Friday, 16 March 2018

Dreaming of You (Magnolia Valley, #1) ♥ Review

Dreaming of You (Magnolia Valley, #1) 


BOOK DESCRIPTION: Josie Wheeler isn’t a risk-taker. She likes her routine running the Morning Jolt cafe. The last risk she took was asking her dreamy friend Calvin out—and that failed miserably. But as her thirtieth birthday gets closer, that routine starts to feel like stagnation.

After his marriage went up in flames, Calvin Monroe knew love wasn’t for him. Since then, every relationship he’s had has been no-strings-attached. But Calvin’s not nearly as commitment-phobic as Josie thinks he is; he just can’t find anyone that measures up to her.

Josie is vibrant, funny, smart—and Calvin’s wanted her since they first met. But he knows he’s not her type. Josie goes for wholesome guys, not divorcees with bad reputations.

An overheard conversation changes everything. Calvin realizes Josie is—was—into him, but he was too dumb to see it. If he can convince her to take another risk on him, he’ll win her heart. So, he makes her an offer she can’t turn down: Two weeks to try out anything she wants in bed.

Josie knows Calvin doesn’t do forever, but she says yes to his proposition, anyway—it might be just what she needs to get him out of her system and her life out of its rut.

What Josie doesn’t expect is their exhilarating chemistry setting the sheets aflame and entangling her wary heart. But when her cafe is threatened, she has to decide what she’s willing to risk for a love beyond her wildest dreams.

Review:  ♥ ♥

Josie is turning 30 soon and every year she likes to do something that she wouldn't usually. Her best friend is getting married and her boyfriend is becoming a little too routine. Turning 30 doesn't mean you have to settle and Josie wants to spice it up a little. She suggests something a little naughty in the bedroom and Nate quickly becomes her ex. She's embarrassed and wants to take some time out from dating before jumping back in.

Calvin is her best friend. Josie thinks he friend zoned her a year ago. He doesn't date local women after his divorce. Magnolia Valley is just too small and Calvin got burnt after his failed marriage. He still has a good relationship with his ex-wife, Abigail but the town people weren't as forgiving. He gained the reputation of not being husband material.

One night with friends Calvin learns a couple of truths. First you shouldn't listen in on others conversations and secondly, he had missed a chance to date, Josie. Now he can't get her off his mind.

This is a friend to lovers romance. It's well written and full of sexy scenes. It's a standalone story. The first in a new series. It is a good book and I look forward to the next instalment. This is a Hidden Gem.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars out of 5.

Kindle Edition £2.80, 238 pages
US Amazon $3.91
Expected publication: March 15th 2018
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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Weight loss and health #Spotlight Plus Excerpt

Non-fiction. Weight loss and health
Date Published: 8 December 2017

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Looking to lose weight but everything has failed? Discover the physical and mental aspects of becoming a much healthier you, written by someone that dropped 80kg!

Get the weight loss system written by someone that went from zero exercise and over 175kg, to a multiple time Australian and Pan Pacific martial arts Champion.

AJ Watson has shed 80kg in his journey and for the first time shares how he did it, and what needed to change mentally and physically to achieve his goals.

This book will teach you how to:

•        understand weight loss issues

•        figure out nutrition labels

•        learn how to set goals

•        improve your motivation

•        boost your willpower

•        structure your exercise

•        become a better version of you.

AJ Watson’s approach tackles the issues from multiple angles giving a much greater level of success than diet alone. Treat yourself to a wealth of knowledge and kick those extra kilos goodbye.

AJ discusses his physical and mental states throughout his journey, and how he combated multiple challenges to attain results. Because he has been there, AJ understands the thought process of overeating, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and low self-esteem. His successes as a martial artist, coach and author are traced back to the struggle out of his lowest point.

Now you can benefit from that struggle as well.

Grab your copy today.



My name is Tony and I started this journey at 175kgs.

Today I am 95kgs and hold multiple titles in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

This book details how I accomplished that, my mental outlook and changes, my failures and successes. It will show you a way to duplicate this yourself, breaking it into multiple small actions. Depending on where you are on your trek, you may have already accomplished some of the early steps; if so, fantastic. Congratulations on getting that far. This book will help you understand what you have already achieved, and show you how to take it further.

Chances are if you are reading this book then you have struggled with losing weight, or want to see a boost to your motivation in other areas of your life. As someone that has been where you are, and cut a path through the tangled mess that is the weight loss industry, I understand you. This is where my book is different than a lot of others out there. Many programs are great at using weight loss science, but are usually written by people already fit and healthy that have never been more than a few kilos overweight.

They don’t understand the mental state many people start with, especially when severely overweight as I was. They have never been fat, never been ridiculed for their obesity. Never avoided pools or the beach because they’d have to take off t-shirts and reveal the true extent of their girth. I am thankful that these health professionals spent time with their research so I could learn. But how could they help address my mental and social issues that contributed to my weight gain, when they couldn’t understand them?

A psychologist is needed in many cases. I don’t pretend to be one and I’ve never felt the need to utilise their services. I have known many people that have, and can see the positive impact it made on their lives. I have however researched psychology and as I’ve lived through it I know a lot about the thought process that goes with obesity. That insight drives many parts of this book.

I am also a certified life coach, a field of study that assists people moving their lives from point A to point B. Even if they are unaware of how to do so, or that point B is even within their reach. Many steps in this book work in unison with the tools and techniques utilised in coaching. They will work without it, though will be greatly enhanced with a life coach by your side.

What I aim to do here is not only show you my meal changes and exercise regime, but also show how my mental state altered. I'll share how I overcame my negative thoughts and barrelled through plateaus.

I gained all of this knowledge through a thirst for understanding. As my wife will attest, I absolutely must know everything even if it doesn't concern me. It's my nature. I can blame and thank my parents for this. As a child I hungered for understanding and often asked questions of how and why. Before long I was asking things they didn't know the answer to. Instead of dismissing it or making something up, my parents instilled in me a simple mantra: look it up.

This was long before the Internet became popular and ubiquitous so all I had was a dictionary, an odd assortment of encyclopaedias and the school library. The skills and knowledge gained were invaluable and formed my love of words and reading.
The Internet exploded my world and now the guys I train with often refer to me as Google, as I generally have the answer or insight required for the topic at hand.
So when I turned this skill to weight loss my bull-crap detector worked overtime. I tried several diets that I fully understood the science of, but ultimately they failed because they didn't take into account the psychological impact. They also failed to understand the starting point that a lot of overweight people find themselves in.

My meals consisted of mostly eating take-out, snacking on chocolate and washing it down with litres of soft drinks and tubs of ice-cream. You can't instantly go from that to fresh fruit and veggies, healthy snacks and controlled portions. That is why the majority of diets fail and are a waste of your time.

I want to mention right off the bat that this is not a diet book. To me, a diet is a short-term change to reach a desired goal in less than two months. This journey took me nearly a decade and I am still changing things to get better results. It took that long because of all the trial and error, the research required and figuring how to alter the mental conditioning I'd spent nearly three decades building.

I can guide you into doing this far quicker, though I expect it to take years, not months. Lasting change takes time but if you follow the ideas and plans in this book, then you will see some quick results.

I am not a medical professional so I implore you, if you have any conditions or food intolerances then seek their expert advice first. Everything in here works for me, but my body is not the same as yours. I am living proof that the process works, and should work for the majority, however your life is unique and nothing can take everything into account. Even so, everyone can gain some benefit from a lot of these pages.

I'm looking forward to helping you achieve your goals.

About the Author

AJ Watson (Tony to his friends) lives with his wife Barbara in the great state of Victoria, Australia.

AJ is a certified Life Coach and continues to expand his skills to assist others not only duplicate his successes but to clear any mental barriers people place upon themselves.

Tony has obtained a Bachelor of Computing and although he has a love of technology, he can’t help dreaming of worlds with vicious creatures and powerful metaphysics. He uses this imagination to write sci fi/fantasy novels.

Tony is an experienced martial artist competitor and instructor, having won multiple national gold medals and assisting others to do the same.

In his spare time, among other things, Tony dabbles in computer graphics and GMs many role play games with his family and friends.

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Lucknow #Blitz

Lucknow Blitz   

Women’s Fiction
Date Published: February 2018
Publisher: Threekookaburras

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When Rosie's marriage suddenly ends one night in Sydney, nothing makes sense any more. She doesn't know what to do next. Her sister, Juliette, suggests she come and live where she is — in Lucknow,  a town in Central Victoria, that they knew in their childhood. It doesn't seem to offer much at first. But her life changes in ways she had not thought possible. Lucknow isn't just a romance, it's about life in a small country Australian town.

Praise for Lucknow:

"Heartbreak, comedy, tragedy, farce, romance, secrets, even love. Annie Hall lifts the lid on the way things are in this Australian country town with the beguiling name of Lucknow." — Carmel Bird


While Hamish was being minded by Mrs Pickett for a couple of hours, Juliette and Rosie grabbed their bathers and headed out to the old reservoir. It was the perfect time for a swim, the sun had real warmth, the wind held its breath, there was a clarity of light in the air and the fragrance of eucalyptus and spice. The old reservoir shimmered and sang with bird calls that afternoon. Save for two fishermen sitting on the levee wall mute and still as statues, Juliette and Rosie had the place to themselves. Near the water’s edge they baked on bare rock like lizards, their towels rolled under their heads for pillows. Juliette lay on her back staring at the sky while Rosie lay on her front gazing at the water.

‘I heard about your quiet night at the pub,’ Juliette said. ‘Jade said you were announced on stage as single. Really putting it out there, aren’t you Rosie? Next it will be an ad in the local paper.’

‘I had no idea Eloise would do that,’ Rosie said. ‘It was so embarrassing.’

‘You don’t know the half of it,’ Juliette said. ‘If you heard what they were saying about you.’

‘Like what?’

Juliette looked at her sister, and didn’t want to hurt her feelings. ‘It’s a wonder you weren’t raffled off like a tray of meat.’

There was a pause.

‘Eloise grew up here. People know her, they don’t know you. You’ve just arrived.’

She looked at her sister, always slight, like a teenager in her blue bikini with yellow buttercups. She didn’t look strong enough to have had Hamish or gone through a torrid marriage breakdown. She is tougher than she looks, Juliette thought. If she didn’t physically show signs of suffering she must have felt it somewhere. But where did Rosie feel it? wondered Juliette.

‘I know I’ve just arrived, Juliette,’ Rosie said, yawning. ‘To another age, it seems, as well as another place.’

‘In Lucknow, you must take care,’ Juliette said earnestly. ‘Gossip spreads faster than a virus, it’s more invisible than hepatitis. It just floats around and somewhere decisions are made about you, your reputation is decided. It might not be the truth but it is what will pass as the truth.

‘You will be stuck with it. And, and,’ Juliette said, warming to her point, ‘it will be very hard once your reputation is fixed to change it. It will stick with you no matter what you do. If people find that you vary from your reputation then they will find it curious, but they won’t disbelieve the gossip.’

Rosie thought about what Juliette was saying. ‘If people can’t distinguish the truth from gossip then why is their opinion of any value?’

‘They only know what they hear,’ Juliette said. ‘You need to take care.’

The smooth grey rocks were hot beneath their bodies. Rosie felt sweat beginning to trickle and the water looked invitingly cool.

‘I’m going in,’ she told Juliette. ‘Race you.’

As warm and brown as a bottle of beer in the shallows, the water was chilly and fizzy as champagne at waist height. Rosie dived under and came up tingling with shock at how cold it was. Juliette was already ahead, arms and legs slicing cleanly through the water. Rosie set off like a threshing machine, churning the water white as she overtook Juliette and raced the one kilometre to the other side. She stood in the shallows, her ribs heaving and subsiding as she gasped for air, her body bent, head down near her knees, eyes swimming with red, brain nearly blacking out from a lack of oxygen. Juliette came up behind her, the water draining off her body in silvery rivulets and watched her sister.

‘You always push things,’ she said, casually. ‘You always go too far.’

About the Author

Annie Hall has worked as a journalist in country towns as well as Sydney and Melbourne. She lived for a number of years in the Goldfields area of Victoria.

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Enchantress (Giver of Life #2) #CoverReveal

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Unstrung Series ♥ Kendra C. Highley #Blitz

Unstrung Series

From the Author of the

Suttonville Sentinels series!


YA Sci-Fi Series Blitz

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Lexa Pate, 17-year-old thief extraordinaire, has burned a bridge or two in her life. You don't make a career out of stealing other people's property without making enemies.

When a risky job goes from bad to worse, Lexa and her adopted family find themselves on Precipice Corporation's hit list because they've accidentally stolen the wrong thing - plans for a new model of genetically-engineered super humans. Now every bounty hunter, cop on the take, and snitch in the city is after them.

Lexa's world crumbles around her as she fights to keep her family safe even as someone strolls out of her forgotten past. Quinn claims to know who Lexa really is, but can she trust a stranger she met while robbing his boss?

More importantly, does she really want to know what Quinn has to tell her?

UNFINISHED (Prequel Novella)

In a world where genetically-engineered humans serve as slave labor to “real” humans, ten-year-old Quinn is an anomaly. Designed with superior intelligence and physical attributes, he lives and trains at Maren DeGaul’s lakeside mansion, being readied for some mysterious purpose as dictated by Precipice Corporation. Despite the comfortable surroundings, Quinn is frequently pushed to his limits by his human guardians, often learning lessons in pain and loneliness.

That all changes the day they introduce him to a new artificial, one who is both his equal and his soulmate. But when Maren decides the new artificial is flawed and should be decommissioned, it’s up to Quinn to find a way to save his only friend.


Master thief Lexa Pate always prided herself on never being caught. That changed the night she freed the artificial humans of Triarch City, a people she’s still learning to identify with. Now, imprisoned by the government, she’s separated from her family—and the love of her life—while facing murder charges. What she doesn’t know is something far worse awaits her: the Quad intends to make her pay for her crimes.

After helplessly watching Lexa be captured, Quinn has to place his trust in a group of people he barely knows to save the girl he loves. The rebels outside Triarch City have the equipment—and the information—he needs to rescue Lexa. But, knowing the Quad has sophisticated brainwashing techniques, his biggest worry is who she’ll be even if they do manage to bring her home.

Pawns in a game they barely understand, Lexa and Quinn will have to use all the gifts they possess to fight the powers seeking to control them and find a way back to each other.

Before it’s too late.


Lexa Pate has been called many things: thief, artificial, lover, friend. Now, as she faces the biggest crisis of her life, she realizes there’s another title trying to define her: murderer.

After she was freed from the Quad’s clutches, Lexa thought her life would go back to, if not normal, something resembling that. Sure, the band of rebels she’s joined have ideas of freeing the world from the Quad (delusions of grandeur might be more accurate), but Lexa is reunited with the men who’ve become her ragtag family. In her new home, she’s safe, she’s surrounded by people who care for her, and Quinn is always close at hand, ready to show her how much he loves her. So why does she feel like killing him every time they’re together?

Quinn thought rescuing Lexa from the Glass House would be all he needed to find his happy ending. But Lexa’s incarceration has changed things between them, and he fears the Quad altered more about Lexa than anyone suspects. With tensions in the rebel camp rising between the humans and the artificials, Quinn knows the war will reach a boiling point soon, and he may be the only one who can stop it. But if the rebels continue to believe Lexa is dangerous, he could lose more than the war—he could lose the girl he loves.

Excerpt From Book 1

I stare blankly at the wall in my room. My Exeprin high has worn off and I changed back into my pajamas at the first chance, unable to get the chip off my mind. Our little team has ceased being annoying but forgettable and has become a critical target. Everyone from cops to bounty hunters to the Quad’s security team will be after us. All because we stole the wrong thing. Sure, we hadn’t planned to steal that particular chip, but our mistake doesn’t change one simple fact.

We are so dead.

“…run another diagnostic,” Turpin calls from the hallway. He’s been holed up in the lab with Jole, examining the data on the chip. A moment later, he knocks. Unlike Jole, he waits for me to say “come in” before opening the door.

“Hey,” he says, taking a seat on my desk chair. “You okay?”

I drop my pillow over my face. Maybe I should suffocate myself with it. “If I hadn’t tripped and set off the alarm, there’d be no trace of how the chip was taken. Now…they’ll find us.”

“Lexa, there’s no way to plan for the unknown. Besides, anyone else probably would’ve set that security device off sooner and not gotten away.”

A headache starts throbbing behind my eyes. Stars, this is the worst time to be coming off Exeprin. “I’ll remind you how you said it wasn’t my fault when we’re rounded up by Maren’s people.”

“You won’t have to,” Turpin says. “I’m the one who took the job. We go down, you can blame me.”

He sounds so dejected, I sit up, hugging the pillow to my chest. Maybe I should be scared, but a morbid curiosity about Maren’s artificials gets the better of me. “What are the new versions like? Can you tell from the plans?”

“Most of it is over our heads—the genetic engineering data is very complex—and part of the chip is heavily encoded. But I understand enough to know these are the most human-like versions I’ve seen. Circulatory systems that actually regenerate synthetic blood cells, skin cells that scab over when cut, fully functional digestive tracts. Stars, even their hair, fingernails and bodies will grow like a human’s.”

My headache intensifies. “Wait, what do you mean their bodies will grow?”

Turpin goes to my window. “Instead of making adults, like usual, these prototypes appear to be equivalent to six-year-old children. All of them with critical thinking processors akin to a person with a one-forty I.Q. The plans cover maturity cycles and learning rates by age. The only thing I can guess is that her scientists want to mimic the learning capability of a child’s brain.”

My room suddenly feels cold. “We stole the plans for a super-race of fake human beings?”

“It would seem that way. And all of them programmed to think the way the Quad wants them to think. Hyper-intelligent, but without the experience or knowledge to have true free will. I’m wondering about that, though,” he says, coming to sit on the edge of my bed. “If Maren’s playing God to this extent, how will she maintain control of her ‘kids?’ Can you imagine them as teenagers?” He gives me a rueful smile. “You’re hard enough to handle.”

I punch his arm, more out of respect than annoyance. Everything is so topsy-turvy, I wonder if I’m going soft. Soon I’ll be letting Jole off the hook for coming into my room without knocking. “Maybe it’s good we stole those plans. The new K600s are advanced enough that I can hardly tell they’re artificials. These new…things would be an abomination. A crime against nature.” I stand and pace, needing to put my nervous energy into the ground. If I don’t, I’ll blow, and I can’t afford a meltdown. “Bolts shouldn’t be so human. It blurs way too many lines, don’t you think?”

“The bigger question is what we tell our clients,” Turpin says. “Because we can’t give the chip to them. It’s too dangerous.”

He has a point. “I say we tell them the chip self-destructed as we decoded it. Who cares if they get angry. I’m less scared of them than I am of Maren.”

About the Author

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate

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