If The Woman In Cabin 10 …is A Game…

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The Woman in Cabin 10 
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Genre: thriller, suspense
ISBN-13: 978-1501132933

I got my copy from the library after they bought it, I couldn’t get it from Netgalley as the publisher had set it as US and Canada only, I wonder why though. With ebooks being so popular, why restrict readers, as if punishing people for not being in a certain area. Some publishing rights and rules need to be reviewed I think.

Here is the cover of my copy 😀 it does look different. But I like the Amazon’s cover better. It has that mysterious look about it.


Laura “Lo” Blacklock, a travel journalist writing for a magazine, and managed to get a big break from her boss to go on a luxury cruise liner the Aurora in North Sea. I was hoping that this might set her apart from other mystery thrillers when I read the synopsis but I was quickly disappointed. This is fast becoming a cliche book that I will lose interest… 

First of all, like all female protagonist, Lo is painted as a relationship failure, why does a failing or failed relationship define a woman so much? If the protagonist is a guy, would we bat an eyelid with what’s followed? If the male protagonist drinks, would he be dismissed so easily? Gender inequality, and this is no longer new or fresh, now it’s just …. sad.

If this was a game, you might have control of Lo after a longish FMV, shorter if you cut out the unnecessary thoughts and events. The first few chapters might be boring, as Lo familiarizes with her surroundings and work out her problems. Then the fun starts, and you are launched into an investigative mode, only to find that you are a lame heroine, you can’t really investigate well because you are just so paranoid. 

A good game developer would add spooky elements, which I really liked, to add to the thinking that either Lo is going crazy or there is something on the boat. Investigation continues, and might jump to a few clips where Lo is not in it.

If you can guess the ending midway through, you are not smart, it is just that this story line is well worn and tired. Lo now has to survive the encounter, that is all. You can guess from my review that I am not impressed with the story or the characters, everyone has a weak alibi, and the only way the story worked is to continuously imply that Lo is going nuts or just too paranoid.

Halfway through I was bored, even though I tried really hard to like her and her story. I just have to say that, if you have read Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, you don’t have to really read this book at all.

Another mean review =(

The Woman in Cabin 10



Featured in TheSkimm

An Entertainment Weekly“Summer Must List” Pick

A New York Post“Summer Must-Read” Pick

Included in Summer Book Guides from Bustle, Oprah.com, PureWow, and USA TODAY

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.
New From: $9.96 USD In Stock
Release date July 19, 2016.

Un-Shattering Lucy Release


Today we are sharing the release of UN-SHATTERING LUCY by Terri Anne Browning. This is a contemporary novella and the fourth, and final, book in the Lucy & Harris series! Check out the purchase links below, and links for the previous books in the series.



UN-SHATTERING LUCY by Terri Anne Browning
Lucy & Harris, #4



Purchase Now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | B&N



The conclusion to USA Today Terri Anne Browning’s The Lucy & Harris Novella Series.


That was how Lucy Thornton felt in the aftermath of her breakup with Harris Cutter. Her family thought the best thing for her to do was to put the length of the country between her and Harris.

Reluctantly, she went.

The second Harris sets eyes on Lucy again, he knows she hasn’t moved on any more than he has. Realizing that he screwed up, he sets out to prove that they belong together. But the road to un-shattering Lucy is longer and darker than he ever could have imagined.







Previous Books in the Series


Catching Lucy (Lucy & Harris, #1)

Available Now
FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK



Craving Lucy (Lucy & Harris #2)

Available Now
FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK



Rocking Kin (Lucy & Harris, #3)

Available Now

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | B&N







babit 093


Terri Anne Browning is the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Rocker…Series. She started writing her own novellas at the age of sixteen, forcing her sister to be her one woman fan club. Now she has a few more readers and a lot more passion for writing. Being dyslexic, she never thought a career in writing would be possible, yet she has been on best selling lists multiple times since 2013. Reese: A Safe Haven Novella was her first Indie published book. The Rocker Who Holds Me changed the tables and kicked off The Rocker… series featuring the sinfully delicious members of Demon’s Wings. The Rocker… Series has since expanded to OtherWorld with Axton Cage and his band members. Other books by Terri Anne include the Angel’s Halo MC Series as well as The Lucy & Harris Novella Series. Terri Anne lives in Virginia with her husband, their three demons—err, children–and a loveable Olde English Bulldog named Link.



Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads


InkSlinger Blogger Final

Lauren Blakely Double Cover Reveal

From the NYT Bestselling author of BIG ROCK and MISTER O, comes two brand new, hot and hilarious standalone romantic comedies…




Readers will find witty dialogue, smoking hot sex scenes, and heartfelt moments in these side-splitting romantic comedies, mixed with the dirty-talking, gifted heroes we’ve come to love from Lauren Blakely! FULL PACKAGE is set to release on January 9, 2017, and JOY STICK is coming your way in May 2017! Check out these fantastic covers designed by Helen Williams with photography by Rob Lang.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]


From the New York Times Bestselling author of MISTER O and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Surprise—neither one of us sleeps.

And even though we agree to return to roomies-without-benefits, I quickly realize I want more than someone to split the utilities with. Now all I want is to spend every night—and every day—with my gorgeous roommate.

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?



Pre-Order FULL PACKAGE (Releasing January 9, 2016)

iBooks http://tinyurl.com/FullPackageLB

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2b7fWxj

Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2avft4u

Kobo http://bit.ly/2aA43gp

GooglePlay https://goo.gl/U5ND2B

Goodreads http://bit.ly/2alCbfM


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]


Let’s be honest, ladies. A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood. You probably also crave a ride that can go all night long.

I’m at your service. Come and ride on my Joy Stick…

That’s what I like to say to the ladies. Or I would if I were total pig. It’s far too easy in this world to strut around like a peacock when you’ve got all these other features in your favor. But just like the custom cars I build with class and sophistication, that’s how I treat my women.

Don’t worry. I absolutely do my best work dirty…both in the shop, and between the sheets. Work and play — that’s what my life has been, and I f&*king love it. I’m completely, 100% driven. Until one woman comes along and throws a wrench in my plans. The one woman I should absolutely, positively never take for a joy ride.

Now that’s all I want to do with her…she’s so far off-limits, but that’s exactly where I want to go with her.

Get ready for a wild ride…




Pre-Order JOY STICK (Coming May 2017)

Exclusive iBooks Pre-Order http://tinyurl.com/JoyStickLB

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30640850-joy-stick



Don’t Miss All of Lauren’s Romantic Comedies written from the Male POV!

BIG ROCK (Now Available)

MISTER O (Now Available)

WELL HUNG (Releasing September 12, 2016)





Lauren Blakely’s Romantic Comedy Celebration!

August 24-September 1, 2016*

Win a Kindle Fire loaded with Lauren Blakely’s complete collection* of currently released titles, as well as some of Lauren’s favorite romantic comedies!

*Does not include WELL HUNG, FULL PACKAGE or JOY STICK, Winner will be announced first week of September.

To enter to win, simply subscribe to Lauren’s newsletter here:




About Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she’ll release WELL HUNG, another romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter: laurenblakely.com/newsletter.


Website: http://www.laurenblakely.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenBlakelyBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurenBlakely3

Newsletter: http://laurenblakely.com/newsletter/

FULL PACKAGE Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30283662-full-package

JOY STICK Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30640850-joy-stick

Lauren Blakely Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6860216.Lauren_Blakely


InkSlinger Blogger Final

Fashion Fair Gentle Facial Polisher

Amazon Affiliate Image

Fashion Fair Gentle Facial Polisher 85g/3oz
Bought from: Strawberry Net
Price paid: $12.50
Made in: U. S. A



 For that price, a product made in the States is a must try for me, because it is rarely that you would get anything worthy of a mention nowadays. My Kanebo Suisai Enzyme scrub has finally finished! As much as I like Suisai, I think it was time for a change.

What I like about this, is that it contains clay pieces as scrub, not mica beads, even though they feel like beads. It also contains menthol that feels cooling after a nice clean scrub. I have to use this twice a week, even though it is gentle, still not a daily scrub/ cleanser. 


I still have those pesky blackheads, despite doing it gently in circular motion, diligently for twice a week, with warm water. There is one really obvious and annoying one on my nose, which Suisai used to be able to get rid of. With Fashion Fair, the beads seemed to fail at cleaning some pores effectively, a little disappointed. My skin does feel ‘clean’ but upon closer inspection, there are bits and pockets of dirt that seem to be unaffected by the scrub. 

Overall, it gives me the feel of a good clean, but upon closer inspection, my skin still needs a little more. For that price, I should not complain about the lack of effectiveness, rather be glad that this even worked? Or I am just spoiled by the choices and brands that I am expecting more from a product nowadays?

On the plus side, it does not trigger acne for me and it is not have fragrances, I didn’t read Parfum on the ingredient’s list, so I would assume no added extras. It does smell lightly of the essential oils they put it, but that’s it. 

Fashion Fair Gentle Facial Polisher (Unboxed) 85g/3oz

A soap-free, non-abrasive face scrub Helps gently exfoliate away dead skin cells Contains special conditioning agents that are non-drying & non-irritating to skin Leaves skin smooth, radiant & purifiedThe quality of this unboxed item is as fresh & genuine as the original packing
New From: $13.38 USD In Stock

The Lyre Thief

The Lyre Thief (The Hythrun Chronicles)

New From: $10.33 USD In Stock

The Lyre Thief (The Hythrun Chronicles)Author: Jennifer Fallon
Series: The Hythrun Chronicles (Book 7)
Publisher: Tor Books
ISBN-13: 978-0765380791

Got this from the library on a whim, because title interested me, I borrowed it despite not reading the first 6 books of the series, and this is my first Jennifer Fallon book as well, if my review offended anyone I’m sorry.

There are multiple characters in the story, and a lot of plots that revolves around these characters, it is amazing that I could follow everyone without getting confused who is who. I like the fact that in the Lyre Thief, there is a summary about what had happened, to keep new readers up to date I guess. Well executed background story, while the main plot in the story involves a runaway princess and the slave girls she left behind, you know that this will change soon.

If I have to pick, my favorite story would be one of Charisee and Rakaia, at the moment. Rakaia is the princess who had ran away to avoid getting killed, Charisee is the slave left behind on her way to a marriage that she did not want. R’Shiel is still looking for the love of her life: Brak (proper name too hard to pronounce). I have no trouble navigating the complicated world of multiple cultures and magical beings and Gods, but it reminded me of a similar setting of a series that I can’t remember the name of.

My favorite character would be Kiam, the assassin and step-brother to the Wolfblade family. He would be such fun to follow around, and a hard character to read sometimes, what he wants is not always important, as his job is to serve those around him.

The Lyre Thief picks up ten years after the demon child R’Shiel kills demon turned god, Xaphista; hence this is more like a new story plot with continuing part of the old story. I like Jennifer Fallon’s writing style, it is quick paced without punishing new readers by making them lost in a new world.

I might pick up the first six books, if I have time one day… 

Bórghese Age-Defying Complex Advanced Serum For Face & Neck

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Bórghese Age-Defying Complex Advanced Serum For Face & Neck 50ml/1.7oz
Claims: Rehydrates, nourishes and soothes; Improve youthful appearance of skin

I bought this from StrawberryNet, a while ago and after my facial oil, I finally cracked it open. 


I have heard of the brand Bórghese before, but this is my first time using this brand. Bórghese  serum comes in a pump bottle, for me I use two pumps twice a day for my current routine. I skip using the facial oil as Palmer’s can be quite oily despite being good for my skin. I wanted to try this without the oil. It was a good decision, because on application, I can feel the oiliness of this product, and then followed by this velvety/ silicone feeling on my skin after I smooth it out and massage it for a little bit.

I like the velvety feel, it gives me an indication that at least this product is doing something. Plus my face is not that dry for a good time, even though it is a serum. I know it’s this product and not the cream, because I am still using the Coryse Salome cream, and that is a fast absorbing anti-wrinkle. 

This Bórghese serum is pretty nice, it stops my skin from looking sad and fatigued, despite me feeling tired and haggard, I am glad that people around me are disagreeing with that. My skin might not have the glow or dewy effect, but at least I have not gotten comments like if I had aged ten years in a week. I am feeling that way because Prince Brat and the last stages of pregnancy are not agreeing.

Totally do not understand why people want to have so many kids, this gig is TIRING and TRYING! I love my kid (or kids) but the exhaustion and the fact that I never get any private time when kid(s) are around is sanity killing. I salute those mothers who make it seem like piece of cake, we know it’s not. 

I will definitely come back for seconds if I cannot find any nice new serums after this one. A recommendable product on my list. 

Chased by Love

Today we’ve got the release week blitz for Chased by Love by Melissa Foster! Check it out and be sure to enter her giveaway today! Inkslinger Chased_ReleaseWeek (1) About Chased by Love: Chased by Love cover The Ryders are a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.   “You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak   “Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely   In CHASED BY LOVE… Actress Trish Ryder takes her job seriously and has no time for those who don’t. When she’s awarded a major role in a new movie featuring America’s hottest rock star, Boone Stryker, she’s beyond excited. The six-two, tattooed hunk of burning desire is known for his dedication to his craft–but when he ditches their first meeting, she begins to wonder if he’s just another rocker with a great PR team.   Sex, booze, women, and music pretty much sum up Boone Stryker’s private world. He’s coasted through life playing by his own rules with plenty of people willing to cover his tracks, and he’s not likely to change–until he meets a woman who refuses to give him the time of day, much less anything more.   Sparks fly from the first moment Trish and Boone meet–Tensions run hot and desire runs hotter when they’re trapped together on a remote location with no place to hide. Will sparks ignite, or will a hurricane douse the flames?   MORE RYDERS coming soon! Seized by Love (Blue) Claimed by Love (Duke) Chased by Love (Trish) Rescued by Love (Jake) Swept Into Love (Gage)   The RYDERS are part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection. Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series. teaser 1 Get your copy today! Amazon NOOK KOBO GPLAY iBOOKS SMASHWORDS Paperback: Amazon US teaser 3 Exclusive Excerpt Unwilling to give him the upper hand, she flashed a haughty smirk and returned his assessment with a lecherous leer of her own, drinking in every inch of his athletic build, from his bulging biceps to the ripped abs evident beneath his clingy shirt, all the way to the formidable package at the juncture of his powerful thighs. She lingered there, brazenly licking her lips.   He leaned in close—so close she thought he might kiss her. And damn it to hell, she wanted him to. Lust and challenge pulsed between them, thick and alive like a third heart.   teaser 4 About Melissa Foster: Melissa Foster Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event. newsletter pic Links: NEWSLETTER: http://www.melissafoster.com/newsletter CONNECT WITH MELISSA FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterAuthor TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Melissa_Foster WEBSITE: http://www.MelissaFoster.com STREET TEAM: http://www.facebook.com/groups/melissafosterfans teaser 1 Enter Melissa’s Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Release Week Blitz:

August 17th

Sassy Book Lovers

Rustys Reading

Wild and Dirty Book Blog

Brittany’s Book Blog

Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews

Ripe For Reader

Little Shop of Readers

My Nook, Books & More

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog

Socially Awkward Book Nerd

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars Blog



SBB Reviews

August 18th


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Sassy Book Lovers

G & T’s Indie Café

Literary Meanderings

Best Book Boyfriends

A Bookish Mess

Reese’s Reviews

Penny for My Thoughts

Maari Loves Her Indies

She Reads New Adult

oh the book feels

August 19th

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions

Jade’s Reads

Sweet Sexy Escape

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions

British Book Binge

Quesarasera Book Blog

Socially Awkward Book Nerd

East Coast Book Chicks

HEA Romances With A Little Kick

Sassy Southern Book Blog

Melena’s Reviews

Read My Mind

Hellmouth’s Bookblog & Reviews

August 20th

A crazy vermonters book reviews


2 girls who love books

Books, Books, The Magical Fruit

Rock Out With Sweet Reads

Books and Things Blog

Pervy Ladies Book Blog

Novel Addiction

Friends Till The End Book Blog

Sofia Loves Books

Chapter 5 by Love Koko

Maari Loves Her Indies

Princess Reads

August 21st

Dani’s Book Review Blog

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews

Those Crazy Book Chicks

Once Upon a Book Blog

Sweet Reading

Sofia Loves Books

Alpha Book Club

Happily Ever Chapter

Cruising Susan Book Reviews

Book Junkiez

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog

August 22nd

T&L Book Reviews


Zili in the Sky

TBR Book Blog

Bloggin with M. Brennan

books are love

All For Love of the Word

Outrageous Heroes of Romance

Blazinbear’s Book Blog

Reese’s Reviews

Sofia Loves Books

Bound BY Books Book Review

August 23rd

Loves Great Reads Blog

Cutting Muse Blog Review

Book Butterfly in Dreamland

Book Junkiez

One Book Boyfriend At A Time

Book Loving Fairy

A Taste of Sin

Barbara Book Reviews

I Love My Authors

Reese’s Reviews

My Review

Trish Ryder is the sister of the five Ryder brothers, I have not read any of the brother’s book, somehow I read the synopsis for Chased by Love and thought that this might be a good read. I was not disappointed by the chemistry between Trish and Boone Stryker, they were explosive.

However. all good stories not only have explosive chemistry, but special bonds as well. Melissa Foster knows that too, Trish and Boone has conflict after conflict, forcing them to face each other in many different ways. The adult scenes are awesome and hot as usual, but it is always the characters that charm me. Their struggle with many issues, and wanting to come out on top is charming and interesting.

The main hero of the story is Boone, even though both have stakes in the story, Boone’s past history is raw and more compelling, Trish seems like a support character in Chased by Love, but she does that role well. The actress in her pushes Boone to admit his pain and fear, at the same time she does not give him slack for hurting. This story opens my eyes to the world of acting, I know what it means by going in character, and how some actors have a talent for being a different person all the time (think Johnny Depp and Leo DiCaprio). I had never known that it requires more than acting to make a character believable, and I think that it is great to learn something new.

Chased by Love is sexy, hot and has a good amount of conflict to keep everyone happy. A reminder that some do have to work hard to achieve success, and always be grateful of the opportunities, as they may disappear in a blink. Great to read something that is standalone, even though it is part of a series, I do not have to worry about other characters in the series when I am with Trish and Boone.

Smoke and Mirrors

Image Courtesy from My Addiction is Reading 

Smoke and Mirrors
Young Adult / New Adult Fantasy

Date Published: May 1, 2016
 A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she’s just like all the other magi.
A dragon who sees through her lies.
Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.
Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she’s got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can’t afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.
The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.
As an illusionist, she doesn’t have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems…

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight.

About Jess Haines

I’m a displaced New Yorker with a penchant for the silly, the obscure, and the fantastical. These days, you can find me in the Tampa area. I’m currently working on the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series and the Blackhollow Academy young adult/new adult contemporary fantasy series. Find out more about my books, drop me a line, or join my mailing list at www.jesshaines.com!
Contact Information

My Review

 Kimberly Wells needs a lot of things, the top on her list when the story starts is to graduate. 
With her single mother, they barely scrape by, Kimberly needs to find a way to bind a familiar before the exams to prove that she has what it takes to become part of a Coven, a magi coven that can provide financial security she craves for.
Recommended by her Professor, Kimberly sought the help of Cormac Hunter, who was interested in her enough to help her out. In Smoke and Mirrors, this heroine is strong and naive at the same time. Part of me wonders why she hasn’t figured out half of the things already, seeing that she is a smart and alert cookie most of the time. I am sure that she is not gullible, but desperation makes her brain idle.
Cormac Hunter is intrigued by this little sorceress, and with a melted heart, promises to assist her in finding an Earth Bound creature that can help her. Why a dragon? This is where it gets fun! As the two tango along romance and business, Kimberly finds herself thrown into a few situations.
Sometimes I wish that she makes the wrong choices more often, it would be more fun, and I would get another book out of this. Jess Haines’ characters are realistic, but it is the background story that I am more interested in. I am curious, and the setting is ripe for a few good stories. Hope she has another one coming soon.

In the Shadow of David

In The Shadow of David (The Secret Rebellion Book 1)Author: Martin Baggen
Series: The Secret Rebellion 1
Genre: Political, thriller
Publisher: Martin Baggen

I have received this book from Netgalley for a fair review, this will not affect my judgement of the book.

The story starts with son of a priest, Yohannon, who befriended Miriam in a time where Jews are separated and Romans were going to rule. Exiled would- be- queen of Hasmonean lineage plotted a daring scheme to lead the Jews to freedom, as the Romans are cruel rulers. Things go awry when one of her key characters was executed, but Mary quickly finds a replacement in Yeshua, who would need to be convinced that he was the Messiah without knowing the truth behind it all.

Even though I have not read the Bible, I do know the rough details about Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ, and rumors that surround their relationship. In the Shadow of David is basically a creative rewrite for one of the more obscure parts of the Bible, with a deeper and more sinister plot. The main focus of In the Shadow of David is how Miriam becomes one of the important people in Yeshua’s entourage. Other interesting points include how she managed to pull of miraculous events, cementing Yeshua’s claim that he is the messiah. 

Character wise, there is nothing much to say for the people for In the Shadow of David, as its focus solely on the plot. Although I cannot say that I had enjoyed the book, but it was interesting. This is my first time reading a daring challenge to the original work, I just hope that the story and characters improve as it goes along. Will Miriam get what she wants, and rewrite history? Or will the story ends the way it should be? 

In the Shadow of David is a good start to the series, but it needs dedication to finish for those who are not interested in it.

In The Shadow of David (The Secret Rebellion Book 1)

A thoroughly innovative reworking of “the greatest story ever told.”
Readers have heard tales from the life of Jesus so many times, in the Bible and a bevy of other ancient texts, it’s a wonder that anyone has anything left to say about it. Yet nothing can stop modern authors—from Norman Mailer to Anne Rice to José Saramago to Philip Pullman—from returning to this fertile story. In Baggen’s debut, readers get yet another take on Christ’s life, yet this one feels truly original. In brief, it reimagines the familiar New Testament narrative as a sort of political thriller in which Jesus—or Yeshua, as he’s called here—is less the Son of God than a charismatic insurgent. (Think Dan Brown with more than a hint of Vince Flynn.) Working by Yeshua’s side, or sometimes behind his back, are Yohannan (John the Baptist), Yehudah (Judah), Miriam, Nicodemus, and a handful of other disciples and allies. Baggen tells his story not only through Yeshua’s eyes but also from supporting characters’ perspectives—an excellent narrative decision that lends the novel complexity and depth. Furthermore, and much to his credit, the author offers historical details that make Jesus’ story both more and less unique, noting that Jesus was just one of many messianic figures wandering Palestine; that there were other new religious movements, such as the Essenes and Gnostics, competing with early Christianity; and that many other upstarts’ lives came to an end on a cross. Perhaps the story’s only real weakness is that it sometimes pales in comparison to the original, with which it tacitly competes. The Bible’s style is striking in its austerity, simplicity, and accessibility, and Baggen’s prose, by contrast, is occasionally wordier than it should be. That said, this rookie effort stands sturdily on its own.
A Gospel retread but one that’s provocative, tense, and exciting.

In his audacious debut novel, In The Shadow Of David; The Secret Rebellion, Martin Baggen offers a thoroughly original retelling of the story of Jesus, taking the biblical “Son of God” and shrinking him down to size – the size of a man. The story, told, like the Bible, through various points of view, sweeps readers along through the now familiar series of events of Jesus’ life, his miracles explained as clever tricks achieved by mortals. The plot thickens when Jesus is arrested, leading to an explosive climax. This well-researched and exciting book – part sweeping epic, part political thriller — gives readers a fresh and provocative take on the tale of Jesus.
-Greg Mandel, author of “High Hat,” and “The Palin Prophecies: Apocalypstick Now”.

A young, rightful queen returns from exile to her homeland. Her mission is to reclaim her country from the grip of an oppressive foreign occupation. To achieve her goal, she must find a king. Her quest leads to a charismatic and gifted man who possesses the ability to help her lead a nation to freedom. But the mission comes at a cost greater than anyone can predict, and the misunderstood legacy of their secret rebellion will endure for thousands of years. A failed political movement that gave birth to a new religion.

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The Pho Cookbook

The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodles
Author: Andrea Nguyen
Genre: cookbook, non-fiction, food
Release date: February 2017 
Source: Netgalley

I do love a good recipe book, if it is from another country or culture, I love it even more. The different blends of spices and different uses of the same meat cut really inspires me to try cooking different things at home. The Vietnamese soup and noodles are closely related to Chinese, with a bit more spice and zing to it. As Australia is home to many Vietnamese refugees from the war, I am continuously blessed with Beef Pho, their noodle soup is so tasty and warms you up during winter months.

This is why I requested this book from Netgalley, not only the cover was yummy and drool worthy, the title tells all. 

Before you intend to buy this book, you have to realize that making dishes from this recipe book requires some dedication at least. In Vietnamese culture, this is a family event, where members form a serving line from noodles to soup, serving everyone before setting down for a good lunch meal. This is not chucking ingredients in a soup pot and let it simmer type of soup, Pho is a dish that requires work, which is why it is so yummy. You can taste the effort and love from the first sip.

Also, this is not a quick and easy, even if the recipe has a 15 minute version, you still need to assemble the whole dish. There is a lot of prep work involved, and not to mention the washing up. Yes, I will definitely try the recipes, but not very often, this is one dish that I would gladly pay to eat. The effort can be daunting when you have young kids.

Filled with history, the Vietnam culture is steeped in tradition, and it shows in the food. This is not only a recipe book, it is also a part history book for those who are curious about their past. Overall, Pho Cookbook is a great addition, and it is one that I would be referring to often, only to drool at its pages. 

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