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Remember, No Matter What; Chin UP, Tits Out

Chick lit: Remember, no matter what; Chin UP, Tits Out: A chick lit romantic comedy (Chin UP, Tits Out: A chick lit comedy series) by [Oh, Miranda]

Remember, No Matter What; Chin UP, Tits Out by Miranda Oh centers around an 18 year-old girl named Hadley Hope McLeary. The story begins with Hadley working at a fair in Winnipeg, Canada. She meets a handsome boy named Riaan who is from Africa. They fall in love but when the fair comes to an end, he has to continue traveling to other fairs until going back to his country. Devastated from being apart, they do their best to have a long distance relationship. They plan to find Riaan a working visa to enter Canada again, but it is a long and difficult task. They do everything they can to be together, but will they manage to get the visa? Can their love withstand the long months apart?

The authors uniquely positive attitude towards life shines through in the tone and style of this fun romance novel. The writing style is absorbing and easy flowing, which for me, is starkly different from many romance novels in the genre. Miranda Oh uses colloquial vocabulary, not the typical punctuated dialogue, that adds depth to both the characters and the story. I felt like this would be a fabulous Rom-Com movie; a feel good roller-coaster of emotion.

The plot is positively campy and the emotion is genuine and deep, but I felt that the the pace was a little fast. Many events happen quickly without giving me a moment to contemplate what just happened or guess what might happen next; but this is a personal preference.

Hadley and Riaan are exceptional and well developed characters, but I felt that I knew a lot about Hadley and not so much about Riaan. Their families come up every now and again but I would have liked more background on their families; mostly because I wanted to see how Miranda Oh’s amusing perspective would have portrayed them.

All in all, this is a very enjoyable romance novel that was difficult to put down. This is a perfect read for the weekend. I look forward to reading the second book in this series. I highly recommend reading this beautiful romance story.

Pages: 77 | ASIN:  B01BQ8RJ9Y

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Of Sound Mind and Someone Else’s Body

Of Sound Mind and Someone Else's Body by [Belle, William Quincy]

Of Sound Mind and Someone Else’s Body is a hilariously imaginative novel about a freaky body swap. It is about Alan Maitland, a successful businessman who has woken up in the body of Hana Toussaint, a sophisticated escort. He slowly connects the dots that connect him to this sticky situation, some of which include a disastrous science experiment and a missing scientist. Along the way he discovers that living as a woman is far from easy, especially in Hana’s profession. However along the way, they develop a bright and playful relationship. They both develop respect and compassion for the life that the other lives, even if it may be on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Although it is reminiscent of the classic Freaky Friday or The Hot Chick body swaps, the story itself does not sound old or unoriginal. I was hooked from the beginning till the end. Often the plausibility of such a premise can be easily undermined, but the author has a knack for portraying recognizable human tics in even the wackiest situations.

William Quincy Belle also makes some intelligent commentary on the ways of today’s world. Gender inequality and class discrimination are addressed in a light hearted but thought provoking manner. I was expecting that the topic of sexuality and gender identity would be explored a little further- especially considering the dilemma that arises from being confusingly attracted to/trapped in an unexpected body. Even if I didn’t necessarily learn anything new, it was still refreshing to encounter a novel that acknowledged the realities of the modern world.  Also the various physical shticks provided on behalf of Alan (walking in stilettos, makeup shenanigans) were endlessly amusing.

I particularly enjoyed reading Hana’s character. She was a playful and charming character but not without intelligence. Any doubts that Alan may have had about the nature of her profession vanished when he realized she was equally matched, if not better than him.

This was a vastly entertaining read and I pretty much zoomed through it. I look forward to exploring more of Belle’s works, especially if they are to include Alan and Hana.

Pages: 155 | ASIN: B01LYWXM4E

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The Misplaced Man

The Misplaced Man: Who is in charge of his destiny? by [James, Nick]

Sam Blades is not your ordinary twenty-something. He has a girlfriend whose abuse he relishes, a job with company whose name could and should be attributed to that of a lingerie label, and an almost absurd fixation with The Matrix. Sam is, on the other hand, a curiosity to more than one person of interest. His job with Shimmering Dreams has made him a target, and poor Sam is none the wiser. Shimmering Dreams capitalizes on the technology that makes it possible to download one’s dreams and store them on mobile devices. Sam, caught in the middle of the “greatest invention its age” and the conspiracy surrounding its misuse, is about to meet face to face with those who want him out of the picture once and for all.

The Misplaced Man by Nick James is a short story/novella centering around Sam Blades, a young man newly-employed and eager to please his beyond demanding girlfriend, Bunny. Nick James is a master at humor, and his main character is his chosen vessel. Not meant entirely as a work of comedy, James provides several laugh-out-loud moments as Sam struggles in his day-to-day life with Bunny. It is rare for me to find the written word comical enough to emit an audible guffaw, but James definitely delivers. Sam’s personality more than makes the book; he is a memorable character in his own right and is well-developed in first-person accounts.

James’s choice to alternate chapters with varying first-person accounts is quite effective. The story, though brief, is packed full of descriptive and revealing scenarios which serve well to differentiate each character. As the reader, I was easily able to discern which character was taking his turn at bat without having to rely on the chapter title–James is just that good at character development.

It is worth noting that The Misplaced Man is a combination of realistic fiction and science fiction but leans heavily on the realistic fiction element. The book is much more about each character’s own personal conflicts than the underlying component of groundbreaking technology. As interesting as the concept of capturing dreams is, it is explored and detailed much less than some science fiction fans will likely expect.

Sam Blades is ruthlessly humorous and has the makings of a fantastic central character for his ensuing series. I recommend Nick James’s short story to anyone looking for a quick science fiction piece with strong characters laced with humor.

Pages: 155 | ASIN: B07K3Q6QRD

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Addicted to You

Addicted to You: Book 2 (SAPD SWAT Series) by [Mays, Nikki]

Michelle has known Damon for years. For years, Damon has known what Michelle could not possibly know–she belongs to him. When Damon’s stalking and pursuit of Michelle finally reaches its peak, Michelle can longer deny her attraction to Damon, and she gives in to her own curiosity. As Michelle and her best friend, Mellie’s, luck would have it, Damon is not the only one who has pursued and admired Michelle from afar for years. When what began as admiration turns to full-fledged obsession, Damon and his team are there for Michelle and Mellie when seconds count.

Addicted to You is the second book in the SAPD SWAT Series by author Nikki Mays. This second installment focuses on Michelle, co-owner of The Sweet Grind and best friend of Mellie. Mellie and her love affair with Morris were the primary focus of book one, and Mays has taken the same slant with book two shifting the perspective to Michelle. Written in first person and swapping between the two main characters, Michelle and Damon, the book hits on some particularly comedic moments as well as intensely romantic and sensual scenes.

As with book one, I enjoyed the shift in points of view between the two characters. Mays is adept at writing from each one’s perspective and helping the reader see each one’s thought processes. Damon, while intense, is a lovable character in his own right. Michelle’s reflections on his love for her further serve to build him as a favored character for readers. In turn, as Damon explains the passion with which he pursues Michelle, the reader is taken from wondering about his frame of mind to understanding his love for Michelle. Mays writes in a unique style that succeeds in quickly drawing in the readers and keeping them enthralled with the plot.

In both of the first two installments in the SAPD SWAT series, Mays steers the plot away from romance long enough to include an element of mystery. In Addicted to You, however, Mays seems to get to the point rather quickly. Even though I enjoyed and appreciated the mystery surrounding the drawings of Michelle left in the bake shop, it seemed the mystery was solved too quickly. I would have liked to have seen that aspect of the plot stretched out.

There is an undeniable quality of humor in Mays’s writing. She details a fantastic dynamic between her characters, both main and secondary. They have a rapport that is undeniable, and the entire group banters back and forth as true friends and siblings. Even their fights turn into comedic memories.

It is worth noting that there seem to be numerous punctuation and grammar errors in the reading. Only in a few places do these errors impact or interfere with the flow of the reading.

Author Nikki Mays writes an entertaining romance novel geared toward the new adult genre and succeeds in shaping lovable and memorable characters. Any fan of the romance genre will be pleased with the engaging plot and the sensuous visuals.

Pages: 150 | ASIN: B07J23W7JN

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Injected with Lots of Humor

Kyle Spencer Author Interview

Kyle Spencer Author Interview

A Monk’s Tail follows a monster hunting fox that must protect his friend from a fiendish warlord. What was your inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

There really was no ‘inspiration’, per se. Writing for me started out (and still is) something I do to center myself after a long or stressful day. I would have a bunch of what-if situations and flesh them out a bit. The characters in the what-if that eventually became A Monk’s Tail really stuck with me, so I rolled with it.

The characters are all anthropomorphic animals that are multilayered characters. What choices went into what character would be which animal?

Basically the decision-making process was, “What animals do I like?” Red Pandas are my favorite so I just went with them for the main character. Although I did want Susi to be more diminutive to showcase her spunky, firecracker personality, so having her be a mouse was a more intentional decision.

I loved the dialogue throughout the story. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their conversations and relationships?

The main theme for my book is “fun”; if you’re entertained, I did my job. So the dialogue is injected with lots of humor that gives each character their own quirks. I also love languages (although I’m not the best at learning them), so I wanted to incorporate different languages and accents to give my world more depth.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve got a few irons in the fire, but the most immediate work is a direct sequel to A Monk’s Tail. It’s a love letter to Japan that introduces a lot of folklore, monsters, and historical figures. Anyone who’s interested in the Sengoku period of Japan, yokai, or the culture in general will enjoy this book, which will be available during the second quarter of 2019.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterWebsite

A Monk's Tail by [Spencer, Kyle]For Bow, a gun-toting, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed firefox monk, life as a monster-hunter is pretty straightforward. Until, that is, he runs afoul of a power-hungry warlord and gets himself imprisoned. There he helps a young maus named Susi escape, but in doing so unleashed nightmarish forces hellbent on capturing his new ward. Now, with the help of a giant bear alchemist and a violent nun, Bow must stay one step ahead of his perusers and certain death. But Susi is harboring a dark secret, one that could spell doom for them all.

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The Mage’s Tome

The Mage's Tome: Cry of the Acere Duology: Book I by [Hampton, Arisawe]

Arisawe Hampton takes the reader into the fantastical land of Roan. A land with many modern and typical occurrences but a land so not typical! In the opening chapter we meet the somewhat reluctant hero of our tale, the hermit Pyrus.  The gods have spoken, however, and he must enter a quest that will save the land of Roan.  Along the way we are introduced to many interesting characters, the soldier with magically produced “amnesia”, Hazel the maid, the spoiled Lady, Leo the wolf-dog, and more!

This story is full of adventure, magic, fantasy, and even some romance! The author paints absolutely beautiful scenery with her words. I felt transported to the world of Roan. It is clear that this world is very detailed in her mind.  She writes with passion and conviction for her story. Although there were times I wanted the story line to progress more rapidly, I loved how this book flowed.  The story archs for these characters were connected very well.

Another part of the writing I enjoyed was the world that is created is part reality and part fantasy. For example, we see characters playing a game of poker, but we also see Pyrus communicating with animals. We see Pyrus the “therapist” and Pyrus the mage who can use spells for all sorts of fantastical things! I loved this juxtaposition of modernity with fantasy.

The word usage and descriptors are fun to read. I was truly transported into this world. She created realistic dialogue for her characters. There were a lot of scenes that I found humorous. Pyrus’s use of the Asher Zin as Hazel’s fiancé was hilarious. It had me thinking of the movie Overboard, where an amnesiac (although not spell induced!) is lead to believe she is married to someone she is not.

I recommend this book to lovers of epic fantasy fiction. The reader will immediately see that they are in good company because Hampton clearly has a passion for fantasy herself. There are moments of levity and moments of intensity that make this story very well-rounded. I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series!

Pages: 327 | ASIN: B07FD743HD

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Let the Chips Fall

Nikki Mays Author Interview

Nikki Mays Author Interview

Surrender to You follows the passionate relationship of Mellie and Morris as someone goes to dangerous ends to keep them apart. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I think that my inspiration came from watching too much Criminal Minds. Everytime I watch that show it gives me some many ideas. I feel like it is something that could actually happen since there are so many people with mental illnesses that go untreated.

Mellie and Morris have a fiery relationship and a deep bond. How did you develop their relationship, did any of it happen organically while writing?

I think that a lot of their relationship came organically while I was writing it. I knew that I wanted them to awkward in the beginning but after awhile they took on a life of their own. I don’t like to plan it out in took much detail. I kind of like to let the chips fall where they may.

There is a fantastic mystery at the heart of this romance book. What were some themes you wanted to capture around the stalkers motivations?

I wanted people to realize that this is something that could happen to anyone. Someone can fixate on you for the strangest reason. Half the time it could be a simple look. Mental illness has so many variations and left untreated can be dangerous to the person themselves, as well as those around them. Unfortunately, so many people go undiagnosed for years. I feel like more help should be available and that isn’t always the case.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book that I’m working on will be centralized around Michelle and Damon, titled Addicted to You. I’m hoping to have it out by the end of October.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

Surrender to You (SAPD SWAT Series Book 1) by [Mays, Nikki]

Mellie: Mellie has been hypnotized by a pair of gorgeous green eyes, attached to a very yummy package for months now. Unfortunately for her, her brain goes on hiatus anytime Morris Jackson is around. Looking like a bobble head whenever he asks her anything isn’t the best way to go about getting a man like him interested. Not like ruggedly handsome men go for quirky, accident prone introverts like her. Plus, even if she did have a snowballs chance in hell with him, him being her brothers SWAT teammate doesn’t bode well for her. A girl can dream though!

Morris: Those blue eyes sucker punched him the minute he looked into them. It felt like the ground had literally gone out from under him. Mellie is everything that he could ever want and everything that he shouldn’t have. Even if he didn’t know that she’s too good for a guy like him, her brother would never be okay with it. He is over protective and proud of it. But at some point you have to say screw the consequences and go after what you know is meant to be yours.

Too bad someone wasn’t happy for them when the found their way to one another. Someone will make sure they don’t stay together by any means necessary. They’ll even kill to get what they want.

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“Is That Your Aunt in the Attic?”: Another Edna and Edith Adventure

“Is That Your Aunt in the Attic?”: Another Edna and Edith Adventure by [Fletcher, Barbara, Gauthier, Cheryl]

Is That Your Aunt in the Attic? is a creative fiction novel that focuses on the characters of Edna and Edith, two sisters that are private investigators. The sisters have traveled across the country to get away from the wrath of an escaped convict whose plans to murder were foiled by the sisters. The ladies travel to San Francisco to get away and visit family, but they still find themselves as a target for the mobster’s hitman. What comes out of it is a strange sequence of events that proves how resourceful the sisters are in solving problems and getting answers to their questions.

One of the aspects of this story that I enjoyed was the whimsical situations that Edna and Edith seem to get themselves into. The authors, Barbara Fletcher and Cheryl Gauthier, are mother and daughter, and at the beginning of the novel, they mention that some of the events that take place in the novel are somewhat true and have happened to them in real life. I liked that disclaimer, because as I was reading the novel I could more easily picture some of the silly events that were happening to the sisters actually happening to someone like me and my sister. Some parts of the novel induced a good chuckle as I read them.

The only thing that I thought took away from the novel was the small talk that Edith and Edna made with each other. For instance, they would bring up a memory of a saying from their father or mention something weird or funny that they did a long time ago. In a way, the small talk adds a more realistic value to the novel; however, it seemed out of place and took away from the overall plot and momentum of the story.

Overall, this was a fun book and I would love to read another novel in this series.

Pages: 262 | ASIN: B0794PB8FR

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