Books/blogtour/Fantasy/fiction/Random and interesting items

Arcane Forest: Blogtour

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97899988877771 200x300 - Arcane Forest: BlogtourTitle: Arcane Forest Anthology
W.J. May, Chrissy Peebles, C.J. Pinard, Kristen Middleton, Karen De Havin, Kaitlyn Davis, Emma Shade, Kate Thomas & Natasha Brown
Publication Date:
March 19, 2015

Get Lost in Worlds of Fantasy and Awe

Read 9 different first books from 9 different Fantasy (romance) series. We hope you enjoy the books you are about to read and meet some new characters to love!

Note: Some of these books are part 1 and may end on cliff hangers.

Book 1 by W.J. May – Rae of Hope
Book 2 by Chrissy Peebles – Eternal Vows
Book 3 by Kaitlyn Davis – The Golden Cage
Book 4 by C.J. Pinard – Enchanted Immortals
Book 5 by Kristen Middleton – Wicked
Book 6 by Karin De Havin – Jin in Time
Book 7 by Natasha Brown – Fledgling
Book 8 by Emma Shade – Finding Obscurity
Book 9 by Kate Thomas – Resounding Truth

iTunes | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Author Bios

Kaityln Davis
Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook Fan Page | Amazon Author Page

Natasha Brown
Natasha Brown was born in Nevada City, California. Being an only child, she resorted to using her imagination while exploring the forest surrounding her home (a nasty habit she hasn’t been able to break). Her natural interest in fantasy ignited when her parents read The Hobbit to her as a youth, and from then on anything seemed possible. Once awarded with a Hershey’s bar ‘the size of a Buick’ in her high school English class for creative writing, her passion and interest in literature has never dimmed.

She now lives in Littleton, Colorado with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog

CJ Pinard
A little about me – I’m a west coast native who has lived on both coasts and now lives near the middle, in Colorado! Coming from a family of writers and editors, I feel writing is in my blood and hope people will lose themselves for a little while in the fantasy and fun of my stories. I also love sweet red wine, the SF 49ers, and unlike most authors, I don’t have any cats. When I’m not writing, I can be found chasing around my kids or working at my day job, which I totally feel interferes with my real life, but it also gives me inspiration for my books, since reality is sometimes way more interesting than fiction.

I also love getting notifications that people have sent me an email, added me on (like page) Facebook or (friend page) Facebook or on Goodreads. So stop by and say hi – don’t be shy! I’m not! Email me at:

Author Links:

Find me:
Like me:
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Karin De Havin
Karin De Havin is a historian, turned writer. Karin writes Young Adult fantasies as well as New Adult contemporary stories from her timber frame home in the Pacific Northwest. She lives with a pair of tuxedo cats that like to help her write by jumping on the keyboard, and her pianist husband who occasionally is known to wear a tuxedo and tinker with the keyboard too.

Follow the latest news about new releases at:
Karin De Havin website

Karin loves to hear from her readers.
Contact her on her Facebook Fan Page.

Emma Shade
Emma lives in Indiana with her husband and three crazy cats. She’s currently pursuing a degree in Visual Communications with Photography. When she’s not busy writing her next novel or doing college homework, Emma enjoys curling up with a good book.

Author Links:

Author’s Website

Kristen Middleton
Kristen Middleton lives in the Midwest and enjoys writing Horror and Fantasy, as well as Contemporary Romance. Since 2011, she has written over nineteen books, many which have been translated into other languages. Kristen also writes gritty biker stories under the pen name of Cassie Alexandra.

Author Links:
Facebook | Amazon | Website

WJ May
Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario – St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.

Wanita and her husband run an online business, dealing in antiques and collectables – particularly jewelry and porcelain (one of the business’ website: ).

Her first book, Rae of Hope – from the Chronicles of Kerrigan was a huge success and she’s gone on to write many more books. Check her out!

Author Links:

Facebook Fan Page | Website | Twitter


SIGN UP FOR W.J. May’s Newsletter to find out about new releases, updates, cover reveals and even freebies!

Chrissy Peebles
Chrissy Peebles has always loved reading and writing fantasy from the earliest age she can remember. She lives in a busy city with her husband, two young kids, and three cats. Chrissy also loves to snap photos as her favorite hobby.

Author Links:

Facebook Fan Page

Kate Thomas
Kate Thomas, is the author of the upcoming Equilibrium Series, a five-book supernatural new adult series and The Resounding Series, an eight-book series, with plans for a few more series in 2015.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

She writes under the following pen names:
L.A. Starkey – Young Adult & Middle Grade Paranormal
Isabella James – Sci-fi/Fantasy

Author Links:

Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Amazon


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62999 final5 - Arcane Forest: Blogtour
This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction

Hubble, Bubble, Boil and Trouble

I was recently invited by NetGalley to review a book by Susan Boyer called Lowcountry Boneyard.

I read half the first chapter and realised that if I really wanted to understand the character’s motivations, reading book 1 was required, plus the reviews of book 1 were excellent and book 3 started well so off I went and bought book 1. Not a bad result for Susan!

Anyway, this is my review of book 1 which is called Lowcountry Boil.

Now what the title meant was interesting so I did some research. The area we are looking at geographically is the Charleston Low Country – ie the river delta and the offshore islands – of which there are several that appear in this book under pseudonyms. Not knowing the area at all I assume that we are reading something approaching reality and certainly from what I hear, the Charleston area is boiling hot in the summer so that is one possible meaning for the title. The barrier islands  vary in size and capability to support homes, many are just beaches and others are nature parks. The main islands seem to be: James Islands. Johns Island, Sullivans Island, Kiawah Island, and the Isle of Palms.

charlesislands - Hubble, Bubble, Boil and Trouble

The unknown to me food I discovered when I read the book – the Lowcountry Boil is a speciality of the Islands called in the book ‘Stella Maris’ or Star of the Sea. According to the boil was created by Richard Gay, of Frogmore, S.C., this one-pot wonder was used when this resourceful cook, a National Guardsman, needed to prepare a meal for 100 soldiers. This is a real mixture of ingredients according to the book and includes a combination of boiled smoked sausage, potatoes, corn and shrimp; seasoned with seafood boiled and cooked in a big pot. Crab, onion and butter are frequent additions. Ideally all the fresh summer ingredients of the area.

The other food specialities mentioned in the book include fried chicken, cabbage and collards, lima beans, okra soup and corn bread. This type of food is called Soul food or Gullah food. Gullahs being the slaves from West Africa who worked in the plantations and later settled in the Charleston low country. But all very fattening indeed…

The book has all the usual motivations for murder and corruption including:

  • Greed
  • Hate/love
  • Envy
  • Disappointment

There are several murders. Some blackmail. Lots of hidden motivations and secrets. A veritable boiling cauldron of seething emotions.

Great fun and 4 stars for sure..







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Books/book review/fiction/health/London/net galley/Random and interesting items/crime fiction

Keeping You Safe: Away from Harm?

A Review of No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary: a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘keeping you safe’. Net galley review. 4.5 stars.

Keeps you wondering just what can happen next. Some notes about Post Partum Depression (PPD) follows – don’t read this if you are pregnant

  • For the mother, PPD may result in sleep disturbance, feelings of worthlessness, diminished concentration, recurrent thoughts of self-harm. Mothers with PPD can become withdrawn, socially isolated, and have difficulty caring for themselves and their children. Severe cases may feel helpless, despair and shame, even leading to suicide attempts.
  • The PPD can exacerbate her social isolation (which may also have contributed to its development in the first place). The birth of a child often entails leaving work, narrowing the mother’s social network.
  • Postpartum depression can also significantly strain relationships within the family, and is associated with the father developing a depression or other psychiatric problems (Condon, J. Australian Family Physician 2006;35(9):690).
  • No one single cause of PPD has been identified; a number of biological (e.g., hormonal changes), social and psychological factors have been implicated. Plausibly social, psychological and biological factors need to be linked in a causal chain.
  • Puerperal psychosis is more severe and involves fluctuating extremes of elation and depression with delusions and hallucinations. This rare condition may affect about .01% and requires extensive medical intervention.

Looking at the issues highlighted in this book and the evidence presented about the mother it is clear that this is not a normal case of post partum depression but rather puerperal psychosis. (I checked this with my handy clinical psychologist just to be sure that I was identifying everything correctly.) Puerperal psychosis can be associated with late onset bi-polar and in this book we see a dissociative personality split – the before and after of the behaviour and person. We also see a mother who is unable to set and keep to appropriate boundaries.

One major issue highlighted in this book is the lack of support for the husband who does not reach out himself. Whilst there are a number of online support groups for the husbands of wives suffering from PPD there seems to be little intervention from health care officials for these husbands. Additionally, most of the internet support groups are aimed at wives whose husbands are not sufficiently supportive. Many husbands do not know how to be supportive of their wives.

What happens though to the self-worth and emotional and mental health of a husband whose wife actually kills a child /children through PPD is seems to have very little written about. They are survivors and must suffer survivor guilt as well as the guilt that comes from not keeping their children safe from their wives. The depression must be severe and the over-compensation if they start a new family must be expected though as in this case, if this mental over-compensation – obsession is not dealt with then it can in itself turn into a form of mental illness with associated problems as is shown in this book.

The book threw up for me a lot of points – I shall write about the Thames and what lies under London in a different blog as it would take too many words to add to this review. But the book really gave me a lot to think and ponder about and to look into. One of my childhood-friend’s sister had PPD and was hospitalised with both children she bore, which must have been devastating for the family I now realise though at the time she was somewhat older than me, although living still in the same road – presumably now to keep close to her parents to look after the children whilst she was away.

This book raises so many good points that perhaps there is too much to think about? But it all links in so well and fits like a glove in the story which is told in such a way that the true horror only hits you part of the way through when you read the characters’ stories. Overall a well crafted novel and I look forward to reading more in this series.


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biography/writing/book review/non-fiction

Springing through childhood

Springfield Road by Salena Godden

This unlike most of the books I read was not only non-fiction but also a memoir/autobiography written not by someone famous, or at least not very famous even though they do perform. In most ways this was a memoir about the childhood of what appears at first instance to be an ordinary girl. It is based largely around her memories of a house she lived in – in Springfield Road – hence the title.

She is the daughter of a quite famous white jazz musician who played with most of the bands and stars of his era and a black dancer – a go-go dancer at the time of their marriage.

salena1 - Springing through childhood salenagodden 8 - Springing through childhood

She therefore has a mixed heritage, although it was her mother’s family who had most impact on her.

Her father deserted her mother when she was quite small – he was fairly typical I suppose of musicians of that time who were promiscuous and in many ways it is more surprising that he actually married her mother than that he left and had many affairs.

Salena now has a career as a poet and musician herself and her poetry often came through in this book as much of the text was quite lyrical. However, as this book was published by Unbound publishers – a sort of cloud-funding site for publication there was insufficient editing and this book needed a stronger line of story. It jumped around rather too much and was confusing. The first chapters were also off-putting and you needed to read well into the book to want to continue. Once you did, you got fascinated by, what for me, was not reminiscent of my childhood and foreign to me as I lived in a very different area of the country – a ‘safe’ London suburb where we ran riot in our cul-de-sac and each other’s houses. Another difference is that she was always looking for her father, and believed as a child, he would come home to her soon. As a child I lost my mother to an illness and so knew she never come home to me.

Memory of childhood is often patchy and yet Salena’s seemed very strong indeed and you just wonder how much was filled in by guess or desire when memory missed. Certainly her family helped her a lot, but again our memories are skewed by what we want to believe. Can we really remember everything? Especially what it was like to be a child? The racial issues that she would have encountered then must have been ones that remained strong in her memory though as such a mixed marriage was rather uncommon in the 1970s though it was becoming more common it’s true.

I was given the opportunity to read this book through the website for women called forbookssake which specialises in encouraging female authors.

Salena says about her book:

Springfield Road is a journey into childhood. My childhood, maybe your childhood too. I set out to capture a snapshot of the seventies, a world without health and safety, a time of halfpenny sweets, fish and chips in newspaper, cassette tapes of the Sunday night top ten, scrumping apples and foraging for conkers, through the eyes of my child self.

It is the memoir of our family home on Springfield Road in Hastings, but it is also a memoir of the journey I took writing this book. These are my memories of my attempts to understand the beauty, the brutality and the contradictions of the adult world; why my Irish jazz musician father mysteriously disappeared from our lives; how my mother’s transitions from her Jamaican girlhood to her teenage dreams to represent Britain in the Olympics, to her life as a go-go dancer and then single-parenthood affected us all. It’s about discovering that life is unfair and that parents die. Its also about seeking the good in the world, the humour and the tenderness, this book is not a misery memoir.

Springfield Road is peppered with daydreams, a poetic and universal child’s eye view from the cracks in the pavement to the faces in the clouds. This book is a salute to every curly-top, scabby knee’d, mixed-up, half-crazy kid out there. We had afros, we had free school dinners and hand-me-downs.

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animals/Books/book review/Fantasy

Belated Festive Tales

Book Review of Kiss of Christmas Magic: 20 Paranormal Holiday Tales of Werewolves, Shifters, Vampires, Elves, Witches, Dragons, Fey, Ghosts, and More

I actually ‘bought’ this book just after Xmas for the grand sum of 99p which I thought was good value for 20 books – even if some were very short. The book is now no longer available on Amazon as it was intended for a specific time period and snow! Well, we didn’t have that snow here in the UK at Xmas – it came later in January and never was it anything like as deep and cold as it was in the vast majority of these books. However, the lure of xmas and fairy lights and mountains and countries where we get the Xmas card scenery proved irresistible and so I persuaded myself to buy it. Also it has  a range of fantasy ideas in it, some of which were new variations on the theme.

snowy mountain - Belated Festive Tales

I shall list all the titles and authors here but not review all 20 books! That would take far too long. I shall just comment on a few that I liked best. But I shall claim 20 in my GoodReads count as I have been informed that novellas count as a book and when does a novella become a novel? Anyone got a cut-off? Is it words or pages? And how long is a page on an e-Reader anyway?

  1. Caribou’s Gift by Eve Langlais

Part of the Kodiak Point series. The caribou shifter  is persuaded to act as Rudolph in the annual Xmas parade because he has the biggest set of antlers (aka rack). And other reasons too of course including romance.

  1. Hunted Holiday: A Vampire Romance by Mandy M. Roth

This is about Paranormal police work in Chicago. The ‘slayer’ is in love with her Vampire boss.

  1. Lost in Winter by Viola Rivard,

As the name indicates – someone lost in the mountains in really bad weather and how they were rescued.

  1. Kissed by Temptation by Deanna Chase,

The Coven Pointe Universe. A sex witch! Witch is partnered with an incubus but both are good and are charged with protecting an angel-to-be.

A sex witch obtains her magic by copulation – and their pheromones spill over to the people around them!

  1. Bear Witness: Pearson Security #1 by Michele Bardsley

Alpha male protects woman and baby from baddy. Classic tale.

  1. A Heart in Winter by VM Black

Vampire wants a human. Human loves her husband. Human falls ill. Can she resist vampire when he offers a cure – but one that means she has to reject her family?

  1. Alpha’s First Christmas by Aubrey Rose and Molly Prince

Wolf shifters who are the runts of the litter form a pack and although poor need to find a way to band together through a celebration.

  1. Witches Shall Rise by Terah Edun

Sarah Web series. Witches and a small town inhabited by fae and witches as well as humans and other magical species. Town ruled by a witch and a teenager with unusual magical powers.

  1. A Christmas to Bear by Carina Wilder

Polar Bear shifter! In N. America’s snowy mountains. Rescues maiden and falls in love.

  1. Shadows beneath the Falling Snow by Cristina Rayne

Elven king prequel.

  1. Home for the Howlidays

Wolf shifters. Familial disagreements. Lovers’ quarrels etc.

  1. Everlastingly by Michelle M Pillow

Snowy mountains again. Ghosts and time re-cycling.

  1. Hunter’s Moon by Shawntelle Madison

Wolf pack – werewolves and their hunters. And unusual and unexpected emotions.

  1. A Ghostly gift by Angie Fox

Just shows what a mistake can lead to – a whole new life and career.

  1. Love Singer by Mimi Strong

World of the faes and special abilities and just what they can be used for rather unexpectedly.

  1. Lord of Misrule by JS Hope

(Vol 1) Reporters . Venice. Saturnalia and its real original meaning?

  1. Blood Deep: Vegas Vampires Book 1 by Jessa Slade

Fae courts and the Iron’ age that fae so dislike mean that fae cannot move into the human world. Yet a vampire may be able to help them. Reluctantly. Conspiracy theorists and human reporters.

  1. A Cold Winter’s Bite by Dawn Michelle

Hunting in the winter – just what do they hunt? And what do they then do with the prey? And who are they anyway?

  1. Dangerous Distraction by Lola St Vil

Part of  the Guardians series. Fallen angels and hearts encased in crystal. Angels that hunt those who have fallen.

  1. Breaking the Stag by Jessica Ryan

Elk shifters and herds and behaving like an animal.

Well we have some new Shape Shifters in amongst these books. We have an elk herd – who behave just like all elk and seem to have forgotten that they are part human. They have sex in human form but only at rutting season – there’s a new one – and don’t have long term mates. They operate exactly like elk in that the males keep together in a bachelor herd and the females together rear the young. The males fight other elks in the elk way with antlers and use the female herd as a harem mating with several at once and spreading their genes about. However, due probably to a lack of new genetic material, the number of youngster being born has dropped very low indeed. Which may encourage the elk-like behaviour – in the eyes of the males anyway. And as the females can only conceive once a year…

We also have caribou shifters and very new one on me – a polar bear shifter – who has difficulty in finding another shifter in the same form – especially as he is not living in the normal polar bear environment! He is very surly as well he might be, being very lonely and somewhat shunned by shifters in other forms.

We have several bear shifters – who tend to be very hairy when in human form – ughh – long beards and hairy chests etc -vampires and wolves of course and a rabbit shifter who actually teams up with the wolves to help them with a problem. Very timid female shifter as you might imagine, especially when meeting wolves!



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