Review: How Not to Fall in Love, Actually by Catherine Bennetto

29991690Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

A hilarious debut for all fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lisa Owens.

General Adult Fiction
Published: 01 Feb 2017
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Emma has a job in television which is distinctly less glamourous and exciting than it sounds. She’s managed to claw her way up the ranks from Tea-Maker and Rubbish-Collector to 2nd Assistant Director (heavy on the ‘assistant’. Even heavier on the ‘2nd’).

So when she finds she’s accidentally very pregnant and at the same time accidentally very sacked (well, less accidentally: she did tell her boss to stick his job up his bum), she knows things are going to have to change.

Luckily she’s also accidentally the heir to a lovely cottage in Wimbledon, with a crazy Rottweiler-owning octogenarian as a neighbour and a rather sexy boy as an accidental tenant. But this baby is coming whether she likes it or not, and she needs to become the sort of person who can look after herself let alone another human being – and quickly.

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

What people are saying about How Not to Fall in Love, Actually

‘It’s fresh, young and very exciting. A fuzzy, warm and sparkly story by a very talented author. I can’t wait to see what else Catherine Bennetto has in store for us’ Simona’s Corner of Dreams

‘A phenomenal cast of characters and some real laugh out loud moments. Brilliant!’ Heidi Swain, author of The Cherry Tree Cafe and Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market

‘More bubbly than a big glass of champers and just as fun. How Not To Fall In Love, Actually is bright, breezy, and the perfect way to beat back the winter blues‘ Georgia Clark, author of The Regulars

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MY THOUGHTS: 

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

We follow Emma as an accidental pregnancy makes her stop and take stock of her life, which up to that point had only consisted of a shitty job, a shitty apartment and a shitty boyfriend.

At the start we met 27-year-old Emma just before she finds out she is pregnant. The story covers the months that she is pregnant, with the book ending just hours after the baby is born.

It took me the first half of the book to really get into the story, but I think that’s more because of the fact I was only squishing in a few pages here and there. I managed to get enough sit down time to finish the second half of the book in one day and found myself really enjoying it.

The leading Lady: Emma did at times come off as self-absorbed and whining. But she was pregnant and being pregnant is hard even with a loving and supportive partner and here she was trying to go it alone, so she is forgiven. Emma matures in the second half of the book and I ended up really liking her and wanting her to have a happily ever after. *spoiler alert: she gets her happily ever after*.

The impregnator/ex-boyfriend aka Ned: By the end of the first chapter I already disliked Ned, he came off as a lazy good for nothing leach. But chapter six proved him to be an absolute asshole with him draining Emma’s bank account before her overly trusting pregnant ass even thinks to remove his access.

The supporting cast: The book had some rather amusing background cast members; Emma’s infuriating and over the top mother, the nosey old couple next door and green thumbed Joe were standouts for me.

While the story was predictable at times it still gave me the warm fuzzies.Image result for warm and fuzzy memeThe writing was humours, flowed easily and was a joy to read. I will be keeping an eye out for Catherine Bennetto works in the future. star.4

Mini Reviews: Riley’s Favourite books right now

I asked Riley to pick his favourite books – Riley is my Three nearly Four-year-old son, who’s favourite activities include asking WHY, making the house look like a tornado has ripped through it, going for walks to the park and reading picture books with anyone that is willing  He rummaged around and handed me > > >riley-books-collage

Possum Magic by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas: Oh Mem Fox, everything you touch turns to gold. I doubt there is many a Aussie kid who doesn’t know of Hush and Grandma Poss! Riley and I pretty much read this one every night. The tale of the two possums who go on an adventure around Australia eating people food to try and cure Hush’s invisibility. Gorgeous artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland: This is the tale of a grumpy bear and the group of animals that try to cheer him up. Ultimately the bear is just grumpy because it’s tired – I can relate to that! The book has bright pleasing artwork, with simple sing-song like sentences. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Time For Bed by Mem Fox & Jane Dyer: Riley and I read this book every night as our last book. Our final Goodnight book. The words flow beautifully and we always end up singing it rather than just reading it. It is rhythmic poetry featuring all different animals saying goodnight to each other. Beautiful artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Anna Jones. Essentially this book is just the nursery rhyme with illustrations and three pin wheels at the top that you can spin. Riley would be happy just to sing the song and uses the book as an excuse to do so.

Finding Nemo & Dory Storybook Treasury by Disney Pixar: The images are big and bright, with eight separate stories based off of the two movies. Riley loves this damn noisy book. It is such a pain when you’re trying to keep the story flowing to keep having to stop to find the corresponding sound effect button! The stories are easy to read ‘IF’ you leave out pressing the corresponding buttons. I cheat half the time and ignore most of the buttons. Meh!

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek: Every page has a different illustration of a different kind of sheep, with every few pages the question being asked ‘where is the green sheep?’ The green sheep appears on that last page and is finally found. Riley has a green sheep plush toy that came with the book, so sometimes before we sit down and read the book I’ll hide it (somewhere easy) and then get him to find it. Simple sentences, cute artwork and is easy to read out loud.

Five Tank Engine Tales by Britt Allcroft: This book consists of five separate Thomas the Tank Engine adventures. The stories in the book are episodes I can remember watching with Riley on TV and thus are based on the original Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry. The stories are quite easy to read out loud with big bold pictures and very few words per page. Riley does actually have quite a few of the original books, but they are more wordy with smaller pictures.

While Riley was super excited to get his books out and “help” Mummy take photos of them, Ethan couldn’t have cared less and chose to sleep.img_9615

Flash Fiction Friday: Bob of Mongaloo, a 353 word story short.

It is a chilly autumn night out and about in the Mongaloo Mountain ranges. There is a beast watching two teenage boys with intense interest. The two young men are sitting down congratulating themselves with some stolen beer after a five hour trek up the mountain trail and a two hour struggle trying to pitch their tent and get a fire going.

Donavan, the younger of the two boys sits staring up at the stars. “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright.”

Barnett snorts shaking his head at his cousin. “Donavan sits warming his exhausted muscles by a raging campfire while stating the obvious in poetic verse.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Barnett gives Donavan a look that indicates his feelings have been hurt. That look then turns into a cheeky and devilishly handsome grin.”

Donavan turns to look at his cousin, a smile spreading across his face. “Modest aren’t you.” Then his attention returns to the stars. “But seriously look at the stars, have you ever seen them so bright.”

“Jesus, I Don’t know Don. Probably just look brighter ’cause there aren’t any lights up here.” Barnett walks over to the tent to retrieve a large back pack. He pulls out a cooler bag on his way back to the fire. “Give me a hand with the camp oven will ya. I wanna get this lamb cooking.”

There is a rustle in the nearby bushes drawing both boy’s attention. Out steps a magnificent dark purple dragon “Did I hear someone say lamb.”

Both boys are frozen still, slack jawed, staring at the Doberman sized dragon. The dragon continues to walk over to the fire without taking its eyes of the lamb roll in Barnett’s hands. The only things that move on the boys are their eyes as they follow its strutting stride. The firelight causes a glittery glow to cascade along its back and large folded wings. It sits down opposite the boys, perched on its hind legs while taking them both in with its iridescent green eyes.

“Hi my names Bob”.

I’m not completely sure who these characters are yet really, but they’ve been in my head for over a week so I thought I better remove them and put them down on paper (so to speak).

It started with the line “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright” entering my head with the image of two boys by a campfire on a mountain top. We’ll have wait and see if the boys and their dragon entre my dreams again and become anything more.

Cover Reveal: Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio

Kinglet
The Gemeta Stone, Book One
Donna Migliaccio
August 1, 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
. . .
Book Description:
Kristan Gemeta has lost everything:  his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.
In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet.  As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.
But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go.  As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession.
With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna.  He could regain his birthright and his honor.  But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.
. . .
About the Author:
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa and The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing. 

Cover Reveal: The Cat’s Eye Chronicles

For 5 years running, The Cat’s Eye Chronicles has been a bestselling YA Fantasy Adventure series on Amazon, BN.com, iTunes and more. In those 5 years, the series has reached #1 in Kindle Fantasy 10 times and ranked #9 on the Amazon Top 100! It was recently picked up by Tantor, one of the largest audiobook producers in the world, and will be released as Audiobooks during 2017.

In celebration, The Cat’s Eye Chronicles is getting a brand new look, envisioned straight from author T. L. Shreffler! T. L. Shreffler creates all of the concept art and covers for the series. She imagined Epic Fantasy illustrations featuring the main characters in environments from the Cat’s Eye world. Enjoy!

Synopsis: Sora’s Quest (The Cat’s Eye Chronicles Book 1) by T. L. Shreffler

Sora Fallcrest always dreamed of adventure, but as a member of the nobility, she learned the ways of a Lady instead. Now seventeen, she is expected to choose a husband and marry. She plots to run away, but just as she is stepping out the door, she runs into a mysterious man–and is kidnapped.

Abducted from her manor, Sora is plunged into a world of magical races, arcane jewellery and forgotten lore. She finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won’t let her go–not when her Cat’s Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.

But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long-forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power–or will the power wield her?

*Sora’s Quest is a YA Fantasy adventure written in the spirit of Tamora Pierce, Sarah J. Maas and Maria V. Snyder. Enjoy this first book in the series for free!

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

“An Epic Fantasy quest-lover’s dream come true. 5 stars!” ~Book Briefs

Ramble & Review: Charmed by Various

As a treat for myself on my Thirtieth Birthday I took the half-an-hour journey into Newcastle to a fancy café / bagel shop for breakfast, then to the only old school comic book store still around (Graphic Action Comics: 572 Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW 2302). The next closest shop would be in Sydney, a two-and-a-half-hour trip. Obviously, I can buy them online, but that is beside the point! If you want to walk into a shop and buy comics and you live in the Hunter, Lake Mac or Newcastle’s surrounding suburbs you must take the journey to Newcastle. I call it a journey as they’ve stopped the train running, so you either must fight for a spot on an overcrowded bus or drive in and do laps until you find a car park. I drove. I hate buses. I’ll do trains no worries, but not buses.

While browsing (this took well over an hour much to my husband’s disdain) I saw an ad for a Charmed Comic re-boot coming in march. I found this amusing as I was in the middle of rewatching the entire TV series, so I pre-ordered it. I sat down and watched the entire TV series when I first got the collection back in 2008 and being stuck on the couch feeding Ethan at all hours seemed like a good enough reason for a rewatch.

Once I got home I started googling the comic series, as before that fateful trip to town I hadn’t realised there had ever been one. Oops and I call myself a Charmed Fan, shame on me. I found it available in collected volumes on amazon (kindle) and promptly began reading.

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Charmed: Season 9, Volume 1 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 0-5) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge

Charmed Season 9 picks up where the TV show left off With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil… or so they think.

Paperback, 176 pages. Published February 15th 2011 by Zenescope.

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Charmed: Season 9, Volume 2 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 6-12) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge, Raven Gregory, Dave Hoover

The girls are back in town! Season 9 of Charmed continues in the pages of this graphic novel from Zenescope. Follow along everyone’s favorite trio of witches as Paige, Phoebe, and Piper continue their adventures from the hit TV series.

Paperback, 184 pages. Published September 20th 2011 by Zenescope.

My Thoughts: Zenescope has managed to move the girls to the comic medium quite well. Reading the comics I felt like I was still watching the show. The comic’s time line has moved forward slightly from the 8th TV season. I loved seeing Chris and Wyatt (Piper’s boys) a little bit older and seeing the other two sisters with children also. The family dynamic is still strong, with Granddad Victor on babysitting duties as the hubbies jump in to help in the dramatic last battle of Season 9 volume 2. The hubbies may be joining the battles some of the time now, but it’s still very much a magical woman in charge vibe. A must for fans of the show.

At the end of issue twelve we are left with a Prue size cliff-hanger thanks to a conversation between Patty and Cole – which forced me to go and buy volume 3 and realise I’m probably going to want to read all the Zenescope comics before I read my pre-ordered Dynamite first issue. DAMN IT!

For those who don’t know: The Charmed TV show spanned Eight Seasons and aired from 1998 -2006. It focused on three sister witches kicking bad guy ass and finding love. It was all about girl power, sisterhood, doing what is right and staying true to one’s self. Heaps of action was had; the demon killing kind and men wrangling kind, with plenty of eye candy for both the male and female viewers. The Charmed Comic series by Zenescope print run lasted from 2010 to 2016. Season 9 as they called it came out as 24 issues between June 2010 and November 2012 and Season 10 came out as 20 issues between October 2014 and September 2016. Dynamite now owns the rights to CHARMED and will be releasing its first Comic on the 8th March 2017.

Charmed #1 by [Schultz, Erica]

Dynamite is proud to present a brand-new Charmed story by writer Erica Schultz (Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow & Lady Zorro, Revenge) and artist Maria Sanapo (Grimm, DC Comics Bombshells) that will CHARM returning fans and new alike! Based on the popular WB television series that ran from 1998 to 2006. CHARMED, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, had a cult following due to its supernatural fantasy storylines and strong female characters. Our debut series follows the characters played by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan as they balance adult life with a new demon threat.

CHARMED #1: A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco and the only ones who can stop it are Phoebe, Paige, and Piper! Balancing work, witchcraft, and a life is never easy, and the Charmed Ones are stretched too thin. Meanwhile, a demon in the Underworld rallies the troops with a plan to take out the Charmed Ones forever.

Cover Reveal: Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duel


Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: July 11th 2017
Radiant Crown Publishing
Summary:
A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION.
AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL BRIDE.
BETRAYAL THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH.
“[E]very fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals.”
Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.
“I loved Kisk once; it was my home… But that was before. This is now.”
Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That’s until religious zealots from Theo’s sect offer her up as a sacrifice.
Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?
 
About the Author
Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s spent the last six years living in Germany and Maine as a military wife where the next step is always an adventure.
When Amber isn’t writing, she’s wrangling her two young sons. She is a lover of history, a fan of snowboarding, and a travel enthusiast. In her downtime, she can be found curling up with a good book and a cat or two.
For more information, visit www.amberrduell.com.
Author Links:

Release Blitz: The Last Grand Master

Title: The Last Grand Master

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon

Genre: Scifi / Fantasy

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. Andrew’s imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic.

What’s better than discovering a new fantasy series to devour? Getting the first book free! Andrew is offering The Last Grand Master, book one in his Champion of the Gods fantasy series, as a free download if you sign up for his monthly newsletter. 

If you love free eBooks, you’ll want to keep subscribed to Andrew’s newsletter even after you get your free copy of his book as he has other sci-fi/fantasy authors  lined up that will be giving away free eBook downloads for subscribers throughout 2017.

*CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

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Want to find out more about Andrew: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Last Grand Master on Amazon (Kindle)

The Last Grand Master on Amazon (Paperback)

Nothingness: Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Story Challenge

I sit in this chair and ponder the nothingness as it consumes the land that surrounds me.

I sit in this chair and as my earthy energies wane the emptiness compounds on me.

That a world so full of life could be dissolved into nothing but a crust astounds me.

Why before now hasn’t a hero come and found me.

Maybe I am supposed to be the hero and fight the nothingness from within. This thought it empowers me.

I sit in this slowly dissolving chair and read a book from the library of fight and suddenly the nothingness clears.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image.

This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

For more information, CLICK HERE to see Rochelle’s website.

Or CLICK HERE to view the other Friday Fictioneers stories for this week.