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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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Can you make up? Blog Tour/Author Interview

Amends 1 - Can you make up? Blog Tour/Author Interview Amends: A Psychic Mystery
(A Diana Hawthorne Supernatural Mystery, #2)
Carissa Andrews
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: July 23rd 2021

For as psychic as she is, shit goes sideways far too often around Diana Hawthorne.  Diana now has everything she ever wanted–her memories, and the soul mate she didn’t realize she was missing. There’s just one problem… the old gods expect her to make amends for her absence. And her work starts now. But time lost at the oracle isn’t the only thing she has to atone for. Her friend Demetri was stripped of his powers–and it was all her fault. If she could just set things right, she’d feel a whole lot better about moving forward. Unfortunately, Demetri wants nothing to do with her and knows exactly how to keep her out of his head. To make matters worse, in the age of social media, Diana’s abilities have gone viral. People from all over the world are clambering to get on her books. One case, in particular, hits her radar and despite herself, she can’t shake it. A 14-year-old boy is wrapped up with a deadly governmental agency and he’s scared to death. And he should be–they want to weaponize his power. Torn between what was and what is, Diana struggles to fully embrace who she’s becoming. Will she be able to help Demitri and make things right? Or will her new role mean leaving the past behind?

AmendsTourBanner 1 - Can you make up? Blog Tour/Author Interview

Calling fans of KF Breene, Shannon Mayer, and Shayne Silvers! If you like snarky-fun humor, gripping supernatural scenes, and twists that leave you spellbound — then you will LOVE Carissa Andrews’ world built especially for Diana Hawthorne.

Carissa Tells Us:

  1. Which of your books are you most proud of? I’m very proud of all of the books. Each one came about at just the right time, helping me to next level my career and deal with things in the real word. Pendomus, though, will always have a special place in my heart because it was my “first” book. I have that in quotations because technically, I had written the first draft to Secret Legacy when I was fourteen, but it looks nothing like how that book came out now. Oracle is also special because Diana was the first character I created after spending 4+ years in the world of Pendomus. But most recently, the Windhaven Witches series is the most haunting and the one I’m most proud of based on how I’ve grown as an author. <3
  2. Do you have an unusual hobby? Is it related to the books you write? Or is it for relaxation? Is it dangerous/ adventurous/ requires travel? My biggest hobby is learning new age ways to enjoy this life we live. I am a Reiki Master and practice mindfulness, meditation, and I’m obsessed with the Law of Attraction and Manifestation. It probably comes out a lot when I write about magic! HA! I am currently learning about EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) also known as Tapping.
  3. What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team? Why? Why not? I’d love to be on both teams! Writing the script would be tons of fun, but being on the production team would be like watching magic unfold. My husband filmed a live-action trailer for Secret Legacy and it was TONS of fun, so I have a little idea of what that all would look like.
  4. What about ‘snark’? is it good or bad? Oh, I love me some snarkastic peeps! Diana Hawthorne is definitely snarky and I love every minute of writing in her world. She gets to say and do some of the stuff I could only DREAM of saying out loud. HA! She’s very upfront and is done dealing with anyone else’s shit. I guess being 2000+ years old will do that to a person.
  5. Is it easy to write humour? That all depends. If I’m not in a funny place, then I’d say yes. But if I am in a good place and things are going well, it’s pretty easy. Especially if the characters themselves are funny. They have their own personality and vibe, so when they go off on one, I feel like I’m just along for the ride. 😉
  6. How easy is it to write a good sex scene? And do you have to have experienced these things do you think, to write about them successfully? Sex scenes are a lot like humor. You have to be in a good place to write them well. Meaning, you need to be able to go along for the ride when the opportunity presents itself. In my books, sex is a secondary or tertiary thought after everything else going on. S,o it’s not typically planned out. But if the idea presents itself to the characters naturally, I’m able to go with the flow of it. But I don’t think you have to have experience in any of it to know how to write it. I mean, I’m not a psychic who’s lived 2000+ years old, but somehow manage to pull it off. So, sex scenes are no different. If you can visualize it and write about it, you’re good to go. Granted, a little base reference wouldn’t hurt.
  7. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? I’m an avid indie, so there’s zero effs given to getting a publisher. But I also teach other indies how to be successful, so it’s part of my job. As the CEO of Author Revolution (an online academy for authors), I am always finding ways to teach indies how to self-publish and design a deliberate, sustainable author career. It’s truly the heart of what I do. So, in that way, yes, self-publishing and building your audience is crucial to being a success later on. But I also know that once you start, you’re not going to want to give up the control (and royalties) you have when you are in business for yourself

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carissa - Can you make up? Blog Tour/Author Interview

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.” Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them. Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God! Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. 

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications. S

he lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh. Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs.

Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: http://bit.ly/UpworkCarissaAndrews

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A Hare by any other name:

jackrabbit - A Hare by any other name: Jackrabbit Junction Jitters
(Jackrabbit Junction Humorous Mystery Book 2)
Ann Charles
Women sleuths, humorous fiction, romantic suspense
Ann Charles; Illustrated edition
(6 Aug. 2012)
five star - A Hare by any other name:

Claire is back, raining trouble throughout Jackrabbit Junction in another fast-paced, fun, sexy suspense. A burglar is on the loose! Claire wastes no time forming suspicions, but she's sidetracked by a treasure hunt. Even with help from her boyfriend, Claire is swirling in a whirlpool of chaos. Throw her crazy sister into the torrent, along with an angst-ridden teen, a jittery bride, and some randy old men, and Claire struggles just to keep a toehold in the current. Then her mother arrives ...

Jackrabbit2 crop - A Hare by any other name:

I decided to read these books – well the first one, as I had enjoyed the Deadwood series by the same author, and some of the same characters appear in both series, and I thought maybe..

What surprised me was that I kept on reading and reading until I got to the end of the series if not the stories.

In particular these books are about the Morgan sisters and their various escapades.  At JackRabbit Junction. Which is little more than a camp site in Arizona where people go to escape a cold winter, or to see the birds. There is an amazing variety of scenery and types of habitats in Arizona apparently, from riparian, to mountain, to desert, and much in between.

Plus lots of other minerals, especially copper now, but sometimes gold before and silver. And precious gems. There were still 380 active mines in 2019, and you can find: turquoise, peridot, azurite, chrysocolla, and malachite. agate, amethyst, garnet, jade, jasper, obsidian, onyx, and opal and even occasionally diamonds. See Geology.com for more details about gem mining in Arizona.

And JackRabbit Junction has lots of mines to add adventures into these stories – which are used for many different purposes, especially illicit purposes as so many are now abandoned and difficult to reach.

All of which means that the Sheriff (an elected office) is kept busy – and the Morgan sisters’ activities help with this – to his frustration.

There are no paranormal happening here – just general mayhem plus heists, arson, mines, dead men, prisons, sheriffs, and various (bit part) players, including some dirty old men still behaving and talking as though they are in the army armed with the necessary add-ons to ensure that they can fulfil fantasies. And who are very fond of drink and cigars.

A lot of drinking happens, a lot of loving, some winnebago escapades, plus a serious number of dangerous car chases and a crazy pregnant woman. Psychotic episodes like these are very uncommon indeed but mood swings are relatively common – this is just an extreme version – perhaps?

All of which makes for an interesting series as you never can guess what is going to happen next – and the stories just keep coming.. and you gotta love the car – see book jacket.

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Amusing George

kidnap - Amusing George An Accidental Royal Kidnap
Paul Mathews
humour, contemporary fiction, mystery
Independently published
November 24, 2020
260
four star - Amusing George

When London schoolteacher George Nearly wakes up one Sunday morning to find a dishevelled young woman sprawled on his living-room rug, claiming to be a princess, his plans for a peaceful day at home recovering from his 39th birthday party disappear faster than a French monarch's head during a revolution. And when the feisty royal accuses George of kidnapping her, his very ordinary life is turned completely upside down, as the party princess takes root in his apartment, causes royal waves among his friends and family, and demands to go walkabout on the streets of London. It's blue-blooded British comedy by unofficial royal appointment in this hilarious, and often surreal, regal romp that's guaranteed to raise a laugh from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace! The first novel in the Royally Funny Books series This very British comedy novel is the first in a series starring reluctant hero George Nearly, the unpredictable Princess Araminta of Essex ('Minty' to her friends) and a host of other quirky characters - all of whom make Mad King George seem like a perfectly sane individual. Royals and commoners collide in these uniquely English adventures that lovers of comedy fiction around the former British Empire and beyond will enjoy. And if you're reading this, Your Majesty ... we guarantee that you will be amused, ma'am!

There’s something about a book character named George. they can be one of 3 things: all somewhat charming in their own way.

  1. a small grubby full of questions and questioning boy;
  2. a scruffy mongrel dog inevitably rolling in whatever smelt the worst;
  3. an Englishman. recognizable by leather elbow patches, cricket flannels too baggy. a domineering mother. a loser group of friends. and a loser girlfriend with a lack lustre love life.

Guess which George we had here. And no, he didn’t wear flannels and elbow patches but close!

Amusing story here as George clearly had no idea what he was about and how to deal with strange arrival in his life. But a happy ending and all was well through a series of amusing episodes. Nicely written and full of expectations fulfilled.

4

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Lost?

Little Boy Lost
DCI Anna Tate
JP Carter
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Avon,
five star - Lost?

Innocence is no protection against evil… One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks? An absolutely gripping thriller for fans of Cara Hunter’s No Way Out and First Blood by Angela Marsons.

LBL blog tour banner 1024x576 - Lost?
A very disturbing story. very well told and believable after previous London riots.
My husband has always pointed to the regular occurrence of riots in the UK's history, and the fact that social ills were addressed afterwards, as a reason, possibly, that unlike  most of Europe, we still have a monarchy. And have not had a real Revolution.
 I saw a play created from interviews with our last London rioters, and it is clear that a significant portion of our youth feel very disenfranchised. And the increase in knife crime in 2019 emphasises this.
So the social unrest that is The background to this story is a viable a believable extrapolation.
I am not sure if Chloe's back story added a great deal apart from muddling stories up. I would have left it out. Its riot experience was enough.
And the final twist was one I never saw coming. Excellent.

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