The Heart of Space by Cendrine Marrouat
Publication: January 14th 2020
Source: Tour copy from Sliver Dagger Book Tours – Thank You
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Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵
“The Heart of Space” is a collection of 38 pieces that delve into several major topics, including solitude, the importance of embracing pain, and the lessons one can learn from self-discovery.
“Every single poem is utterly endearing, imbued with a careful sense of introspection, philosophical musings and above all a genuine feeling of hope that, no matter what happens to us in our lives, in the end things will turn out all right.” – David Ellis, Author of “See A Dream Within: Found “Poe”try Based On The Collected Poetry Works Of Edgar Allan Poe”
In this collection The Heart of Space the poems all revolve around embracing pain and death, as well as finding solitude and one’s self. It is a collection of healing. Through Cendrine’s words you sense that she was healing as she penned these poems. Reflecting on this collection I am thinking that maybe we are all constantly healing in some form or another.
I do not know of what faith Cendrine is, but “God” features heavily in her poems. I think If you are a believer in God then this collection would hold a lot more power for you than it did for me. Nevertheless, I found The Heart of Space to be a lovely collection of 38 poems. The poems that touched me the most were; True Art, What is love and Death Unleashed.
I sat and read over True Art multiple times and reflected. Swapping out the word “God” with “The Universe” in my mind, I found this poem touched me greatly. True Art tackles how loss can make us stronger, the way we deal with loss, how it makes us feel and to not be afraid. I actually sat and penned a poem in response to /inspired by True Art and the whole collection as a whole?
In the introduction to The Heart of Space Cendrine states that she wrote this book of poems “during my early days as a poet” and that her style has changed now, and she now prefers writing Haikus. I’ve never gotten the hang of Haikus and but am now keen to read a collection of Cendrine’s. I also intend to check out the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal that she co-founded, stated as featuring uplifting poetry, no matter the topic.
About the Author
Thank you for your interest in my work!
My name is Cendrine Marrouat. (It is pronounced as “san-drEEn mar-wah”. The “t” at the end is optional.) Originally from Toulouse, France, I moved to Winnipeg, Canada, in 2003. I am a dual citizen.
I am a photographer, specializing in nature, black-and-white and closeup images. My photography seeks the mundane to capture the fleeting, but true beauty of life in its many forms.
I approach photography in the same way as I write poetry. It’s not about the tools. It’s about the moment when my eyes catch a story that needs to be told. What happens next, is a spiritual yearning to describe the scene with my camera. However, it is during the editing process that my poetic background comes into play. Every photo must achieve two goals: simplicity and serenity. I use the pure black and white format to convey timelessness. Occasional tinges of sepia are for added depth. Finally, colors stand for romanticism.
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Candy Hearts by Erin McLellan
Series: So Over the Holidays #2
Publisher: Erin McLellan
Release Date (ebook): Feb. 3, 2020
Length: 50k word
Subgenre: contemporary romance, holiday romance, erotic romance
Warnings: explicit sex and language
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Mechanic Benji Holiday is so over Valentine’s Day and men who don’t get him. A weekend getaway with friends to escape the holiday hubbub is exactly what he needs. But William O’Dare—a stern and silent nightclub owner with “Be My Valentine” practically stamped on his forehead—throws a wrench into Benji’s plans.
William has spent years focused on his career, and it has cost him friendships and love. Inexperienced in the business of romance, he’s on the hunt for the perfect partner, and he’s armed with specific criteria to guide him. But William didn’t expect a hunky mechanic wrapped in satin and lace to show up on his doorstep.
Unable to resist their attraction, Benji and William agree to be secret fake valentines for the weekend, but secrets have a way of getting out. William gets struck by Cupid’s arrow, and as the weekend winds down, he doesn’t want fake or secret. He wants Benji to be his valentine for real and for keeps.
Candy Hearts is a male/male Valentine’s Day novella featuring a house party power outage, meddling friends and siblings, naughty lingerie and naughtier toys, homemade Valentine’s Day cards, and a happily ever after.
The story opens with Benji heading off for a party weekend that his sister roped him into out of town. Benji gets all the way out to the lake house his sister told him it was being held at, only to find out no one else is there other then the attractive but standoffish home owner. We quickly find out the William (the home owner) had told the quests that the power was out and the party had to be pushed back a day – Benji never got this message. Awkward introductions out of the way, boisterous Benji is a crack up as he maneuvers around sour socks William. Soon Benji starts to wear off on William and sexy high jinks proceed. I mean what else are two queer men who are physically attracted to each other supported to do in a house without any electricity, hmmm.
Benji’s been hurt many a time and now tries to remain closed off from romantic connections. William has been out of the dating seen for quite awhile, focusing on building his carrier. All the sexy high jinks give Benji and William a feeling of instant connection and they open up to each other through a series of deep and meaningful conversations. By the end of the party weekend they both realise that there may be more that’s worth exploring other than erroneous zones and how to make each other moan.
All in all Candy Hearts is a super cute, cheeky and fun happily-ever-after queer read, that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I recommend this book to anyone who’s after a super cute romantic pick-me up type read – as long as you man handle of whole bunch of man on man action.
About the author: Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after. Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.
#AusYABloggers New Beginnings Prompt: #LoveOzMG book, Ninja Kid #1 (from nerd to ninja) by Anh Do. Ninja Kid gives as; a boy with new Ninja powers, a forest full of deadly giant spiders, and a school trip no one will forget. It’s a fun and exciting read, with the underlying message of believing in yourself, practice makes perfect and that anything is possible – all valuable messages for both young and old.
#TBRtrim20 New: Why yes I am doubling up, bite me, I’m a busy mum with two little boys who works full time, I gotta catch a break somewhere. And it was a Christmas purchase so it totally counts. Ninja Kid #1 (from nerd to ninja) by Anh Do.
#TBRtrim20 Old: I originally planned to read Shadows of the realm because it is the oldest book on my Goodreads TBR. But as I’ve got all three books sitting on the shelf, I knew if I read it and loved it, i’d want to head straight into the next two. So, It will have to wait until I have the time to dedicate to all of the books in the trilogy.
So, to pick another old read I was browsing the early end of my TBR Goodreads shelves, just focusing on books I owned and see if any of them grabbed my attention and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how I came to have a copy of Chosen by the Alpha (The Shadow Pack Rules #1) by Michele Bardsley. I figured that was a good enough reason to read it.
★ 4/5 | NA, Romance, Urban Fantasy | The Cursed Key (The Cursed Key Trilogy #1) by Miranda Brock & Rebecca Hamilton | VIEW.
★ 4/5 | Adult, Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy | Ghost Revelations (Ghost Dud #1) by Aspen Black | VIEW.
★ 2/5 | Graphic Novel, Fantasy | The Tree of Life by Jérôme Hamon | VIEW.
★ 4/5 | YA, Fantasy, Romance | Enshrine by Kay Bennson | VIEW.
There is still plenty of time to jump on board with the challenges I’m doing this year > > >
Reading Challenge One: If you are after a easy, fun, social and super chill reading challenge for next year, then take a look at the #AusYABloggers 2020 Reading Challenge There are prizes up for grabs and you only have to read a book a month, that fits that months theme to qualify.
Reading Challenge Two: If you want to slash your TBR and are an Instagram user then #TBRtrim20 could be for you. This one also has prizes up for grabs and you can totally do both challenges at the same time, I will be! Even doing both you are only committing yourself to reading a minimum of three books a month – obviously you can read MORE if you are able/want to.
Enshrine by Kay Bennson
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Publication: June 4th, 2017
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Source: Review copy from YA Bound Book Tours – Thank You
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When Sage Wolfe is accidentally mistaken for a peace offering, her world turns upside down. Dayton, the young, handsome, and insane King of Rosementh whisks her away to his castle to be his bride with the promise that he can give her the world and anything she desires. These offers becoming tainted as Dayton’s true colors show themselves; he is cruel and violent and Sage vows to run away or die trying.
Just when Sage thinks she is hitting rock bottom, a hooded stranger named Jonathan Kreider comes to the castle. He doesn’t say much but his actions speak for themselves. Not only can he wield a sword or shoot an arrow better than most of Dayton’s men, but he always seems to be a step behind Sage, and though it should terrify her, for the first time Sage finds herself filling with hope.
Sage is faced with a choice. Should she run away from the wicked king who took her away from her family? Or should she stay to learn more about the man who lurks in the shadows, the man that makes her heart race and almost makes suffering Dayton’s wrath worthwhile? Sage is about to discover that nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets; Dayton, the man that calls himself Jonathan Kreider, and even herself.
I love it when a book pleasantly surprises me. I signed up to read Enshrine when I saw it in YA Bound’s review call out email late last year. At the time I was in a bit of a mood and thought, I could go for a good old basic love triangle fantasy. That’s not what this ended up being, but back to that a little later. I received the ecopy and then realised it was a 2017 release. It didn’t fill me with hope that the author was still trying to build up reviews a few years down the track. In the end I went into reading this one a little apprehensive, but ended up really enjoying it!! Love it when a book not only beats my expectations, but blows them out of the water.
Firstly, there is no love triangle. Secondly, this book got me hooked and so much more invested in Sage’s life then I expected AND that epilogue! If Kay ever writes a sequel, i’ll be reading it. Thirdly, Sage’s true love interest. Not the piece of crap boy king, but the sexy man muffin warrior that was Jonty (Jonathan). Jonty was a good dude. Okay a little messed up thanks to his daddy and mummy, but a good dude, and fortunately an excellent fighter. He always treated Sage like she was his equal and taught her how to fight and survive on the run. In the end they both ended up saving each other a few times over and fell in love and lived happily ever after.
Now to the piece of crap boy king Dayton, that tried as hard as he could, and almost succeeded in ruining that happily ever after. Dayton was a Ramsay/Joffrey type, so umm… trigger warnings for domestic violence. Thankfully you never saw the darker stuff, it was just hinted at.
All in all this was an extremely enjoyable YA fantasy romance romp. Our heroine goes from being the lowly poor eldest daughter of a war widow, who’s prospects for the future are low and sad in the little village she calls home – to a well traveled sassy ass kicking adventure seeking young woman. And she picks up some arm candy along the way. Way to go Sage!!
Nils: The Tree of Life by Jérôme Hamon
Publication: February 11th, 2020
Publisher: Magnetic Press
Source: Review copy from NetGalley – Thank You
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A dystopic Nordic fantasy world, where spirits of light are the key to life, but seemingly have abandoned the world. Young Nils and his father set out to discover why the ground has grown infertile, heading north where the drought seems worse to find the cause.
Far along the way, they find signs of fresh and vibrant life, caretaken by these little light spirits. But before they know it, a large metal creature arrives and attacks the creatures, apparently hunting and gathering them.
From out of the woods, a woman attacks the creature, bringing it to its knees… apparently the plant was bait for the spirits, which in turn were bait for the metal creature, which serves the high-tech Cyan Nation.
This huntress, named Alba, takes Nils and his father into their tribe, where the battle between the shamanistic people and the Cyan Nation is paramount, a battle over the protection vs exploitation of the light spirits power…
Meanwhile, three goddesses watch these events, lamenting the fact that man had abandoned all belief in their power long ago. They watch but do not intervene, despite the fact that the spirits are being harvested en masse by the Cyan Nation, wreaking ruin on the world outside their city.
Realizing that this conflict will in one way or another change the very fabric of this world, they slowly begin to intervene…
As they continue their travels, Nils has a dream (seeded by one of the goddesses) about the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which is being consumed by a metal plague.
He knows he must now find and save the tree, and in the process, save the world. But the high council of the Cyan Nation would have otherwise…
Having been separated in their quest, Nils’s father finds himself a guest of the Cyan Prince, where he learns that they do indeed understand the power of the spirits, which they call Ethernum, serving as the power source for their technological advancement.
More sinister than that, however, is the fact that they’ve used the Ethernum as a means of near-eternal longevity, having wiped out all competitors to their power and resource long ago. And now, they believe they have unlocked the secrets for using the Ethernum to revive the dead…
And for the goddesses, that is a step too far. They intervene, but in the process find one of themselves surprisingly captured by the Cyan royalty… and then killed.
The remaining two goddesses are torn by this affront. One vows to wipe mankind off the planet for good, while the other goes to help Nils save the Life Tree.
High fantasy adventure combining science-fiction with pseudo-spiritual magic, posing dramatic examinations of man vs nature, life vs death, fact vs faith, and man’s desire to play god.
After an extremely detailed synopsis like that I’m not sure what’s left to say. The only part of the story the synopsis doesn’t delve into is the ending and the outcome of Nil’s journey – and I’m not going to spoil that, so I’ll talk about how the story made me feel.
The darker cover art with the wolves and tree in the background drew me in when I saw it in the Diamonds email catalog. It made me want to know more and head to Netgalley so I could read the graphic novel.
The dark and rather ominous art keeps up for a large part of the story. I found the art to be deeply emotive. The story, although on some other world in some other time, really captures the way the wealthy and the greedy are striping this world bare for their own gain, with no care as to the irreversible damage they are doing.
The highlight of the story for me was the forest dwelling tribe ruled by women of color, who were living in harmony with nature – I wish they could have had a larger part in saving the day. But Nil’s goes off trying to try save nature and put right what the damage the ruling old white asshats of CYAN have brought upon the world. All this hit home for me living in a country which is run by a bunch a useless greedy men, who refuse to seek guidance from the traditional owners of the land even as it all burns to the ground around them – that’s Strailya for ya mate! Maybe I’m putting too much of my own feelings into this read. But as I read this book, my state of NSW, and most of the east coast, was burning to the ground.
I wasn’t keen on the books ending. It didn’t give me the closure and hope I was needing/hoping for, but again maybe I’m putting too much of my own feelings into it.
I’m not sure what else I can say. This was a read I’ve struggled for over a week, closer to two, to write a review for. The art was beautiful though and I think would be best appreciated in printed form rather than an eComic.
Today I gave a little guest post and Promo for you from Author Jamie Deacon. I read and reviewed Jamie’s novella Defensive Play from her Boys on the Brink series at the start of 2019 and loved it! Now I’ll hand the post over.
Thank you so much for allowing me to stop by today to share a little about my new Boys on the Brink short story, available FREE AND EXCLUSIVE to everyone who signs up to my newsletter! Off Course is a sweet YA LGBT+ romance centred on Jason and Taz, rivals on their county cross country team, and can be downloaded by subscribing here.
I hope you have as much fun reading my story as I had writing it, and I look forward to welcoming you to my quarterly newsletter, where I share reading recommendations, updates on my writing, and anything else I think might be of interest to my readers, including the occasional cute dog photo!
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He should never have gone running that afternoon—not with the roads so treacherous, and certainly not without checking his phone was charged. Then again, if there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Jason Connor is famous for, besides being the star of his cross country team, it’s his impulsiveness. So, when an injured ankle leaves him stranded in the woods with no means of calling for aid, it isn’t the first time a rash decision has led him into trouble.
As dusk approaches, Jason believes his situation can’t get any worse…until rescue arrives in the form of Tarek Bahrani—beautiful, infuriating, and the very last person Jason would choose to find him sprawled in the mud. The two have been enemies since clashing at the Brookshire County Championships, but while Taz is a constant reminder of Jason’s biggest mistake, he might just be the only one who can help him put things right.
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My head snaps up and I strain my ears to listen. Footsteps. Not the hurried, uneven footsteps of someone fleeing a pursuer, but the measured pace of a serious jogger. My heart high-jumps into my throat, then drops in an ungainly tumble to my stomach. God, not him. Please let it be anyone else but him.
Even as the prayer forms in my mind, I know it’s hopeless. I grind my teeth, frustrated at my own impotence, and watch for the figure to come into view. There’s only one person around here dedicated enough to be out running with the clouds about to burst, and it also happens to be the last person in the world I’d choose to find me on my backside in the mud.
Catching sight of me, he slows to a halt a few paces away. He brushes the dark curls off his sweaty forehead and raises an eyebrow. “Jason Connor. Fancy meeting you here.”
I glare up at him, summoning all the venom I can muster whilst in a crumpled heap on the ground. Christ, of all the residents of Oakmere who might have stumbled across me, why did it have to be him? Tarek Bloody Bahrani. Beautiful, infuriating Taz. My nemesis. The one boy who has seen me at my worst.
Born in 1982, Jamie Deacon lives close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and is a full-time author of young adult fiction featuring characters across the gender and sexuality spectrums. When not writing, Jamie loves to read, play board games, and solve cryptic crosswords.
Jamie’s debut novel, Caught Inside, was published by Beaten Track in 2016 to much acclaim, including two Rainbow Awards. It was also nominated for a Lambda Literary (Lammy) Award, a Bisexual Book Award, and a Next Generation Indie Book Award.
If you’re interested in reading my review of Jamie’s novella Defensive Play that I mentioned before, click HERE.
It was a warm and fuzzy five star read for me.
Ghost Revelations (Ghost Dud #1) by Aspen Black
Genre: Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Publication: October 25, 2019
Print Length: 181 pages
Source: Review copy via Silver Dagger Tours
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I was always told growing up in my family, surrounded by magic, that I was a dud. I had no power except the ability to talk to ghosts. It never bothered me because I enjoyed my job as a bartender at my Uncle’s bar that caters to the supernatural community. I spend my nights working and getting to flirt with my crush.
Then one night, my life turned upside down. Someone was murdered right around the corner and suddenly a hot wizard detective with a perfect bubble butt from MEPA, The Magical Entity Protection Agency, swooped in and asked for my help with the victims’ ghosts. Working with the detective soon leads to a race to stop a killer who is bent on exposing the supernatural community to humans with more deaths.
Join Victoria on her journey as she works to stop an evil being with the help from her crush Akira the werewolf, Lucian the wizard, and her ex-boyfriend Shax.
This is a reverse harem medium to fast burn book or a why choose novel.
F/M/M/M. This does include M/M heavy elements.
**WARNING** Sex, sex and more sex! BUUUUUT the non sex stuff was damn good too!
Ghost Revelations it is an Erotic Paranormal Reverse Harem book, so I knew I was in for sex, but this one also boasted a lot of story around it. I think even if you skipped over the graphically depicted sex scenes there would still be enough of the find-the-killer who-done-it action and drama to keep you entertained.
The POV Victoria is easily likable. She grew up in the paranormal world feeling rather powerless and like a failure to her extremely powerful and magical family. Okay, take out the paranormal and that’s totally relate-able.
The sex in the story mainly focuses around a Polyamorous Trio of two males and one female, Victoria. I found that I really enjoyed the chemistry the trio had in and out of the bedroom. The two males’ personalities bounced off each other really well and they both cared for and believed in Victoria, giving her confidence and the push she needed to realise she was powerful and special, regardless of what she grew up hearing her mother say.
Obviously, Victoria gets to use her powers to help catch the baddie, she gets to kick some butt and they get the killer. But I’m not going to go into that in detail – no spoilers here.
Maybe skip this one if you aren’t into graphic depictions of sex. But if your game, give it ago. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
About the Author: Aspen Black is often described as kooky by her friends. She writes the stories that have floated continuously in her imagination since she was a child. She’s a lemonade addict that really shouldn’t be allowed near lemons.
Being an introvert, she spends most of her time writing and reading her favorite books.
Please join her on her facebook and twitter feeds for up to date information on current and in-progress books.
She is a lover of all animals, having a small zoo at home.
Author Links: Facebook * Facebook Readers Group * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Giveaway: Google Home Mini, $10 Amazon, $5 Amazon – 1 winner each!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!