For Eternity by Samantha Calcott
Genre: M/M, BDSM, Paranormal, Romance (Queer Novella)
Publication: February 14th, 2021
Source: Review copy from Author – Thank You
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After World War Three, the world is scourged by vampires, and the only hope of stopping them lays in the hands of nineteen-year-old Desi Duponce. He has an idea, but in order for it to come to fruition, he must collaborate with the older wizard Oscar Scott. Desi didn’t expect his new partner to be so alluringly handsome. In addition to fighting the vampires, Oscar teaches him much more than he expected as he shows Desi the true pleasures of being his submissive.
For Eternity was a valentine’s day release, sadly I did not get it read in time. I will say that I think It would make for a fantastic date-night with yourself read, or you could read it to someone – either way 😊.
The romance/sex is male on male, so step away if you are afraid.
The two main characters are the younger Desmond Duponce, who lost both parents to vampire attacks when he was a babe. And the older Oscar Scott, whose reputation as a potion’s master proceeds him. The unlikely duo ends up spending six months together down in Oscar’s Lab developing more than just an airborne weapon to be used in the war on vampires, they also develop a deep and loving Dom and Sub relationship. The romance is cheeky and fun sometimes, and hot and heavy other times.
I really enjoyed this romance novella. It was short, sweet, and sexy – yes, even BDSM can be written into a fast and fun read. I would love to read more from this world Ms. Colcott has created and see more of WW3 and the Nuclear Vampires.
All in all, I found that For Eternity had a good balance of world-building and action (warcraft and sexual). Part paranormal horror, part romance, part BDSM erotica – you might be surprised at how well-rounded this story is, and by the twist at the end.
About the Author: Samantha Calcott is a secret lover of romance when it’s done right, and after years of writing under another pen name in the horror and paranormal genres, she decided to dip her toe into a brand new genre.
She’s a Midwestern girl who spent nearly a decade in the gritty heart of Los Angeles, where sex, drug, and rock n’ roll reign.
When not writing, she’s reading, at a concert, or cooking. She currently lives in Chicago. She also writes horror and paranormal books as USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi.
GIRL OF THE SOUTHERN SEA By Michelle Kadarusman
Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary
Publication: February 2nd, 2021
Publisher: University Queensland Press
Source: Review copy received as part of the @AusYABloggers tour, THANK YOU.
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A gifted student, Nia longs to attend high school so she can follow her dream and become a writer. She has notebooks filled with stories she’s created about the mythological Dewi Kadita, Princess of the Southern Sea. But her family has barely enough money for food, let alone an education, so Nia’s days are spent running their food cart and raising her younger brother.
Following a miraculous escape from a bus accident, Nia is gifted with good-luck magic. Or at least that’s what everyone’s saying. Soon their family business is booming and there might even be enough money to return to school. But how long can her good luck last?
When a secret promise threatens everything she’s hoped for, Nia must find a way to break the mould and write her own future.
About The Author: Michelle’s first middle-grade novel The Theory of Hummingbords was nominated for the OLA Silver Birch Express, MYRCA Sundogs and SYRCA Diamond Willow awards. Her novel Girl of the Southern Sea was a 2019 Governor General’s Award finalist, USBBY Outstanding Book and Freeman Book Award Honorable Mention. Her new novel, Music for Teens, released in 2020.
Michelle grew up in Melbourne, Australia and has also lived in Bali, Surabaya and Jakarta in Indonesia. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada. You can find her @ Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.
The story opens in the slums of Jakarta Indonesia with POV Nia trying to get her drunken father home. A series of events (no spoilers here) leaves 14-year-old Nia’s father MIA and sees her having to work the Family’s banana cart by herself to feed herself, her 5-year-old brother Rudi, and to pay off their fathers’ debts.
Nia has had to play the role of mother to her little brother since their mother died giving birth to him. Even with this, Nia has no hated or resentment towards Rudi, rather she looks at having him as still having a piece of her mum to hold. She does come to, and rightly so, resent her father’s addiction to alcohol.
Nia is a natural-born storyteller, and she yearns to attend high school, and later become a writer. But sadly, in Nia’s part of the world, the government schools are only free until the end of middle school and Nia does not have enough money for the fees to attend high school. Even though I am trying to be spoiler-free, I will say that I love that Michelle included the stories that Nia writes her little brother and friends, so that the reader can enjoy them too.
At 14 Nia’s character is age-wise on the border of middle grade and young adult, Girl of the Southern Sea has been written for the MG market. The story is quick and engaging, written in a beautifully simple and flowing style. And fear not, the story does have a happy ending. Everything does not end all fairytale and fluffy, but the reader is left with the hope that things will improve for Nia, thanks to her being a hard worker and never giving up on her dreams.
Ultimately Girl of the Southern Sea is a story of never giving up or losing hope. A story of holding onto your dreams and working hard to make them a reality.
I am an Aussie with Scottish and English Heritage.
I am a Bisexual, yes even though I am married to a man, I am still attracted to women – always have been, always will be!
I am a Sci-Fi nut (thanks Mum) and I have a very wide taste in music (also thanks Mum, and my grandmothers). Music and Art in general are my saviour, my church, my release.
I have struggled with depression, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, and thanatophobia my whole life. Arthritis came along in my late-twenties and my overall anxiety gets worse with each passing day. But very few of you would know any of that because I have always kept it to myself. If you come up to me in public I’ll plaster on my biggest and warmest smile, act happy and be friendly (and I am friendly underneath it all, but I should get an Oscar for the performance I’ve been putting on the last 33 years).
I had my first panic attack at the start of October. It landed me in the ER, as Shane thought I was having a stroke/heart attack (something sinister anyways). I have had a few attacks since then and bad days that have left me locked in my head unable to function. I had one last night. It started from just having a down day and ended with me on the bathroom floor rocking back and forth, crying while going through calming exercises to try and drag myself back to reality.
And yes, I have had some professional help over the years. I’ve partaken in therapy, altered my diet, taken drugs from doctors and herbs from naturopaths. I’ve tried and will keep on trying to manage my conditions. I want to be well and I am not a quitter. It’s just not in my DNA to give up, although most times it seems like the easiest option.
I do not tell my friends and family what is going on with me because I do not want to bring them down – but all that has done is made me feel completely alone. I am not telling you this because I want sympathy – fuck no! I am here, holding myself accountable for my own wellbeing. I am here, trying to be my most authentic self.
I decided to post this in the hopes of raising awareness. I want you to CHECK IN ON YOUR MATES. Get in their heads and let them in yours. LIFE IS TOO HARD TO FACE ALONE, and after 33 years, I cannot keep it up. So here we are.
Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m pleased to meet you.
The phone rings and I get a jolt to the guts like someone has kicked me.
I feel like I am going to bring up my lunch.
I answer the phone, ramping up my fake happy mode, asking “how may I help you” and such.
I just want peace and quiet.
I just want to sleep.
I do not want to talk to anybody.
I do not want to speak.
Everyday drags on and feels like a waste.
Yet the years speed by at a blistering pace.
We all know the Sun, the powerhouse of our solar system, but what about Luyten’s Flare, the Rosino-Zwicky Object or Chanal’s variable star? For those whose curiosity takes them far beyond Earth’s atmosphere, The Secret Life of Stars offers a personal and readily understood introduction to some of the Galaxy’s most remarkable stars.
Each chapter connects us to the various different and unusual stars and their amazing characteristics and attributes, from pulsars, blue stragglers and white dwarfs to cannibal stars and explosive supernovae. With chapter illustrations by Eirian Chapman, this book brings to life the remarkable personalities of these stars, reminding readers what a diverse and unpredictable universe we live in and how fortunate we are to live around a stable star, our Sun.
A book on Astrophysics aimed at teens, yes please! Science was one of my favourite classes in high school (that and Art & Drama, yes, yes, strange mix I know).
From the moment Lisa introduced herself at the start, just the vibe I got from reading her introduction, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I was going to love this book or the intense pull it would awaken in me to stop, slow down, and gaze up at the stars with a reinvigorating sense of wonder.
Before taking a stroll around the known universe one Star at a time, The Secret Life of Stars kicks off close to home, talking about the bringer of our life, the marvel that is our sun.
“At around 6 billion years old, the sun is in the middle age of her life. And before you ask, yes, the sun is a woman. How do I know? She holds down a steady job (heating and lighting the solar system), provides for a family of eight and hasn’t taken a holiday in 4.6 billion years.”
All hail the sun!!! and a high five and hug to Lisa, a woman showing up for girls in Science!
The pure love and worship of the universe around us and all the infinite number of stars in existence shines through in Lisa’s sometimes humous, always fascinating words.
Lisa has written an informative and interesting delve into the universe around us in an easily accessible way. Ha, maybe if they wrote textbooks like this more kids would be entranced by not only Astrophysics and Astrology, but Sciences as a whole!
I have been in a reading funk lately, struggling to focus on fictional tales and The Secret Life of Stars was a like an invigorating dip in the ocean, or use a different analogy, like a breath of fresh air. It is a perfect conversation starting coffee table book, a perfect read a little here and there book, and it is also engaging enough to read in a cover to cover marathon. I kept finding myself reading passages out loud to my other half Shane. The Secret Life of Stars has rekindled a stargazing passion for us both. And has us intending to save up for a decent telescope and muck around with Astro-Photography to make use of our old SLR in the meantime.
Who would like this book: This book may have been aimed at teens in its conception, but at 33 I can tell you it’s not just for teens. Maybe you know a stargazer, a dreamer, a sci-fi lover, a lover of all things science, or even a lover of travel – maybe it’s you – then The Secret Life of Stars would make a fantastic special treat, birthday or Chrissy gift.
There isn’t much more I can say, so I will leave you with this quote: “Every atom of iron on planet Earth was made inside a star. That goes for every atom of iron in your blood, too… Next time you look at your veins, or use a compass, or don’t die in a shower of lethal cosmic radiation, be grateful to the unnamed relic of a cosmic behemoth who gave its life that we might live. Our ancestor star, our gentle giant of the skies.”
Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astronomer and Professor at the University of New South Wales. She has a talent for making complicated science seem simple and fun. Lisa is a regular on national tv/radio/media and has appeared in several TV series and documentaries as a guest scientist and is a presenter alongside Prof. Brian Cox on ABC TV’s Stargazing Live.
In 2018 she was appointed as the Australian Government’s Ambassador for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). As an Ambassador Lisa is responsible for increasing the participation of women and girls in STEM studies and careers across Australia. She is also a vocal advocate for building inclusive workplaces for LGBTQI+ scientists.
Find out more about Lisa here > https://lisaharveysmith.com/biography
Follow the Australian Bloggers tour HERE.
At the start of July, I drafted a ridiculously long I quit /goodbye post where I went into detail on all the things I have got going on in my life. I was beyond burnt out but I was attempting to hide it from everyone. My whole life just felt like an endless list of stuff I had to do, not anything I wanted to do, and it was slowly killing my spark. I was getting home from work exhausted and I did not want to do anything other than go to bed and cry. My one escape, reading, had become a chore, just another thing I HAD to do each day. I was finding that I was emotionally becoming more sensitive and easier to set off, be it into anger or tears. And I was sick of it. Someone around me only needed to be a little off to put me in a tailspin. It felt like nothing I did was for myself anymore, everything was for someone else – the kids, other family members, my partner, Authors, other bookish influencers – but nothing for me.
In my big long I quite post I wrote about the toxic money and fame-hungry environment that is brewing in the online bookstagram world. I wrote about blogging and my plans in the reviewer world. I wrote about all the bad luck and ill health my maternal grandmother has been through lately. I wrote about how the older I get the worse my overall anxiety becomes, and not just FOMO. But I just do not care anymore. And I doubt y’all want to hear it. Like, who in the world wants to read my sad-sack post anyways lol everybody has their own stuff going on at the moment and there are few people who are coping well.
The short version. I am not well, physically (long-term life illnesses and new problems) or mentally (fuck you COVID and your isolating restrictions). I am sore, tired, and frustrated all the time! As a full-time working mum, there is a lot of shit I have to do that I can’t not do, and that is draining. Being a parent is all about shit you have to do. They don’t tell you about that beforehand. They just tell you that you’ll love them and it’ll be all worth it. Nar mate! You have to keep them feed, clean, clothed, and HAPPY and it’s fucking hard! It’s 247, never a second off, hard. No one will emotionally abuse you more than your own children. Riley is now 7 and Ethan is 3½ and they just don’t stop. YES, they are adorable little assholes and I love them more than I love anything in the world, even more than chocolate and gin, but sometimes I wonder if they will be the death of me. To get some balance I am attempting to remove as much “have to” stuff as I can from my life, If it isn’t fun or beneficial to me or my family anymore, it’s gone.
Obviously, I will still read when the mood strikes me, as a good book is the best escape there is. But I will only be writing reviews if the book touches me enough that I fell the need to review it. I’ll still be staying on with the #AusYABloggers board, helping with book tours, etc. as I love those girls and I don’t want to turn my back on all the online bookish friends I’ve made.
I felt immediately calmer after making the decision back in July to just drop it all. I was heading to a very dark place that I haven’t been too since I was struggling with postnatal depression after my first baby. Happily with less to do each night my eldest son and I have taken to watching a TV show together each night for the hour between his little brother going to bed and him going to bed. At the moment Riley and I are watching The Masked Singer Australia on Monday and Tuesdays, then Ru Paul’s AJ and the Queen on Netflix every other day. The hour has become a way for us to reconnect and share something special together, as his little brother takes up a lot of my mummy time. I have also implemented a family games night for all four of us.
I am trying to be happy and healthy. I am trying to be more in the moment. I am trying to live. But damn 2020 is making it hard!
Glen Dahlgren is an award-winning game designer and the author of the young adult book series The Chronicles of Chaos, which fantasy legend Piers Anthony called “what fantasy fiction should be.”
Glen has written, designed, directed, and produced critically acclaimed, narrative-driven computer games for the last three decades.
Firstly, congrats on your book baby making its way out into the world. It sounds like a ripper of a series! If you could go back to the start of The Child of Chaos’s publishing journey and give yourself any advice, what would it be?
Mostly, get moving! It took me 20 years to complete this book and get it published. That said, I learned a lot in that period that enabled me to take this step. But I’m really hoping it takes me far less time to publish my next book!
You have had a very impressive career in the gaming industry, was it always a dream of yours to write books or was it just a natural progression from computer game story telling?
Actually, making games was my dream and I lived it for a long time. In the course of doing that, I was able to create stories inside the worlds of established SF and fantasy authors. While I truly enjoyed that, there’s nothing as satisfying as constructing a world and characters of my own and releasing it into the world.
Also, making games is a team activity. I love working with talented people to bring something extraordinary to life—but this book is truly my baby. That said, even the Child of Chaos owes a lot to my beta readers, my cover artist, and my son who drew the interior illustrations. This novel wouldn’t be the same without them.
Can you tell us a little about how you come up with the idea for The Chronicles of Chaos?
It actually started as a premise I created for a computer game–but upon reflection, I realized it wasn’t a game at all. At that moment, even though I had never written a novel before, I knew this would be my first. I just didn’t suspect it would take 20 years to write!
It all started out with a simple question: what if there was no real difference between good and evil? In a world governed by temples, each representing a different god/aspect of Order, good and evil (among many others) were just two equally respected callings. But those who had had no calling to any temple were “faithless”, and that was much worse.
I am looking forward to reading The Child of Chaos now that it is out in the world. What are you currently reading (or what was the last book you read)?
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Shepherd’s Crown (and all the other Diskworld novels) by Terry Pratchett. I guess I have a penchant for fantasy writers from the UK! But my inspirations are the classic fantasy authors, like Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Margaret Weis, Tad Williams, and many more.
“This is what fantasy fiction should be.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author and fantasy legend.
Galen loves dreaming up stories, but he never expected to be pulled into a nightmare.
An irresistible longing drags Galen to an ancient vault where, long ago, the gods of Order locked Chaos away. Chaos promises power to the one destined to liberate it, but Galen’s dreams warn of dark consequences.
He isn’t the only one racing to the vault, however. Horace, the bully who lives to torment Galen, is determined to unleash Chaos–and he might know how to do it.
Galen’s imagination always got him into trouble, but now it may be the only thing that can prevent Horace from unraveling the world.
“There is a quality of imagination and detail here that impresses me. This is no ordinary sword and sorcery story. [Glen Dahlgren] is a novelist who I think will become more widely known as his skill is appreciated.” —Piers Anthony
Join us for this tour from August 3 to August 14, 2020!
Book Title: Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy by Ruthy Ballard
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 260 pages
Genre: Fantasy and Magic
Publisher: WhipSmart Books
Release date: June 16, 2020 (ebook); October 1, 2020 (print)
Tour dates: August 3 to August 14, 2020
Content Rating: G.
Frankie Russo doesn’t brood about the past or worry about the future. He lives in the present moment, frolicking in a world of make-believe that drives his high-achieving parents crazy. They have lofty ambitions for him, but Frankie has no interest. He prefers to flip helium burgers on Jupiter or rule a kingdom of mermen in the Caspian Sea, up inside his head, where all the fun is. Frankie’s parents nag him endlessly, worried he’ll come to nothing. But all that changes when he disappears through a mysterious crack in his bedroom ceiling and finds himself on a distant, two-mooned planet called Urth. Why was he drawn there? He doesn’t know, but as he embarks on a delightful, mind-blowing adventure, Frankie’s desperate parents think he’s been abducted, and an innocent man is
arrested and charged with the crime! On the surface, Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy is a lighthearted science-rich adventure story that takes its middle grade readers on an entertaining romp to the other side of the galaxy. But the undercurrent is one of discovery and redemption, where a ten-year-old boy, through an unexpected journey, finds a way to escape his parent’s stifling shadow and emerge into a future of his own choosing.
Meet the Author:Ruthy Ballard is a children’s book author, artist, and scientist who lives in Sacramento, California. By day, she’s “Dr. Ruth Ballard,” a professor and forensic DNA expert. By night, she romps in an imaginative playground of colors and words. Ruthy is the author of Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy and Tales by Moons-Light: Stories from Before the Great Melt. She is currently working on the third book in her Tales by Moons-light series: Elvia and the Gift of Passion. Her entertaining stories lure middle grade readers into science, but her creative ventures don’t stop there. She’s also a folk artist whose colorful “cartoons” delight and inspire both children and adults. Ruthy is married to a musician and is the mother of two sons, three cats, and a Samoyed dog named Mush, all of whom appear in her work, in various guises, from time to time.
Enter the Giveaway: