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Gambling Spells: Book Review

grimoire - Gambling Spells: Book Review A Grimoire for Gamblers
The Trove Arbitrations Book 1
Amanda Creiglow
Mystery and Thrillers, SciFi and Fantasy
Waldron Lake Books , BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 27 May 2021 | Archive Date 6 Jun 2021 BooksGoSocial
three star - Gambling Spells: Book Review

Magic may be secret, but it’ll kill you anyway.

Small town mayor’s assistant Elizabeth has enough on her plate grieving her father’s suicide. She doesn’t need his stash of magical knowledge in the attic. She doesn’t need the hidden supernatural subculture of monsters it pulls her into. And she certainly doesn’t need hints that her father’s madness might have been a smokescreen for something far darker.

But uncovering her father’s secrets could be the only way Elizabeth can stop a string of suspicious suicides… if the local wizard doesn’t rip the memories out of her mind, first.

Wizards, right?

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What is the definition of a Grimoire I wonder? Certainly, here a ‘Trove’ of papers was found in which a number of spells and ways to undertake magic were written. In many languages, by many hands. It had been collected and was being kept by a person who then died.

Once discovered, many in the magical world wanted this trove as it was rare but the girl finding it was not about to give it up.

This gave rise to a number of accidents, incidents and other magical occurrences. Elizabeth is trying to cope with her father’s suicide and the discovery of his trove and the reason for his suicide hits her hard. She struggles to know who to trust and who can help her understand what happened.

In may respects this is a simple story in the genre of being accidentally magical in adulthood with accompanying issues. The difference mainly being that Elizabeth is not a born witch coming into her powers but rather a mundane using what she finds to join the magical world.

Whilst interesting in its difference, it was not such that I feel compelled to follow up the storyline.

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Inn on the Beach: Book Review

nantucket - Inn on the Beach: Book Review The Nantucket Beachfront Inn: Sconset Beach
Sconset Beach #1
by Ainsling Delaney
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
BooksGoSocial, Piping Plover Press
Pub Date 11 May 2021
five star - Inn on the Beach: Book Review

She's 54, broken-hearted, and starting over....

High-powered New York attorney Ava Flynn finds herself without a job or a future. Unemployable at her age, and broken-hearted by a husband who left her in the lurch, she desperately needs a Plan B. Her prayers are answered when a wealthy benefactor wills her a large house in the 'Sconset Beach area of Nantucket. She heads out to the picturesque New England island with her two best friends, Luna and Mila, going along for the ride.

One catch...her estranged daughter also lives there. Charlotte Killeen, Ava's daughter, is battling a crisis of her own. Her new husband, Matthew, wants a divorce, even though the couple have a newborn baby. Charlotte needs her mother more than ever, but the two have never seen eye to eye. Her marriage on the rocks and with few prospects for income, Charlotte is near the end of her rope. Then a life-threatening illness brings into focus what's important after all.

Ava's other daughter, Samantha, also lives on Nantucket Island, with her best friend and roommate, Grayson. Samantha suffers from a lack of direction in her life, and longs to meet a rich prince charming who will sweep her off her feet. When she meets the man of her dreams, she's leaving behind the one man who loves her unconditionally - Grayson.

Jackson, Ava's son, is an aspiring actor in Hollywood. Everything has always come easy to him, that is until Willow, Matthew's cousin, shows up. Free-spirited Willow is just the kind of girl to break Jackson's heart, which is difficult to do, as Jackson is always the heartbreaker.

And speaking of Willow...she's a feminist island witch and artist. She and Jackson have been through many, many lifetimes together. Yet, Willow wants nothing to do with Jackson in this lifetime. She has no desire to give up even an ounce of her power, not even for her soul mate. Willow also is hiding a devastating secret from Jackson. A secret that is guaranteed to upend his life for good.

Mila, Ava's best friend, is battling a devastating illness, information that she hasn't shared with Ava and Luna. She never wants to be a burden, so she just doesn't ask for help. But she's going to need all the support she can get. She finds this support in a very surprising place, and, in doing so, gets closer to her own destiny.

Ava busies herself with fixing up her beautiful new beach home, so that she can open up a bed and breakfast. Contractor Deacon Cromwell, whom Ava hires to do the renovation, is the man who might thaw Ava's cold heart, if only she'll let him. However, he's almost 20 years her junior and, Ava believes, out of her league. Can Ava overcome her insecurities and allow herself to love again?

In this feel-good beach read with a touch of magick, Ava and her friends and family will become your best friends. Come and share their joys and heartbreaks, their tragedies and triumphs. For fans of Susan Mallery, Jude Devereaux Nantucket Bride series and Elin Hilderbrand!

The rule of 3

3 friends 
3 women plus 1 as sisters 
Witches work with the rule of 3 and mainly females through the Moon goddess. Although she is night and there is a god  for day.
I found this an interesting book to read even though it takes up the theme of women past or during menopause which is common amongst fantasy writers st present.
The Inn came through the story as being a place of healing, whether emotional, psychological,  or physical. 
I enjoyed the book and intend to read the remainder of the series, and so was disappointed to discover that even though it says book2 is already published, i couldn't find if
As for the Shakespeare 'toil and bubble' explanation of the contents of the brew, I checked it out! And yes, Delaney is correct, most of these would the tricksy witch names for the ingredients. For 2 reasons. 1. To keep the contents of the potion secret; and 2. To make people fear them..
So eye of newt is black mustard seed, toe of frog is buttercup buds, wool of bat is holly, tongue of dog is houndstonhue, tooth of wolf is wolfsbane, adders fork is adderstongue herbs, lizards leg is breastweed , and owlets wing is henbane

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I’m not into commitment: book review

commit - I'm not into commitment: book review Mr No Commitment
Nalini Warriar
Multicultural Interest | Romance | Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 21 Jan 2021
three star - I'm not into commitment: book review

Fiercely independent Pooja Varma is a blues singer from Bollywood country with ‘loner’ inscribed in her DNA.

Brooding and creative marketing millionaire Austin Crenshaw has successfully avoided permanent entanglements even though he’s very much connected to his brothers and parents.

In tropical Kochi, India, with the scent of jasmine and gardenia in the air, they discover their passion for each other. For a few days, they float in the cocoon of their desires. Then they go their separate ways.

That was the plan.

A few years later, Pooja is on tour and their paths cross. This time, Austin has no intention of letting Pooja go. It doesn’t quite align with his Mr. No Commitment and no strings attached sentiments. But let her go, he can’t.

Pooja is hoarding a secret: a daughter from their tempestuous affair in Kochi. She hasn’t told him for he’s made it abundantly clear he’s Mr. No Commitment. Once he finds out will he stay or leave?

Follow Austin and Pooja’s passionate journey from Kochi, India to North America in Nalini Warriar’s new contemporary romance, Mr. No Commitment, Book 2 in the Crenshaw Brothers series, featuring an Indian heroine in a multicultural setting and a cast of diverse characters.

Can their tempestuous affair be reignited after years? Once she reveals the secret she’s hoarding, will it turn him away?

This was effectively a double trope – which works mainly, but not quite in places.

For me there was something missing in the style of writing even though the concept was a nice idea – an Indian crooner who sings the Blues rather than Bollywood.

I felt that Austin came over 2 dimensional, never seemed quite real to me as a person.

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A Woman and a Van

van - A Woman and a Van Go: One Woman. One Van. A New Beginning.
by Stacy Fisher
Nonfiction (Adult) | Travel
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 5 Dec 2020
four star - A Woman and a Van

Have you ever faced a life-changing decision?

You won’t always know you’re ready until you’re ready, but when you’re ready, you’ll go.

When it became clear that my marriage was ending, I felt paralyzed and overwhelmed. In an attempt to simplify my life, I bought a Sprinter van, pared down my possessions to only what would fit inside it, and set out on a spontaneous drive across the country to explore new possibilities for my life.

Travel is good medicine.

During my cross-country trip, I grieved. I wrestled with forgiveness. And I slowly reclaimed my sense of personal sovereignty.

LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases on affiliate links to Amazon.

In Go: One Woman. One Van. A New Beginning*, I share some of my greatest lessons from the road, and how I transitioned from living in survival mode to becoming the designer of my life.

image 7 - A Woman and a Van

This is a true story told by the author about her drive and stay in a van to find where she would go next after her divorce – her 2nd as it happens.

Initially, she just had the bare van – with nothing in it but some furniture for a sink – with 2 bottles of water – fresh and grey in the cupboard under it and a camping mattress and boxes of her belongings.

She was lucky in that as she travelled from Washington State to Florida in this van, she had friends she could call into to have a night on a real bed and a proper shower rather than any that she could find in a campsite. She did have plenty of experience of camping and van type travelling luckily, even though her van was not tricked out properly. By the end of her journey her van looked more like the one pictured above as she had some building work done and also she and her Dad did some work on it.

What surprised me, being in the UK, was that she had lots of doctor visits before she set off as travelling from state to state on her journey she had no health care insurance if anything happened to her. I am so thankful for our health service and the arrangements we have in Europe too…

One thing I found very interesting, and that made me realise that I needed, was her daily habit of journaling. Gratitude journaling. I had heard about it before but as someone who has survived what could have been an extremely serious illness and is now still unwell and will need to take a lot of care for the rest of my life, I need to work more on gratitude and less on negativity as to what has been taken away from me. Her 8 dimensions of self-care are also interesting as I been told to take more time on my self-care by several health professionals, so it was interesting to see what she means by it.

Stacy lives and talks about her self-care and has a website that she plugs but overall I was disappointed that her van journey was short and whilst she ‘explored’ on her journey, the places she visited were really obvious tourist sites.

This could have been a better book in my opinion as Stacy really uses it to plug her business and I wonder about her motivation in writing it and whether she had decided to do this before she started the journey. But still the style was good and easy to read.

STACY FISHER is a registered dietitian, lifestyle coach, health & travel writer, and speaker with more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. As the founder of LivingUpp, she teaches women how to build a solid self-care foundation using a unique framework and planning system that she developed. Her methodology empowers women to simplify their lifestyles, so they can experience more ease and better health. Stacy has been featured in The Costco Connection and is the author of three other books, including The Lifestyle Design Planner.

7nn5H2GAQWmvH1xHxha0 grand canyon 400x400 - A Woman and a Van

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Don’t Chase

Chasing Frost
West Side series #5
Isabel Jolie
romance, suspense, thriller, female sleuth
BooksGoSocia
19 Jan 2021
three star - Don't Chase

Be careful who you chase...  From the moment we meet, I'm a goner. Her slender fingers slip into mine and hot damn. Sydney Frost is all-natural with an alluring chilly demeanor. A challenge. I'm in lust and in too deep by the time I discover the truth. She's an undercover agent with the FBI, and I'm her prime suspect.  She's an undercover agent with a simple task: get close to the suspect. My job is simple. Go in, find the information the FBI needs, and get out before my cover is blown. I never counted on one very important thing, though. Him. Chase Maitlin is not my type. He’s cocky and overly confident. Too bad he’s also smart, funny, and ridiculously sexy. Can a romance built on lies ever lead to happily ever after? Chase and Sadie are about to find out… Chasing Frost, the fifth book in the West Side series, is a steamy, enemies-to-lovers, sometimes funny, sometimes suspenseful, contemporary romance featuring a smart, dedicated heroine and the sexy bad boy who steals her heart. The standalone series of contemporary romance novels can be read in any order.

This an FBI thriller/suspense story.
Whilst I quite liked the storyline I was not so enthused by the characters and their descriptions. I thought that Chase came out as a better described character than Sophie. But overall, neither character came across sharply.
My overall impression of the writing was that it was rather ‘doughy’ in style – sticky and and bit soft. needed to be sharpened up.

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