Life – What’s been happening with me…

I know this summer I pretty much dropped off the radar. It was not intentional. As I’ve posted before, I have several mental illnesses.  Due to various catalysts, those illnesses pretty much kicked my butt this summer.  I feel like I’m starting to come out of the funk now, very slowly, but starting to.

A good chunk of the problems came from a couple fights with someone I’ve been friends with for 18 years and whom I considered my best friend for most of that. Due to the fights, my depression grew worse, my problems with abandonment issues got much worse, and my anxiety over others walking away from me increased. We’re still friends, but our friendship has changed drastically and I’m still getting used to that. We went from talking everyday to talking about once a week, if that.

With all of the feelings that brought up, I started isolating more and more. Now, I don’t have that many close friends to begin with due to being an introvert with mental illnesses and low spoons*, but during this summer, my world really dwindled down. There’s only one friend that I really talked to through all this. However, I also had one friend who constantly checked in on me and wouldn’t let me stay too isolated from him (thank you!).

DonutLine-CuteColors

I also had some issues with my right wrist/hand. I’ve had a ganglion cyst in my right wrist for about 20 years give or take. Part of my job at work is to receive the books that come in, opening boxes, etc. At the end of May, I had a HUGE amount of boxes to open all at once (about 50-60 boxes – not exaggerating). Most of those were wrapped in shrink-wrap and all of the cutting with scissors seriously aggravated my cyst and made my wrist incredibly painful. I don’t deal with medical issues well so that was also added stress that took more spoons* to deal with than what I had.

During all this, all of my hobbies suffered, including my blog. My water garden became a big mess with algae (which I’m still cleaning out and battling). I just didn’t want to do anything but re-read books, which is a coping mechanism for me when things are too stressful. Reading the familiar scenes instead of reading new books where I don’t know what’s going to happen helps me.

I completely missed one blog tour post I was supposed to do, which I feel bad about. Thankfully, some instinct inside made it so I didn’t sign up for too many blog tours this summer. I was glad for that because I might have missed more than one if I had scheduled more.

DonutLine-CuteColors

I’m feeling better than I was, but there’s still a long way just to get back to what’s “normal” for me. My wrist is doing better due to some occupational therapy and getting spring-loaded scissors (seriously, if you do a lot of cutting – get some!). I’m blessed with family, friends, and an awesome therapist who have supported me through all this.

That’s what’s been going on and why I haven’t been around much this summer. All I had spoons* for was going to work, re-reading, and sleeping. Over the next two weeks, I hope to get a few reviews up that should have been done this summer. Plus some blog tours that I’m a part of.

* If you do not know what “low spoons” means, check out The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. It’s a very tangible way for those of us with chronic illnesses, whether mental or physical to explain energy levels. Those with “low spoons” are starting the day out with less energy than those who do not have chronic illnesses.

BLOG TOUR – In Cold Chocolate – REVIEW

ICE COLD CHOCOLATE BANNER 640

Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for In Cold Chocolate, the third book in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series by Dorothy St. James.

About the Book


In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Line of pieces of candy - chocolate and fruity

Synopsis

In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves in Dorothy St. James’s third rich installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries, In Cold Chocolate.

Line of pieces of candy - chocolate and fruity

Review – 4 out of 5 stars

This was a fun end-of-summer read. I enjoy these Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries a lot. They’re fun and a great cozy mystery. I usually know who the villain is before the end, but that’s okay. I still enjoy the books.

These are great characters. I love Penn and Harley and Bertie and all of them! They’re complex and well-rounded characters. They’re fun and there isn’t one of them that gets on my nerves.

The plot lines are always complex. Yes, I usually guess who the villain is before they’re revealed, but that doesn’t mean the plot lines aren’t complex enough. They are. There are usually a few red herrings in the mix and it can keep you guessing.

I do recommend this book, though I recommend starting at the beginning of the series with Asking for Truffle so you can learn more about the interpersonal relationships. Each mystery can be read as a stand alone so you don’t have to go back to the beginning of the series, but I find it best so you can understand character dynamics.

Line of pieces of candy - chocolate and fruity

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothystjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothymcfalls

Line of pieces of candy - chocolate and fruity

Thanks for joining me today!  If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, click the banner below and it’ll take you to the main tour page!

ICE COLD CHOCOLATE BANNER 184

Line of pieces of candy - chocolate and fruity
© Graphic Garden

BLOG TOUR – Scented Bones – PROMO SPOT

TheScentedBonesBT

Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Reads & Reels Book Tour for The Scented Bonesby Angelina Kerner.

 

Cover.gif

The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files (The Svabodina Case Files Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal/ Crime Fiction

Expected Publication Date: September 28, 2018

Publisher: KDP Select

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

Praise for “The Scented Bones”

“A magical mystery in more than one sense of the word, this beautifully woven tale will charm you more than an ethereal fae.” – Liliyana Shadowlyn, The Faerie Review

“This book is what happens when you mix crime stories with the supernatural. And, the result is spectacular.” -Dylon Crone, beta reader

“This story combines the paranormal, the mafia, and good old detective work – a fun read!” – Sycamore, beta reader

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

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

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

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

He was wearing a suit and a Christmas tree tie.

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

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

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

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

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

“Thanks,” I replied.

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

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

Interesting, I thought to myself.

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

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

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

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

Hopefully, they were friendly.

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

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

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon

About the Author

Angelina Kerner

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

Visit her website at www.kernerangelina.live

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest

Guest Post by Angelina Kerner

the scented bones origins

Giveaway Time!!!

Custom Necklace created by artist @niyaarch

Giveaway Prize.jpeg

Every family in the book has a family tattoo. Tarotia family is the main family that will appear in every book. The necklace is of the tattoo – two snakes wrapped around a T! Thank you for being part of the blog tour for The Scented Bones! – Angelina Kerner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR – Barnabas Tew & the Case of the Nine Worlds – GUEST POST, REVIEW

BARNABAS TEW AND THE CASE OF THE NINE WORLDS BANNER 640

Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Barnabas Tew & the Case of the Nine Worlds by Columbkill Noonan.  This was a very interesting book.

Before we get into my review, we have a guest post from the author. Information about the book along with my review, will be below the guest post.

VikingLongboat

Guest Post from Columbkill Noonan

“Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds” is the second book in the Barnabas Tew series (the first was “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab”, which was released last year). Many readers have remarked on the unusual premise to the series, and have wondered where in the world the idea for the series came from. Well, wonder no more; I’ll tell you all about it!

But first, here’s a bit of background information for those who are new to the series. Barnabas Tew is a detective in Victorian London (well, he tries to be, at least, but it seems that he’s not terribly good at it). So far so good; it’s like any other cozy mystery, with a detective who’s in over his head and yet somehow has to solve a case that just might be beyond his capabilities.

But then the weird stuff happens.

I won’t go into too much detail, but the twist here is that Barnabas, along with his trusty sidekick Wilfred, end up dead pretty much straightaway. They had to die, you see, in order to get to the afterlife (in the case of “Missing Scarab”, the afterlife in question was that of Ancient Egypt; in “Nine Worlds”, they’re headed to explore Norse mythology).  Shenanigans ensue, and Barnabas and Wilfred have some pretty incredible adventures, all while trying to solve a case (which, by the way, is very important, because if they fail, the world will end!)

Why, you may be asking, would I want them in an afterlife of any kind, let alone a mythological one? Why can’t they just solve mysteries in London, like any other proper Victorian detectives? Doesn’t the whole “being dead” thing take the books straight out of the realm of “cozy mystery” and put it more in the “fantasy” genre?

Well, yes and no.

Yes in that the settings are, of course, rather fantastic. First they have to deal with the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt, who are very strange indeed; now they’re embroiled in the heart of Norse mythology, and all the craziness that entails. There are fantastical creatures and characters, and the events are very unlike anything that one might imagine happening in Victorian London.

But, if you can suspend disbelief for a while, and accept the odd premise, well, then, you’ll see just how cozy “Barnabas” really is. He’s not a perfect character (he’s nervous, and quirky, and more than a little stuck in his ways), but he’s also earnest, and idealistic, and loyal to a fault. He and Wilfred are an unshakeable team, and they deal with whatever the afterlife has to throw at them with aplomb (and, to be honest, a little bit of panicked flailing, to boot).

And really, people are people, no matter where (or when) they happen to be. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seamstress in Victorian London, a mouse-headed waitress in the Egyptian desert, or a warrior-maiden in Valhalla; you’ll have more similarities in terms of motivation and personality than differences.

And isn’t that what makes things cozy? I think yes.

VikingLongboat

About the Book


Barnabas Tew and The Case of The Nine Worlds
Cozy Mystery/Fantasy
2nd in Series
Crooked Cat Books (September 4, 2018)
Paperback: 310 pages
ISBN-10: 172240728X
ISBN-13: 978-1722407285
Digital ASIN: B07DKH8CZC

Purchase Links: AmazonB&N

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Synopsis

Hold your flying horses!

Barnabas Tew and Wilfred Colby are back, and, once again, they’re in a bit of a pickle.

Barnabas and Wilfred, two earnest but bumbling Victorian detectives, travel through the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology, trying to stave off the impending end of the world – an event which the locals call Ragnarök. This time, however, the intrepid twosome has some help: a brave Viking seer named Brynhild and her flying horse.

Can the two plucky detectives and the fearsome Brynhild outwit those who would bring about Ragnarök? Will they survive the harsh conditions and terrifying creatures of the Norse afterlife?

Will they save the world…again?

VikingLongboat

Review – 3 out of 5 stars

This was definitely an interesting book, but I personally did not like it. That’s not to say it’s not a good book though.  It’s a mostly well-written book; it did not fit my personality and likes/dislikes.

The characters are well-rounded, complex, and intriguing. Barnabas is a stiff-lipped, proper, British gentleman who doesn’t do well going with the flow. He’s abrasive and arrogant, which gets him into more trouble most of the time. Wilfred on the other hand is a little better at going with the flow and learning the customs of the various places they visit. Brynhild gets a bit exasperated with both of them but she’s very patient, all things considered!

The setting descriptions were well-done. There were enough details to give you a good imaginative picture, but not so many that your imagination can’t fill in the blanks. Those are the best kind of setting descriptions in my opinion. It was interesting visiting all the worlds in the Viking world.

The plot was good, but I felt the story broke down a bit because of all the explaining of Norse Mythology. Now, the explanations were necessary if one doesn’t know much about Norse Mythology (which I don’t) and I don’t really have a suggestion on how all of that could be incorporated into storyline more smoothly, but it simply got in the way of the story line.

If you’re going to read this book, I recommend starting with the first book, Barnabas Tew & the Missing Scarab. While the second book can definitely be read on its own, you might understand a few references in the book a bit better if you’d read the first book.

Check it out and see what you think. Just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it won’t be yours! It’s still a well-written book!

VikingLongboat

About the Author

Columbkill Noonan has an M.S. in Biology (she has, in turn, been a field biologist, an environmental compliance inspector, and a lecturer of Anatomy and Physiology).

When she’s not teaching or writing, she can usually be found riding her rescue horse, Mittens, practicing yoga (on the ground, in an aerial silk, on a SUP board, and sometimes even on Mittens), or spending far too much time at the local organic, vegan market.

Author Links

Blog – https://columbkill.weebly.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan/

VikingLongboat

Thanks for joining me today! Today is the beginning of the tour, but if you wish to visit other tour participants later in the week, just click on the banner below and it’ll take you to the main tour page!

BARNABAS TEW AND THE CASE OF THE NINE WORLDS BANNER 184

BLOG TOUR – The Gemini Connection – REVIEW, EXCERPT

Tour Banner.jpg

Welcome! Today I’m pleased to bring you a stop on the Reads & Reels Book Tour for The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen.  This book was phenomenal!

About the Book

The Gemini Connection 2D Cover.jpg

The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen

Publication Date: June 7, 2018

Genre: YA Dystopian / YA Science-Fiction

GoodReads Button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NPublisher

Rafflecopter Giveaway

prod_490_11813

Synopsis

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is.

On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing.

A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

Simon.png

Review – 5 out of 5 stars.

This book was absolutely phenomenal! In fact, I actually read the book twice because I was so deep into the story, I was afraid I’d missed little details. I hadn’t, but still enjoyed the book just as much the 2nd time around.

I’m not a huge dystopian fiction fan, but the synopsis of this one pulled me right in and the book itself did not disappoint. The characters are well-rounded, complex characters. Evan is the epitome of someone who has suffered a huge loss that they believe is their fault. Syd is exactly what he needs and sticks by him even when he’s a complete asshole.

The setting was interesting. I’m usually one for less description of settings but in this case, I feel like there could’ve been a little more. I kept forgetting that Tage had a water shortage and was arid.

The plot line had you jumping right in from the beginning and it never slowed down! It was wonderfully complex. It had a lot of great twists and turns in the plot. It keeps you guessing at times and pulls at your heartstrings at others.

All in all, you should not walk, but run to your nearest bookstore (or Amazon) and purchase this book!

Evan and Syd Battling a Nightmare

About the Author

TeriPolen

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Author Links

Website:  https://teripolen.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tpolen6/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teripolen/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/teri-polen

prod_490_11813

Thanks for joining me today! I hope you enjoyed my review. Have a great week! Click on the button below to go to the main tour page if you wish to visit any other stops on the tour!

R&RButto200x200