finger to my lips and wait. Five or ten seconds at most, although I would have been happy to wait longer. Their mothers, on the other hand, were so much worse. Getting them to shut their fucking traps was a whole separate exercise in endurance.

But as much as I disliked children, there was something magical about them. It was their inability to see gray, I think. Their entire worlds existed in black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. You could see it in their faces as a story unfolded, rife with nervous energy at every inconsequential turn.

“And she just doesn’t know”—I read to the room, pointing to each gigantic word—“should she stay, should she go?”

I caught a boy’s expression, who sat just inches from me. The hippopotamus in our story was faced with a dilemma, and this boy was transfixed. His eyes were wide, his hands were cupped over his mouth, and he was vibrating with anticipation to see what the hippo would do next.

I flipped to the last page. “But yes the hippopotamus.”

The boy relaxed a little, making a deliberate show of letting his shoulders drop. A talented drama queen in the making. He was new to storytime and looked to be about five or six years old. He had dark hair, a tan complexion, and a missing front tooth. He’d attended just once before and he’d sat close that day, as well. I’d never really been big on learning children’s names, to be honest, but I knew his was Neil only because he’d come to the library alone both times. It sounds strange, I’m sure, but having a parent use the library as a free babysitting service happens more often than most people would guess.

I continued on, reading the final words of the story. “But not the armadillo.”

Neil was stressed all over again, and his tiny hand shot up. “Miss Afton?”

“Yes, ah, Neil? What is it, little man?”

“How come not the arma-darma?”

“Armadillo.” A woman in baggy gray sweatpants corrected him from the back of the room. She was a few years older than me, had bleach-blonde hair in a ponytail, and her voice resembled a seagull getting crushed by a car.

I shut the book and set it on my lap. “That’s a good question, Neil.” I bit my lower lip, deciding how much to share. “Well, let’s see. Ah, no one likes armadillos, for starters. They’re bullet-proof, if you can believe it, and ugly as sin. They carry leprosy, too, but they don’t bite children too often.”

The woman at the back of the room—Sweatpants, let’s call her—looked horrified. Her stained teeth chattered and she blinked in rapid succession. She placed her palms over her daughter’s ears, a girl around three or four in age.

Neil scratched his head. “What’s a lepra-she?”

“It’s—”

Sweatpants raised her hand to silence me—not that I minded—and looked to a few of the other mothers in the room for support, most of whom were checked out or occupied with their phones. She looked back at me again, then at her daughter. “It’s when good little boys and girls get ice cream.” That wasn’t how I might have defined the word, however. “You want to stop for ice cream on the way home, Jessi?”

It was hard enough getting these little turds to sit still for all fourteen pages of But Not the Hippopotamus. Why on earth would this woman want to stuff her daughter’s face with sugar before lunch? But the girl jumped up and squealed at the mention of sweets, and soon, other kids joined in, as did their mothers.

I peeked down at Neil to see him cradling his head in his hands, masking a look of disappointment by staring at the floor. It appeared he had forgotten all about armadillos and leprosy and storytime, and now sulked, wishing he had a parent present to take him for ice cream like the other children.

The mothers talked amongst themselves, and their toddlers fed on the elevated energy levels. The room was alive with discourse, and I wondered if the local Dairy Queen might consider paying me a small commission. “Well, that’s it for storytime, boys and girls. Thanks for coming.”

Sweatpants spoke up at the back of the room, the self-elected leader of Wakefield’s fattest and frumpiest. “But it’s only quarter past, Afton. Isn’t storytime supposed to be a full hour?”

“Just figured you were all on your way to get a double-scoop of leprosy.”

“Very funny.”

I raised my hands in a gesture of mock uncertainty. “We’ve got crafts we can do.” I pointed to three short tables covered in plastic, adorned with supplies that Kim had set up for us. “Should we get to it?”

“That won’t take long. Couldn’t you read them another story first?”

Couldn’t I read them another story? It’d been her idea to squeeze out one of these little nightmares. Why was I being punished for it? “Not this week, I’m afraid. Sorry.”

But she just wouldn’t give up. “Afton, do you know where Jessi’s daddy is right now?”

My first thought was that her husband was probably fucking her sister at some roadside motel with hourly rates, bed bugs, and a one-star rating on Trip Advisor. I couldn’t say that out loud, of course, and so I fought like hell to keep a smirk off my face. It helped to keep my sights trained on Jessi, who had sat back down, cross-legged in a checkered dress. She was drawing on the floor with one small finger.

Sweatpants answered her own question. “He’s at work, Afton. And he works hard, by the way, and we pay more than our share of taxes in this town. Taxes that pay your salary.”

Oh, the salary card. How I loved it when disgruntled parents brought up my salary, as if any one of them wanted to trade places with me. Yes, her taxes paid me a small fortune. That’s why I rented a one-bedroom apartment in a triplex. And it’s the same reason I drove a seven-year-old Corolla. I was so grateful—indebted, even—to Sweatpants and her husband that I just couldn’t wait to read another story.

“Sure thing.” I grabbed a second book off the pile next to me. “One more story, coming right up.”

Sweatpants smiled. It was a flat, fake smile, of course, the kind where the mouth curls tight but the eyes are dormant. It was about the best I could have hoped for, and it seemed to have a calming effect on the other mothers. They quieted down, eager to return to their various text message conversations.

I pointed my finger to more jumbo text on a colorful page. A story about an overweight and diabetic caterpillar with impulse control issues, who was always so very very fucking hungry. “In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf . . .”

And I couldn’t help but lose myself in thought. I was that little egg on a leaf, glimmering in the moonlight, and about to hatch. Soon after, the morning would come. And my hunger would be satiated at last, because Kenneth Pritchard would be dead.


About the Author:

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.

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*Tour Schedule*

June 25th

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

Book Wonderland (Review) https://bookwonderlandweb.wordpress.com/

Down the Rabbit Hole (Review) http://meggydowntherabbithole.wordpress.com/

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

June 26th

Book Dragon Girl (Review) http://www.bookdragongirl.com

Jessica Rachow (Review) https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews (Review) https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.com

The Scribblings (Review) https://thescribblingssite.wordpress.com

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

June 27th

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

June 28th

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

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

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

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

June 29th

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

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

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Errin Krystal (Review) https://www.errinkrystal.wordpress.com